The Business Protection Menu offers a range of covers. Policyholders can choose one cover, or a comb...
The Business Protection Menu offers a range of covers. Policyholders can choose one cover, or a combination, to suit their particular situation. As their needs change, they can adapt their covers ensuring they provide exactly what they need.
- Life cover will pay out if someone dies or is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Critical illness (CI) cover will pay out if someone becomes critically ill.
- Life or CI cover will pay out if someone dies, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or becomes critically ill.
- Income protection (IP) will pay out if someone cannot work because of illness or injury.
- Key person income cover for sickness. If someone cannot work because of illness or injury.
- Payment cover for sickness. If someone cannot work because of illness or injury their plan payments will be paid for them. This is automatically included if income cover for sickness or key person income cover for sickness is chosen.
Minimum acceptable age attained at commencement for insured
The minimum age at outset is 18 years attained for all covers.
Maximum age attained at commencement of insured for life cover only
The maximum age when the cover can start is age 83 attained.
Maximum age at commencement of insured for accelerated CI cover
The maximum age when the cover can start is age 64 attained for reviewable rates and for guaranteed rates it is age 54.
The maximum term is 40 years life cover and for life with accelerated CI cover.
Maximum sum assured
The maximum sum assured for life cover is £5m.
The maximum sum assured for reviewable or guaranteed stand-alone CI cover and accelerated life cover is £1m.
CI cover as a percentage of life cover
Accelerated CI benefit can be between 1%-100% of the associated life cover. Additional life or CI cover is also available.
Guaranteed premium rates
Life rates are guaranteed throughout the term for the life of the cover, however accelerated life and CI cover are available on a reviewable or guaranteed basis. For reviewable covers, the payments are guaranteed for the first five years. Subsequent reviews will be every five years.
Automatic sum assured indexation available
Sum assured indexation is available. This only applies to cover payable as an increasing lump sum. On each anniversary of the date the plan started, the amount of cover will increase by either:
- The retail prices index, over the 12 month period ending three months before the anniversary of the start date, subject to a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 10% or;
- A selected rate of between 2% to 5%.
Premiums are based on the age of the person covered at the date of increase.
Key person plan available
Partnership protection plan available
Waiver of premium available
If the life or lives assured are unable to work because of an illness or injury, Bright Grey will pay the plan payments for them. Plan payments will commence once they have been sick for longer than the deferred period of either four, 13, 26 or 52 weeks.
If selected, payment cover for sickness will apply to all covers and is automatically included if income cover for sickness is chosen.
Three definitions of disability can apply:
- Own occupation;
- Working tasks definition;
- Living tasks definition;
Inclusion of IP benefit
There are two types of income cover available:
- Income cover for sickness is designed to cover the employees earnings if they are unable to work due to illness or injury;
- Key person income for sickness is designed for the employees to cover a key person if they are unable to work due to illness or injury.
Option to vary term after start date other than by GIO
A planholder can request alterations to the plan, other than through insurability options, at any time.
Yes, and they are known as cover increase options. If the plan is accepted on standard terms, cover can be increased without any medical evidence if any if the following events happen:
- Increase in value of a key person;
- Increase of business loan or mortgage;
- Increase in the value of a partner's or shareholding director's interest in the business.
Increase in cover will be on the terms and conditions offered at that time. Payment for the new cover will be based on the terms applied at the original start date, the age of the person covered and the payment rates and plan charge at the date the increase in cover starts.
Maximum age to exercise GIO
The life assured must be age 54 attained.
GIO on moving house/increase in mortgage or loan
Increase in a business mortgage or loan is available. Cover can be increased by the amount the policyholder increase their mortgage or loan subject to the following:
- 50% of the original cover;
- £150,000 for life; CI or life; or CI cover or;.
GIO on increase in business liabilities
The plan can be increased for business purposes. There are three options available:
- Increase in business mortgage or loan;
- Increase in value of a key person based on salary increase or increase in profits attributable to that person;
- Increase in value of a partner's or shareholding director's interest in the business.
Cover can be increased on more than one occasion but the maximum increase for all events is limited to whichever of the following amounts is lower:
- 50% of the original amount of cover;
- £150,000 for life; CI or life; or CI cover or;
- £10,000 a year for key person income cover for sickness.
Access to support helplines
All Bright Grey customers get access to:
- Medical and legal;
- Career issues;
- Personal helpline.
Plan includes a counselling service
A counselling service is available as part of the Helping Hand package.
The Red Arc nurses are available throughout the life of the plan if the planholder, their spouse or partner and children either:
- Are diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness;
- Are unable to work due to long term illness or injury during the plan term.
They will be offered the services of their own personal nurse adviser who will contact them to see if they can help. The help can include counselling, therapies (including complementary ones) or visits in their home by specialist nurses.
In addition the business protection plan has extra support for the employer - they can also use the Red Arc service to help them understand what the affected person is going through and the likely impact on the family and their ability to work in the short or long term. Bright Grey is also offering tailored support for the employer using Working Transitions who will assist in finding replacement staff for key persons either on a permanent or temporary basis, plus the exclusive use of a legal helpline covering all aspects of employment law which may surround a claim and the employers ability to trade. This is already included in the cost of the plan.
Total number of critical illness conditions covered
There are 33 critical illness definitions covered in total. All 23 Association of British Insurers defined conditions are covered, in addition to 10 others:
- Aplastic anaemia requiring regular blood transfusions;
- Bacterial meningitis resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Cardiomyopathy of specified severity;
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Liver failure at end stage;
- Loss of independent existence resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Open heart surgery with surgery to divide the breastbone;
- Pre-senile dementia resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Progressive supranuclear palsy resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Severe lung disease resulting in permanent symptoms.
Cover for children's CI is included as standard.
For any main cover in force at the time children's CI cover becomes payable, Bright Grey will pay whichever of the following amounts is lower:
- If the main cover is payable as a lump sum, 50% of the amount of cover shown on the cover summary;
- If the main cover is payable as regular payments, 50% of the amount of cover shown on the cover summary, multiplied by the term of the cover or;
Conditions covered for children's cover
There are 32 conditions in total.
Number of exclusions applicable
For the main benefits, Bright Grey will not pay a claim if it is the result of intentional self-inflicted injury.
Bright Grey's Business Protection Plan is specifically designed to meet the needs of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Using the menu approach popular with advisers, it provides a one-stop-shop for life assurance, CI and IP.
Initially launched with lower maximum benefits to facilitate speedy underwriting, the limits have subsequently been increased to the more generous £5m for life and £1m for CI, which should cope with most eventualities.
The plan gives maximum flexibility permitting the business person to choose different levels of cover and different terms for the various covers offered within the same plan. Additionally, the term and sum assured may be changed during the course of the plan to meet changing circumstances.
A range of guaranteed insurability options are a valuable feature of the plan. Unlike personal protection plans, these are not triggered on life events like marriage and childbirth but linked with the events that affect businesses. Known as cover increase options, the sum assured can be increased without further medical evidence to cater for increases in business loans, shareholdings or the value of key persons.
Bright Grey's Helping Hand service, incorporating the renowned Red Arc facilities, helps to lessen the impact of a claim and to provide help and advice to the employer, employee and their family.
The protection gap for SMEs is estimated to be in the region of £500bn and this simple but innovative corporate protection plan should help advisers to tap this market.
- Ben Heffer. Principal consultant, life and protection Defaqto.
With child cover enhancements
£570 a month benefit
Asks Alan Lakey