The UK-based Finance & Technology Research Centre (F&TRC) has revealed its 2016 product ratings for income protection, business protection and relevant life.

The ratings aim to help advisers understand which providers are offering the most suitable and comprehensive protection products, and assist them with their client recommendations.

 Each provider has been awarded either a gold, silver or bronze medal for both their overall proposition, as well as in several important underlying categories.

 These categories, and the metrics used to assess the providers, were selected after consultation with a range of independent experts and adviser firms. The overall awards in the F&TRC ratings are:

 

Income Protection

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  •  Gold Medals: Aviva, The Exeter (Income One Plus), Legal & General, LV=, LV= (Personal Sick Pay), VitalityLife (Comprehensive)
  •  Silver Medals: The Exeter (Pure Protect), Royal London, Vitality Life (Primary)
  •  Bronze Medals: AEGON, AIG, Zurich

Product features considered as part of the overall income protection rating are: incapacity definitions; claims statistics; claims processes; rate availability; sum assured limits; added value benefits; deferred periods; linked claims; return to work benefits; indexation and age limits;

 

Business Protection

  • Gold Medals: AIG, Royal London and Zurich
  • Silver Medals: Legal & General, LV= and Vitality Life
  • Bronze Medals: AEGON and Aviva

Product features considered as part of the overall Business Protection rating are: business protection support; trusts; financial evidence; preferential service standards; immediate cover; added value benefits;  guaranteed insurability options; and application process.

 

Relevant Life

  •  Gold Medals: AIG, Legal & General, Royal London, VitalityLife and Zurich
  •  Silver Medals: Aviva & LV=
  •  Bronze Medals: AEGON

Product features considered as part of the overall Relevant Life rating are: business protection support; financial evidence; trusts; added value benefits; sum assured limits; continuation options; exclusions; guaranteed insurability options and application process.

 Adam Higgs, adviser services head of research at F&TRC, said: “Income Protection, business Protection and relevant Life products are hugely important products, however for many reasons less of these policies are put in force than life and critical illness.

 “The ratings and fact sheets look to help advisers better understand some of the more important features of such policies and the differences between provider offerings.”