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Vitality Life Insurance [REVIEW]

26-03-2021

Who Are Vitality?

Vitality is a leading insurance and investment company. It offers a range of Life and Health protection policies, including Income Protection, Health Insurance, Life Insurance and Life Insurance combined with Serious Illness Cover.

Vitality’s core purpose is to make clients healthier while helping them protect their lives. In conjunction with its South African parent group Discovery, Vitality has pledged to get 100 million people 20% more active by 2025.

Vitality Life Insurance

Policy Overview

  • Vitality offers healthy living rewards, discounts, cashback and bonuses when you keep up with the Vitality Plus programme, which you can add to various policies.
  • Maximum Life Insurance benefit of £18 million should be more than sufficient for almost every client.
  • Opt to pay extra for Serious Illness Cover. This covers more conditions that Critical Illness Insurance on a severity scale. As standard, Vitality covers 153 conditions, paying between 15% and 100% of your benefit depending on the nature of your illness.
  • Various cover options available, including Level Term Insurance, Decreasing Term Insurance, Family Income Benefit and Whole of Life Insurance.

Documentation

Vitality Life Insurance – Key Facts

Vitality Life Insurance - Policy Terms

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What Does The Vitality Life Plan Cover?

Vitality Life Insurance Coverage

Maximum Benefit

  • Life Insurance: £18 million
  • Life and Serious Illness Cover: £3 million

Type of Cover Available

  • Level Term Insurance
  • Decreasing Term Insurance
  • Increasing Term Insurance
  • Family Income Benefit
  • Whole of Life Insurance

Minimum Entry Age

16

Maximum Entry Age

74

Terminal Illness Cover?

Joint Cover?

Joint life first death / joint life second death (Whole of Life Insurance only)

Premium Type

  • Guaranteed
  • Reviewable
  • Index-linked premiums (for increasing cover)

Waiver of Premium

Optional

Optional Serious Illness Cover

Add Serious Illness Cover for an extra premium.

Vitality Serious Illness Cover differs from Critical Illness Insurance. It covers more illnesses, with a severity ranking to decide your payout.

Standard Conditions Covered

153.

Vitality uses a sliding scale of severity, paying 15%-100% of your benefit depending on the nature of your illness.

Serious Illness Cover Booster

Add to Serious Illness Cover for an extra premium. It boosts the number of conditions which mean a 100% payout to 81.

It also doubles the payout if you develop one of a list of long-term debilitating conditions Vitality feels will have a major financial impact on your life.

Serious Illness Cover Plus

An optional add-on to Serious Illness Cover for an extra premium. It covers a further 29 conditions.

The sliding scale for Serious Illness Cover Plus runs from 5% to 100% of your benefit depending on the severity of the condition.

Surival Period

14 days

Children’s Cover?

Family Benefit

Included as standard, this pays £5,000 once you’ve had the policy for 9+ months for:

  • 5 pregnancy-related complications, plus foetal death in utero / stillbirth after 20 weeks gestation
  • Your child being born with 1 of 8 congenital conditions
  • A child’s funeral if they due during the term of the policy before age 18 (23 if in full-time education).

Children’s Cover

An optional add-on for an extra premium, it covers children from 30 days old to age 18 (23 if in full-time education), paying:

  • A benefit of your choice up to £100,000 if your child develops a condition Vitality covers (except total permanent disability)
  • A hospitalisation benefit of £100 per night if your child is hospitalised for 14 consecutive nights after reaching 30 days old, up to a maximum of 30 nights / £3,000.
We have taken care to ensure that the information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However we can give no guarantee as to the accuracy of the content of the site. We accept no liability for any losses whether direct or indirect arising from errors on our part.

Key Benefits With Vitality Life Insurance

Indexed / Increasing Cover Available

Vitality’s indexed / increasing cover means inflation won’t erode the purchasing power of your payout over time. Your payout rises annually in line with Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation (rounded to the next 0.25%).

The maximum annual benefit increase is 10%. With indexed cover, your benefit can never exceed £18 million.

Vitality automatically applies increases until the last plan anniversary before your 80th birthday. With Joint Life Cover, it’s the 80th birthday of the youngest of the two people on the plan.

At this point, Vitality writes to ask if you want to continue with indexation. You must agree explicitly — otherwise, Vitality changes your policy to Level Life Insurance.

Guaranteed Insurability

You can increase your benefit (up to the £18 million cap) without supplying further medical information if one of the following events happens:

  • Childbirth / adoption
  • Marriage / civil partnership
  • New / increased mortgage
  • Rent increase
  • Promotion / change in job resulting in a salary increase
  • Increase in the value of your estate meaning a larger inheritance tax liability (Whole of Life Cover only)
  • Legislative change meaning a larger inheritance tax liability (Whole of Life Cover only).

You can only increase your benefit within 3 months of the event.

Guaranteed insurability is available up to the plan anniversary before your 55th birthday for everything except a rise in inheritance tax liability. For this, you can use guaranteed insurability until the plan anniversary before your 70th birthday.

Waiver of Premium

Opt for waiver of premium cover for an extra premium. If you become incapacitated, Vitality stops charging premiums while leaving the cover in force until you recover and return to work.

Splitting of a Joint Plan

Split a joint life first death plan into two single Life Insurance plans, one for each ex-partner, if you divorce or dissolve your civil partnership.

Serious Illness Cover, Not Critical Illness Cover

Add Serious Illness Cover for an additional premium. This differs from the Critical Illness Insurance most other insurers offer in several ways.

Firstly, it covers many more conditions. As standard, Vitality covers 153 illnesses. You can add Serious Illness Cover Plus for an extra premium to increase the conditions to 182.

Furthermore, Vitality pays out on a sliding scale of severity. Under Serious Illness Cover, you get between 15% and 100% of your benefit depending on the nature of your condition. With Serious Illness Cover Plus, the sliding scale is 5%-100%.

Family Benefit

Even without paying extra to add Children’s Serious Illness Cover, you get some child cover as standard with Serious Illness Insurance.

Family Benefit pays £5,000 once you’ve held the policy for 9 months if:

  • You develop one of five pregnancy-related complications, plus foetal death in utero / stillbirth after 20 weeks gestation
  • Your child is born with one of eight congenital conditions
  • Your child passes away during the term of the policy before age 18 (23 if in full-time education).

Protected Cover

Most Life and Critical Illness Insurance policies only pay out once. Your plan then ends. If you have Life and Critical Illness Cover and develop a critical illness that warrants a 100% payout, your policy therefore ends. You no longer have Life Insurance.

At that point, it will likely be tricky to get replacement Life Insurance due to your critical diagnosis. It will also be almost impossible to get new Critical Illness Cover.

However, Vitality’s Protected Cover (an optional add-on for an extra premium) tackles this. There are two options:

  • Protected Life Cover
    Keep your Life Insurance benefit if you make a Serious Illness Insurance claim
  • Protected Life and Serious Illness Cover
    Keep your Life Insurance and Serious Illness benefits if you make a serious illness claim. Claim multiple times for serious illnesses until you receive a maximum of three times your initial benefit. Even after this, you still retain your Life Insurance.

Additional Benefits

Vitality Life Insurance additional benefits are largely through its Vitality Plus and Vitality Optimiser Programmes.

However, it also will advance up to £10,000 of your benefit to a funeral director to help pay for your funeral if your overall benefit is tied up in probate.

Vitality Plus Programme

The most unique aspect of Vitality’s Income Protection is its Vitality Plus Programme. This gives access to lower premiums, cashback and other rewards. However, to get these benefits policyholders must maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Vitality Plus Programme:

  • Can be added to any core protection product for an additional £5 charge
  • Involves earning Vitality points through exercise, healthy living and health reviews
  • Offers discounted gym memberships, fitness gadgets, bikes, running gear and holidays
  • Provides free weekly cinema ticket and a coffee
  • Lets you use points to unlock better rewards, earn cashback and cut your premiums
  • Means premiums won’t rise just because you don’t engage with the programme.

The Vitality Life Programmes

These programmes really open up the rewards element of your policy. You get access to freebies, discounts, cashback and potentially annually reducing premiums.

There are two options to choose which offer slightly different benefits: Vitality Optimiser and Vitality Wellness Optimiser plan.

If you add either of these, you get an initial upfront premium discount. If you don’t want an Optimiser plan, you can simply add Vitality Plus to any core product and take advantage of the rewards linked to that specific plan.

It’s important to know that with Optimiser policies, your premiums could go up as well as down. If you don’t engage with the Healthy Living programme and maintain a healthy lifestyle, your premiums may increase.

Vitality Optimiser

  • Vitality Plus is included as standard at a price of £3.80 (you cannot remove Vitality Plus from the policy)
  • Get an upfront discount on your ‘optimised’ Life Insurance policy and lower premiums
  • Earn Vitality points through exercise, healthy living and annual health reviews to spend on rewards
  • You can only access some discounts by collecting a certain number of points regularly
  • Vitality will reduce your premiums annually if you collect enough points to reach Vitality’s Platinum status
  • Premiums increase if you don’t engage with the programme and reach Platinum status; how much they go up by depends on the status you achieve.

Vitality Wellness Optimiser

  • Vitality Plus is included as standard at a price of £3.80 (you cannot remove Vitality Plus from the policy)
  • Get a significant upfront discount on your ‘optimised’ insurance policy and lower premiums
  • Earn Vitality points through exercise and healthy living to unlock rewards and reduce premiums
  • You can only access some discounts by collecting a certain number of points regularly
  • Earn Wellness points by maintaining a healthy BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose level to unlock rewards and reduce premiums
  • Premiums increase if you don’t engage with the programme; how much they rise by depends on the status you achieve.

Vitality Status Impact on Premiums

Status

Premium Change

Bronze

+2%

Silver

+1%

Gold

+0%

Platinum

-1%

Key Comparison Points

Minimum Entry Age of 16

Vitality lets you take out Life Insurance from age 16. The minimum age for many other providers is 18; Vitality is therefore a good option for the youngest people seeking Life Insurance.

Benefit of Your Choice With Optional Children’s Cover

With most Critical Illness Insurance policies, insurers fix the available benefit with children’s cover at a percentage of your benefit (typically around 25%).

However, with Vitality, you can choose how much you want as a child benefit (between £15,000 and £100,000).

Protected Cover

Few other insurers offer the Protected Cover option Vitality does. Vitality are therefore a good option if you’re concerned about your policy automatically terminating if you make a serious illness claim.

Children’s Cover Not Standard With Serious Illness Cover

You can choose a benefit of up to £100,000 with children’s Serious Illness Cover. However, it doesn’t come with adult cover — you pay extra for it. Many insurers include children’s cover as standard with Critical Illness Insurance.

While this does mean you don’t pay for cover you won’t use if you don’t have kids, it’s something worth considering if you do have children or plan to start a family.

Total Permanent Disability Cover a Paid Extra

Total Permanent Disability Cover pays out if you become so completely and totally disabled through illness or injury that you can’t ever work again.

With Vitality, it’s an optional add-on for an extra premium. However, some insurers include it as standard with Critical Illness Cover.

14 Day Survival Period

Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover requires you to survive at least 14 days after your diagnosis to make a serious illness claim.

While many other insurers also have a 14 day survival period, there are plenty in the market with a 10 day period.

Limited Maximum Life Insurance Benefit

Vitality caps the maximum benefit at £18 million for Life Insurance. While this will be sufficient for almost every Life Insurance client, there are insurers which offer higher / unlimited Life Insurance benefits.

If you do need more than £18 million in Life Insurance, you’ll therefore need to choose another provider.

No Online Trusts

Vitality doesn’t offer online trusts. Writing your Life Insurance into trust to protect it from inheritance tax therefore requires paper forms and wet signatures.

This can cause delays compared to an online trusts service, which your adviser can help you complete when they arrange the policy.

Compare Life Insurance Quotes & Get Expert Advice

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

We have a team of expert regulated advisers that are on hand to help you find the best life insurance for your circumstances.

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 Life Insurance advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pop us a call 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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Drewberry Ltd registered office: Telecom House, Preston Road, Brighton, England, BN1 6AF. Telephone 0208 432 7333

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