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Shepherds Friendly Income Protection [REVIEW]

Who Are Shepherds Friendly?

Shepherds Friendly is one of the world’s oldest mutual insurers, founded on Christmas Day 1826.

Starting out as a traditional life and sickness benefits society, it has since grown into a modern, broadly based financial services organisation.

Over the years it has acquired a membership of nearly 85,000 people in the UK and expanded its product range to include savings plans and protection policies for children, adults and seniors.

As a mutual society, Shepherds Friendly has no shareholders to answer to — it’s run entirely for the benefit of its members.

rauri taylor, independent protection expert at drewberry

While Shepherds Friendly covers up to 70% of your gross earnings, the highest percentage available with personal Income Protection, it caps the maximum benefit in cash terms at £4,083 per month.

Higher earners needing a larger benefit may therefore have to consider an alternative insurer.

Rauri Taylor
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Shepherds Friendly’s Income Protection

Policy Overview

  • Offers a flexible Income Protection plan with affordable options.
  • Shepherds Friendly paid 96.26% of all new claims in 2019.
  • Offers long-term protection, allowing you to claim up to age 70 if you choose this as your cease age.

Documentation

Shepherds Friendly Income Protection Key facts pdf.
Shepherds Friendly Policy Terms pdf.

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What Does Shepherds Friendly Income Protection Cover?

Shepherds Friendly offers both Long Term Income Protection and a Short Term Income Protection option at a cheaper price point.

Its long-term cover provides a payout until your chosen retirement age if you can never work again. You can set this as high as 70. With the short-term option, Shepherds Friendly limits your payout to a maximum of 24 months per claim.

Shepherds Friendly Income Protection Coverage

Maximum Cover

70% of your gross taxable income.

Maximum benefit of £4,083 a month / £49,000 per year.

Premium Type

Age Banded
Premiums increase each year between certain ages on the anniversary of the plan.

Maximum Claim Duration

Full cover to term
Pays out with no limit in the event of a claim, up until your policy’s retirement age.

Limited term
Pays out for a maximum of 24 months per claim.

Incapacity Definition 

Own occupation

Deferred Period

4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 weeks

Indexation

Optional

Waiver of Premium

Automatically included

We have taken care to ensure that information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However, we offer no guarantee as to its accuracy and accept no liability for any losses, whether direct or indirect, arising from errors on our part

Key Benefits

Career Break Option

If you’ve had your policy for at least 12 months you can apply for a career break, which lets you suspend both your cover and premiums. Then, when you want to pick the cover back up again, you don’t have to re-apply.

If you choose this option the suspension must be for at least 3 consecutive months but no longer than 24 consecutive months.

Return to Work Rehabilitation Support

Shepherds Friendly will potentially fund additional support services where it feels they will help your recovery and get you back to work sooner. For example, it may refer you for physiotherapy or counselling via one of its nominated rehabilitation providers.

Automatic Waiver of Premium

Waiver of premiums is automatically included. Shepherds Friendly stops taking premiums from 4 weeks after the end of your deferral period until the end of your claim.

Increasing / Indexed Cover Available

At the start of your plan you have the option to index-link your benefit. Should you choose this option, your monthly benefit will increase in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). To compensate for this higher benefit, your premiums will also rise in line.

If you select this option, Shepherds Friendly applies indexation annually after 12 months of your policy being in place.

Life Change / Guaranteed Insurability

Should certain ‘life events’ happen during the policy term, Shepherds Friendly lets you increase your benefit by up to 20% per event, up to a maximum of £6,000 in total per year.

These life events include:

  • Mortgage increase on moving house
  • Marriage / civil partnership registration
  • Birth / adoption of a child
  • Divorce / dissolution of a civil partnership.

Additional Benefits

New Child Payment

Shepherd’s Friendly pays £250 into one of its Junior Child ISAs if you have a child during the term of a policy. This is to help you get started on saving for your child’s future.

Short-Term Family Income Benefit

If the worst should happen and you pass away during the life of a policy, Shepherds Friendly pays £6,000 to your family in six monthly instalments. This is to help with daily living costs and reduce some of the financial strain of a bereavement.

Mutual Moments

Mutual Moments aims to empower Shepherds Friendly’s staff to provide the best possible customer service. Every month, each member of staff gets a budget of £25 to spend on a member if they wish.

Examples of Mutual Moments might a staff member sending a longstanding saver a birthday cake or congratulations card to a member who’s getting married.

Key Comparison Points

Low Capped Maximum Benefit

Shepherds Friendly Income Protection covers up to 70% of your gross earnings. This is the highest percentage available with personal Income Protection.

However, the insurer’s maximum monthly benefit in cash terms is £4,083 per month (£49,000 per year), regardless of your earnings. If you’re a higher earner, you may therefore want to consider an alternative insurer.

Age Banded Premiums Only

This policy only offers age banded premiums, so the cost of cover rises each year in line with your age. If you want guaranteed premiums that stay fixed across the life of your policy, another insurer would be more suitable.

12 Month Medical Review on Exclusions

If Shepherds Friendly excludes a pre-existing condition from your policy, you can request a medical review after 12 months. This is something most other insurers don’t automatically offer.

Shepherds Friendly may remove the exclusion on review providing you haven’t received treatment for or had any symptoms of the excluded condition for at least 12 months prior to you making the request.

Any removal of exclusions is subject to you supplying medical information such as GP notes and will be entirely at the insurer’s discretion.

Changes to Benefits Possible

Shepherds Friendly’s Income Protection offers flexibility which allows you to make certain amendments to your policy once it’s live. For example, you can change your benefit level, deferred period and cease age; however, this is only possible when you’re not claiming / in receipt of a benefit.

No Cover for Higher Risk Roles

Shepherds Friendly declines to cover those in higher risk roles, for example those where you work offshore on boats or above certain heights. Workers in higher risk roles are unlikely to find this insurer their best option.

Compare Income Protection Quotes & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, when looking to compare Income Protection Insurance there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

For help and fee-free Income Protection advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re available on 02084327333 or you can email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Very helpful from start to finish. Talked through all the points and gave great advice.

Darren Comer
16/05/2021
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