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Protection: It's more than just Life Cover

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Chelsea Warren, Protection Adviser at Alexander Hall, explains how there's much more on offer when you take out protection alongside your mortgage - from providing nutritional advice and wellbeing services to instant GP appointments and access to a second medical opinion.

When discussing protection with my clients, it is not uncommon for them to only be familiar with the likes of Life Cover or Critical Illness Cover.

In this article, we will delve into some of the incredibly important yet less-known ‘value added benefits’ that most providers include in their standard protection policies.

If you would like more information on the different types of protection and how they work before looking into the extra benefits you can get, please click here for a detailed overview on our website.

What do we mean by ‘Value Added Benefits’?

When you arrange your protection, there is typically one specific objective. For example – with life cover, you are ensuring that your estate or dependants receive a pay out if you pass away.

However, most protection providers also offer extra benefits (often at no extra cost) built in to their products, which you will be able to use right away.

This means that although you will be paying for a life/critical illness/income protection cover that you hope you will never have to use, you can still get some great services to utilise and benefit from, from day one.

GP Services

Have you ever called your local GP surgery for an appointment only to be told you will have to wait for an entire week before you can be seen? And that’s after waiting on hold for 30 minutes before you can even get through to the receptionist? Me too!

Some providers offer an online GP service within their policies which gives you access to a team of UK registered experts whenever and wherever you need, 365 days a year.

You will be able to book an appointment with a GP instantly via a telephone call or video call, and they will be able to offer you advice on a whole range of medical needs – they are even able to issue you prescriptions there and then, and make further referrals to specialists if necessary.

This will save you time, hassle and worry if you are concerned about a medical issue and want to sort it right away.

Some providers offer this as standard as part of their policy, whereas some providers offer it at an additional cost.

If this is something you would like as part of your cover, make sure you speak to a protection adviser before applying to ensure you get this benefit included in your policy.

Wellbeing Services

This is really an umbrella term for a whole host of services you could take advantage of when taking out a protection policy.

This could range from a tailored nutrition plan to ensure you have a balanced diet to keep you fit and healthy, to mental health support if you are struggling to cope with stress, anxiety, depression or even if you’re just not feeling yourself.

These services are also often available to your family too, so children and spouses would be covered for this support under your plan. Free therapy? Yes please.

Read on to learn about more of the value added benefits available, or contact us if you’re ready to discuss your individual needs with one of our expert protection advisers.

Second Medical Opinion

Being diagnosed with an illness can be a traumatic and emotional time. All of your focus and attention will likely go into your treatment in the hope you can recover from whatever the illness might be.

You will be relying on the advice and experience of the doctor you happened to be assigned to at the local hospital that you happened to be referred to.

But, should geography and the hospital staff rota dictate your experience and the outcome of your illness?

The Second Medical Opinion service provides you access to medical experts (either in the UK or globally) whom can help you if you are worried you haven’t received the right diagnosis or haven’t been given the best treatment plan for you.

A specialist (in the field of medicine you require) will be sourced and then your medical notes, diagnosis and treatment plan will be assessed to confirm whether this is the right course of treatment, or whether an alternative diagnosis is needed.

Often, this can just provide you with the peace of mind that you are on course to receive the best treatment for your illness, but sometimes this service can recommend an alternative course of action that will save lives.

Fracture Cover

This type of cover is perfect for the clumsy or the active – but really anyone can have an unexpected injury if they were to slip, fall or crash.

Breaking a bone can create additional expenses and cause disruption to your day-to-day as it could mean time off work, taxi fares to get around, extra childcare or you might even need to fork out for certain equipment to aid your recovery.

Fracture cover provides a financial cushion to ease the costs you could face if you sustain an injury, and it can give you extra peace of mind so that you can concentrate on recovering and getting back on your feet.

The amount of money you can receive will vary from provider, and some providers offer this as standard as part of their policy whereas some providers offer it at an additional cost.

If this is something you would like as part of your cover, make sure you speak to a protection adviser before applying to ensure you get this benefit included in your policy.

Family Carer Benefit

We know by now that Income Protection is designed to pay you a monthly income if you get sick and are signed off from work, but what happens if it is your child or your spouse who is unwell and you need to take time off work to care for them?

Family Carer Benefit will provide you with a lump sum/monthly income for a certain period of time if your spouse, civil partner or child is too ill to perform certain activities of daily living (being able to dress themselves, eat, walk etc).

This allows you to take time off work if you need to, to care for them, without worrying about money or how the mortgage will be paid.

This benefit is not included in all policies, and the type of cover you get/the terms of this benefit differ from provider to provider, so please make sure you speak to a protection adviser before applying.

Global Treatment

Global Treatment is the Second Medical Opinion Service on steroids. If you or your child is diagnosed with a serious illness, you will want to make sure you get the right diagnosis, but you will also want the opportunity to receive the world’s best treatment for that illness, right?

This additional benefit covers you and your children if you are diagnosed with a serious illness, and provides you with access to medical experts across the globe.

Not only will you get a second medical opinion, but also the cost of overseas treatment would be covered. This could include transplants, brain conditions, cancer treatments… you will no longer have to sit on a waiting list to receive the treatment you so desperately need.

This benefit will cover the costs of the overseas treatment, travel, accommodation, daily expenses and even ongoing medication that you might need.

You will have the power to ensure you are in best hands possible and have your best shot at a successful recovery.

This benefit comes at an additional cost to the policy, and there is only one provider that has this option at the moment, so if this is something you would like as part of your cover, make sure you speak to a protection adviser before applying to ensure you get this benefit included in your policy.

We have only looked at an overview of some of the benefits available, and there are many other benefits that may be included in different policies.

Everything I have discussed in this article will differ from provider to provider, and because of this, it is crucial that you speak to a protection adviser to make sure you are getting the right advice.

If would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your Protection needs, or if you have any queries on Protection, you can email me at Chelsea.Warren@alexanderhall.co.uk.

If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your Protection needs, you can email me on: chelsea.warren@alexanderhall.co.uk. Alternatively, use the 'Contact Us' page on our website – click by clicking here.

This article was originally posted in What Mortgage online. You can see the original article here. Please note this will launch a new web page.

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