‘BUPA Life Insurance’ UK Review: 2024

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BUPA – Background History

BUPA (British United Provident Association) was established back in 1947. The Uk services offered by BUPA were originally based around private health insurance.

The BUPA brand today is still firmly established as a leading provider of health insurance solutions in both the UK & World markets.

Overtime they expanded to include privately run hospitals & clinics plus other healthcare services. Eventually, it also made sense to also move into Financial Services Protection. They could then use their well established brand name to help sell personal & business insurance including life insurance, income protection & critical illness.

Based from their Bristol offices, provided under Bupa Health Assurance Limited, their products were mainly sold via Brokers & IFA’s. The BUPA plans were well respected by advisers for their various competitive insurance benefits, especially health based plans like their comprehensive critical illness & income protection. Bupa life insurance reviews showed their plans were a popular proposition in Uk life insurance & pensions market among Uk Life Insurers.

BUPA & Friends Life Insurance

However, in 2010 BUPA decided to change their market position within financial services and instead to sell this arm to Friends Provident Life. The next year, following the merger of the UK life operations of 3 life insurance companies ‘BUPA Life Insurance UK’, Friends Provident and AXA life assurance – The new Friends Life Group was launched in 2011.  

The managing director of Bupa Health and Wellbeing, the parent company for BHA, at the time said: “Our decision to sell is based on strategic fit. The sale will allow Bupa individual protection and Bupa group risk to benefit from belonging to a company with a strong focus on both protection and risk. Importantly, this decision also allows Bupa to concentrate on healthcare products and services.

Friends Life also said they were going to base their new individual protection streams around the recently acquired BUPA proposition as their best fit. The BUPA Critical Illness Cover policy had offered one of the most comprehensive stand-alone propositions then available both in terms of the number of conditions covered and the flexibility it affords.

BUPA & Aviva

However by 2015, Friends Life was instead sold to become part of a mega-merger with the Aviva Group. Both BUPA Life Insurance & the new Friends Life Uk brand names were slowly dropped. Aviva to date has acquired numerous long standing Uk heritage legacy insurance companies, including Axa Equity & Law & London & Manchester.

BUPA LIFE INSURANCE & AVIVA FRIENDS LIFE

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‘BUPA Life Insurance’ | FAQ Broker Questions

Is BUPA Life Insurance now part of Aviva?

Yes, Aviva look after their old BUPA Life Insurance policy administration. Please contact Aviva customer services for any ongoing policy queries. Old BUPA protection policies included some of these personal plans plus group risk.

Can you make changes to your old life insurance policy?

In terms of changing your existing Life Insurance policy, often you can request some of the following via Aviva:

  • reduce or perhaps extend the period of cover
  • decrease or increase the amount of lifecover
  • remove indexation option or any specific paid for policy features
  • change the collection date of your usual premiums
  • take off a life assured from a joint policy eg; if a unmarried couple or new parents sadly split up

These changes could be subject to new Aviva medical underwriting based on your circumstances at the time & may well affect your premiums.

How do I cancel my ‘BUPA Life Insurance’ Policy?

Although BUPA life insurance is no longer offered (as now Aviva), you may cancel your existing BUPA Life Insurance UK plan at any time, if your circumstances change.

However, if you should stop the BUPA policy, your death insurance cover would then end. You may not get anything back, if your policy has no cash in values.

This also means if your health changed adversely afterwards & you then tried to request a brand new policy (now Aviva life insurance) to put back onto cover again, this maybe declined. 

We suggest you seek professional advice before taking this course of action.

Should I put my BUPA Life Insurance policy into Trust?

When a life insurance policy isn’t written into trust, it will be paid to the executors of the deceased’s estate. They will handle the administration, known as probate in N Ireland, England, Wales and confirmation in Scotland. If not, the benefits will fall into your estate if you died prematurely. If you have not made a will, this can then cause further complications with the life insurance monies.

Until probate is fully granted, no monies can be paid out to those named in the will. On average, this can take upto 6 months. By not placing the plan into trust may also swell up the total estate values, leading to potentially Inheritance Tax IHT issues.

So placing a policy in trust can help to ensure that the policy proceeds go to the correct beneficiaries you decide to nominate at that stage. It can also help avoid possible probate delays & IHT costs. Ask the Insurers to kindly provide their available standard trust form wordings & seek legal advice if unsure.

Importance of Disclosure & Claims?

All Insurers are in business to protect, insure & payout. Insurance cover is therefore based on your full disclosure at the time you took the original insurance policy out ie; being 100% as honest & accurate as possible. It is not always easy to remember all your historic health details when applying. The Consumer Insurance Act 2013 says you must not be acting careless, deliberate or reckless when applying eg; Not disclose if you familial history of high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Should you make a claim, your Insurers will send you a claim form for you to complete. Once received back, they will usually contact your GP to confirm any health details. They will then assess if your insurance claim is valid and cross check if you originally disclosed all the correct details. If you look at most Insurers recent claims payout, you will see that it is Good (but like most Insurers – not 100%).

What if my health or lifestyle changes after I had taken the Life policy out?

Any health or lifestyle changes since, usually does not void your existing BUPA life insurance UK policy, if it wasn’t relevant at that time of initial underwritten insurance BUPA application. It maybe the Insurers request GP reports when you originally apply, to check any health details disclosed. Likewise they may not.

So take care to doubly re-check on your application what you initially disclosed to the Insurers (now Aviva), as this information then stands now and in the future. Please check your original BUPA Life Insurance T&C’s.

Article on ‘BUPA Life Insurance UK’ by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

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