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[email protected]

Phone – 01234 348 007


[email protected]

Phone – 01234 348 007

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

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British Friendly in their own words

“British Friendly was founded in 1902 and with over a century of experience, our members can feel good to be covered by us. As a mutual we are managed and run solely for the benefit of our members, who are at the heart of everything we do.

We specialise solely in Income Protection and offer policy solutions for all types of clients, from the harder to insure such as manual workers, key workers, the self-employed and those who may find it difficult to prove a regular income, through to doctors, teachers and other professional occupations.

When your clients choose us they get more than just Income Protection. We offer access to extra support and rewards for your clients and their families every day, whether they claim or not and at no extra cost through our discretionary Mutual Benefits and BF Care programmes.”

Income Protection solutions for all types of clients

British Friendly specialise in offering income protection insurance, with their proposition including two plans – BFS Protect and Breathing Space – designed to provide flexible options for a range of client needs.

BFS Protect

British Friendly’s BFS Protect product is their traditional income protection plan. Available on either a long-term basis or with the choice of limited benefit terms (1,2 & 5 years) at a lower cost, Protect includes all the things you’d expect on an IP plan (GIOs, indexation etc) and a number of features and benefits to support different client demographics and needs.

Premium Options

Advisers have the choice of selecting either level guaranteed or guaranteed age-costed premiums for their client.

Benefit guarantee

Up to £1,500 minimum benefit guarantee, providing a safety net in the event of the client’s earnings dropping.

Short defer periods

Optional 1 day* and 1 week defer periods are available on policies with the guaranteed age-costed premum.

Sick pay matching

52 week defer period sick pay matching for NHS doctors, surgeons, nurses, midwives and dentists, and teachers.

Premium Holiday

Option to pause cover and premiums for up to 6 months, to help if the client experiences financial hardship.

*1 day defer period only available on full-term plans. Client must be off work for at least 4 consecutive days for benefit to be back-paid. 

Breathing Space

British Friendly’s Breathing Space product is one of a small number of unique income protection plans, providing clients with valuable cover but no financial underwriting or link between the monthly benefit and their earnings.

Breathing Space is particularly suitable for those with irregular earnings such as the self-employed or gig economy workers, but could suit a whole range of clients for whom traditional income protection plans are too inflexible.

No Financial underwriting

Breathing Space has no financial underwriting, meaning that unlike traditional income protection plans, there is no link between the monthly benefit amount and the client’s earnings, and there is no financial assessment in the event of a claim. Clients can insure themselves for up to £1,250 per month regardless of what they earn.

No minimum working hours

Unlike most income protection plans, Breathing Space has no minimum working hours requirement. The client just has to be in some form of work at the time of taking out the policy and in the event of a claim (and evidence an income, though it doesn’t matter how much the income is). This provides far greater flexibility, particularly for those on zero hours contracts or the self-employed.

Multiple benefit payment period options

Like all non-financially underwritten plans Breathing Space only provides cover on a short-term benefit payment period, but unlike other plans, Breathing Space gives client’s the most choice of either a 1, 2 or 5 year benefit payment period.

Increasing Cover Option

Client’s have the option of selecting an index-linked benefit, where each year the monthly benefit amount will rise with inflation (retail prices index). Significantly, if applied British Friendly will increase the cover beyond the maximum benefit amount of £1,250. Indexation is not available on any other non-financially underwritten plans!

Guaranteed Insurability Options

Client’s can increase their Breathing Space cover using the various guaranteed insurability options included: mortgage or rent increase, new mortgage, marriage or civil partnership, birth or adoption of a child and salary increase (for PAYE employed clients only).

Premium Holiday

Like the BFS Protect policy, Breathing Space also includes a premium holiday option, allowing clients to pause their cover and premiums to help if they are in financial hardship or need a break from paying premiums for a period of time.

“The standout [non-financially underwritten] product is Breathing Space from British Friendly, which provides the most options in terms of defer periods, GIOs and maximum claim duration of 1, 2 or 5 years. Whilst the policy doesn’t cover the highest benefit [compared to other non-financially underwritten plans], there is no stipulation on what it’s used for and no minimum working hours requirement (something that could be problematic for clients with no fixed contracted hours).

Adam Higgs

Head of Products, Protection Guru

Value-Added Services

Client’s covered by a BFS Protect or Breathing Space policy also have access to a range of value-added support services and benefits alongside their Income Protection policy. These are included at no extra cost and mostly available to use at any time, regardless of whether the client is claiming on the core policy benefit and provide significant extra financial and wellbeing support.

BF Care

BF Care is a package of discretionary benefits linked to your client’s Income Protection cover and provides up to £2,000 for your clients and their families during life-changing events at no extra cost.

Death benefit

Bereavement benefit

Terminal illness benefit

Care assistance benefit

Recovery support benefit

The best illustration of the value and impact these additional benefits can have are the various real-life claim stories and case-studies. We would encourage advisers to share these examples with their clients, to highlight the importance of income protection insurance and some of the unexpected ways insurers support clients at a difficult time.

Terminal Illness Benefit Case Study

Mutual Benefits

Clinic in a pocket

All client’s have access to British Friendly’s discretionary Clinic in a Pocket app, providing fast access to healthcare services for them and their family.

Access for all the family

Clients can share access to certain Clinic in a Pocket services with their spouse/partner or children (child age and access limitations apply).

Easy digital access

Clinic in a Pocket can be accessed through a  smart-phone app, providing clients with a quick and easy digital journey to book, use and track the services.

free to use

Clinic in a Pocket is offered to clients at no additional cost, giving them access to valuable services and helping put money back in their pocket at a time of tightening budgets.

Roll your mouse over or touch to read more


Digital GP consultations




mental health support


second medical opinion


health check

Watch ‘Paul’s Story’ to find out how Clinic in a Pocket supported him in his recovery and return to work following a claim:

Claims Statistics and stories

As well as sharing their yearly claim stats, British Friendly regularly produce a range of additional claims case studies and stories. These feature real British Friendly clients that have claimed on their policy and are an effective way of highlighting the importance and value of protection insurance, through real life stories.

We would encourage advisers to share these videos and stories with their clients, perhaps in email correspondence or any other promotional content, especially when recommending a British Friendly policy.

“I was so well supported by the team at British Friendly, I feel nothing was too much trouble – any call or enquiry had was dealt with quickly and easily… I have to mentioned Lesley, she was one of the claims managers who helped me so much during my claim. She just oozes empathy and compassion and I can’t thank her enough….The policy really came up trumps for me…I want to tell my story because I want people to be like me, and be supported by income protection.”

Read Steph’s full story here.


NHS Nurse and British Friendly Claimant

“I had a rough ride, but knowing that if I have any issues and I’m off work, I can go to British Friendly and they would support me again I think is a great relief, knowing that I have got someone on my side.”


Bathroom salesman and British Friendly claimant

1 Month

75% of British Friendly claimants receive their first benefit payment within a month of submitting their claim form.

Over £100,000

Paid in BF Care claims to British Friendly members and their families in Q1 2022.

Over 50%

Of BF Care claims paid were under the Bereavement Benefit.

£5.1 million

Paid in claim payments to members in 2021.

Adviser Support Materials and Agency Registration

Support Materials and Resources

Looking to register an agency with British Friendly?

Learn more about our agency registration process here.

Areas for improvement

It’s been great to see British Friendly making a number of significant changes to their income protection products over the last 12 months, but as with every insurer there are still a couple of areas we’d like to see them improve.

For linked claims, British Friendly will waive the defer period if a new claim (for the same or a related condition) occurs within 6 months of the end of the previous claim. There are other insurers that offer a longer period of 12 months where the defer period is waived for linked claims.

The maximum monthly benefit available on the Protect product is one of the lowest on the market at £4,750. Whilst admittedly this only going to be an issue for the very highest earners, it may nonetheless be restrictive for some clients.

For some of the Clinic in a Pocket complementary support benefits, access is a little more restricted than we would like to see. For example the client is limited to a certain number of appointments per year for a couple of the benefits, whilst in the case of mental health only the client’s children between the ages of 18-22 can use it (and the service could be extremely valuable to younger teenagers).

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

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