Are care and support services worth it?

  • Describe the importance of having added value benefits with a protection policy
  • Highlight the most popular added value benefit provided by an insurance company
  • Describe the most important part of a policy when deciding which one to purchase

The only other option to get double figures was ‘Health and wellbeing services’ on 15 per cent. Clearly, the ‘added-value’ tag is not very popular.

For now, let us take a high-level look at who offers what, whether there are any restrictions on usage and what is proving most and least popular.

Who offers what & when

Royal London offers its Helping Hand service with all of its protection products, giving policyholders and their families access to a dedicated nurse who will provide tailored and personal support as soon as cover starts.

Helping Hand also includes medical, legal and career helplines. 

Access is unlimited and is also available for family members (partners and children) of the policyholder free of charge.

Helping Hand is a service provided by RedArc, which also works on individual protection products with several other insurers including: Scottish Widows (Scottish Widows Care), Aviva, Aegon, Canada Life, Cirencester Friendly, Guardian, Old Mutual, One Family, Budget Group (Beagle St). Red Arc also works with Intrinsic and LifeSearch.

RedArc’s nurse support service includes practical advice and emotional support to each individual according to their particular circumstances, needs and concerns.

In addition, the nurse can arrange other services such as a course of therapy, counselling, piece of medical equipment, second medical opinion and practical help in the home, explains Christine Husbands, managing director at RedArc.

“This is limited to a budgetary amount which varies slightly by insurer.”

Accessibility also varies by insurer. “Some insurers make a proactive referral at point of claim, others make the claimant aware of the service and leave them to self-refer.

"Some offer the service also during the life of the policy, some offer it to family members,” adds Ms Husbands.

“Also, some insurers choose to promote a specific service.

“For example, Aegon offers a second medical opinion service on a self-refer basis, so all enquiries relate to that. Aviva has some very specific products such as Cancer Essentials and Child Essentials.”

Best Doctors, now part of global virtual care provider Teladoc Health, also provides its medical triage and second opinion support services via various protection products – individual and group – and also included with travel and health insurance.

There generally are not any restrictions on usage and one of their main partners is AIG.

Meanwhile, British Friendly’s Mutual Benefits programme provides a wide range of services including: Health MOTs, Fitbit discounts, wellbeing hub, virtual GP, death benefit, bereavement benefit, health cash plan, will writing service, plus savings on high street shopping, and regular prize draws.