Cover for children if they suffer a critical illness and a joint life separation option form part of two products launched by Zurich in a bid to improve its protection proposition.
The new plans, aimed at the mortgage and personal protection markets, are Decreasing Mortgage Cover (DMC) and the Level Protection Plan (LLP).
Zurich says the dual launch offer a number of combinations of cover, including integrated income protection, also known as payment protection benefit (PPB), with a choice of guaranteed or reviewable rates for some blends of cover.
It says this benefit can be selected alongside life cover, life and earlier critical illness cover, and standalone critical illness cover.
Peter Hamilton, Zurich UK Life’s protection management director, says he hopes the products will reignite flagging income protection sales across the industry.
“We are keen to build our presence in the intermediary mortgage and personal protection market segments with propositions which we think bring something different for customers and their advisers.
“This builds on our acknowledged expertise in other protection areas, such as Inheritance Tax planning and Business Protection, where our underwriting quality in particular is well regarded.
“Both plans are designed to provide individuals with a cash sum in the event of death, terminal illness or critical illness, or an income if they cannot carry out their own occupation.
“With a widely acknowledged decline in income protection sales in recent years, Zurich is confident that the introduction of its integrated income protection benefit in particular will prove popular with advisers and clients alike.
“We all recognise that there is a protection gap in this country and as a provider we intend to do all we can to help advisers address that gap.”
Zurich is also offering a free cover arrangement for mortgage business, between exchange of contracts and mortgage completion.
Whilst customers are covered if they die, become critically ill or cannot work, Zurich will not change the original terms offered even if there is a change in health which doesn’t give rise to an immediate payment during the free cover period.
Zurich is also introducing a new online processing system for protection business, making it easier for advisers to submit new business and ensuring business is processed as quickly as possible.
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