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Cirencester Friendly launches a Short-Term benefit option

20 June 2023

Cirencester Friendly has announced it is widening its product range, launching a short-term benefit option to its award winning My Earnings Protected income protection product. The new option provides cover for up to two years per claim, giving members an affordable way to cover their household bills should they be unable to work due to illness or injury.

Cover that reflects real life

Cirencester Friendly’s new short-term benefit option has been introduced in response to demand from both advisers and consumers. According to Swiss Re data in 2021, most individual income protection sales are now for a limited term with the two-year cover period being the most popular option.

The Society’s My Earnings Protected product was designed to be as flexible and affordable as possible, and the new short-term benefit option follows this, making income protection a realistic option for anyone. It offers deferred periods ranging from one to 52 weeks, cover up to age 70 and a maximum benefit of 65% of income with a limit of £52,000 a year. As with all of Cirencester Friendly products, there is no loading for occupation, smoking or hazardous pursuits except motor sports.

The sales and underwriting processes also remain the same as for the Society’s long-term benefit option. There is also no reduction to the extensive support services available, as it comes with the same range of additional benefits, such as fracture and hospitalisation cover, Friendly Voice offering mental health support and GP24.

Around 90,000 people take a career break every year for a whole variety of different reasons, such as learning a new skill or taking time out to travel. Post-pandemic, there is an increased desire to seize life and make the most of any opportunities that come along. That’s why members can temporarily suspend their cover when required for up to 12 months.

To illustrate how affordable the new benefit option is, cover of £1000 a month for someone aged 30 for a guaranteed level premium with a 13-week deferred period is just £10.25 a month. This is less than the average cost of drinking just one latte a week.

Or for someone aged 40 with a guaranteed level premium with on a 8 week deferred period is £19.38, which is less than one large Domino’s pizza**!

No penalty for claiming for the same condition twice

Many people’s health is not constant and those recovering from serious illness or injury may be prone to relapses. The new short-term benefit option recognises this and offers support accordingly. Claims can be made for the same illness or injury within 26 weeks and payments will be made straightaway with no deferred period. The maximum claim period for one condition remains capped at two years.

Matt Chapman, TheProtectionCoach said: “The big challenge with the current economic climate is that it increases the need for essential financial protection whilst simultaneously making cover significantly less affordable for the average consumer. In an ideal world, everyone would take full-term income protection cover but this just isn’t realistic at this time. The new short-term option from Cirencester retains all of the key benefits and advantages of their full-term offering but at a fraction of the cost, making essential income protection (and the financial resilience and security these plans deliver) a more accessible and affordable consideration for UK households.”

Alan Waddington, Distribution Director at Cirencester Friendly said: “As an organisation we want to be seen as the champions of income protection, making it more accessible and affordable. Our new short-term benefit option helps us to do exactly that and represents an exciting step forward for the society. We know how important it is for people to be able to protect their livelihoods, especially now when so many are feeling the financial squeeze. The short-term benefit option helps them do exactly that, providing them with the means to cover the essential bills, allowing them to concentrate on getting back to full health without additional stress.”

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