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AXAAxa Protection AccountType: Menu-style protection product providing critical-illness cover, life cover, income protection, accident, sickness and unemployment cover, buildings insurance and contents insuranceCritical-illness coverMinimum premium/cover: £5 a month, £60 a year/subject to minimum premiumMaximum cover: No maximumConditions covered: Alzheimer’s disease, aorta graft surgery, aplastic anaemia, bacterial meningitis, benign brain tumour, blindness, cancer, cardiomyopathy, coma, coronary artery by-pass surgery, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, deafness, heart attack, heart valve replacement or repair, HIV/Aids resulting from assault, blood transfusion or occupational duties,kidney failure, liver failure, loss of independent existence, loss of limbs, loss of speech, major organ transplant motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, paralysis/paraplegia, Parkinson’s disease, pre-senile dementia, progressive supranuclear palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, third-degree burns, children’s cover includedMinimum-maximum ages: 18-64Options: Joint or single life, life or ear-lier critical-illness cover, total and permanent disability, payment protection cover, level, increasing or decreasing coverLife coverMinimum sum assured/minimum premium: No minimum/£3 a month, £36 a yearMinimum-maximum term: One-40 yearsMinimum-maximum ages: 18-68Options: Joint or single life, level, increasing or decreasing cover, five-year renewable option with level or increasing cover only, payment protection coverIncome protectionMinimum benefit/minimum premium: £100 a month/£5 a month or £60 a year, £3 a month or £36 a year for mortgage income protectionMaximum benefit: £11,000 a month, £1,500 a month for mortgage income protectionMinimum-maximum ages: 18-59Deferred period: Four, eight, 13, 26, 52 or 104 weeksDefinition of disability: Own occupation or activities of daily workOptions: Guaranteed or reviewable rates, payment protection cover, level and increasing cover, level cover only on mortgage income protectionAccident sickness and unemployment coverMaximum benefit: £2,000 a monthBenefit payment term: 12 monthsDeferred period: 30 or 60 daysPremium: 30-day deferred period – accident sickness and unemployment cover – £5.88 for each £100 of cover, accident and sickness cover only – £3.23 for each £100 of cover, unemployment cover only – £4.52 for every £100 of cover. 60-day deferred period – accident, sickness and unemployment cover – £5.15 for each £100 of cover, accident and sickness cover only – £2.82 for each £100 of cover,unemployment cover only £3.93 for each £100 of coverCommission: Menu-based, depending on type of cover and options chosenTel: 0117 989 9000The Axa protection account is a menu-style protection product offering critical illness cover, life cover, income protection, mortgage income protection, accident, sickness and unemployment cover and household insurances. It is curr-ently available to selected advisers but will be rolled out to the wider IFA market later this year.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey regards this as a comprehensive product. He says: “This is the long-awaited menu-based debut from Axa, making use of the lamented Swiss Life team.

“The plan offers guaranteed and reviewable rates for critical-illness cover and a fast-track tele-underwriting facility.”

Lakey thinks the children’s cover of up to £25,000 at no extra cost is excellent, as is the automatic inclusion of hospitalisation cover.

He says: “Premiums are extremely competitive for both guaranteed and reviewable rates. Also, among the literature is a very in-depth adviser underwriting guide.”

Looking at the less attractive features of the product, Lakey says: “The critical-illness cover is not as comprehensive as some and uses the Association of British Insurers’ definitions without looking to go beyond them. The plan does not allow cover beyond age 70 for life insurance or critical-illness cover. Also, the increasing or indexation option is subject to further health underwriting if one year’s increase is missed.”

Discussing the possible competitors for the product, Lakey suggests Scottish Provident, Scottish Equitable and Liverpool Victoria. He adds: “Skandia will also provide competition for level term products.”

Summing up, Lakey says: “This is a welcome addition whose worth will be determined by systems’ capability, underwriting, competitiveness of rates as well as the all-important claims’ handling. But it is a shame that Axa has not provided one or two superior critical-illness definitions to obtain a quality edge.”

BROKER RATINGSSuitability to the market: GoodFlexibility: GoodPremium rates: GoodAdviser remuneration: GoodOverall 8/10

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