Scot Prov adds over 100 roles to own occupation definition in IP revamp

Scottish Provident has added over 100 occupations to its list of jobs that qualify for income protection on an own occupation basis.

The provider launched an enhanced policy yesterday which offers an own occupation definition to a wider range of occupations, including surgeons, dentists and driving instructors, all of which would not previously have been eligible for this definition.

It now offers two options for its IP policies, the eligibility for each option being determined by a person’s occupation. The options include an own occupation definition throughout the term or own occupation for one year, changing to a list of serious illnesses and everyday tasks thereafter.

For those with own occupation for only one year, Scot Prov will pay out if the customer has one of the serious illnesses on its list or if the customer meets three of the nine everyday tasks it requires. Previously, a customer had to meet three of six everyday tasks.

The list of series illnesses includes blindness, cancer, complete dependency, deafness, dialysis, organic brain disease and terminal illness.

The list of everyday tasks includes sitting for 30 minutes without “unreasonable discomfort”, standing and performing tasks like making a cup of tea and walking for more than 200 metres on a level surface.

People not working or working for less than 16 hours a week will be offered cover against the list of serious illnesses and everyday tasks.

Royal London intermediary division chief executive Hugh McKee says: “By widening the eligibility of own occupation to as many customers as possible and providing a unique solution for those that aren’t eligible, we believe we’re delivering a value for money proposition.

Combining own occupation, a serious illness list as well as everyday tasks creates a unique product which will make it easier for customers to claim on and in turn increase consumer confidence in income protection.”

Many advisers prefer own-occupation definitions over task-based definitions such as activities of daily living. With the later, customers must fail a certain number of daily tasks, such as walking or reading, before a policy will pay out.

Advisers argue that using ADL defintions makes it less likely that a policy will pay out. But some providers say that ADL definitions help bring the cost of cover down for customers with risky jobs who might not be able to get an IP policy under an own-occupation definition.