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Vitality income protection review

We’re looking at Vitality income protection key features, how to claim on your policy and more...

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 5 April 2023

7 min read

Vitality income protection review

Vitality is one of the biggest and best providers of insurance in the UK. They are known for taking a different approach to life and health insurance, rewarding customers for their healthy lifestyles with various rewards and discounts.

We have previously reviewed Vitality life insurance and critical illness cover policies and now we are looking at income protection insurance. Income protection is considered a more complicated insurance product and so isn’t always the most straightforward to understand if you’ve never bought it before.

In this independent review, we’re looking at Vitality life’s income protection key features, how to claim on your policy and more. Our aim is to give you a clearer picture of how these policies work, to help you decide if they are the right choice for you.

What is Vitality income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance works to protect your finances if you become ill or injured and unable to work. With income protection insurance:

  • You can claim if signed off work for 4 or more weeks by a GP or other doctor
  • You receive a regular tax-free monthly income until you either return to working as normal or your claim period runs out

This can be very useful in helping to cover those key expenses like mortgage or rent payments while you recover, without needing to rush back to work before you’re ready.

As with other Vitality health and life policies, income protection customers have access to a range of benefits and rewards.

Vitality Platinum members can receive boosted payments for their first 6 months of income protection claims. This means they can receive payments up to 20% HIGHER compared to other policyholders.

Gold members will be able to access a 15% boost and Silver members will get a 10% boost.

Vitality life income protection key features

Policy typeIncome Protection Insurance
Policy optionsShort term income protection (you can receive monthly pay outs for up to 2 years at most)
Long term income protection (you can receive monthly pay outs for up to
Deferred periods (time between claiming and payments beginning)7 days
4 weeks
12 months
24 months
60 months  

Find out more about deferment periods and how they work.
Coverage typeSingle life.
Waiver of premium benefitWaiver of premium can be added to your policy for an additional cost.
Indexation option (increasing cover)You can add increasing cover to your policy, meaning the amount you are covered for £s will increase each year.  
You can decline the increase, but if you decline 3 years in a row your cover will be switched to level term and you won’t be able to increase again.
What percentage of earnings is covered?Vitality will cover up to 60% of your usual pre-tax income (up to £5,000) and 50% of your income over this amount
Can I add extra policies to my cover?Yes, in fact Vitality recently (2023) announced a ‘multi product discount’ meaning you can save by having more than one insurance policy with Vitality.   You can add on life insurance, Serious Illness Cover (critical illness cover), health insurance etc for an extra cost.
Are there any exclusions?There are no automatic exclusions associated with Vitality income protection.

Benefits of Vitality income protection (free)

  • Vitality income booster is a new feature (2023) which pays out 20% on top of your usual monthly income protection payments for the first 6 months of claims (for Vitality Platinum members)
  • Recovery benefit is another new feature which gives Vitality customers access to support services and private healthcare to help them get back to work again. This includes services like physiotherapy, counselling and more.
  • 12 week health optimisation plan is part of the recovery benefit and helps support people who are recovering from cancer
  • Earnings guarantee ensures that the monthly payments from income protection claims will never reduce from the amount stated in the policy (for benefits up to £1,500 per month) and your current salary won’t be considered when claiming
  • Guaranteed insurability option means cover can be increased, deferred periods changed etc following a big life event e.g. getting married or having a new child
  • Deferred period is adjusted to best suit the sick pay structure of public sector employees
  • Increased guaranteed income of £3,000 per month for doctors or surgeons*

Note: Vitality recovery benefit is only accessible if you are making a claim for cancer, mental health or musculoskeletal problems that are preventing you from working.

Benefits of Vitality income protection (additional cost)

  • Increasing cover (indexation) can be added for an extra cost so your cover can increase in value every year. You can also decline to increase your cover when offered, but if you decline for 3 consecutive years you will lose your increasing cover benefit.
  • Waiver of premium benefit can be added to your policy and this will pay your monthly premiums for you if you are unable to work due to accident or sickness
  • Children’s Serious Illness Cover (critical illness cover) can be added on to any adult Vitality Life plan and pays out a cash lump sum if your child gets diagnosed with a serious illness

With the cost of living in the UK climbing higher and higher, value for money is top priority for most people.

Vitality income protection will vary slightly in pricing depending on the level of cover you choose (the amount of £s you would want for your monthly claim pay outs).

You should aim to cover all your main monthly expenses such as mortgage payments, household bills, car finance etc. It can be tempting to add on extra cover, but this will cost you more each month, so make sure you feel able to afford this longer term.

What is Vitality optimiser?

If you have ever looked at Vitality policies, you may have come across the term ‘Vitality optimiser’ – but it’s possible you don’t know exactly what this means.

You can add the Optimiser option to your Vitality life, critical illness or income protection policy to lower your premium (monthly payments for your policy) by up to 30%*. If your premiums reduce and by how much is related to how much activity you do, and the points earnt for these activities.

The more points you earn the higher your ‘Vitality Status’ becomes, with more rewards and benefits becoming available the higher your status (highest status is Platinum).

*The 30% lower premiums apply to fixed term plans and the longer your amount of cover is the more you may be able to save long term.

Is there more than one type of Vitality income protection cover?

There used to be 3 main choices for Vitality income protection (Income Protection, Income Protection Plus and Short Term Income Protection). They decided to simplify their products in February 2023, to make choosing your policy easier and simpler.

You have a couple of options for cover with Vitality income protection. This is good as it means people can choose the policy best suited to how much cover they need and how much they can afford to spend.

Your main options are:

  • Short term income protection (you can claim on your policy for up to 2 years maximum)
  • Long term income protection (you can claim on your policy for up to 5 years maximum or the whole policy term depending on the policy chosen)

There are pros and cons to each type of income protection, and while long term cover can be useful for very long periods of sickness absence these policies are generally more expensive.

Learn more about short term cover in our guide ‘What is short term income protection?’.

How to submit a Vitality income protection claim

Vitality has a great claims record, having paid out for 96.5% of all income protection claims in 2021.

If you need to claim on your Vitality income protection policies, there are a few steps you will need to complete. To begin the process, you will need to contact Vitality at:

Tel. 0345 601 0072

Email: lifeclaims@vitality.co.uk

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am-6pm (excluding Bank Holidays)

After this:

  • Vitality’s claims team will assess your claim after making basic checks about your plan and asking you for as much relevant information as possible
  • They will then send you through the claims forms to complete and send back through
  • You will be assigned a dedicated claims assessor who will be in touch with you while your claim is being assessed to keep you updated

After this, Vitality will either approve or decline your claim. If approved they will start paying out as soon as possible (after the deferred period).

If they decline the claim, they will contact you to explain why they won’t approve the claim and will give you the details needed to appeal if you want to.

How to cancel income protection from Vitality

If you decide you don’t want income protection insurance anymore, or find a better price or plan elsewhere, you can contact Vitality to cancel your policy.

People often feel ‘tied in’ once they have an insurance policy in place, but you are well within your rights to cancel it if it doesn’t feel like the right choice for you anymore.

The best way and easiest way to cancel or change your plan will be to contact Vitality customer support. You can do this by calling:

Tel. 0345 601 0072

How to buy income protection insurance from Vitality

If you want to buy an income protection policy from Vitality, there are a few ways you can do this. You can:

It can be helpful to speak to an expert if you’re not sure how much cover you need, or which policy/provider will be your best choice. You can of course ask questions if applying with Vitality themselves, but they will only be able to offer advice about their own policies.

If you are certain of the Vitality policy that you want, you can contact them directly to arrange your policy.

You can call Vitality for a quote at:

Tel. 0808 231 0738

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9am-8pm / Friday 9am-6pm / Saturday 10am-2pm

Resources

Vitality – Vitality transforms its Income Protection cover offering

COVER magazine – Vitality pays out £82.8m in 2021

COVER magazine – Only 7% of UK adults have critical illness or income protection

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