Income protection

Introducing

INCOME FIRST.

First-class income protection for a wide range of occupations.

INCOME FIRST.

We've replaced our two previous income protection products with Income First, so every customer benefits from the best protection we have to offer.

Why recommend Income First?

  1. One product covering a wide range of occupations.

  2. Level guaranteed premiums available to all occupations.

  3. Flexible waiting periods for NHS medical professionals and teachers.

  1. Increased peace of mind for those changing jobs.

  2. New ways to increase cover, including options for renters.

  3. Income protection specialists since 1888.

Cover summary and underwriting approach
Income First provides first-class cover for a wide range of occupations, from office based professionals to manual workers and skilled trades.
Three premium options available

  • Level guaranteed premiums that stay the same for the life of the policy. Available where the chosen waiting period is four weeks or longer
  • Age-costed guaranteed premiums that increase with age but the rates that determine the premiums do not change
  • Age-costed reviewable premiums that increase with age but are reviewed after three years.

Both long and short claim periods

Claim periods affect premiums. So, we give your clients more options so you can always make income protection affordable. If the budget allows, clients could select the long-term claim period that could pay until their chosen finishing date. Or they could opt for a short claim period of either two or five years and dramatically reduce their premiums.

Flexible waiting periods for NHS medical professionals and teachers

If your client is an NHS medical professional or teacher, we offer flexible waiting periods so that they can receive a benefit payment that complements their sick pay arrangements.

Employer change promise

If your client changes employment they may find their sick pay is restricted with their new employer. Income First includes an employer change promise, which means that if they find themselves in this position and need to make a claim, we will pay their benefit before their waiting period finishes.

Cover available from £500 - £10,000 per month

The maximum monthly benefit amount your client can receive depends on their income. If they earn less than £100,000 per year, they can claim up to 60% of their personal taxable income. If they earn over £100,000 per year, they can claim up to 60% of their taxable income up to £100,000 and 40% thereafter.

Income protection that’s just the job

We pay out if illness or injury prevents your client from doing their specific job – not any job. And that’s regardless of what they do for a living and how long the claim lasts.

Easy to increase as life changes

Your clients can increase their benefit should their circumstances change including, but not limited to, getting married, having a baby, taking out or increasing a mortgage on the property they live in, or their rent increases. Benefits can be increased by a maximum of 50% or £833.33 per month, whichever is lower.

Pay no premiums while the policy pays out

With our income protection, waiver of premium is automatically included. So, clients don’t need to worry about paying premiums if the policy is paying out. We understand that in that situation every pound counts.

No routine medical evidence required for clients under 42

The heading says it all – and that’s regardless of the benefit amount they choose.

Fixable benefits

In today’s uncertain world incomes can fluctuate. So, we offer two ways clients can fix their benefits. Firstly, they can fix up to 75% of their initial benefit by providing financial evidence or they can fix up to £1,000 per month by providing simplified financial evidence at point of claim.

If a client goes back to work on less money we continue to pay

If following a claim a client returns to their own occupation part-time, their policy will pay a reduced amount (proportionate to their reduced salary) for a maximum of 24 months or until they reach the end of their claim period. And, if they choose another lower paid occupation, we’ll pay a proportionate reduced amount until they reach the end of their claim period or they return to their previous occupation or their previous level of income.

Our approach to lifestyle, health and occupation:
Smoking

A loading may be applied if consumption is heavy or your client suffers from a medical condition such as asthma which can be aggravated by smoking. Sometimes we may ask for a cotinine test to be carried out to confirm smoking status. This will usually be done by taking a saliva or urine sample.

Alcohol

An application may be loaded, deferred or declined if there are indications of excessive alcohol intake. We may ask for a liver function test. We will consider more closely those clients working within the licensed trade and accidents attributed to alcohol or sickness absence from work.

Family history

For conditions with a strong hereditary tendency, we may need to obtain further medical evidence.

Height and weight

Your clients’ BMI will determine the level of information we require to underwrite their application.

BMI outcomes

  • <18 Refer to underwriting for assessment
  • 18 - 33 Accept at Ordinary Rates
  • 34 - 39 Application may incur a loading
  • 40 - 46 Further medical evidence will be required*
  • >46 Decline
*Please note that applicants under the age of 45 with a BMI of 45 or higher will be declined for cover. These outcomes are subject to change and assume no other risk factors are present.

Occupation and activities

Activities that involve a high risk of accident or injury will normally be excluded from applications with short-term waiting periods and activities such as potholing, rock climbing/mountaineering, motorsports and aviation will normally be excluded.

Residency and language

To apply, your client needs to have been a UK resident for at least the last three years and have been registered with a UK based NHS GP for the same period.

Our approach to specific health conditions:
Anxiety/depression/stress

Episodes within the last five years usually result in an exclusion but terms will depend on severity of symptoms, recurrence, time off work, hospital treatment or suicide attempts.

Arthritis

Cases of Rheumatoid or Psoriatic arthritis will be declined. Terms for osteoarthritis will depend on the amount of joints affected, time off work and severity of symptoms.

Asthma

If the applicant is also a smoker a minimum rating of 50% will normally apply.

Back pain/sciatica

Symptoms within the last five years or recurrent episodes will usually result in an exclusion.

Crohn’s disease

We will offer a minimum four week waiting period only. At best we will apply an exclusion but if severe may well be declined.

Diabetes

Terms can be considered following further medical evidence for gestational diabetes (during pregnancy only) and type 2 diabetes. Terms for type 2 diabetes will be offered on a minimum four week waiting period subject to your client:

  • Having an HbA1c of <9% (75mmol/mol)
  • Being 30 years old or above
  • Having had a diabetic review within the past 24 months.
Epilepsy

Terms will depend on the frequency and severity of attacks but if driving is an essential part of your client's job then an exclusion will always be applied.

Fractures

If the fracture is recent it will be subject to individual consideration but not necessarily an exclusion or loading.

Heart murmur

A GP report will be requested in all cases and terms will depend on the cause and severity of the murmur. If terms apply this will normally be in the form of a loading.

High blood pressure

If the blood pressure is well controlled and no other risk factors are present then we will normally accept at standard rates. A GP report will sometimes be requested.

High cholesterol

If the cholesterol is controlled and no other risk factors are present then we will normally accept at standard rates. A GP report will sometimes be requested.

Unfortunately we are unable to offer cover to clients with the following medical issues:

  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Ischaemic heart disease which includes heart attacks and angina
  • Major strokes
  • Most recent cancers requiring chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Multiple suicide attempts
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Recreational drug use in the last five years (excluding light cannabis use)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Transplants
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes for those under the age of 30.

Our medical underwriting limits and income evidence requirements

We only need to ask for evidence of your client’s income when they apply if they choose a benefit over £75,000 per year (£6,250 per month) or select the Fixed Benefit Option. We will require the following:

Employed:

  • Last month’s payslip or equivalent
  • Last P60.

Self-employed:

  • Last two years’ HMRC Self Assessment tax returns
  • Copies of the last two years of certified accounts.

Company director:

  • Last three months’ payslips or equivalent
  • Last two years’ P60s
  • Last two years’ HMRC Self Assessment tax returns
  • Copies of the last two years of certified company accounts.

Medical underwriting limits

The following table outlines our automatic medical limits. This shows the monthly benefit level at which medical evidence will be requested to support your client’s application, depending on their age.

Plus all income protection members also get access to:

The free members app that provides quick and convenient medical advice and treatments through smartphone or tablet and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

  • Remote GP appointments
  • Second medical opinion
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Mental health support
  • Registered dietitian consultations
  • Lifestyle and nutrition consultations
Discover more
ADVISER TOOLS & LITERATURE

The income protection conversation starts here

Income First

Income First

Product guide

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Income First

Income First

Underwriting guide

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Complete toolkit

Complete toolkit

Everything you need to launch a successful income protection sales campaign.

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Income risk calculator

Income risk calculator

Creates a personalised client report that brings the benefits of income protection to life right in front of their eyes.

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Meet the team

Underwriting with a personal touch

If you have an underwriting query, our experienced team of over 20 underwriters can help.

Andy James
Sarah Lloyd
Nick Bowker
Call: 0300 123 3203