British Friendly has launched care assistance benefit – where it will pay £125 a week when the partner or child (up to age 18) of a member needs full-time care of 35 hours or more a week for a continuous period of four weeks.
The benefit, which is for new and existing members, will be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks following confirmation from a medical professional that full-time care is required.
No point is state benefit assessment is needed, so clients do not need to give up work to claim.
Emma Thomson, chair of the Protection Distributors Group, said: “It’s fantastic to see another insurer addressing the need for carer’s cover, providing financial assistance to those who have partners or children requiring full time care.
“British Friendly has designed a benefit that will provide valuable monetary support during what will inevitably be a difficult time, giving families financial breathing space whilst they work out a longer term solution.
“Importantly, by not requiring customers to give up their job and/or meet the strict state carer’s allowance criteria, they’ve made it easier to claim too.
“We are also impressed British Friendly is making this benefit available to existing Income Protection policyholders as well as new customers.
“There are 6.5 million carers in the UK, many of whom struggle financially as a result, and we feel our industry needs to address this protection need alongside the other valuable products offered.”
This is the second inclusive benefit British Friendly has launched in 2016 following the addition of a six-month death benefit earlier this year.
NHS data shows that 40% of carers look after a partner, spouse or child and 60% of working carers have to use annual or sick leave to care for a loved one, while state carers allowance only provides £62.10 per week in benefit.
Iain Clark, distribution and marketing director at British Friendly, said: “We saw the opportunity to offer a new and improved version of carer’s cover where you do not need to give up work or be subjected to an ADL assessment to claim.
“Importantly we are offering this benefit to all our members aged between 18-60, not just new members.
“Existing clients will have care assistance benefit added to their policies automatically at no extra cost, and we will notify them of the new benefit.”