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RLA makes progress



Menu based protection plan providing term assurance and income protection with optional critical illness and unemployment cover


Minimum sum assured/minimum premium:
None/£7.50 a month, £75 a year

Minimum-maximum term:
Five-40 years

Level or decreasing cover, accelerated critical illness cover, waiver of premium, inflation protection

Deferred period:
Choice of 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks


Minimum benefit/minimum premium:
None/£7.50 a month, £75 a year

Minimum-maximum ages:
18-59 for unemployment cover

Deferred period:
Choice of 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks

Definition of disability:
Own occupation

Guaranteed premium rates, reviewable premium rates after five years, accelerated critical illness cover, unemployment cover, carer&#39s benefit, inflation protection

£2.50 a month or £25 a year policy fee

Initial 130%-170% of Lautro rates,
renewal 2.5%


Progress is a menu-based protection plan comprising level and decreasing term assurance, reviewable and guaranteed income protection plus optional critical illness cover.

Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr says: “The unique aspect of Royal Liver&#39s proposition is that it is &#39e-only&#39 &#45 in other words, intermediaries can only submit business electronically. For IFAs already familiar with this growing trend, this will not pose a problem.”

In Carr&#39s view Royal Liver&#39s online system is flexible and straightforward. Most importantly, it can provide full immediate cover where applicable, or alternatively free cover during underwriting and also features on-line tracking. Carr says: ” The lack of paper-based applications and legacy systems should mean that Royal Liver can pass these cost savings on to the consumer through lower premiums. However, this remains to be seen over time.”

Carr feels the income protection offering is strong, and likes the carer&#39s cover which means a client is covered if they need to care for a sick child or relative. He says: “All the usual options and benefits you would expect are here, including waiver of premium and unemployment benefit. There are no standard underwriting limits for guaranteed premium rates, which could reduce the dependence on what is fast becoming a time consuming and expensive method of gathering medical information.”

Looking at the optional critical illness cover in more detail Carr says: “This offers own occupation and covers more than 30 conditions, which interestingly include mastectomy. However, premiums are only available on a reviewable basis, fixed for the first five years.”

Carr regards this product as evidence that consumer choice in the protection sector is widening for the first time in many years, which he feels can only be good for whole of market IFAs and consumers. He concludes: “Royal Liver may well be the closest thing we&#39ve seen to a &#39virtual&#39 life office in that just about everything is outsourced. However, this could work both ways.

“On one hand, an intermediary could doubt the personal ownership and accountability of the staff handling and underwriting their client&#39s applications. If this is the case service levels could suffer. However, conversely, Royal Liver has the ability to switch their partners should their service fall below their pre-agreed standards, which few other providers can do as easily.”


Suitability to market: Good
Flexibility: Average
Adviser remuneration: Average

Overall 8/10


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