Vitality Life has overhauled the terms of its income protection cover and launched a new mortgage plan.
The mortgage plan includes life cover, income protection, serious illness cover for children, plus waiver of premium, and requires just five medical questions to be secured.
The plan also includes Vitality’s serious illness cover protector, which is a severity-based approach covering 145 conditions, including 40 conditions unique to Vitality.
A total of 77 conditions pay out at 100 per cent of the sum assured to fully cover the mortgage after suffering from the most severe conditions.
This includes heart attack, cancer and stroke.
A total of 68 conditions pay out on a severity basis between 15 per cent and 75 per cent of the plan amount.
These claims do not reduce the amount of life or serious illness cover remaining for further claims.
Alongside the launch of the mortgage plan, changes have also been made to the income protection plan including enhancements to the earnings guarantee and a new hospitalisation benefit.
Bespoke deferred periods are now available for a wider range of public sector employees, including all NHS doctors, surgeons and nurses; public sector teachers and council workers.
For these public sector employees, the benefit will be aligned to their employer’s sick pay schemes.
According to Vitality bosses, the provider now provides bespoke income protection deferred periods to the broadest range of public sector workers.
There is also an earnings guarantee, which means that if a member's earnings at point of claim are less than their earnings guarantee established at the start of the policy, the higher level of benefit is paid.
Enhancements to the earnings guarantee mean that members now have up to six months from the start of the plan to validate monthly insured benefits of between £1,500 and £8,000 per month.
Vitality will also automatically validate monthly insured benefits if these are less than £1,500 per month.
Members with comprehensive income protection plans will now receive £100 per day for up to 90 days in total should they be hospitalised for more than six days during their plan’s deferred period.
For short term income protection plans, members are now able to make multiple claims for the same cause of absence, as long as they return to work for more than six months in between claims.
Rob Harvey, head of protection advice at Drewberry, said: "The new enhancements to Vitality Life's income protection introduce further impressive features to what is already a unique product.
"The market-first introduction of deferred periods for council workers, alongside other public sector employees such as doctors, teachers and nurses, is very welcome and the minimum benefit guarantee of £1,500, along with the ability to lock in 100 per cent of your monthly benefit if you provide evidence of income within six months of starting the policy, is great."