British Friendly Income Protection Insurance Review

14 min Read Published: 27 Nov 2020

British Friendly Income Protection reviewBritish Friendly offers Income Protection insurance, sometimes called sick pay insurance. It is arguably the most important personal insurance to arrange. Income Protection insurance provides a monthly income to replace lost earnings due to illness or injury. It can be especially vital when you consider that statutory sick pay only pays around £95 per week, falling a long way short of what most people need to cover their bills and put food on the table.

Certainly, the risks of falling ill or becoming injured and not being able to work are higher than the risks of dying prematurely. The problem is that many people working in hands-on, manual or risky occupations, feel that the insurance is either difficult to arrange or too expensive. Also, if you're self-employed and your income fluctuates, you might feel that you can't take out any sick pay insurance because it will be difficult to prove your income when you go to claim. British Friendly's products offer an option that strives to overcome these hurdles. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what is on offer with British Friendly and how it works.

If you would like to read more about Income Protection insurance and whether it is something that you need, you can find some very useful information within our article, Income Protection - Do you really need it?

Or, jump ahead if you want to know How to buy British Friendly Income Protection insurance and get £50 cashback when you arrange your policy.

Who is British Friendly?

British Friendly is a mutual society, specialising in Income Protection insurance. Being a mutual means that it is owned by its customers and not by shareholders.

Founded in 1902, British Friendly first set out to provide sickness insurance for commercial travellers and their families. It continues to provide Income Protection insurance that is focussed on protecting those who would usually find it difficult or expensive to arrange this type of insurance. The focus is on providing a flexible, affordable insurance that pays out when it is needed.

Impressively, the Bedford based company paid an average of 96.2% of claims over the years between 2005 and 2019.

British Friendly has won awards over the years for its customer service, claims and innovation, including Best Income Protection Provider 2018 at the Health Insurance Daily Awards.

British Friendly Overview

  • Provides 3 different types of Income Protection insurance, called Breathing Space, Short Term and Long Term.
  • Breathing Space offers income protection without the need to prove your income as long as you can prove that you're working.
  • Includes a discretionary Death Benefit that is also payable upon diagnosis of a Terminal Illness.
  • Includes a discretionary Carer Benefit that provides financial support if you have to take time off work to care for a seriously ill or injured partner/spouse, child or parent/parent-in-law.
  • Includes a discretionary Bereavement Benefit that pays out if your partner/spouse or child dies or becomes terminally ill.

British Friendly Policy Summary

Breathing Space Short Term Income Protection Long Term Income Protection
Who can apply? Most Occupations (See below for excluded occupations)
Do you need to prove your income? Not required at any stage Required at claim stage
Selection of waiting periods 1, 4, 8 or 13 weeks Day 1 or 1, 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks
How much income can you insure? £125 - £250 per week without proving income Up to 70% of your income before tax is deducted capped at £875 per week.
How long will the benefit keep paying? 1, 2 or 5 year options Until retirement
A claim is paid if you can't do: Your own occupation
Does the monthly cost increase? Yes, with your age each year and if you choose to index-link your benefit, the benefit and cost increase.
Inflation proofing included? Option to index-link to RPI up to a maximum of 10%. Benefit and premium will increase.
Discretionary Benefits Included See below for full details of British Friendly's discretionary benefits
Minimum age at entry 18 18 18
Maximum age at entry 59 64 64
Minimum term 5 years
To what age can you be insured? Age 50-65 Age 50-70
Changes possible during policy life Monthly benefit can be increased or decreased; waiting time can be changed; retirement age can be changed; career break can be applied.

British Friendly's Discretionary Benefits

Discretionary benefits, whilst extremely valuable, are included at the discretion of the company and can be removed from the policy. The following are some very relevant and generous benefits that are included with British Friendly's insurances at no extra cost.

Carer Assistance Benefit

  • Payable if your partner/spouse, child or parent/parent-in-law requires at least 35 hours care per week.
  • The benefit can be claimed after your family member has been in need of care for 4 weeks but the payment is backdated to the first day that care was needed.
  • Pays out £125 per week for up to 26 weeks if you're caring for a partner/spouse or child and for up to 13 weeks for a parent/parent-in-law even if you haven't stopped working to provide care.
  • A benefit equal to 13 weeks of the sum you are insured for is available if your partner/spouse or child either dies or is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Death/Terminal Illness Benefit

  • Payable if the person insured dies or is diagnosed with a terminal illness within the term of their policy.
  • Pays out 6 times the monthly benefit that you are insured for.
  • Excludes suicide in the first 12 months after starting a policy

Bereavement Benefit

  • A benefit equal to 13 weeks of the sum you are insured for is available if your partner/spouse or child either dies or is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Important Tip - British Friendly do not offer fixed cost Income Protection insurance and so the premiums increase as you get older. You should consider whether a fixed cost policy (with an alternative insurance company) is more suitablefor you. While it is more expensive at outset, you'll have the peace of mind that you're covered for years to come without the worry of whether you can afford the policy further down the line.

How much does British Friendly Income Protection Cost?

Earlier in the article, we highlighted the appeal of British Friendly's Income Protection policies for people who have more manual jobs and the following costs will demonstrate this.

The cost table below looks at an example policy that will:

  • Pay after you've been off work for 13 weeks (this ties in with the general guidance to save 3 months of outgoings)
  • Pay the benefit for up to 12 months of incapacity
  • Provide insurance up to the age of 65, regardless of how many claims you make

You can see that the cost of Income Protection insurance for a builder with British Friendly is significantly less when compared to the cheapest competitor. Conversely, the cost of Income Protection insurance for an Office Worker with British Friendly is more expensive. This is because British Friendly specialise in providing affordable Income Protection insurance for more manual occupations. You need to keep in mind that the British Friendly cost is one that increases with your age so it will go up every year but the increases are guaranteed so you'll be shown these from the outset.

Cost of Income Protection for a Male aged 40 non-smoker - BUILDER

Monthly Benefit Payable  British Friendly (Monthly Age Increasing Cost) 
Cheapest Competitor (Monthly Fixed Cost)
£1,500 £13.65 £24.46
£2,500 £22.75 £37.91

Quotes are based on a 13-week deferred period and benefits are payable for up to 12 months

Cost of Income Protection for a Male aged 40 non-smoker - OFFICE WORKER

Monthly Benefit Payable  British Friendly (Monthly Age Increasing Cost)  Cheapest Competitor (Monthly Fixed Cost)
£1,500 £13.65 £12.36
£2,500 £20.85 £16.94

Quotes are based on a 13-week deferred period and benefits are payable for up to 12 months

Which occupations does British Friendly exclude?

Having reviewed many other insurance providers, British Friendly have a relatively short list of occupations that they are unable to cover and we have provided that list below. If your occupation isn't listed below then you'll most likely be able to get cover with British Friendly. Remember, if you're not sure what category your occupation falls into, you should speak to a specialist insurance adviser who will be able to work this out for you so that you can be certain that the policy will pay out if you ever need to claim.

Occupations not insurable with British Friendly for Income Protection

  • Fire-fighters & reserved or retained Fire-fighters
  • Handling Explosives
  • Merchant Navy
  • Divers
  • Underground Miners
  • Oil Rig Workers
  • Professional / Semi-Professional Sports Person
  • Nightclub Security Personnel / Bodyguards
  • Equestrian Professions
  • Police Officers, Police Community, Support Officers & Special Constables
  • Armed Forces Personnel & Members of a Military Reserve Force
  • Pilots, Test Pilot, Airline Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Helicopter Pilot - Onshore & Crop Sprayer Pilot

How to buy British Friendly Income Protection insurance

Like many other insurance products, there will be options and types that suit you and your circumstances better than others. When looking for Income Protection insurance, your work, your income and your health will have a significant bearing on deciding which insurance will give you the best cover and price. It can be very difficult to make these choices online and unfortunately, some of the technical language might be difficult to understand, so speaking to a specialist Income Protection adviser will help you.

An adviser can run a search of the whole market and select the best price and the best policy for you. We have personally vetted the services of a specialist Income Protection insurance broker that can provide tailored advice. The advisers understand the variety of policies available very well and they're trained to ask you all the right questions so you don't have to worry that you may have forgotten something. Arranging a call to discuss this in detail before making your decision is easy. Fill out this form and an income protection adviser will call you back to discuss. Additionally, you will receive £50 cashback as a Money to the Masses reader for arranging your policy.

 

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