shepherds friendly society review
Review – Shepherds Friendly Society

Shepherds Friendly Insurance Review MSE

Are Shepherds Friendly Society good?Shepherds Friendly Society Review

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Background Shepherds Friendly Society

Review: Shepherds Friendly Society Ltd originally began in 1826. Formed when several groups came together to create a mutually beneficial society.

Their aim was to provide financial security for members unable to work due to sickness or injury. Today, they still look after the best interests and well being of their UK mutual members, based from their head office in Cheadle, Cheshire.

Their various income protection, over 50’s life insurance & savings products are sold mainly via IFA’s and brokers.

*What’s MSE Martin Lewis Shepherds Friendly Review?

Does Martin Lewis recommend Shepherds Friendly?

In terms of the range of Shepherds Friendly insurance products, MoneySavingExpert (MSE) are fully impartial with all their best buy reviews. As you maybe aware neither Martin nor MSE never endorse products.

Yes, they mention individual products & services on MSE site, but they make it very clear don’t ‘support’ them.

What does Martin Lewis say about Shepherds Friendly?

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has reviewed some over 50’s plans best buys as provided by Shepherds Friendly amongst others.

Note however overall he is not big fan of these no medical style Over-50’s plans (unless he says you are in poor health, so may have reduced life expectancy) where they make more sense. As brokers, we would agree on that point.

Martin Lewis hasn’t specifically commented on any other particular Shepherds Friendly Insurance policies & how it stacks up against the competition. But Shepherds Friendly plans are a discussed MSE forum topic.

However, he comments it’s worth looking at income protection insurance. He points out that it pays you an income if you’re unable to work due to illness or disability for a set period (generally a year or two). Unsure if they meant here, you could be off sick for a year or two.

Income Protection will usually pay a proportion of your salary, for example two-thirds, so that essential spending is covered.

It generally includes a greater range of illnesses than critical illness cover, but can be more expensive. When it comes to deciding between the two types of insurance, they say it could be worth speaking to a financial adviser.

The MoneySavingExpert also says that he does ‘100% recommend Life Insurance’, especially if you have any dependants. MSE says YES it’s a cheap financial lifeline but the ultimate monthly costs choice is always yours.

MSE says ‘Thinking about how your family may cope financially if you were to die isn’t a very cheerful topic, BUT it is an Important One’. 

So Martin Lewis agrees life insurance is important if anyone is reliant on your Income & would struggle financially without you around ie; an insurable interest.

He also discusses the value in other insurance plans if you were off sick, like income protection & critical illness.

Martin Lewis for a good rule of thumb in 2024, his Best Life Insurance formula is ‘THE 10 x RULE’ ie; aim to cover 10 x the Annual income of the highest earner & the main breadwinner until at least any kids have finished their full-time education or other dependants.

To help you calculate a figure that works for you, Martin Lewis on Life Insurance says it’s worth ensuring any policy covers:

  • Outstanding Debts: that need to be paid off eg; mortgage unless covered by a separate plan
  • Immediate Outgoings: regular bills dependants would need to pay
  • Future Spending: you may have wished to make eg; university fees
  • Additional Expenses: a death may trigger eg; funeral costs

Martin Lewis also suggests being the Money Expert – that you “NEVER BLINDLY BUY DIRECT” expensive policy offers either via your Bank or One Insurer ie; Shop around or use a Broker.

Lastly, MoneySavingExpert also said generally remember, not all insurers plans are featured on insurance comparison sites. As brokers, we would also agree here – so let us help you shop around for your best broker deals.

Shepherds Friendly Insurance Reviews 2024

Shepherds Friendly Reviews 2024

In this Shepherds Friendly Society review, we will look at some broker only protection plans, key features and FAQ. Their products may give discretionary access to the following services.…

  • Specialist Claims handler
  • Promise to handle claims within 5 working days
  • Emotional help and practical recovery advice when needed if off sick via associated professionals
  • Helpful guidance & support for those trying to return to work
  • Access to the National Bereavement Service
  • Family may receive counselling, guidance and support

Shepherds Friendly INCOME PROTECTION Review

Providing security by way of a tax free monthly income as specified by Shepherds Friendly Society if you are off longer term sick or have an accident or disability. Shepherds Friendly income protection products are medical underwritten and targeted at the more budget conscious. Designed to help protect the monthly bills or mortgage payments.

Key Features

  • 2 Claim periods
  • Budget limited term 2 years per claim
  • Or full term in claim
  • Upto 70% of annual taxable income
  • For self-employed your income is based on average last 3 years annual net profits
  • Initial waiting deferred periods: 4, 8, 13, 26, 52 weeks or dual deferred
  • Reviewable age-costed premiums means annual escalating
  • Funding as necessary for back to work rehabilitation treatments

Key Features

  • Policy terms available upto age 70
  • Waiver of premium inclusive
  • Guaranteed Insurability Option
  • Indexation RPI option
  • Own occupation basis covering most occupations
  • House Person benefit
  • Career break option
  • Enhanced Income Protection benefits
  • Short term Family death benefit of £6,000
  • £250 payment into a Shepherds Friendly Junior ISA to help save for your child’s future to age 18


Shepherds Friendly Income Protection plans may offer good value for those on a budget. They are also good for those who want a higher than average 70% income covered against other Income Protection PHI Insurers. Enhanced benefits are useful. Check their terms when doing a quote or call us as to whether PHI policy being offered to you is paid under own occupation, any occupation or specified work tasks.


A no medical cover whole of life assurance policy that will always payout (with no end or fixed term) but after an initial period, and is available on single life basis only. Shepherds Friendly Over 50’s Life Insurance is reviewed as a cost effective way to help provide small lump sums lifecover as legacy or funeral funding.

Key Features

  • There are no medical & lifestyle questions to qualify
  • Available ages 50-80
  • 1 year exclusion period before any natural causes death claims
  • Accidental death cover during initial 1 year waiting period
  • Shepherds Friendly stop taking premiums after age 90 or 30 years
  • Provider limit £50pm per plan or a total amount of Lifecover per person
  • Funeral funding via £300 to Golden Charter
  • Or consider plan into trust re probate or IHT issues
  • No cash in values for this type of death insurance
  • Access to the National Bereavement Services


The Shepherds Friendly life insurance over 50’s plan is an ideal solution for those with health issues or unable to get underwritten whole life insurance. Competitive no medical whole life insurance levels generally offered against other Over 50’s plans sold with a free gift.


Can you make changes to your policy?

  • reduce or perhaps extend the period of cover
  • decrease or increase the amount of cover
  • drop indexation option or any specific paid for policy features
  • change the collection date of your usual premiums

Often you can make policy changes. These could be subject to any medical underwriting based on your circumstances at the time & may well affect your premiums.

How do I cancel the Shepherds Friendly Insurance Policy?

You may cancel your Shepherds Friendly Insurance plan at any time, if your circumstances change. Like all protection insurance, you do have the right to change your mind within 30 days of your policy starting. The Insurers will then refund any premiums taken and your income protection insurance cover would then end. 

However, if you should cancel the Shepherds Friendly Society cover at any other time, you may not get anything back because your policy may have no cash in values at that time. This also means if your health changed adversely afterwards & you then tried to request an underwritten insurance policy is put back onto cover again, this maybe declined. 

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

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 underwritten Shepherds Friendly 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 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 Shepherd Friendly 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 have taken a Insurance policy?

Any health or lifestyle changes since, usually does not void your existing Shepherds Friendly Insurance policy, if it wasn’t relevant at that time of initial application. For example, later on diagnosed with a heart condition. 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.

If I start smoking after taking out Insurance, do I tell them?

If you had legitimately quit smoking for over 12 months at that time of original Shepherds Friendly application, you may wish to advise them you have started smoking again. This should not affect the original policy terms which should still stand, as you were being honest. Also maybe suggest letting your GP know if this is the case. 

Today, Shepherds Friendly Society have grown to be one of the more specialist brands selling protection products reviewing Life Insurance in United Kingdom (inc NI)

Article review on ‘Shepherds Friendly Societyby Martyn Spencer Financial Adviser

For reassurance we review many of the best Life Insurers selling Income Protection & Life Insurance in UK (inc NI)