"Life insurance for an ever-changing world, powered by consumers, putting them in control of their premiums, rewarding them for being healthy and protecting them when they’re not."
- Greg Levine, Vitality UK managing director
Recognising the importance of life insurance for “an ever-changing world, powered by consumers, putting them in control of their premiums, rewarding them for being healthy and protecting them when they’re not,” Vitality continues to improve the simple model that it claims is “more relevant than ever before.”
Noting a 40% increase (750k policyholders) in membership since last year, and the “immense complexity following the Pandemic and Cost of Living Crisis,” Vitality has renewed its focus on creating more “tangible value” from day one not just at the point of claim. Neville Koopowitz, Vitality UK chief executive officer, believes that “lower insurance premiums and tangible awards that are available from day one…go a long way.”
A major development the insurer has made to increase this “tangible value” is splitting its Serious Illness Cover into three different products, making it now as easy as “1,2,3.”
Serious Illness Cover 1x represents the ‘Core' offering, providing an “ultimate in streamlined recommendations” with cover for a total of 114 conditions, of which 19 are unique conditions and 62 are 100% conditions. The 2x product pays up to twice the full sum assured over the length of the plan through multiple claims on conditions "typically covered in full by critical illness plans," including those within the ABI's guide to minimum standards. This product also covers 29 more conditions, of which 35 are unique and 62 are 100% conditions.
The 3x product offers Vitality's most comprehensive level of cover available, including the cover offered by the 2x product and a further 31 conditions as well as 60 conditions unique to Vitality.
Alan Lakey, CIExpert founder and historian, has said that “these changes are very welcome because its taking the existing plans into a simpler format,” and announced that these Vitality products will be added to the CIExpert website after the launch.
CIExpert has carried out extensive research and development of the platform over the last three years to be able to incorporate the new plans onto its platform in a way that they believe will enable advisers to comprehend the plans and, where appropriate, compare them against the CIC plans in a meaningful way. This has been a request from many of their advisers for some time, so they are delighted to be able to finally make this available at no additional cost.
Vitality has also made its Dementia and FrailCare cover standard across all Serious Illness policies, in a move designed to "guard against the high costs of care associated with the diagnosis of a degenerative later life illness." This cover will remain in place as long as premiums are paid, with an option to extend into retirement.
In addition, Vitality has also simplified its Child Serious Illness Cover benefit so that it now covers all “current and future children" under a single premium as well as providing access to the Vitality Programme at no extra cost.
Alongside Serious Illness Cover changes, Vitality has also announced a change to its Income Protection offering, consolidating its previous three products - Income Protection Plus, Income Protection and Short-term Income Protection (STIP) - into a single policy. This product has been introduced as ‘Shared Value Powered Income Protection’ and will include new features such as the Income Boost, which boosts pay-outs on claims based on the members’ Vitality status up to 20% for the first six months after a claim.
Meanwhile, other changes to the product include the addition of Recovery Benefit, which provides services to help policyholders return to work such as priority physiotherapy for as long as required, online and/or in-person therapies (including CBT) and cancer treatment support programmes.
Vitality has also announced that new members will have access to a health check in the first year of their policy, free of charge and vulnerable members will also have access to advanced health checks which now include bowel cancer screenings for members over the age of 40. Dr Katie Tryon, Vitality director of health strategy, said that these screenings will provide “potentially lifesaving early detection of disease.”