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Income Protection

Hi Folks,

I've been away for a while through many things and happenings. Anyway, I have a question relating to Income Protection.

For a few years I've had it with a company called The Exeter through a broker employed by Eunisure. I tried to claim early last year due to some arm injuries I had. Only then did I find out they base their payouts on your net income of the previous year. The broker did not tell me that (yes, I'm sure it's written in the policy, which I did not read, I took him at his word)

So I'm paying £47 per month which "covers me for £1,500 per month", with a 4 week waiting period before payments start. However, there are two things that really do not make sense to me about this policy:

1) I pay £47 per month no matter what, but if my net income for the previous year is less than £1,500 per month, they pay me that lower figure. (Why, if that is the case, am I not paying pro rata per month so my premiums correspond to the payout?)

2) My "net income" from their point of view is what I am left with after ALL business expenses. So it is after my monthly van tax, monthly RAC payments, in fact after all my van expenses. And after my monthly contractual advertising payments, and all other payments that cannot be paused. When I asked The Exeter about this, they told me if I am not working I should cancel all these payments. Really?!

Are all Income Protection plans like this? Can any of you recommend a policy that makes sense? I really don't want a policy as nonsensical as this (it almost seems illegal to me), but if they are all like this I'll have to be careful about the decision I make as it might be better than absolutely nothing.

Many thank yous.


Gardenwise Watford.


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  • PRO

    I looked at income protection plans several years ago and found they are all about the fine print - things like your highlighting,  initial qualification periods, extensive exclusions. Basically plenty for the provider to wiggle out of paying. Concluded a policy worth having would be silly money per month and decided a better approach is to have enough money in the bank for between 3 and 6 months of critical expenses (ie those you must make).

  • PRO

    I asked a couple of years ago about a policy & was told at the time it would be silly money, because of my age. I'm 54!. I also wouldn't get cover because of an underlying condition, or it wouldn't cover me for that, if I was ill for the same reason. Also if you have had any injuries in the past or contacted the GP about any aches/pains which couldbe work related. I have had surgery on the Ulnar nerve in my elbow twice (vibrating machinery/ one handed chainsaw) so that would not be covered.

    My advice is to put the £47 a month in the bank, along with a little more & keep there incase you need it, rather than add to an insurance companies profits.

    Good luck, Neil

  • PRO

    I claimed on mine after emergency stomach surgery and they said you've had bowel surgery In the past and that repeat problens are not covered. Firstly I never was insured or was self employed nor claimed so why would one surgery of a different part of the body matter. I asked In a free 1 hour with a solicitor if I had a case they were honest and said u can spend thousands and get no where as your claim would only be for £2k so don't bother. I cancelled  and now have a £5k reserve in my account instead for such times. My mate broke his left leg and a year broke his right when he claimed they said he was claiming for the same injury again. You can only laugh it's comical. NFU do good cover I'm assured by others but once bitten twice shy in my case 

  • Some insurance salesman once tried to sell me one of these thirty years ago. I could see immediately that it was just an income stream for the insurer. There were so many hoops to jump through to be able to make any claim and you would have to be off for so long as to make it not viable. It was also very expensive.

    So to look at your situation, you need to be off work for eight weeks before you can get £1500 from them. In the normal course of things, any normal illness that we all encounter would last a fraction of that, meaning you are very unlikely to be in a position to claim.

    How long have you been paying them and how much have you got back in claims over that time?

    If say it’s three years, then that is nearly £1800. More than you will get for the first eight weeks of being off.

    As has already been said, better to save for a rainy day. I reckon I could probably afford to be off for about five years, if I was very careful. If I hadn’t just had a large extension built, I could probably have done ten years.

    But then I am 55. If you are young and have a mortgage and haven’t been trading all that long then that’s a very different situation. The putting money away yourself route though is still the best option. Any payments to the insurer is dead money with this kind of policy. If you don’t keep up the payments all previous payments count for nothing. If you save the money yourself it’s yours to do with what you want. It soon builds up.

    • PRO

      Thanks Vic 575 . I think I have practically drawn a conclusion. I did also speak to a bulider who used to have income protection. Something happened and he had to claim, I can't remember the details, but the whole thing made him cancel it for good.

      • PRO

        I took out a couple when i was employed and although i had a serious illness and also developed a disc problem in my lower back i never had to activate the policies as i was fortunate to have a supportive employer . 

        I carried them over when i became self employed with one the premium is very reasonable but the broker keeps on changing so i cant keep track and i never receive any statements or new terms and conditions it really needs kicking into touch and the direct debit cancelling . 

        The other is a substantial premium and offered many benefits until i received a notification last birthday which stated owing to my age they have reduced the benefits considerably to almost negligable i feel ripped off they stiill wanted to collect the same premium each month .

        So much devil in the detail with these things i personally dont trust them , last thing you need when you are ill is stress , i cant understand them telling you to cancel your outgoing financial comittments .

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