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‘United Friendly Insurance’ Review

United Friendly Insurance Background

United Friendly Life Insurance (UF) was founded back in 1908, with their Head Offices based in London 42, Southwark Bridge Rd, SE1.

They were a friendly society, a mutual organisation that is owned by its members & were involved in all types of insurance, from Life & Endowments to Industrial Insurance. The United Friendly Insurance sales agents went out door to door, collecting their insurance book premiums.

It grew during the last century to be a well respected name in the life insurance industry, and they had their own agent salesforce.

In 1989, concurrent to United Friendly’s market presence, American Express financial planning organisation decided to expand and bought a small UK insurance company, Devonshire Life.

American Express then set up a new financial services division called Acuma, targeting American Express higher net worth clients to help sell their products to. Sounded a good idea at the time.

However, in the 1990’s due to the various changing marketplace conditions, it now meant both companies were looking to grow or stabilize by buying or merging with perhaps a fellow competitor.

So in 1993, Acuma Life was then sold to United Friendly Insurance. Acuma Life Insurance then changed its name to United Friendly Life Assurance in 1994.

Refuge Assurance Merger (United Assurance Group)

In 1996, the Refuge Assurance Company was another fellow friendly society based in Manchester. Due to various trading & financial issues, they were also looking to consolidate their position.

After long protracted negotiations, the Refuge finally merged with United Friendly Insurance Co to newly create and form the United Assurance Group (UAG).

Unfortunately, this merger did not go to plan financially & several years later the new United Assurance Group (UAG) were looking again into the marketplace.

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United Friendly Insurance
United Friendly Insurance became a Friendly Bus Name on the UK Roads

United Friendly & Royal London

In 2000, the United Assurance Group was approached by the Royal London Mutual. After discussions, they then agreed to the take over of UAG for reportedly around £1.6 billion.

In the process, unfortunately, the 100 years old brand name the United Friendly Insurance Company then disappeared from list of Uk Life Insurers. Their old policies book was taken on under a newly formed Royal London Plus.

This Royal London group division also look after other Royal London since acquired old Insurers brands like Scottish Provident & Royal Liver.

united friendly insurance | royal london
United Friendly Insurance rebranded to Royal London in 2000.

‘United Friendly Insurance’ Review – Broker FAQ

Is United Friendly now part of Royal London Insurance?

Yes. Royal London now look after their old life insurance policy administration. For best United Friendly Insurance address & United Friendly Insurance Phone Number; please Contact Royal London customer services for any ongoing policy queries.

Can you make changes to your old life insurance?

In terms of changing your existing ‘United Friendly 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 United Friendly 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 & asking for United Friendly insurance company phone number.

United Friendly Insurance Company Review

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 or call United Friendly insurance contact number via Royal London 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 raised blood pressure or raised 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 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, as this information then stands now and in the future. Please check your original T&C’s.

Today, Royal London have grown to be one of the major Life Insurers UK selling Life Insurance in United Kingdom (inc NI)

Article on ‘United Friendly Insurance’ by Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser (2024)

United Friendly Insurancelife insurance royal london
Review: UF & Royal London

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