When launched, Prudential's new income protection product, the innovative Flexible Protection Plan,was only available from a handful of advisers.
It is now available direct on-line.
Prudential took two years to develop and launch their revolutionary income protection and critical illness plan.
The product aims to address the high rate of declined Critical Illness claims, which occur when consumers are confused about the illnesses policies will pay out for.
The plan covers ‘serious illnesses’ as well as critical illnesses; with payouts linked to the severity of the illness and matched to the financial impact this has on the claimant’s lifestyle.
While most CI policies cover around 35 illnesses, the Prudential product covers 267 and so protects people at an earlier stage, with payouts ranging from 10% to 100%.
It offers protection against 140 listed serious illnesses and over 50 disabilities.
The product gives people more cover so they are paid when they lose one leg and, if they lose another leg, they will receive an additional payment.
Customers need not be totally permanently disabled to qualify for a payment with the result that losing one eye is, for instance, enough to trigger a payout and if the condition worsens further payments could be made.
The product also takes into account the fact the majority of complaints are about the disability element of protection plans.
Prudential has redesigned the disability model .If a customer receives a payout for a serious illness; it will trigger an additional payment if they hold disability cover. For example, renal failure will pay 100% for the serious illness and 100% for the disability, resulting in a payout of £200,000.
If a customer has an illness which gets progressively worse, such as multiple sclerosis, the product will trigger additional payments each time the policyholder reaches the next severity level.
In traditional policies, when the consumer makes a claim it will pay out £100,000 and then there will be nothing left. Prudential reinstates the cover so if something else is wrong the customer is covered again. If someone has a stroke there is much more risk of him or her having a heart attack.
The product also contains optional child cover and allows parents to add an additional £100,000 on top of the standard £25,000 cover per child.
As a minimum, life or serious illness cover must be taken and on top of this consumers can add disability cover, optional child cover, and income protection cover.
The product is innovative and comprehensive.
Virgin Money shook up the Critical Illness world with their Cancer Cover product.
Prudential 's Flexible Protection Plan is doing the same.
Both will stimulate other insurers to produce innovative products which meet current customer needs and concerns.
Critical illness cover: News update: July 2006