Goodfellows has introduced incomesafety.net, an individual income protection plan that is aimed at people who are classified as high-risk.
Premiums for income protection plans are usually based on the person's sex, smoking status and occupation. Women, smokers and those in manual jobs often pay more than men, non-smokers and those in professional jobs such as doctors.
Incomesafety.net does not base premiums on this criteria. Instead, premiums are based on the amount of benefit required and for how long the benefit is to be paid. The minimum premium is £2.50 a month and the minimum benefit is £100 a month. Payments are made after a deferred period of 30 days in all cases.
Income protection plans from friendly societies such as the Holloway and Cirencester tend not to have higher premiums for women, smokers or manual occupations, so the Goodfellows plan is not unique in this sense.
The maximum benefit offered by the Goodfellows plan is 75 per cent of the policyholder's salary, which is one of the highest levels available. Most individual income protection plans, including the Holloway's premier plan, pay 50 per cent of a person's salary. Unum and Swiss Life are the only two companies that offer a maximum benefit of 75 per cent of the policyholder's salary, but premiums under both policies are influenced by the policyholder's sex, smoking status and occupation.