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Man suffering because he had no income protection cover

Income Protection Insurance

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Income protection insurance is a long term plan designed to provide a regular payment to those who may be unable to work because of injury or illness - something that affects about a million people in the UK every year. There are drawback though and these are explained in this article by the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

This is a very complex type of insurance and you may get considerably less than you expect from it, so it is highly recommended that you take independent qualified advice - something that any ethical insurer would insist on anyway.

UK Income Protection Insurers

Lifesearch Insurance Symbol

Lifesearch

Lifesearch claim to work with every major insurer and they have arranged over a million income protection policies since they started up in 1995. This makes them the largest protection policy broker in Britain. In 2009 they came third in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies To Work For. They run their own claims department so in the event of a claim they can offer free help to their clients if they run into a problem. They work by having a chat with the clients and helping them decide just what their wants and needs are before recommending a policy that they feel is best suited to meet those needs. They say they are then available at any time if you client needs to make a claim, change a policy or simply ask for some clauses to be explained.

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Aviva Insurance Symbol

Aviva

Before Aviva will offer you an income protection policy they will want you to talk to an independent financial advisor (IFA) and they recommend the website unbiased.co.uk to look for one. They offer to match you with suitably qualified, experienced and regulated professionals who can explain the system to you, help you decide whether or not the product is right for you, and if so which policy you should go for. Some IFAs will charge you for this service and some will get a commission from the insurer; in either case they must tell you about it.

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LV Insurance Symbol

LV

long established LV (Liverpool Victoria) recommend that if you are looking for a policy of this kind you first talk to Lifesearch (as mentioned above). To qualify for a policy you would need to be a permanent UK resident, to have been registered with a GP for at least two years, be aged between 17 and 59, and not be either unemployed or retired. This policy is not a form of unemployment benefit; if you are unemployed for more than 31 days before you are eligible to claim you would only get a payment if a suitable medical professional judged that you was unable to cook a meal or carry out normal housework. There are other conditions too, which is why you need proper qualified advice before buying one of these policies.

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Vitality Insurance Symbol

Vitality

Vitality say that 96.4% of income protection claims were met during 2019. They offer three different levels of cover. Their Short Term Income Protection Cover may pay 60% of your salary, up to £5,000 a month; then 50% after that, capped after £10,000 per month. Payments end after a maximum of two years per claim. The second level, called Income Protection Cover, is similar but lasts for as long as your plan lasts. The top level, Income Protection Cover Plus is similar to the second level but the maximum payout is higher and if you are in hospital for more than six days you could be eligible for £100 a day and up to £2,00 worth of private medical insurance. As usual though the exact benefits you get, and what they will cost, will cary according to your age, occupation, health and lifestyle so the above figures must be seen as a guide only.

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Zurich Insurance Symbol

Zurich

Zurich is Switzerland's largest insurer, with around fifty billion US dollars a year so it is substantial. Their income protection plan could pay up to 80% of salary, and you may get nursing help to recover, and if you return to work but earn less than you did before you were ill or injured they may top up some of the difference, for up to two years. As usual though everything depends on the exact details of your own plan and Zurich again recommend that you talk to lefesearch, or your own Independent Financial Advisor if you have one.

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