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‘Scottish Provident’ Review
Scottish Provident Background
Founded in 1837, Scottish Provident Head Office was based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It changed from a friendly society to a Mutual in the early 1900’s.
Scottish Provident was part of the original 9 Scottish life offices, members of an organisation called the Associated Scottish Life Offices.
This Scottish Insurance Company continued to grow & became well respected in Financial Services. Known in the industry as Scot Prov, their personal & business life insurance, investment & pension products were sold mainly via IFA’s and brokers. Scot Prov was a popular proposition in life insurance & pensions market among Uk Life Insurers.
By the late 1990’s, it had become one of the biggest Insurers in Scotland and also one of Edinburgh’s largest financial services employers.
Scot Provident & Abbey
But take-overs were the name of these Scottish life insurers game. In 2000, Scottish Provident was purchased by Abbey National, whose chief executive reportedly proclaimed at the time ‘It’s great to be Scottish.’
Scottish Provident’s main administration over time was then transferred across to Abbey’s own operations centre in Glasgow. Scottish Provident demutualised & just became part of the Abbey National Group in 2001.
The brand Scottish Provident became the name for health and life insurance products for Scottish Mutual Assurance. Phoenix Life, the Insurance Consolidator then took over the open administration of Scottish Provident.
Scot Prov & Royal London
From 2008, Royal London transacted with Phoenix to buy this long established Scottish Insurer. Several years later, they also bought Royal Liver Assurance.
Back in 2003, Royal London had setup their own new brand called Bright Grey. They now had 2 protection brands, aimed supposedly at 2 different clients. They thought each could work well alongside each other.
Royal London would try to adopt the more simplistic, stripped back Bright Grey approach, onto the older Scottish Provident brand products. However, things did not go to plan.
In 2015, after over 175 years Royal London decided to rebrand. They opted to drop the established Scottish Provident name to one single new Royal London protection brand.
SCOTTISH PROVIDENT Review | Broker FAQ
Is Scottish Provident still part of Royal London Insurance?
Yes, Royal London now look after their old Scottish Provident life insurance policy administration. Please contact Royal London customer services for any ongoing policy queries. Old protection policies included some of these personal plans.
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 Insurance Policy?
You may cancel your existing Scottish Provident 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.
Scottish Provident | Royal London
Should I put my Scottish Provident 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 diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol (even if it costs more). If so, it may not payout !
Should you make a claim eg; Scottish Provident PPI, then the Insurers will send you a claim form for you to complete & assess. 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 Scottish Provident life insurance policy, if it wasn’t relevant at that time of initial underwritten insurance Scot Prov application. For example, later on diagnosed with heart disease. 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 ‘Scottish Provident Insurance’ by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)