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Unsung benefits that complement a protection policy

25th June 2010 Print

Protection specialist LifeSearch has unearthed what they believe to be some of the best policy features that offer free additional cover to customers.

Taking out a financial protection product is important to protect an income against death, illness or disability, but there can be much more to a policy than the payout.

Some car insurance policies include Breakdown Cover and some home insurance policies provide Accidental Damage cover. Protection is no different and some policies include much more than consumers first realise. Here, in no particular order, is a selection of the top unsung protection benefits:

Free Life Insurance (Aviva) gives £10,000 worth of free life cover to each new parent who contacts Aviva before their baby is six months old, and runs until their first birthday. It is a limited amount of cover, but is an excellent introduction to Life Insurance for families that have no financial protection.

Carers Benefit on Income Protection (Royal Liver) pays a lump sum of four times the gross monthly Income Protection (IP) benefit up to a maximum of £25,000 to parents who want to take time out from work to care for their seriously ill child.

Vitality (PruProtect) is an incentive programme that helps policyholders to live a healthier life, and then rewards them when you do. By doing certain healthy everyday activities like walking, going to the gym, eating healthily or not smoking, they can build up Vitality points and reap rewards including discounts on protection premiums.

Lifeline (Scottish Provident) is a specialist helpline that puts customers in touch with a team of fully trained experts who can give free practical and confidential information on a wide range of issues including tax, law, health and employment, as well as counselling.

Helping Hand service (Bright Grey) comes with every Bright Grey menu plan at no extra cost and offers a broad range of help and support throughout the term of the plan to clients and their families. It includes access to a specialist nurse, therapist and counsellor and a range of helplines.

Return to work (Pioneer). As part of their Income Protection policy, Pioneer will fund appointments and investigations privately, where appropriate, when there are long NHS waiting lists. Also, if a claimant is unable to resume their own occupation Pioneer will consider funding college courses, vocational training etc.

Best Doctors (Bupa Individual Protection and Fortis). Policyholders who make claims under their Critical Illness Cover or Income Protection policy have 24-hour access to this independent service that can locate and contact specialists worldwide who are qualified to treat the condition for which the claim has been made. There is also a 24-hour healthline.

Extra Care (LV=) is aimed at improving the living situation for critical illness customers and relevant income protection claims. After their claim is complete, customers have the option of receiving oncology, cardiology or neurology care, therapy, physio and counselling. Extra Care also provides customers with the option of a follow-up from a personal nurse, with ongoing help available.

Matt Morris, LifeSearch Senior Policy Adviser, said: "It's important for customers to seek independent advice, as a good financial adviser will be able to identify the most suitable policy for a client that many direct sellers just don't have the expertise to do.

"There are many excellent and unique benefits available to customers that deserve to be more widely known. It's important that price is not the only consideration when buying protection. These ancillary benefits could really make a difference to people's lives and hopefully more customers will take advantage of them in the future."