View more on these topics

Bacon or cheap insurance?

Vegetarian life insurance has been a hot topic since Animal Friends Insurance, the pet insurance specialists, said they would give vegetarians and fish-eaters an average 6 per cent discount on their life premiums.

But Steve Casey at Bupa has queried how the company will determine who is a genuine veggie and who is simply claiming to refrain from bacon butties to shave 6 per cent off their life cover.

He says: “It will be interesting to see how the company ascertains the applicants are genuine vegetarians and how it will police them.”

But Animal Friends spokesperson Pete Marcus says applicants will be taken on trust.

Marcus says if the insurer discovers the policyholder has been chomping on chorizo, munching on meatloaf or pigging out on pork then the policy is deemed invalid. He doubts many people will take the risk.

Will other insurers follow Animal Friends’ lead? Aegon Scottish Equitable, for one, has no current plans to.

Aegon PR manager Mark Locke says: “Some vegetarians do not have a healthy diet so we would not be rating people on diet alone.”

Hmm cheaper life cover or bacon butties? Tough call.

In other news Bright Grey has highlighted the fact that if a pensions term assurance policy lapses it cannot be reinstated with tax relief.

Since the industry standard is to lapse policies after only one missed premium Bright Grey technical product manager Ian Smart says many people could unintentionally lose their tax relief.

Smart says this could lead to loads more people, who currently have cover, being uninsured as they scramble to find a cheaper deal then give up.

He says: “If a person’s policy lapses they will probably cancel it and try to find a cheaper life policy or go ‘sod it’. This move will lead to more people being unprotected and the industry will get the blame not the Revenue.

“The Government is taking a very harsh line. It doesn’t want these policies hanging around for the next 25 years.”

But advisers believe insurers can stop this happening if they want to by not being so quick to lapse policies.

Meanwhile Progress by Royal Liver has developed a snazzy little critical illness factsheet for advisers on the back of concerns that advisers are choosing policies based on their Defaqto rating rather than product features.

While Defaqto denies advisers work this way and says providers would not add conditions simply to boost their Defaqto rating, Royal Liver decided a factsheet explaining where the value lies in a critical illness policy wouldn’t hurt.

The factsheet outlines that the vast majority of claims come from cancer, heart attack, stroke, total permanent disability and multiple sclerosis.

Protection technical manager Mark Davies says: “The factsheet does show that there is little extra benefit from adding critical illness conditions as the top eight, if you include TPD as a critical illness, account for 99 per cent of claims.”

Recommended

Pensioners have a total debt of £57bn

The total nationwide debt held by those in retirement is £57bn according to the Scottish Widows UK Pensions Report 2007.The report found that one in five retired homeowners in the UK have an outstanding mortgage on their home with an average debt of £38,000.One in eight owe more than £50,000 which makes the total debt […]

pi Financial grows Scottish arm

pi Financial has picked up three more financial advisers from Scottish firm Your Financial Matters. Gordon Inglis, John Windram and Brian Bisset, all previously area managers with Pearl Assurance before launching YFM four years ago, bring the total Scottish contingency at the Shrewsbury-based firm to 17. Inglis says: “We joined pi because we liked their […]

In the out door

It was interesting to note the varied response by lenders in answer to the FSA’s requirement for them to have reviewed the fairness of their exit fees by July 31.Cheltenham & Gloucester led the way in abandoning this much criticised practice and was soon followed by lenders such as Northern Rock, Standard Life and the […]

Tax avoidance (the fight goes on)

In recent times, we have witnessed high-profile celebrities and sports stars make the headlines for potential tax liabilities on ‘failed’ tax avoidance schemes. We are now used to reading about these individuals, but what about those who advise on such schemes? Read more

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com