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General Adviser Enquiries – 0345 601 0072

(Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 6.00pm and Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm) 

Commission Enquiries 0345 601 0072

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm

Underwriting – 0800 012 1796

Pre-sale enquiries:
Post-submission enquiries:

(Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm)

Claims – 03456010072

(Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 6:00pm and Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm)

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

Vitality in their own words

“Our core purpose is to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives.

We take a unique approach to insurance. As well as offering the highest levels of protection, we also make it easier for your clients to take an active role in maintaining their wellbeing, helping them to understand their health and rewarding them for good lifestyle choices.

Long-term, this is good for your clients, because they enjoy better health and real financial benefits from their plan. It’s good for us, because fewer claims enables us to share the benefits of healthy living with your clients, in the form of better plans and rewards. And it’s good for society, because healthier, happier people enjoy better lives, are more productive at work and rely less on healthcare. It’s what we call Shared value insurance.”

Key Benefits

Serious illness not critical illness

Serious illness cover has many benefits over traditional critical illness plans. It’s severity based payment structure enables Vitality to provide pay outs to clients for far less severe conditions, with the opportunity for multiple claims for the same or separate conditions as the severity of the condition worsens. Vitality provide cover for more conditions than any other insurer (153 conditions on standard SIC and 182 on SIC Plus) and offer broader coverage on many of the conditions compared to critical illness plans. 

    • 1 in 12 claims in 2020 were for conditions unique to Vitality
    • 1 in 11 claimants in 2020 had claimed previously on their Serious Illness Cover plan
    • 1 in 2020 claimants in 2020 were making their third claim or more on their Serious Illness Cover plan
    • Over 40% of claims in 2020 were for the lower severity levels (25%, 15%, 10% & 5%), highlighting the need for cover at early stages of a condition

    Whilst Vitality are strong across a number of definitions, their approach to carcinoma-in-situ helps to illustrate the breadth of their coverage. Below, our doctors explain the significance of this in the context of CIS of the cervix:

    “Most insurers put very strict stipulations on this wording, preventing a successful payment unless the whole cervix or the womb (hysterectomy) is removed. These are very rarely needed, as there are very high success rates for the less severe forms of surgical treatments which are specifically excluded. Therefore, although there are relatively high incidence rates (of CIS), the benefits from the carcinoma in situ wording are relatively small.”

    Vitality only require a positive diagnosis and histological confirmation of CIS. As this condition has a very high incidence rate in younger females, SIC Plus provides far broader cover for younger women than traditional critical illness plans on the market. The graph below demonstrates how highly Vitality score on our doctors analysis of CI cover, for a younger female client:

    For male clients, Vitality’s approach to prostate cancer provides a useful example. With 1 in 8 men diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, it’s the most common cancer in men in the UK. Once again, our doctors explain how traditional critical illness policies cover this:

    “Insurers will only pay a full payment for prostate cancer if the Gleason score is 7 or above, or the cancer has spread to a certain degree within the prostate on a scan. The prostate gland has two main sides, and most insurers will also make a full payment if the cancer has spread to more than half of one side. Anything less than this, or a Gleason score of 6, will qualify for a lesser payment. To complicate matters further, many insurers will also only make a payment if certain treatment options are instigated, for example, removing the prostate (prostatectomy) or radiotherapy. The majority of these low risk cases will only require monitoring, so clearly this type of stipulation in a wording would make a successful claim much less likely.”

    As with their CIS definition, Vitality will pay a claim for lower grade prostate cancer, regardless of whether treatment is required. The graph below highlights how our doctors ranked Vitality against the rest of the market for a younger male client, with a policy term covering them until age 55:

    *Our doctors analysis benchmarks products based on the likelihood of a client successfully claiming on their policy for any illness. Find out more here

    SIC Booster

    Serious Illness Cover Booster is an optional feature that can be added to a standard SIC or SIC Plus policy and will increase the payments for certain major or long-term debilitating conditions. Hover over the images below to find out more about the key benefits.

    100% payment for key conditions

    Client’s will get at least a 100% payout for all conditions typically covered by a critical illness policy, such a cancer or heart attack.  Vitality recognise that the certainty of receiving a 100% payout after receiving a diagnosis can be important for clients and their financial commitments.

    Serious Illness Cover Booster Cover for early stage illnesses

    With Serious Illness Cover Booster, clients will benefit from enhanced payouts when they’re diagnosed with certain life limiting conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. The younger the client’s age at diagnosis, the higher the additional payment.


    Additional cover if children are named on the plan

    Vitality will also boost the long-term  conditions by an additional 10% of the sum assured for every child named on the plan under Child’s Serious Illness Cover (capped at £25,000 per child). If clients have a family, then the financial impact of a long-term illness could increase substantially.

    The Vitality Plan Account

    With the Vitality Plan Account, when clients purchase Life and Serious Illness Cover together, they can claim multiple times – a unique advantage over traditional critical illness plans. The value of this plan approach is reflected in Vitality’s claim statitics, which highlight that a significant number of clients claim multiple times on their policies. The video below explains how this works in more detail.

    Later Life Options

    With many people living longer, but with a range of health conditions, the issue of later life care funding has never been more important. The number of people in the UK living with dementia is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040 and the average cost of care for someone living with the condition estimated at around £100,000. Vitality are one of the few insurers to offer an insurance solution for later life care funding, with their Dementia and FrailCare Cover. For the basic plan there is no upfront cost to the client, so there is no reason not to include it.


    Dementia and FrailCare Cover


    Dementia and FrailCare Cover Plus

     Premium Options

    Vitality offer two premium options on their plan: either a fixed guaranteed premium or Optimiser. The guaranteed premium option is like any other and regardless of whether the client engages with the Vitality programme, their core premium will remain the same for the duration of the plan.  


    The unique Optimiser available on Vitality’s Personal Protection Plan gives clients access to the best available rate upfront, the Platinum rate, as well as the tools and incentives to help them make good lifestyle choices, in order to maintain their Platinum rate. 

    How Optimiser works:

    • Get access to the Platinum rate upfront: up to 30% lower premiums

    The Platinum rate is up to 30% lower than the standard term premium rate and up to 40% lower than the standard whole of life rate.

    • Maintain the Platinum rate over time

    Premiums are dynamic and change annually based on their Vitality status.  Clients can keep premiums low by engaging in the Vitality Programme and maintaining Platinum status. If the client choses not to engage then their premium will increase, but only by a maximum 2.5% each year and they’ll have still had the upfront discount. 


    Vitality Status
    Stay on Bronze
    Reach Silver
    Reach Gold
    Reach Platinum
    Annual increase

    We’ve also published a separate insight explaining Optimiser in more detail, which you can read here.

    Unlock Rewards

    Everyone gets access to the Vitality Programme.  Members who select Optimiser, and have a premium above £45 for single plans and £60 for joint life plans will automatically unlock our full range of discounts and rewards, Vitality Plus, at an additional £4.75 per month, per member.

    Vitality makes it cheaper and easier to get healthy through discounts and motivating rewards. There are lots of different ways to earn points, from completing annual health checks to activity tracking. Even going to the dentist or completing mindful activities on theHeadspace app can earn points.

    Click here to find out more

    Claims Statistics


    Claims Paid
    Life Protection
    Serious Illness
    Income Protection
    Percentage of claims paid
    Total value of claims paid


    Over £1.9m in secondary claims

    Claims Declined
    Suicide within 12 months
    Did not meet criteria
    Non-Disclosure/Pre-existing condition

    *Given the breadth of Vitality’s serious illness cover, it doesn’t surprise us that they receive a number of calls from clients looking to claim on less severe conditions that may not fully meet the definition. 

    Areas for improvement

    • Strides have been made to simplify the Vitality proposition, however we still believe that more could be done.
    • To ‘unlock’ certain features and benefits minimum premiums occasionally need to be met, which may be confusing for some clients/advisers. 
    • Vitality’s approach to indexation is the most complex on the market and difficult to explain to clients.  

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