Type: Critical illness.
Minimum premium/cover: Monthly £10, annual £100/£1,000.
Maximum cover: No maximum.
Illnesses covered: Alzheimer's disease, angioplasty, aorta graft surgery, bacterial meningitis, benign brain tumour, blindness, cancer, cardiomyopathy, coma, coronary artery by-pass surgery, deafness, heart attack, heart valve replacement or repair, HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, 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, stroke, terminal illness, third degree burns.
Minimum-maximum ages: 18-no maximum. Life cover – 16-60.
Options: Life cover, premium protection.
Commission: Initial 130 per cent of Lautro.
Tel: 0800 9172957.
Neil Franklin – Partner, Franklins Financial Services
Barry Laymond – Senior Practitioner, Barry Laymond Financial Services
Barry Greening – Partner, Greenridge Life Pensions & Mortgage Consultants
Paul Daly – Senior Adviser, J N Financial Services
Company's reputation: 8.8
Premium rates: 7.8
Range of illnesses: 8.8
Product literature: 8.5
Skandia Life's Protect Personal is a flexible critical illness plan. Considering how well the plan fits into the market, Laymond is very positive. He says: “This is an exciting new product which plugs a gap in the current conventional range of policies. One contract can now provide the best of term and whole of life with guaranteed premiums in a clear and straightforward manner.”
Daly also feels the options within the policy are a bonus, while Greening focuses on the price: “It appears more competitively priced than Scottish Provident's contract, and Skandia's has additional benefits.”
Franklin adds: “It offers the best features from the competitors in a single package backed up by web access.”
Turning to the type of client that the plan is suitable for, Daly says: “Particularly suitable to young people as well as young families and also middle aged clients.”
Franklin and Greening feel the product has wider appeal, and would be appropriate for anyone who needs protection, both business and personal.
Laymond says: “Business protection where defined cover is needed, family protection instead of whole of life, and any client needing flexible open ended cover.”
Looking at the marketing opportunities that the plan will provide, the majority of the panel feel that it will be worthwhile reviewing clients' existing policies to see if they would benefit from the terms of the Skandia Life product.
Daly says: “Depending upon how competitive the Skandia premium levels are, a review of existing clients' life cover and critical illness cover may prove beneficial for both client and adviser.”
Laymond feels that: “This will broaden the market for IFAs. Up to now many IFAs have had no alternative other than to sell maximum cover plans through gritted teeth.”
The panel pick up on different areas when deciding on the main useful features and strong points of the plan. Franklin lists: “Web support, wide choice of terms and benefits, comprehensive cover, clear documentation.”
Greening highlights flexibility, best doctors, premium protection and cover reinstatement options.
Daly adds: “The choice of fixed or rolling term contracts is helpful, as is also the availability of single and joint life policies under the one arrangement.”
Laymond feels that the integral benefits provided by the plan are advantageous.
Comments on the range of illnesses covered is unanimously positive. Greening says: “Very good, and Skandia has a reputation for treating claims fairly, although, if the cover re-instatement option is exercised, 12 illnesses will only be covered.”