Adviser Website – https://adviser.scottishwidows.co.uk/
Protection Sales – 0345 030 6577
Email  
For Life Cover claims 0800 056 5590 – Email 
For Critical and Terminal Illness Cover claims and for Premium Protection claims 0800 056 5589 – email

See Scottish Widows’ main showcase page here

Protection Guru has worked with Scottish Widows to create a concise objective analysis of their product range.

Scottish Widows in their own words

At Scottish Widows we’re here to support customers for the long term. Established in 1815, we paid our first claim in 1816, and we continue with our commitment to pay claims today.

Our research has shown that only 2% of the UK public believe between 91-100% of all claims are paid out. The reality is we paid out on over 98% of claims in 2019. That’s £212 million in claims, helping over 9,635 customers and their families.

As well as our strong claims payout record, we support customers through Scottish Widows Care, provided in partnership with RedArc, available to clients and their immediate family from the day their protection plan starts. RedArc can support families through serious physical health conditions, mental health or bereavement.

As well as the support our specialist claims team provide, we’re proud to also provide ongoing support through our partnerships with:

  • Macmillan, who provide financial and emotional support to customers diagnosed with cancer
  • Turn2us provide financial support by helping customers access any benefits or grants that they could be entitled too

We provide comprehensive cover with simplicity at its heart. To make it simpler to explain our comprehensive cover, we’ve grouped our conditions into 5 categories using our innovative body concept. This makes it easier for advisers to explain and means that clients can see at a glance what they are covered for.

At Scottish Widows we focus on what matters most to you and your clients and do all we can to make the complex simple.

Products Offered

Products Offered
Life
Crtical Illness
Income Protection
Business Protection
Relevant Life
Scottish Widows Protect
Y
Y
N
Y
Y

 

Key Benefits

Life Protection
Critical Illness
  • Excellent Mental Health Support
  • Good separation options on joint life policies
  • Wide range of Guaranteed Insurability Options
  • Excellent underwriting acceptance rates
  • Simple, clear and concise critical illness wordings
  • Broad critical illness coverage
  • Excellent Mental Health Support
  • Wide eligibility criteria for children

An inclusive approach

Mental Health Conditions

It is common knowledge that one in four people suffer from a mental health condition in any given year, yet only roughly one in seven of Scottish Widows’ customers disclose this on their application form. One contributing factor to this could be a level of self-selection – where customers feel they can’t get insurance or it will be too expensive and therefore don’t apply for cover in the first place. If we can communicate more effectively about the disclosures customers make and the potential outcomes, we can narrow this perception gap. The below is an indication of the decisions that Scottish Widows might give in different scenarios:

Details of condition
Life cover
Critical Illness
Total Permanent Disability
Mild anxiety/depression – no medication, time off work, current symptoms, self-harm or psychiatric treatment
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates or exclusion
Moderate anxiety/depression – ongoing treatment, current symptoms, some time off work and secondary input such as psychiatry
Ordinary rates to +100% loading
Ordinary rates to +50% loading
Exclusion or decline
Major depression/bipolar disorder – history of depression/bipolar disorder, no further medication or psychotherapy, or stabilised on treatment
When stable 50% to +150% loading
When stable ordinary rates to +75% loading
Exclusion or decline
Major depression/bipolar disorder – symptoms present and on treatment
Individual consideration
Individual consideration
Decline

 

Back Pain

Many people will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives, which is why it’s Scottish Widows’ second most disclosed condition. The symptoms can vary from person to person – the pain can be sudden or chronic, localised or radiated and constant or intermittent in the form of a sharp pain, a dull ache or a burning sensation. These symptoms can include tingling, weakness or numbness. As they are so varied Scottish Widows take into consideration a variety of different factors which include;

  • details of last symptoms
  • details of any surgery
  • details of any treatment
  • frequency of symptoms
  • details of any time off work

By evaluating this information Scottish Widows will always make a decision at point of sale, resulting in the majority of customers being offered standard rates at application stage. The below is an indication of the decisions that Scottish Widows might give in different scenarios:

Details of condition
Life cover
Critical Illness
Total Permanent Disability
Last symptoms more than six
months ago
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates or exclusion
Last symptoms within six months but no more than occasional pain or stiffness
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates
Exclusion or decline
Last symptoms within six months and persistent pain or stiffness
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates 
Exclusion or decline
Persistent, severe and disabling back pain (including cervical and lumbar pain)
Ordinary rates to +50% loading
Ordinary rates to +50% loading
+50% loading or decline

 

Asthma

Again for asthma we are able to make all decisions at point of sale so there’s no need for medical evidence. As our third most common disclosure this can save consumers a lot of valuable time, especially as there are roughly 5.4 million people in the UK currently receiving treatment for asthma. Asthma is a disorder where the bronchi become inflamed and narrowed; leading to an increase in mucus production making it difficult to breathe. This can lead to an asthma attack, symptoms of which include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest, although thankfully are usually reversible. In order to judge the severity of this condition we ask the customer to provide the following:

  • date and frequency of last symptoms
  • duration and effect of symptoms
  • details of any steroid tablet requirements.

The below is an indication of the decisions that Scottish Widows might give in different scenarios:

Details of condition
Life cover
Critical Illness
Over two years since last taken treatment or
experienced symptoms
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates
Regular days with no symptoms and no impact
on daily activities
Ordinary rates
Ordinary rates (possibly excluding TPD)
Daily symptoms affecting daily activities
+50% to +100% loading
Ordinary rates (possibly excluding TPD)
Continual symptoms affecting daily activities and may have required oral steroids
+100% loading to decline
Ordinary rates (excluding TPD) to decline

*Ratings will be higher for smokers

Inside Scottish Widows

Linda and her husband took out critical illness policies over 20 years ago, at the time they just thought it was the right thing to do. Being fit and healthy, they honestly felt they would never need the cover, until many years later Linda felt a lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer. “When you’re worried about your heath, the last thing you want to worry about is money”. Fortunately for the couple, Scottish Widows were able to pay out the claim, helping them pay off the mortgage and allow Linda to focus on her health.

Helping your Clients understand protection

60 Seconds with Johnny Timpson explaining Covid impacts on Life insurance

by LBC's Money Hour with Johnny Timpson

Claims Statistics 2019

Scottish Widows have a consistently high record of claims paid. This is highlighted in the tables below where percentage of claims paid for life protection has remained around 99% for the last 5 years and around 93% for critical illness.

Since January 2000 Scottish Widows has paid a total of £2.9 billion in claims, and helped more than 105,000 customers

Life Protection

Year
%age of claims paid
Total amount paid
People and their families helped
2019
99.40%
£128.1m
7961
2018
99.30%
£136m
7908
2017
98.99%
£129.4m
7469
2016
99.38%
£128.9m
7569
2015
98.90%
£140.6m
7649

 

Critical Illness

Year
%age of claims paid
Total amount paid
People and their families helped
2019
93.00%
£84m
1674
2018
94.10%
£72.5m
1591
2017
93.06%
£75.19m
1769
2016
93.20%
£82.68m
2030
2015
90.50%
£79.10m
1990

Mental Health Support

Key Features of Scottish Widows’ Mental Health Support

  • Can provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Analytical Therapy, Phobia Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprograming
  • Can be offered Face to Face, via telephone, video conferencing or email
  • Covers the full cost of therapy
  • Is available to the life assured(s), their spouse/civil partner/partner, their children and the plan holder if different to the life assured(s)

Areas for improvement

  • Currently do not offer an Income Protection proposition
  • Do not offer as wide a range of added value benefits as others
  • Application process could be improved further by offering the ability to delegate questions to clients, they do not offer online or signatureless trusts and clients cannot see the details of their policy online.

Protection Guru has worked with Scottish Widows to create a concise objective analysis of their product range. Scottish Widows have had input to the design of this page and contributed to the cost of this construction maintenance, however Protection Guru have maintained editorial control over the content to ensure objectivity.