Income Protection  

MetLife launches income protection for homeowners

MetLife launches income protection for homeowners
 Credit: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

MetLife has launched an income protection policy for homeowners to cover mortgage repayments up to a maximum of £1,500 a month.

The new policy, ‘MortgageSafe’, provides a monthly benefit covering mortgage repayments for up to 12 or 24 months, in the event the policyholder cannot work due to accident or illness. Payments can also be made directly to the lender.

For customers looking to protect against both accident and illness, the provider uses a simplified underwriting process consisting of five health questions. GP reports, income or financial underwriting or family history are not required.

Medical underwriting is not required for customers seeking accident-only cover.

Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “Despite a challenging year for most, 2020 saw many people finally climbing a rung on the housing ladder. The stamp duty holiday announced by the chancellor allowed many to accelerate their dream of buying their first home or moving into a new one.

“And in the midst of a third national lockdown, it’s unclear whether or not the payment holidays will be extended beyond 31st March 2021. Achieving the right level of protection is different for everyone and cover should be provided based on current needs.”

The policy is currently available through a select panel of intermediaries, before a wider launch later this year.

Policyholders can choose from three levels of cover according to their lifestyle, health and the cost of their mortgage repayment.

Core

  • Accident-only cover
  • 4 week waiting period
  • 12-month benefit payment period
  • No health questions asked

Essential12

  • Accident & illness cover
  • 4 week waiting period
  • 12-month benefit payment period
  • Health questions asked

Essential24

  • Accident & illness cover
  • 4 week waiting period
  • 24-month benefit payment period
  • Health questions asked

Mr Horner added: “Bringing this simple, easy to understand proposition to market increases the options available to customers, gives advisers more opportunities and we believe will help further growth in the income protection market.”

A September survey of 5,000 consumers for the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries found buying a first home (51 per cent), or moving to a new one (28 per cent) among the top three reasons for consumers to buy protection.

But it also found that fewer than one in 10 adults (7 per cent) had income protection in place.

Meanwhile, life insurance broker LifeSearch saw a rise in income protection claims last year, while Legal & General reported an increase in income protection sales.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.