Royal Liver Assurance Review

Royal Liver Friendly Society

Royal Liver Assurance Review

Royal Liver Friendly Society Background

Founded in Victorian times 1850 at the Lyver Inn in Liverpool, The Liverpool Lyver Burial Society was setup to help “provide for the decent interment of deceased members”.

In 1911, the growing business ‘Royal Liver Friendly Society’ opened their now famous Royal Liver Building. It was to be their new Head offices, based on the industrial Liverpool Merseyside waterfront.

During the following century, ‘Royal Liver Assurance‘ expanded to cover the whole of UK & Ireland. They also set up their own advisory firm.

The Royal Liver Assurance continued to grow & became a very well respected name in Financial Services. Known in the industry for their flexible personal & business life insurance, investment & pension products they were sold mainly via their own sales force, IFA’s and brokers.

Also often known as Royal Liver Insurance it was therefore once a popular proposition in the life insurance & pensions market among established Uk Life Insurers.

In the early 2000’s, they also started up their Royal Liver Progress Division which mainly concentrated on offering various protection plans.

Royal London

In 2007, Royal London approached the Royal Liver about a possible merger, but they turned the deal down.

Just 3 years later in 2011, due to changing business market rules, Royal Liver were then re-approached by Royal London. This time the transfer went ahead after regulatory approval.

At the time, Royal London already had several protection brands going like Bright Grey & Scottish Provident under its mutual roof. Did it need another with Royal Liver Progress protection? Seems like the answer looking back now was sadly ‘No’.

The Royal Liver Assurance group brand then slowly but surely disappeared. It was the end of an era. Sadly the name is only remembered now more via their majestic Head Offices on the merseyside waterfront, than a once glorious UK insurance industry brand heritage.

Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building
Richard O’Neill Artistic View of ‘The Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building | Key Facts

The Royal Liver Building was conceived and constructed as visible symbols of Liverpool’s international prestige, proud emblems of its commercial prowess.

The jewel in the crown, adorned by two Liver Birds, it was the city’s signature landmark. The Liver birds are the city’s emblem. You may also find them dotted across Liverpool’s historic architecture.

Designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas, it became one of the first major construction projects in Britain.

  • Construction for this iconic building first began in 1908 and after 3 years became the new headquarters of the Royal Liver Friendly Society
  • Royal Liver Building was built on the George’s Dock site at the Pier Head purchasing the freehold for £75,000
  • It was Europe’s first skyscraper, so was once the tallest building in Europe
  • Standing 322 feet tall the Royal Liver Building to the top of its elegant spires
  • Adorning its towers are the mythical Liver Birds, said to protect both the city and sailors coming in to port
  • It is one of the first buildings in the world built using reinforced concrete
  • The Royal Liver Building on the pier head has 15 floors
  • It is one of Liverpool’s Pier head stunning ‘Three Graces,’ along with the Cunard Building & Port of Liverpool Building 
  • Electronic chimes were installed as a memorial to the Royal Liver Friendly Society members who died during 2 World Wars
  • During hours of darkness their clock dials are illuminated

A Luxembourg-based investment group, bought the building for £48 million in 2017 which now includes visitor attractions.

Throughout recent history the 2 Liver Birds have been affectionately named Bella and Bertie and relates to the city’s maritime heritage. It also spawned a TV series sitcom.

The Liver bird that looks over the Mersey River, is said to represent the wives who stay at home and look out to their sailor husbands out at sea. The other Liver Bird that looks over the city represents these sailors out at sea, looking back over to the city and their family.

Legend has it that if the 2 Liver birds were ever to fly away the city of Liverpool would cease to exist.

‘Royal Liver Assurance’ Review | Broker FAQ

*Is Royal Liver now part of Royal London Insurance?

Yes, Royal London still look after their old Royal Liver Friendly Society life insurance policy administration. Please contact Royal London customer services for any ongoing policy queries. Old protection policies included some of these Royal Liver Insurance ‘Progress’ personal plans.

royal liver life insurance | royal london
Royal Liver still part of Royal London

Can you make changes to your old life insurance?

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

  • 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 Royal London medical underwriting based on your circumstances at the time & may well affect your premiums.

How do I cancel my Life Insurance Policy?

You may cancel your existing Royal Liver Life Insurance plan at any time, if your circumstances change but your life insurance cover would then end. 

However, if you should cancel the insurance policy, 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 new (now Royal London life insurance) policy is put back onto cover again, this maybe declined. 

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

Royal Liver | Royal London

Royal Liver Friendly Society now Royal London.

Should I put my 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 death insurance 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 high cholesterol (even if it costs more). If so, it may not payout !

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 Royal Liver Friendly Society life insurance policy, if it wasn’t relevant at that time of initial underwritten insurance application. For example, later on diagnosed diabetic type 2. 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 Royal London), as this information then stands now and in the future. Please check your original T&C’s.

Article on ‘Royal Liver Assurance’ by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

royal liver life insurance uk0life insurance royal london
Review: Royal Liver | Royal London
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