View more on these topics

Norwich Union looks to a sure future

When asked to pick out the main useful features and strong points of the product, Pack says: "Norwich Union is the largest UK insurer, together with Age Concern 750,000 clients are a formidable force."

Spencer likes the option to pay either a single or regular premium, as well as the choice of benefit levels. He also mentions the discount for joint life applications. Colsell agrees, adding that the flexibility offered is a bonus.

Both says he appreciates the ability to alter the level of cover after the plan has started, independent living equipment, the paid-up benefit option, level and retail price index linked cover and the fact that care benefits are tax free.

Considering the benefits available within the product, Spencer says: "There would appear to be a good range of benefits available, depending on the level of cover selected ie blue, silver or gold, which gives the option of selecting a benefit level from £2,400 to £40,000 a year to suit individual circumstances."

Colsell likes the independent living benefit of three times the monthly benefits on the failure of one activity of daily living (ADL) for all three levels of cover. She also feels the independent care consultant is extremely important for those who do not have family support or whose families do not fully understand this market.

Both calls the benefits: "Very comprehensive." Pack says they appear to cover the range of benefits required by a changing marketplace.

Moving on to the flexibility of the product, Colsell says: "Very good, provided that the client’s needs are reassessed to take advantage of these possible changes. There is a requirement for a detailed review."

Both calls it impressive, while Spencer says: "The product would appear to be extremely flexible. There is flexibility in the premium options, single premium, regular level premiums and regular increasing premiums." Pack also mentions the ability to change the level of cover.

Casting an eye over the disadvantages of the product, Both says: "The life insurance rider seems a bit pointless and confusing. Apparently it can run up to age 70, or for five years if the client is up to the age of 80. Essentially, it just seems to be approximately the same as a return of fund – why not just call it that?"

Spencer says that, unless you build in life cover to the product, there would be no return to the estate on death before receiving any benefits. He feels that this is the biggest single obstacle to people buying this type of product.

Pack agrees, and adds: "The future costs are unknown. Also, Government changes in legislation could cause problems."

Colsell feels the number of options available could be confusing for the elderly. She also mentions there is concern about the assessment of the ADLs.

Evaluating the premiums, Both calls them reasonable, while Pack feels the minimum premium is a bit low to achieve the aim of the policy. Colsell says: "I understand they are expensive for older ages."

Assessing Norwich Union’s reputation, Spencer says: "Generally a very good reputation. There was a time when there were serious concerns over administration problems, however these seem to have been resolved and the company has become more efficient."

Colsell disagrees, saying the company is currently suffering in terms of its administration capabilities. She adds that the public perception is likely to be that of a large, financially secure, well-known name.

Pack calls the reputation: "Very good, although the propsed name change could cause problems." Both calls it generally very good, but once again mentions it is being let down by weak administration.

Looking at the main competition, the panel lists PPP, Scottish Widows, Scottish Amicable, Skandia Life, Prudential and Bupa.

Recommended

Gledhill poached by New Star

New Star has appointed James Gledhill from Morley Fund Management to help build up its retail corporate bond business.Gledhill will work alongside former M&G colleague Theo Zemek, who joins New Star in November, to launch the fund manager&#39s first fixed income fund.He currently runs institutional funds for Morley – a position he assumed in January […]

Many towns too costly for first-time buyers

First-time buyers face being priced out of the market in many of Britain&#39s biggest towns, according to the Halifax.Its research shows that, in 451 towns, buying a home is beyond the reach of one-third of potential first-time buyers.There is a marked geographic divide, with house prices in Southern England unaffordable for four-fifths of average-earning FTBs […]

IFAs warned on pension scheme winding-up rules

Employee benefits firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson believes many IFAs could find themselves in the regulatory firing line over new regulations for winding up pension schemes.Regulations under the Pensions Act that came in from April gives Opra the power to fine all parties involved with the administration of a pension scheme.The reporting process now in place […]

Independent view

Yet again we are being bombarded with media articles on the pension crisis, triggered largely by the recent actions of defined-benefit schemes.Is such a negative portrayal of the situation damaging or does it provide a glimmer of hope in the wider context of the pension savings gap?The primary cause of the pension savings gap, it […]

Artemis Global Income: favouring Europe over the US

With a 10 per cent return from his Global Income Fund in the first three months of 2015, Jacob de Tusch-Lec talks to journalist Alexis Xydias about the drivers and why he favours Europe and Asia over the US. Jacob believes European companies remain cheap and is still finding opportunities amid value stocks – in contrast […]

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