Income protection insurance is a form of sick pay insurance that can replace a portion of your income in the event that you are unable to work due to an accident or illness. In this article, we take a look at the best income protection policies for nurses, explaining the costs, benefits and where best to buy it. We also explain how to get £50 cashback when you buy a policy, read on to find out more.
What is income protection insurance for nurses?
Income protection insurance for nurses is a type of sick pay insurance that can cover up to around 70% of your gross earnings if you are unable to work due to an illness or accident. The insurance will kick in once your NHS sick pay stops paying out, ensuring you receive a steady income stream meaning you can continue to pay your bills, such as your mortgage, rent, utilities and groceries. Another advantage of taking out a specific Income protection insurance for nurses policy is that they often come with additional benefits, such as a tailored deferred period which will mirror your existing NHS sick pay benefit as well as the removal of certain types of exclusions that could occur in your line of work.
You can get income protection insurance for nurses so long as you work in a medical profession in the UK and are registered or provisionally registered, with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Income protection insurance for nurses is sold on an 'own occupation' definition (so long as you work more than 16 hours per week), which means that so long as you are unable to carry out your own job (due to an accident or illness) then the policy will pay out. This is far more comprehensive than an 'any occupation' definition, which would only pay out if you were unable to carry out any occupational duties, including clerical work.
What does income protection insurance for nurses cover?
Income protection insurance for nurses pays out a guaranteed income if you are unable to work due to an illness or accident. In order to claim you would need to wait for the pre-agreed 'deferred period' to be completed, this is also often referred to as the waiting period. In order to process your claim, an insurance company is likely to write to your GP and/or your employer in order to gather the necessary evidence.
Does income protection insurance for nurses pay out for HIV?
This is an important consideration for many NHS workers and in fact, many income protection policies would exclude HIV. However, if you take a specialist income protection insurance for nurses policy, then it is likely to have a specific clause which guarantees to pay out in the event that you contract HIV through a needle stick injury in your work setting. Below, we go on to explain the best way to buy income protection insurance for nurses.
What is excluded from an income protection insurance policy for nurses?
Existing and ongoing medical conditions could be excluded, so that includes anything you have sought medical advice or treatment for in the last 5 years. However, you should always remember that a policy exclusion doesn't have to be permanent and so there is nothing stopping you from challenging a policy exclusion further down the line. If you have made a full recovery and have had no symptoms or treatment for an extended period of time, then an insurance company may be happy to remove the exclusion. Policy exclusions are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that you will be successful.
Standard policy exclusions on income protection for nurses policies include any claims arising from self-inflicted injuries and illnesses or any injuries caused by misuse of alcohol or drugs.
Income protection insurance for nurses vs NHS sick pay
The amount of NHS sick pay that you receive will depend on your length of service, with the current maximum sick pay entitlement being 6 months half pay and 6 months full pay for those that have served 6 years or more. An income protection insurance for nurses policy is specifically tailored to sit alongside your existing benefits and only kick in once your NHS sick pay benefits stop. This means it is flexible, comprehensive and above all, very good value. By having an income protection for nurses policy in place it ensures that you are covered over the long term, meaning you can focus on your recovery and not worry about the bills. Check out our table in the next section for a breakdown of how income protection insurance for nurses works, including how it is paid.
How does income protection for nurses work?
Income protection insurance for nurses is a specialist type of sick pay insurance that is designed to pay out once your existing NHS sick pay benefits stop. The amount of sick pay you receive from the NHS is based on your length of service and so the longer you have worked for the NHS, the longer you are likely to receive sick pay for. Income protection insurance for nurses is a flexible type of sick pay insurance policy that changes each year as your NHS sick pay benefits change.
So, after your first year with the NHS, you would receive a maximum sick pay benefit of 1 month full pay and 2 months half pay. However, after year 2 years, your benefits improve and you would receive 2 months full pay and 2 months half pay should you be sick and unable to work. Ideally, you should have a private sick pay insurance policy where the deferred period (the waiting period before you can claim) changes in line with your NHS benefits, otherwise, you could easily be over or under-insured or you may have to change your insurance each year, which becomes expensive.
Below, we have provided a table which explains the existing NHS sick pay benefit entitlement for nurses based on length of service. It also includes an example of when an income protection insurance for nurses policy would usually start paying out.
NHS Nurses' sick pay and how income protection supplements it
|NHS Service||Full NHS sick pay:||Half NHS sick pay:||Income protection insurance for nurses|
|Year 1||1 month||2 months||Policy starts paying after 1 month, topping up half pay to full pay and then full benefit after 3 months|
|Year 2||2 months||2 months||Policy starts paying after 2 months, topping up half pay to full pay and then full benefit after 4 months|
|Year 3||4 months||4 months||Policy starts paying after 4 months, topping up half pay to full pay and then full benefit after 8 months|
|Year 4 and 5||5 months||5 months||Policy starts paying after 5 months, topping up half pay to full pay and then full benefit after 10 months|
|From year 6 onwards||6 months||6 months||Policy starts paying after 6 months, topping up half pay to full pay and then full benefit after 12 months|
With an income protection insurance for nurses policy, you can insure up to around 70% of your gross income. Remember, you may be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay in addition (currently £96.35 per week, paid for up to a maximum of 28 weeks).
You can choose how long you want your Income protection insurance for nurses policy to protect you, this is called the policy term and while most people elect to run the policy until their intended retirement date, reducing the term will help to reduce the cost of the cover.
The benefit term is how long you will continue to receive a benefit if you become ill or injured and have to claim. Claims can be capped at 1, 2 or 5 years or you can choose and uncapped benefit term which, if you become unable to work, could potentially pay an income to you until you retire. Capped benefit term policies are usually referred to as budget income protection or short-term income protection and can be more affordable as long as you accept that they won't provide the best cover if you develop a long-term illness.
Another way to reduce the cost of income protection insurance for nurses is to set a longer deferred period (the waiting period before a claim can be made). You would need to wait longer before you could claim, however, this could work out fine for those that have more comprehensive NHS sick pay benefits and those that have savings that they could fall back on.
Income protection insurance for nurses premium types
With an income protection insurance for nurses policy you can choose between a reviewable premium, a guaranteed premium or an age-banded premium and we explain each of the three types of premium below:
Income protection insurance for nurses - Reviewable premiums explained
If you select reviewable premiums, then the premiums can be increased by your insurer throughout the term of the policy. Premiums are not reviewed based on your age or health but are reviewed instead based on market conditions, economical factors and the number of claims received. Reviewable premiums usually start out a little cheaper than guaranteed premiums but be warned as they can quickly rise over time. If you prefer to know how much you will be paying each month so that you can budget effectively and not have to worry about cancelling the policy in the future then you would be better off selecting a guaranteed premium.
Income protection insurance for nurses - Guaranteed premiums explained
If you select guaranteed premiums, then the premiums are guaranteed and will never change throughout the policy term. Guaranteed premiums usually start off a little more expensive than reviewable or age banded income protection premiums you have the knowledge that your premiums will never increase and so you can budget effectively. By paying a little more you will be future-proofing your policy. If you are happy in your job and intend to keep your income protection insurance for nurses policy until retirement, then guaranteed premiums are likely to work out far more cost-effective over the longer term.
Income protection insurance for nurses - Age-banded premiums explained
Premiums on age-banded income protection insurance policies tend to start out cheaper but rise each year as you get older. Age-banded premiums rise by a set amount each year, specifically related to your age and the increase in risk, so you will always know how much your policy will cost throughout the life of the policy.
It is a good idea to speak to an income protection insurance specialist so that you can get a quote for all 3 types of income protection insurance. An independent income protection specialist can explain each option and can even work out the likely total cost of all three options in order to help you to choose the best policy for your individual needs.
How much does income protection insurance for nurses cost?
The cost of income protection insurance for nurses will depend on a number of factors including the type of nursing duties you carry out, your age, your health, the type of premium, how much cover you need and over how long you want the cover to run for.
A healthy nurse should be able to get around £2,000 of income protection insurance for between £25 and £100 per month, roughly speaking, however, it will be dependent on additional factors such as age and the type of cover required. The best way to find out the actual cost of income protection is to speak to an independent specialist* and get a tailored quote. The next section goes on to explain how to get the best quotes for income protection insurance for nurses.
Best and cheapest income protection insurance for nurses
The best way to ensure you get the best income protection insurance for nurses' quotes (including the most comprehensive cover) is to speak to an independent income protection insurance specialist. LifeSearch is one of the UK's largest specialist independent brokers and will be able to advise you on the best income protection plan for you. Its team of friendly, knowledgable advisers can guide you through the whole process, explaining the various options available to you as well as helping to complete the application forms. Simply complete this short form* and they will call you back at a time that is convenient for you. Additionally, if you decide to take out a policy, LifeSearch will give you £50 cashback.
Alternatives to Income protection insurance for nurses
Income protection insurance for nurses is the most comprehensive type of sick pay insurance available and ensures you get a guaranteed income, right up until retirement if required. Getting comprehensive insurance can sometimes be expensive, however, there are plenty of ways to bring down the cost of the cover, such as reducing the amount you are insured for or changing the type of premium, such as going for an age-banded premium or selecting reviewable rates. Alternatively, you could decide to take out a short-term income protection policy that limits the number of years it pays out for.
Other types of 'protection' insurance include critical illness insurance, a policy that pays out a guaranteed sum if you suffer one of the defined illnesses on the policy. Critical illness insurance is usually taken out in addition to income protection insurance and not instead of, as it does not provide the same level of protection. It provides a one-off lump sum and so can provide a welcome cash injection if you need to seek treatment abroad or make alterations to your home. You can take out as much critical illness insurance as you like; a popular option is to take out enough to pay off your mortgage if you get one of the defined illnesses on the policy, however, it can work out quite expensive. Some cover is undoubtedly better than none and so if cost is an issue, consider taking out a smaller amount, perhaps enough to cover a year's salary.
Another type of sickness insurance is 'Accident & Sickness' insurance. This type of policy is often sold to protect mortgage repayments and bills however be warned, it will only pay out for a maximum of one or two years. This type of policy does not offer anywhere near the same comprehensive cover and flexibility as income protection insurance for nurses and works out very expensive for what it is.
Best income protection insurance for nurses providers
There are many income protection insurance providers to choose from and there isn't one standout provider that we could recommend as the cover is tailored to your own specific needs. It really depends on your own personal situation and as income protection for nurses quotes are tailored to you individually, it is likely that the company that is best for you is very different to the company that is best for your colleague. Every provider offers a range of flexible benefits and so ultimately, the decision is likely to come down to cost. You should speak to an independent income protection insurance specialist such as LifeSearch*, so that you can be guided through the process and ensure you are buying the best policy for your own circumstances.
Income protection provider summary
|Provider||Maximum income protection insurance benefit||Good for:|
Smooth application process
Good for high-risk occupations
Smooth application process
Great for nurses & doctors
Great for nurses & doctors
Excellent claims record
Good for high-risk occupations
|Wesleyan||£130,000 or £208,000 for doctors, dentists and lawyers||
Can get cover from day 1
Excellent claims record
For more information on income protection insurance providers, check out our article 'Compare the best 10 Income Protection policies in the UK'
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch