Advisers are saying that PruProtect, the new product from Prudential and Discovery’s joint venture PruProtection, will make a bigger splash than Pru’s previous flexible protection plan primarily because it is more competitive.
Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr says: “The product is more competitive than it was before so it will be a bigger issue for advisers this time around.”
The new product allows policyholders to reduce their premiums by adopting a healthier lifestyle through a tie-up with PruProtect’s Vitality programme, also used by PruHealth.
By going to the gym regularly or consulting a doctor, clients can reduce their premiums by up to 2.5 per cent a year. The product offers payouts from 10-100 per cent of the sum assured depending on the severity of the condition and can pay out up to three times the sum assured, both of which are features of the original flexible protection plan.
But advisers feel the Vital-ity addition should perhaps be an optional bolt-on rather than a compulsory element because if their clients are not interes-ted in keeping fit but are drawn in by the product’s other benefits, their premiums could rise by up to 2.5 per cent each year.
CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “Vitality should be an option not an integral part. It will be difficult explaining to people who are interested in the severity-based model that their premiums may go up if they don’t go to the gym.”
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “The premiums are much more competitive but the Vitality element adds another level of complexity to an already complex product. It may put off clients who are not particul-arly health conscious but that is probably the idea. It is very clever marketing. They will have very good claims’ experience because they will have so many more healthy people on the books.”