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LV= enhances income protection offering for doctors and surgeons

Press release: 01/11/2012

Protection specialist LV= has enhanced the benefits for surgeons and doctors on its income protection (IP) product.

The enhancements include an NHS sick pay guarantee, an increased benefit guarantee of £3,000, sabbatical cover, and one of the largest guaranteed insurability options (GIO) available in the market.

LV= NHS sick pay guarantee: LV= has introduced a sick pay guarantee for NHS doctors and surgeons. During the first five years of NHS service, doctors and surgeons sick pay changes each year, which makes it difficult for advisers to easily recommend the right waiting period for IP. Now, advisers can choose a 12 month deferred period for all doctors and surgeons and LV= will pay out early for those who have less than five years service and not built up their full entitlement. See table one below.

£3,000 benefit guarantee: LV= has increased its benefit guarantee for doctors and surgeons from £1000 to £3,000. If they make a claim and their income has fallen because they have changed jobs or roles, they are guaranteed to receive at least £3,000 per month benefit, or the full amount they are insured for if lower.

Significant career progression GIO (guaranteed insurability option): LV= has introduced a GIO for doctors and surgeons, to accommodate the large increase in wages medical professionals often experience as they gain qualifications. Under the new GIO, doctors and surgeons can increase their annual level of cover by up to £20,000 without any further underwriting, if their salary increases by 20% or more.

Sabbatical cover: Doctors and surgeons can now keep full IP cover in place if they take a sabbatical of up to two years. Regardless of which country they are located in or the activity they are undertaking, if they fell ill or had an accident during this period they would be assessed on an own occupation basis as if they were performing their normal role.

Own occupation and competitive premiums: All doctors and surgeons can be covered on an own occupation basis, the most comprehensive work definition available.

All doctors aged 35 and under will be priced on Rate Class 1, with those aged 36 and over on Rate Class 2. Surgeons will be priced on Rate Class 3. LV= will not increase the premium if a client moves to a more risky role in the future, but may reduce it if they move to a safer occupation e.g. a junior doctor would remain on Rate Class 1 doctor's rates, if they qualified as a surgeon at a later date.

LV= has produced an adviser guide on the changes to its income protection benefits for doctors and surgeons.

Mark Jones, LV= Head of Protection said: "We appreciate the nature of certain jobs means that salary, position and place of work can quickly change, which makes it difficult to keep cover relevant. People have a right to get the cover they pay for, and these enhancements for doctors and surgeons make this not only a market-leading product for people in these professions, but further safeguards their income and ensures cover keeps pace with their changing needs."

Dr David Taylor MBBS and Edmund Smith, Directors, O2 Associates commented: "As specialist independent advisers dealing with doctors, we were pleased to help with the development of this product. We can confidently say that this is the best IP contract on the market today for most doctors. In fact it actually surpasses anything we have had access to over the last 20 years based on a consideration of cost and product features. Many of our existing clients are now best served with a change to LV='s new offering."

Notes to editors
Table one - LV= NHS sick pay guarantee:

Currently, NHS sick pay entitlement gives full pay for a set period and then 50% of pay for a continued period based on length of service.

LV='s sick pay guarantee will pay 50% of the benefit initially, to cover the time when employees usually receive 50% of their salary, moving to 100% of benefit on the timescales below, depending on length of service.

Length of NHS Service

LV= Sick Pay Guarantee 50% of monthly benefit after...

LV= Sick Pay Guarantee 100% of monthly benefit after...

Up to 1 year

1 month

3 months

Over 1 year and up to 2 years

2 months

4 months

Over 2 years and up to 3 years

4 months

8 months

Over 3 years and up to 4 years

5 months

10 months

Over 5 years

6 months

12 months

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LV= employs 5500 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG.

Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.