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Product Matters

Norwich Union has relaunched its long-term care insurance with some notable improvements, the most significant being the payment of an independent living benefit of three times the monthly benefit on the failure of one activity of daily living.

It is not so much the value of getting cash to contribute towards home adaptations. It is more the added value of having access to care support, assessment and advice.

Many older people at this stage of their lives do not know where to turn and are too proud to seek help from social services. This feature hopefully provides the gateway to care needed at this difficult time. The option to choose cover paying full benefit on the failure of two ADLs is another significant change.

Premium rates for younger lives seem competitive and on average 15 per cent lower than previous rates, even with the additional features. However, when you get to the older lives, they start to rocket both for male and female lives from the age of 75.

The indexation options are an excellent feature but the regular premium reviews up to age 84 could be off putting if you have limited income in retirement. The option to get full benefits in cash, care or a combination of both is an improvement on only being able to receive a benefit not exceeding the cost of care, essentially linking in with the extended area of cover to the EU and most English-speaking countries.

This is a definite improvement on the previous version and places NU with the front-runners, with perhaps the exception of the premium reviews and older lives&#39 rates.

Philip Spiers is a partner at The Nursing Home Fees Agency

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