1 Don't let your lifestyle disappear. Pensions Protection Investments Income Protection from Friends First Income security for your peace of mind.
2 About Friends First Friends First is one of Ireland s oldest and most established Life Assurance companies, meeting the financial needs of our customers since We have over 200,000 customers and employ over 300 people in Ireland. Friends First is fully owned by the Dutch Insurance Group, Achmea, one of Europe s leading insurance players. About Achmea Friends First Life Assurance Company manages total assets of 4.6bn, generated Total Premiums of 430m in 2012 and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. At Friends First, we are focused on providing leading protection, retirement and investment solutions which are tailored to your individual needs and will provide you with the required benefits when they are needed most. We want to assist you in meeting your goals through your lifetime, but acknowledge that your needs and circumstances will change. So where possible our products are flexible offering a range of options and alternatives which you can choose during the term of your plan. Achmea was founded in the Netherlands in 1811 as a mutual insurance company with strong cooperative roots. Its main shareholders are the Achmea Association, a representative body of its customers and Rabobank also a mutual organisation which is one of Europe s leading banks. Achmea remains committed to the mutual ownership model, being the largest mutual/cooperative company in Europe, with a strong focus on developing products and services that meet its individual and corporate customer s needs. As a result, Achmea is not listed on any stock exchange. Achmea employs 16,000 people in its Dutch business and 4,000 across its international operations. It insures over 8 million people in The Netherlands, one of the top 10 largest insurance markets in the world. In the Dutch market, Achmea is the largest provider of non-life, health and income protection insurance and is also a leading provider of life and pensions. Achmea manages total assets of 94.8bn, and had total equity of 10.4bn in Dec It generated total premiums of 20.4bn from its domestic and international operations to that date. Achmea holds a financial strength and long-term counterparty credit rating (Standard & Poors) of A- and had solvency cover of 2.09 times the minimum margin at Dec In addition to the Netherlands, Achmea is also active in 7 other European countries including Ireland, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Achmea s aim is to consolidate its market leadership in the Netherlands and to build an integrated, pan-european Insurance group by developing significant market positions in a number of international markets where it is present. Achmea, resulting from its ability to adapt to a changed market environment but remain true to its mutual ethos, now aspires to become the most trusted insurer in its home market and ultimately in international markets where it is present through operating companies.
3 Income Protection Income security for your peace of mind It makes sense to insure your home, your car and your family against the unexpected. But what about your income? What if you were to suffer an accident or long-term illness that prevented you from earning a living? Income Protection from Friends First is designed to provide you with an alternative income if you suffer an illness or injury, which prevents you from working. It s different from Health insurance it's insurance for daily living. When illness or injury leave you unable to work you need the financial security of a product that keeps you on top of the bills that matter: mortgage payments, car loans, food bills, rent and more. After all, your income pays for everything. Income protection helps take care of your financial needs while you are focusing on recovery at a time when money worries should be the last thing on your mind. Take a moment to think about how you would pay these normal household bills without an income. H Mortgage repayments I Hobbies E Utility Bills Insurance (Family protection, car, home, travel, private health) INCOME Food Holidays Children s Education Savings k Loan repayments Car 1
4 I'm healthy - It won t happen to me It is easy to think that it won t happen to me, but below we highlight a number of statistics that you may find surprising. Illness or injury can happen at any time. 2 One in three people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime. An estimated 30,000 people are living in the community with disabilities as a result of a stroke. It won t happen to me.. Source: Irish Cancer Society, Central statistics office June 2013 While Life Cover pays out after you die, Specified Illness and Income Protection cover pay you while you are living. You need the benefit of financial assistance at these difficult times, which is why they are often referred to as living benefits. I ve been a pilot for about twenty years and never really had a day s sick in my life. I felt in good health but developed what I thought was a groin strain from playing football and initially thought nothing of it. Being a typical male I put off doing anything about it. I eventually went to a local physio who concurred with me initially but sent me for an x-ray when there was no improvement after six weeks. The x-ray showed up what doctors term a hotspot on my pelvis (an area of increased density on an x-ray) and referred me to a GP. A further scan in St. James s hospital showed up a cancerous tumour in my pelvis. That was the start of three years off work while I received treatment. I underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Having an earlier career in the banking industry, I knew the benefits of having insurance like Income Protection and didn t hesitate in taking out a policy at the start of my career as a pilot. However, even though I had Income Protection, I was still convinced nothing was going to happen to me and I was not likely to actually need it. With medical advances, people are more likely to survive serious illnesses but this means that more people are likely to take prolonged periods off work for treatment and recovery. This could have a huge impact on their ability to earn. Even for those who have savings in the bank, a long term illness or period of time out of work could mean real financial hardship without a plan to replace earnings. In a survey of Friends First claimants, all of them ranked Income Protection as the most important type of insurance to have over any other. Michael, one of our recent claimants, thought it would never happen to him but having the policy meant everything when he found he needed it. Here s a snippet from his story. When it did, having the policy meant everything. If you have cancer and you re in and out of hospital and you re worried about your family, the last thing you need to be worried about is how am I going to pay the mortgage, the household bills? When your income is threatened, your lifestyle is compromised. The company will pay you for a period of time (normally six months) then you re on your own.. having an Income Protection policy kick in then meant I could concentrate on getting better and not have all of the added financial worries of not having an income. The application process was very straight forward, the staff in Friends First were very supportive at all times, I had a dedicated contact person who was great to deal with and very sympathetic and all I had to provide was a report from the consultant and the occasional update. I am such an advocate of the product now I tell everyone who will listen not to hesitate in taking out this valuable cover. So my advice is don t hesitate. I thought it would never happen to me.
5 A long term illness or period of time out of work could mean real financial hardship. 3
6 Here s what some of our other claimants have said about our claims department Makes you feel like I was kept informed They call you back more than a number, at all times when if you cannot take a real person. Very they were contacting the call and assist human feeling my doctors you with your query I was extremely satisfied with the level of communication I received. As I could not personally respond to them myself, they seemed very understanding and my claim was sorted out almost immediately Why not listen to some of our real life claimants tell their stories. You ll find their video recorded interviews on The benefits Income Protection can replace up to 75% of your usual income less any social welfare payments when you re off work due to illness or injury. You pay a monthly premium determined by your age, occupation and health status. If you are absent from work due to illness or injury, Friends First provides you with a replacement income until you return to work, or until your chosen retirement date if you re not fit to return to work before then. With Income Protection, you have a range of options to choose from, allowing you to create a plan to fit your lifestyle. As your needs change, your Income Protection policy can be adjusted to suit your circumstances. 4
7 As your needs change, your Income Protection policy can be adjusted to suit your circumstances. 5
8 The benefits (continued) Choose how much of your income you want to protect You can cover up to 75% of the first 125,000 of your earnings (excluding BIK s) plus 33% of the balance, less the State Illness benefit. 6 This is subject to an overall maximum of 175,000 p.a./ 3,365 per week. How much you choose to protect depends on your existing sick pay arrangements, and what level of cover you require to maintain your lifestyle. Choose when you want the payments to start There is an initial waiting time at the start of your claim, called the Deferred Period. You can choose from three, six or twelve months (13, 26 or 52 weeks). For many people, their employer will pay them for a period at the start. It's after that, you need the cover most. For example: if your employer will pay you for a six month period while you are unable to work then you should choose your deferred period as 26 weeks. Choose the type of premiums you want to pay and for how long Guaranteed Premiums Friends First offer Guaranteed Premiums, the easy option that ensures the amount you pay does not change over the term of the plan, as long as your chosen benefits remain the same. This allows you to know in advance how much your premiums will be over the term of the plan. OR Reviewable Premiums The Reviewable Premium option guarantees that your premiums will remain constant for the first five years of your plan. We will review your premium on the fifth anniversary of your plan, and every five years thereafter. At this stage, your premium may increase, decrease, or remain the same. This review will take into account our claims experience in the preceding years, economic changes, medical breakthroughs and the expected cost of providing cover in the future. Policy Term (Ceasing age, or when your plan will end) This means you select the age at which your Income Protection plan ends. Opt for 55, 60, or 65 years of age. Your choice could coincide with your retirement age or earlier than that. Benefits of the plan you receive automatically The amount you pay for your Income Protection plan won t increase if you make a claim. If you do make a claim, we ll give you all the support and training you need to return to work while we pay out on your claim. We are proud of the fact that we have been paying some of our customers a replacement income for the last thirty five years. Hospital Cash Benefit A daily replacement income is paid if you are in hospital for more than seven days during your deferred period. Occupation Change A Friends First Income Protection Plan will continue to cover you if you change jobs, regardless of what your new job entails. If you are made redundant, your plan will continue while you are looking for another job. This means that although you won t be eligible to claim, while you are unemployed, you won t need to reapply for cover when you are employed again. Automatic Waiver of Premium You will not have to pay your premiums while you are receiving an income benefit. During this time, your policy continues as normal, so that if you do return to work and at some stage in the future need to claim again your plan has continued unchanged.
9 The amount you pay for your Income Protection plan won t increase if you make a claim. 7
10 The benefits (continued) Rehabilitation Benefits For so many of our clients recovery means a chance to return to work or begin a new career. Friends First offers resources and assistance to help you get back into the workforce when you are ready. Relapse Benefit We will immediately restart your benefit if you have a relapse within six months of returning to work there will be no waiting period in this case. Partial Benefit If you return to work part or full-time either in your old job or a new career, and your new earnings are less than previously earned, you may be eligible to receive partial benefit. Tax Efficient Premiums You choose the level of benefit and the various options you want to include and we calculate your premium payment based on that information, your occupation and your health status. And because your premiums qualify for tax relief at up to 41%, you could save hundreds every year on premiums. Example Jack, a 40 year old non smoking accountant, earns 85,000 per annum. He has chosen to protect 50% of his salary ( 42,500 p.a.) until his retirement at 65. He selects a six month waiting time and chooses guaranteed, increasing premiums.. Benefit amount: 42,500 p.a. Guaranteed Increase Option Friends First offers you a Guaranteed Increase Option, allowing you to increase your income benefit by 20% of your original amount without having to provide new evidence of health. This offer will be made to you every three years, five times over the life of your policy, allowing you to increase your benefit by 100% of the original benefit amount. Gross premium: Jack pays: per month per month (after tax relief at 41%) Add the additional benefits you want Premium & Benefit Indexation You can choose to increase your benefit and premium each year. Indexation helps to ensure that as your salary increases each year, so too does your benefit. Claim Escalation Choose Escalation and your income benefit increases by 3% each year, while your claim is in payment. OR You can choose either or both of these options to suit your own requirements, or you can choose to have your benefit and premium remain level throughout your plan. 8
11 Friends First offer resources and assistance to help you get back into the workforce when you are ready. 9
12 The Plans Available Personalise Your Income Protection choose the Plan that is right for you. Friends First have a number of plans available to suit your individual circumstances: Executive Income Protection For Employers who wish to provide income security for key employees. In the event of a claim, the benefit is paid to the employer, who then passes it onto the employee through salary roll, deducting tax, USC etc. in the usual manner. The cost of pension contributions can also be covered under this plan. Premiums qualify as allowable business expenses that can be offset against corporation tax. Individual Income Protection For the self-employed or those (in employment) who are setting up a policy independently of their employer. Tax Relief is available at your marginal rate of tax on premiums paid. In the event of a claim, Friends First will pay your benefit directly to you, net of tax, USC etc. Mortgage Income Protection This is a streamlined version of the Individual plan, linked to the term of your mortgage and the monthly repayments that you would still have to meet, even if you were absent from work without an income. Covering what is probably the most important monthly bill in any household, you can be secure in the knowledge that your home would be safe by matching your regular repayments to the benefit amount chosen. Tax Relief is available at your marginal rate of tax on premiums paid. H Executive Income Protection Individual Income Protection Mortgage Income Protection Wage Protector Wage Protector Designed to provide a low-cost alternative to the fullblown Individual Income Protection plan, Wage Protector offers full benefits for 24 months, after which the claim will continue if a medical test shows that you are severely disabled and unlikely to return to work. Tax Relief is available at your marginal rate of tax on premiums paid. Take advice and make the right decision There is no need to make decisions like these on your own. A financial adviser can talk you through all your options and help you make the right decisions. Plans 10
13 Why Choose Friends First? Winner of the Irish Brokers Association Award for Best Income Protection Product 2010, 2011, 2012 Our protection products are built upon our years of experience of dealing with thousands of claims and claimants. Friends First is the market leader in individual Income Protection and we are justifiably proud of our claims record. We have been paying claimants for the past 35 years and paid out more than 30 million in claims in Much more than financial protection At Friends First, we believe Income Protection goes beyond helping you with financial protection. Our policies offer better services to aid you with your recovery. Our team is always on hand to assist you when making a claim under your policy and facilitate your return to the workforce. That s why there s so much more to our claims service than simply sending out a cheque there s our genuinely helpful support, concern and care for each and every claimant. That s why the protection we provide is so flexible even when your circumstances change, you re often still covered. Friends First has focused on providing a claims experience that policyholders can take confidence in and utterly rely on. Testament to this is the fact that we achieved an Overall Satisfaction Rating of 80% in a Claimant Satisfaction Survey undertaken by independent market research analyst ireach. Nurse Medical Service Our Nurse Medical Service is designed to work around your schedule. A short visit to your home or workplace is all it takes to complete the medical assessment. Tele-Underwriting In addition, we offer teleunderwriting as a further underwriting option. This involves a phone call with an experienced medical professional and is designed to complete underwriting in a timely manner. Our Customer Online Service Centre Our Online Service Centre gives secure, straightforward access to useful information for many of our products and services, alongside details of the policies you hold with us. You can register in less than 2 minutes by visiting: The service centre provides access to: Values of your pensions and investments Current levels of protection cover Premium and payment frequency Fund information and prices Key policy documentation online Our Investment Centre Update your contact details online Submit an online enquiry 11
14 Making a Claim with Friends First At Friends First, we pride ourselves on our sensitive and personal approach to claims management. We ensure that valid claims are always paid as promptly as possible. For us, honesty, openness and integrity are vital to our claims handing principles and procedures. When managing claims, we apply a number of principles and procedures to ensure that the process is fast, efficient and fair for everyone. These include: Personal handling of every claim from first point of contact. Encouraging early notification of claims so that we can make decisions promptly. Ensuring claimants thoroughly understand their policy benefits and the claims process. Resolving claims disputes in a professional and fair manner through our internal disputes procedures and through our participation in the Statutory Ombudsman Scheme. Because our claims assessors have extensive experience in listening to claimants questions and issues, we involve them in the design of our products. This means that in the event of a claim, your expectations of the cover provided, and your expectations of the service we give, are both met. It all helps ease the worry and stress of what can be a very difficult time for you. We all know that when you re ill, even the simple things can seem difficult. That s why we offer our claimants help right from the start. We offer the support of one of our Health Claims personnel to meet with you at a place and time convenient to you, helping to fill in the application form and explain the claims procedure in more detail. 12 On receipt of the claim form, a claims assessor is assigned to assess and manage the individual claim from start to finish. We have a number of innovative services that are designed to assist you in achieving a successful return to work. These include: Specialist Treatment Options Qualified nurses can meet with you to discuss your condition and explore if there are any treatment options that we can offer which may assist you in your recovery. They can provide access to specialist doctors and rehabilitation providers. If appropriate, in conjunction with your own doctors, they can develop tailored treatment programmes. Tailored Rehabilitation Programmes Tailored rehabilitation and exercise programmes can be designed if needed or appropriate to the type of injury suffered. This increases the level of strength and functioning of the injured area. The objective is to assist you in continuing with your normal everyday activities in as much as possible. Career Change Programme If you are unable to return to your previous employment, we can assist you in returning to alternative employment. Specialised career consultants are available to meet with you to explore your options and develop your career in another area. Furthermore, If you return to work but find that, within the next 6 months, you are no longer able to continue working due to the same illness or disability then we will recommence your benefit without the need for a further waiting period (provided the medical evidence supports this). Got a question? Simply call our claims helpline on q Talk to your financial adviser to get the best protection for your needs.
16 Friends First Life Assurance Company Ltd Friends First House Cherrywood Business Park Loughlinstown Dublin 18 Friends First Life Assurance Company Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The information in this brochure is based on our understanding of current law and revenue practice. Terms and conditions apply. BR117, Jul. 13