IP: New version of product will not exclude war victims and those living with HIV
By Lucy Quinton
Pioneer is set to launch a new version of an income protection (IP) product that will offer consumers guaranteed rates and claims from the middle of this month.
The provider is launching it specifically at professionals and people in low-risk occupations.
Andy Chapman, chief executive at Pioneer, said the product was the result of having spent time looking at what the market wanted. "We found that they wanted two things in particular: certainty and affordability," he said.
Chapman added that the provider would not be conducting any financial underwriting at the point of claim, which takes out the uncertainty and offers the policyholder confidence and assurance in difficult times.
All standard exclusions have also been removed, including exclusions for war victims and people with HIV, enhancing the likelihood of a claim being paid.
Karin Lloyd, strategic and technical claims consultant at Karin Lloyd, was positive about the launch: "The lack of exclusion clauses is good news for customers and busy claims professionals alike and reflects a modern approach to being clear about what is included rather than selling a high level promise that is, in reality, undermined by the small print."
She added: "Given the challenges the industry faces in persuading potential customers of the value of income protection and the latest disappointing sales figures, any new product developments based on customer research are to be welcomed."
Under the terms of this product, Pioneer will also pay benefit to the claimant regardless of the benefit it gets from the State, making it unique in the market, according to Chapman.
Peter Chadborn, principal of CBK, said this was definitely a new move for Pioneer as it had previously targeted blue collar workers and people in high risk occupations.
He added that Pioneer had created a good name for itself as an IP specialist. It made sense, he said, that, once it has mastered a certain area, it would move on and master another area.
"This will appeal to specialist advisers and I would definitely be interested in this product," he added.
Justin Harper, head of intermediary marketing strategy at LV=, said: "At the outset guaranteed rates can look attractive as they appear to offer consumers certainty about future financial commitments. However, there can be more to such products than meets the eye. Until we know more about the fine detail and terms and conditions of the product, it is improbable to say whether it meets consumer needs any better than existing products on the market."
Chapman said Pioneer was hoping to launch it on 16 July, depending on everything going according to plan.
The provider has been working on launching the product since the beginning of the year and follows on from research it conducted in the market at the back end of last year.
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