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Friends Life focuses on the plus points

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Friends Life has combined what it describes as the best elements of cover and benefits provided by the three companies from which it was formed in a new menu-based protection plan, Protect +.

The new plan brings together features that were part of the individual protection product ranges of Friends Provident, Bupa Health Assurance and Axa’s UK life business.

The product provides critical illness cover, critical illness cover with life cover, income protection and life cover. As well as a comprehensive range of conditions covered, its critical illness cover provides a range of features and options that provide flexibility for the client and cover when the client needs it.

In addition to more common features such as premium waiver, guaranteed insurability and indexation options, the plan includes advance payment for certain surgical treatment for people on NHS waiting lists, and fracture cover. Fracture cover pays a cash lump sum up to £2,100 for one of 18 specified fractures during any 12-month period. However, it has limitations as children are not covered and it will pay out on only one fracture, so the client must choose which one if there are multiple fractures.

Defaqto insight analyst for life and protection Ben Heffer thinks this proposition will be well received by IFAs because it enables advisers to select the cover that fits their clients’ circumstances. He says: “Many advisers prefer a critical illness product with a wide range of cover and enhanced definitions. Friends Life has delivered this with a contract covering 46 critical illnesses, fourteen of which are marketed as ABI+’ Eight conditions are severity-based, dealing with the delicate issue of clients that get cancer, for example, but would not normally qualify for a payout. Advisers can feel comfortable that this issue is covered.”

“Income protection is often a difficult sell for advisers but Protect+ offers term to retirement and a range of limited term options. Advisers can therefore balance the most appropriate option for their clients with their ability to afford cover,” says Heffer.

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