VitalityLife tailors serious illness cover to later life

VitalityLife tailors serious illness cover to later life

VitalityLife has expanded its serious illness cover (SIC) to prepare members with protection for degenerative later life illnesses.

In what the provider claimed was a first in the insurance market, VitalityLife has launched ‘Dementia and FrailCare Cover', offered at no extra cost when a customer’s SIC expires.

The cover will continue as a whole of life benefit and VitalityLife will make a severity-based pay out following deterioration of health in later life.

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The benefit amount will equal 50 per cent of the member's remaining SIC benefit, with an overall cap of £100,000.

For accelerated life and SIC policies the ‘Dementia and FrailCare Cover’ includes a funeral benefit equal to 10 per cent of a member's remaining life benefit amount, capped at £10,000.

A VitalityLife spokesman said the cover was designed to help customers prepare for frailty and the possibility of dementia in later life, funding costs such as nursing fees and home-support devices.

Herschel Mayers, chief executive of VitalityLife and VitalityInvest, said most people could expect to live longer than previous generations and the increasing prevalence and impact of conditions such as dementia in society cannot be ignored.

He said: "So far, the insurance industry has not done nearly enough to recognise this. That is why we are especially excited to be announcing ‘Dementia and FrailCare Cover’.

"This is a world-first and addresses one of the most significant problems in the protection industry, and society more broadly, by helping people retain their dignity and independence during what can be a vulnerable stage of their life."

Robert Harvey, head of protection advice at Drewberry, said the provision of long-term care insurance was under-addressed. 

He said: "So it is great to see Vitality are stepping in with an extension to its already incredibly comprehensive SIC. 

"Most of these policies are being used to cover someone's mortgage for a term up to state pension age, but until now there has been little to cater for the long-term needs of individuals beyond the life of these policies."

Mr Harvey said while the cover is a welcome addition to the marketplace the one possible drawback is the £100,000 limit, given that the cost of long-term care in the UK is between £30,000 and £40,000 per year according to Money Advice Service.

He added: "However, what Vitality have unveiled here is still a massive positive and will hopefully focus the industry's need on an area that is really under-catered for.

"It is absolutely a step in the right direction for them and will be very much welcomed. Hopefully it is the first of many such offerings going forward."

One of the issues hampering the provision of insurance products for social care has been the lack of a cap on costs.