Unum

Unum Executive Income Protection [REVIEW]

Who Are Unum?

As a leading employee benefits provider, Unum UK protects businesses and workers with policies such as Income Protection, Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover.

As well as providing employee benefits, Unum also offers Executive Income Protection. This is a type of Income Protection aimed specifically at company directors, contractors and other professionals working through a limited company.

Unum Executive Income Protection

Policy Overview

  • Flexible cover and benefit options aimed at companies seeking to cover an employee or director.
  • The company pays the premiums; in the event of a claim, Unum therefore pays the benefit into the company rather than straight to the employee. The company distributes the payout from there, at which point HMRC deducts tax and National Insurance.
  • As HMRC deducts tax and National Insurance, individuals can cover up to 80% of their earnings. This is higher than the 70% maximum with personal plans.
  • Offers a range of Limited Payment Term options which can help to reduce the cost of premiums.

Documentation

Unum Executive Income Protection key facts pdf. Unum Executive Income Protection policy terms pdf.

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What Does Unum’s Executive Income Protection Cover?

Unum Executive Income Protection Coverage

Maximum Cover

80% of gross (pre-tax) earnings
Maximum benefit at the start of your plan is £300,000 per year. Benefits are subject to tax and National Insurance.    

Premium Type

Guaranteed or Reviewable

Maximum Claim Duration

Full Cover to Term
No limit on the length or the number of claims you can make

Limited Payment Term
Limit your payout term to 2, 3 or 5 years

Incapacity Definition

Own occupation

Deferred Period

4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 weeks

Indexation

Optional

Waiver of Premium

Automatic
Applies for the entire claim period and if you choose to take a career break

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.

Josh Martin, Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Executive Income Protection mostly covers high earning, office-based professionals. Because of this, it may therefore be expensive or unavailable to workers with higher risk occupations, such as those involving manual work.

Josh Martin
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Key Benefits

High Monthly Benefit

Unum’s Executive Income Protection can cover up to 80% of your earnings up to a maximum of £25,000 a month (£300,000 a year). This is one of the highest levels of Income Protection available in the UK, making it suitable for high earners.

Unum takes into account the following when considering eligible earnings to cover:

  • Salary
  • Dividends (for shareholding directors)
  • Benefits in kind
  • Director loans (subject to policy terms).

Protect Employer’s National Insurance Contributions

If you add this optional benefit, Unum pays the employer’s National Insurance Contributions the company would normally pay on the benefit when transferring it to an employee. The maximum cover available is £40,000 per year.

Protect Employers Pension Contributions

Unum also lets employers insure the pension contributions they would pay to an employee if they were off work due to illness or injury. With this option, Unum pays up to a third of an individual’s current earnings towards their pension.

Unum caps this benefit at £50,000 per year.

Death Benefit

If the policyholder dies in the first 12 months of a claim from the same illness / injury which caused the claim, Unum pays a lump sum of 12 times the benefit amount (less any benefit it has already paid).

Continuation Option

Should a covered employee leave the business, they can transfer the policy to a new employer without the need for new underwriting. However, in order to do this the new employer must agree to pay the premiums and accept the plan’s terms and conditions.

If the new employer doesn’t want to take on the policy, the employee who is leaving can put the plan into their own name and switch it to a personal Income Protection policy. At this point, they become responsible for paying the premiums themselves.

Career Break

Unum lets individuals suspend cover for up to 12 months if the policyholder stops working / takes a career break. This benefit might be particularly useful for contractors / other professionals who take long breaks from work or have inconsistent workflow.

Disability Plus Benefit

If you add this for an additional premium, Unum increases your monthly benefit by 20% if you have been receiving a benefit for more than 2 years and are unable to perform daily tasks such as dressing yourself, climbing stairs or holding a pen.

You must select this when initially setting up the plan — it cannot be added on later.

Automatic Waiver of Premium

In the event of a claim, Unum automatically waives premiums. This also applies if an employee chooses to take a career break.

Indexed Cover Available

Unum offers the option of index-linked cover, which means the benefit increases each year in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI). Unum caps this increase at 12% each year. You can also choose an increasing benefit that rises each year at fixed rate of 5%.

It’s important to remember that premiums also rise in line with any increases to your benefit.

Guaranteed Insurability Option

If an employee goes through one of the following life events, Unum lets you increase the benefit without further medical evidence:

  • Marriage / civil partnership
  • Birth of a child
  • Mortgage increase
  • Salary increase of at least 10% following a significant promotion or gaining a professional qualification.

Additional Benefits

Unum offers a number of additional benefits with its Executive Income Protection policy. Some of these are free; however, others come with an additional cost.

Employee and Employer Assistance Programme (EAP)

Unum offers an employee and employer assistance programme through LifeWorks. This offers a range of support services covering topics such as life, money and wellbeing. Services include:

Total Wellbeing Index (TWI)

This offers a range of personal mental, physical, financial and social assessments for employees. These can help individuals identify areas they need to focus on and are backed up with tools and resources to help them make improvements.

The CareNow Programme

The CareNow programme gives employees access to eight interactive modules based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles. These help support individuals with things such as anxiety, relationships and communication.

Help@hand

Unum’s EAP is accessed via the Help@hand app, which also provides employees and their family with access to:

  • Remote GP service
  • Mental health support
  • Physiotherapy sessions
  • Second medical opinion service.

Rehabilitation Services

Unum’s vocational rehabilitation consultants are available to offer guidance and support to employees returning to work.

This includes assessing their emotional and physical conditions, as well as providing training for managers and HR teams to help prevent stress, sickness and injuries around the workplace in the first place.

Key Comparison Points

Key Comparison Points

Not a Standalone Personal Policy

Unum’s Executive Income protection can only be purchased by the employer of the policyholder. Individuals cannot buy it as a standalone personal policy.

However, business owners can use their limited company to buy cover for themselves. Read more on using your limited company to pay for your Income Protection here ⟶

High Maximum Level of Cover

The maximum benefit for this policy is 80% of your earnings, with benefits capped at £300,000 per year.

While 80% of your earnings is the highest benefit available (the typical maximum is up to 70% with a personal plan), this is due to the fact that HMRC taxes the benefit from an executive plan. You therefore insure a higher figure to insure you get the correct payout net of tax.

Unum’s maximum annual benefit of £300,000 per year of £25,000 per month is also very high, regardless of the 80% earnings limit.

Own Occupation Incapacity Definition

Unum uses the Own occupation definition of incapacity to price its policies. While this means the policy covers you if you can’t do your specific job role, it does mean the plan is less suitable for those in riskier occupations.

If your job involves any degree of manual work or site visits, you might face more expensive premiums and be better off with another provider / plan.

No Standard Underwriting Limits

Unum’s Income Protection policy has no standard underwriting limits. This means that, if you don’t make any medical disclosures when you apply, then regardless of your age or the benefit Unum won’t require medical examinations or GP reports.

Claim Restrictions for Limited Payment Terms

For limited payment terms, Unum will only pay a benefit for the maximum term chosen for each single episode of incapacity.

For example, if someone claims for 2 years for cancer before recovering and going back to work, Unum would not accept a further claim for cancer should it later return.

If you only get a benefit for part of the limited payment period and later on claim again for the same condition, Unum reduces the payment period limit by the amount of time you previously spent claiming for that same condition.

Insure National Insurance and Pension Contributions

It’s possible to insure employee and employer National Insurance liability as well as employer pension contributions. This can be a good option for company directors who might want to maintain pension contributions while they can’t work.

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 advice on Income Protection, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us on 02084327333 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.

Dan Pettitt
13/01/2021
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