VitalityLife has amalgamated its previous Life, Life Essentials and Mortgage Plans into one product, called the Personal Protection Plan. It is available from 3 October 2020.
The new plan can include serious illness cover (SIC), term life, whole of life and income protection covers within the plan. Cover and other changes include:
The previous SIC Protector option is now called Mortgage SIC.
Child SIC is optional, with conditions mirroring the parents’ plan. Cover can be from £15,000 to £100,000 when the plan is taken out and is available as level or decreasing cover. Cover is on the same basis as the parents’ cover. Cost is £2.00 a month for every £25,000 of SIC benefit or £2.50 a month for every £25,000 of SIC Plus benefit, on a pro rata basis.
The old Optimiser versions are both replaced by a single version, also called Optimiser. There are two versions, Vitality Select and Vitality Plus, dependent on the plan premium. They offer premium discounts (up to 30%) with the annual premium adjusted according to the insured’s Vitality Status.
Rewards and incentives are offered at no extra cost to all new life members under the Vitality Select programme. Higher benefits are available where the premium exceeds £45 a month (£60 on joint life plans).
Enhanced servicing and training initiatives for advisers.
Comment: Vitality says the changes are designed to make its proposition simpler, better and easier for customers. Certainly, combining previous plans into one menu style plan does that.
Indeed, advisers who rarely recommend Vitality often point to its propositions being unnecessarily complex, and there is some truth in that. However, those same critics may well be disappointed that Vitality hasn’t gone further.
The cover and other changes look to make sense, although there is perhaps an increased risk of moral hazard with such high SIC cover levels for children. Hopefully, rigorous underwriting and claims procedures should minimise that risk.
Overall the changes are welcome. The challenge going forward will be how well Vitality navigates the power of its underlying proposition with products that both continue to change to maximise their appeal but also don’t change too often (which simply confuses people) and which are easy to understand and recommend.
Plus points: Three old plans amalgamated into one; Simpler for advisers and customers to understand; Embraces the wider industry trend of simplifying where possible.
Not so plus points: Still a complex proposition for some; Some rules look to be over complex e.g. different minimum premium levels to get to higher Vitality Select benefits on joint life plans.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: CI; VitalityLife
I Mark: No