Protection challenger Guardian has unveiled its product offering ahead of launching into the market this year.
Guardian is initially focusing on life and critical illness, with income protection products following at a later date.
The company will distribute solely through advisers using the Protection Builder platform.
Simon Davis, chief executive of Guardian, said: “The single most important thing about a protection policy is that it pays out. If someone has a critical illness policy, they quite rightly expect it to cover them if their consultant says they’ve had a heart attack.
“They don’t want any anxiety over whether their diagnosis is eligible. At Guardian, we use simpler, broader definitions without general exclusions. So, when our customers need their policy to pay out, it will.”
With decreasing mortgage cover Guardian will calculate premiums based on long-term interest rates, which it said will reduce the cost. If payouts fall short of the outstanding mortgage they will pay the difference providing the mortgage isn’t in arrears.
When paying out for critical illness definitions like a stroke or multiple sclerosis, Guardian will pay out on the advice of UK consultant neurologists rather than requiring additional evidence. Similarly with heart attacks Guardian will go on the advice of consultants alone. It will also pay out on all malignant skin cancers rather than just some.
Alan Lakey, director of CI Expert, said: “Guardian has used its entry into the market to introduce some fresh thinking which is sure to shake up the marketplace.
“Their approach of simplifying wording is a much-needed initiative and they have created some top level critical illness definitions.
“Of particular mention is the heart attack wording which only requires confirmation from a consultant and benign brain tumour payable on diagnosis.
“Also, there is an additional payment for stent insertion on one coronary artery.
“Just as importantly, any future upgrade to their plan will be added to existing plans, whilst sometimes there could be a cost, it provides the client the opportunity to keep their plan up to date.
“These are significant improvements that will appeal to both advisers and clients.”
Lucy Brown, head of protection at L&C Mortgages, said: “It’s great to see a new entrant in the protection market, especially one that comes free of legacy systems and with a desire to bring some new ideas to the market.
“Guardian’s aim to provide something different rather than a “me too” approach is welcome and its clear and transparent proposition will hopefully provide better outcomes for our customers.
“For example, its focus on the clarity of definitions should make for a better customer understanding of their policies and help deliver a successful claims experience over time.
“We also like the ability to flex the amount of cover and the policies that the customer holds within the first 2 years, which should allow advisers to engage with customers around their broader protection needs and ultimately increase the number of families we protect.”