The income protection improvements include a £1000 benefit guarantee and an increase in the maximum age the cover can expire to 70. The percentage of salary that can be covered has risen to 55%, and the ‘suited' occupation definition has been removed. Nearly 80% of the occupations LV= covers are now on an ‘own occupation' basis, and includes teachers, doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses and surgeons, roles which can often only be covered elsewhere under ‘any occupation' definitions.
One and two month deferred periods available for all occupations: Previously, a one or two month deferred period was only available for some occupations. Now, all occupations can also choose a one or two month deferred period, along side the three, six, 12 and 24 month deferred period options already available.
LV= will now allow up to 55% (previously 50%) of income before tax, or 55% of net profit for the self employed, to be covered as a monthly benefit, making any benefit paid on claim closer to the total net salary the claimant previously earned.
For self employed claims: LV= now looks at an earnings average over the three years before a claim is made for the self employed, rather than one year. For the employed, LV= continues to look at the previous 12 months earnings.
Critical illness enhancements include an increase in the maximum age at expiry to 70, and extending the maximum term to 40 years for guaranteed premiums. It has increased the number of children's illnesses covered to equal the conditions covered on the adult critical illness cover. Cover now includes partial payments for low-grade prostate cancer and mastectomy, and full payment for open-heart surgery.
Previously for decreasing term assurance and critical illness products the sum assured decreased at the end of each policy year. Now it will decrease on a monthly basis to be more closely aligned with the reducing amount owed on a typical capital and interest repayment mortgage.