Aviva has launched the first relevant life plan with integral critical illness cover.
The inclusion of critical illness benefit as an option on Aviva’s relevant life insurance, which provides individual death in service benefit for an employee, represents a significant change for the business protection market allowing advisers to cover their clients’ business protection needs in one application.
The insurer has also launched business life insurance options, which will provide life and critical illness cover for business clients.
Both products offer an enhanced protection promise up to £1m benefit to recognise the higher average case size for business protection.
Louise Colley, managing director of protection at Aviva, said: “Historically, relevant life policies have tended to only include a death benefit and terminal illness benefit, so I’m delighted that following extensive research and advice from external legal counsel, we are able to offer a fully-compliant critical illness benefit on our new relevant life insurance.
“This is a market first and we believe that it will really help advisers write more protection business more easily.”
Alan Lakey, founder of CIExpert, said: “Until today relevant life plans could only provide life assurance protection.
“Aviva’s initiative will surely shake up the market and introduce new opportunities for advisers who are looking for tax-efficient solutions. No doubt other providers will be looking to bring out their own versions but until then Aviva has a monopoly.”
Relevant Life plans offer tax relief to employers insuring one or more employees and is a tax-efficient means of obtaining insurance, particularly for directors.
To meet legislative requirements the plan does not include children’s cover however it does include access to the respected Best Doctors service.
Lakey added: “As an industry we continually cry out for innovation and amongst the glut of annual changes very few insurers prove to be truly inventive.
“Relevant Life with critical illness is a breakthrough. Previously, a number of insurers had investigated the potential for such a plan but had been unable to navigate the onerous requirements of legislation.
“Aviva’s legal advisers have succeeded where others failed and this plan is capable of creating a whole new target audience for critical illness.”