Income Protection Insurance

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Our Income Protection insurance offers you and your family flexible and affordable cover against loss of your regular income due to illness or injury

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No matter what your line of work, whether you are employed or self-employed, our Income Protection plan can help you and your family cope if an absence from work due to illness or injury should mean your regular income was lost.

Protecting your income means you can go on meeting those monthly household bills without the need to dip into your savings or running up costly debts. Shepherds Friendly’s Income Protection provides you with cover up to the age 70 and gives you the choice of a short-term option of 2 years cover or longer as required. Our protection offers you invaluable flexible cover that provides a regular tax-free income throughout a period of absence from work that arises from sickness or injury, with the flexibility to tailor it to meet your specific needs and circumstances.

Features of our Income Protection Insurance

Who can apply icon

Who can apply for Income Protection?

Anyone from age 16 who is a UK resident and has been registered with a UK medical practice for at least three years. You can apply for Income Protection no matter what your profession and whether you are employed or self-employed. Cover can start from as little as £5 a month (our minimum premium) and needs to last for at least 5 years (our minimum term).

You can tailor your plan to suit your particular circumstances and you can even choose a short term Income Protection option where benefits are payable for a maximum of two years for each claim to help you reduce your monthly premiums if you wish.

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What if I work in a high-risk job?

We will consider your application regardless of your line of work. We do not base your premiums on your occupation meaning your premiums will not be set higher should you work in what is seen as a riskier job.

Each application is considered on an individual basis and acceptance is based on your specific circumstances.

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What is covered by the plan?

If you are employed, you can choose to cover up to a maximum of 70% of your regular gross income. If you are self-employed you can cover up to 70% of your net profit.

You can select to include indexation cover where your premiums and level of benefits automatically increase each year to ensure you stay in line with inflation (based on the Retail Prices Index or RPI) and you can choose, when taking out your plan, to limit the benefits period to two years to help you control your monthly premiums.

If you do have to make a claim, our aim will be to help you get better and return to work. If we think we can support you with your recovery by helping to pay for additional services or advice, such as physiotherapy or counselling, we may well be able to fund a referral to one of our nominated rehabilitation providers.

If following any period of absence, you are only able to return to work on a part-time basis or on restricted duties or if you need to return to work in a different occupation, you may still qualify for what the plan describes as a Working Persons Benefit.

A House Persons Benefit may also be available should you become unemployed, a student or a house person and are subsequently incapacitated due to illness or injury.

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Can I change my premiums and level of cover after I’ve started my plan?

Our Income Protection cover is designed to be flexible so you can tailor it at any time to suit your changing circumstances. The plan’s guaranteed insurability option allows you to increase your level of cover at times such as marriage, the birth of a child or taking up a new job with increased income. You have the option to cover up to an extra 20% of your income provided you stay within the allowable 7 0% of your gross income.

The plan also includes a waiver of premiums feature meaning that, should you need to make a claim, no further premiums will be collected from the end of your agreed deferred or waiting period (plus one month) until you are able to return to work.

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How does the deferred or waiting period work?

The deferred period is the length of time you choose to wait after you become ill or suffer an injury before you start receiving benefits from us under your plan. You can choose a period from 8 to 52 weeks when you take out your plan and you can adjust this during the term of your plan.

Your chosen deferred period may depend on whether you are likely to receive some income from your employer during your absence from work and how long this might last. If you also feel you have sufficient savings to see you through for a period of time you could factor this in to your decision. Typically, the longer the deferred period you decide on, the lower your monthly premiums might be.

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Will my benefits be taxed and how long will they last?

You will receive all your monthly benefits tax-free and you will go on receiving these as agreed in your plan until you return to work, no matter how long this might take.

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What if I choose to take a career break?

If you have paid your premiums for 12 months and you decide to stop working, or are forced to stop working for a period of between 3 and 24 months, we will suspend your plan until you return to work. During this time, you will not have to pay any monthly premiums.

How much icon

How much might Income Protection cost me?

The premium you will pay monthly will depend on the level of monthly benefit you feel you require and the deferred or waiting period you select. There are no increases in premium for higher-risk occupations and your agreed premiums will not increase after medical underwriting has taken place.

It’s worth noting the premiums for all plan holders could be reviewed at our discretion. We don’t expect this to happen very often during the term of your plan, but we reserve the right to do this and more information can be found in our Terms and Conditions.

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Can I add inflation cover and waiver of premium to my plan?

When taking out your plan you can choose to have your premiums and your level of benefits increased in line with the Consumer Price Index to help cover the rising costs of living. A waiver of premium is also included in the plan, meaning that no further premiums will be collected from the end of your deferred period (plus one month) until you return to work.

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How would I go about making a claim?

Should you need to make a claim, please complete our online claim form. If you are unable to complete this form yourself, you can ask a member of our claims team for help, who will complete the form with you over the phone. Alternatively, you can contact our Member Services team on 0161 428 1212 and they will explain the process to you.

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What are Mutual Moments?

As a mutual that’s owned by our members, our focus is on providing value to them whenever we can. Mutual Moments offers tangible benefits, where we, Shepherds Friendly, identify opportunities to go above and beyond for our members, or offer complimentary features to help our members plan for their future or react to changes in their circumstances. These benefits are currently available to our Income Protection members, during their journey with us.

We work relentlessly to put our members at the heart of everything we do, always aiming for a positive outcome. From helping our members to save for that something special, through to supporting them when they need that helping hand if illness or injury gets in the way of life, we make it our goal to be there for our members and Mutual Moments helps us to do this.

What are our Enhanced Income Protection Benefits?

Our Enhanced Income Protection Benefits are a part of our Mutual Moments initiative for members with an Income Protection plan with us. These are discretionary benefits designed to add value to the plan and go beyond our standard income protection cover.

Below are the benefits we currently offer:

£250 New Child Payment

A £250 payment made into a Shepherds Friendly Junior ISA you open for your child. As long as the plan remains active and payments into the plan remain up to date, this valuable benefit will be paid by us for every child born or adopted:

  • after 23 September 2019, and during the period the benefit is offered; and
  • 45 weeks after the start date of your Income Protection plan with us.

A great way to start saving for a child you love.

Short-term Family Income Benefit

A short-term family income benefit of £6,000 on the death of the income protection plan member, providing a helping hand and continued support to their loved ones, at a difficult time. We will pay the benefit to your husband, wife or civil partner in instalments of £1,000 for six months. However, if there is no surviving spouse or civil partner then a £6,000 lump sum payment will be made to your estate.

For more details about the benefits and how you can claim them, download and read our Enhanced Benefits guide here:

Enhanced Income Protection Benefits Guide
How to buy icon

How to apply for Income Protection

You can get a quote online quickly and easily by using the quote button below. You can then either apply for your plan online or you can call a member of our Member Services team on 0333 305 9239 for help or to discuss any questions you may have with regard to your application.

Enhanced Income Protection Benefits

Now part of our Income Protection plan at no extra cost

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£250 New Child Payment

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Short-term Family Income Benefit

Find out more

How to buy Income Protection: You can open a plan online quickly and securely by clicking the button below:

Get a quote

Alternatively, if you would like assistance in applying or would like more information regarding the plan, you can speak to a member of our Member Services team by calling 0800 526 249


  • If you stop paying premiums under this plan, your benefit will cease.
  • If your income increases and you do not review your benefit level, you may not have sufficient benefit to meet your needs when you make a claim.
  • If your income decreases and you do not review your benefit level, you may not be able to claim the full amount of benefit you applied for when the plan started, or you may only be entitled to House Persons Benefit if you are unemployed at the date of incapacity.
  • If you cancel your plan, you will not receive any money back.
  • Benefits received from this plan may affect your entitlement to any other benefit.
  • If you do not give us accurate and honest answers about your health and lifestyle, we may not pay the benefit in the event of a claim.

All references to taxation are to UK taxation and are based on Shepherds Friendly Society's understanding of current legislation and H M Revenue and Customs practice which may change in the future. For our With Profits plans investment growth is by means of bonuses, the amount of which cannot be guaranteed throughout the term of the contract. Please ensure that you read the full terms and conditions of this plan which are available from your financial adviser or by contacting us directly.

Please note: No advice has been provided by Shepherds Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a plan is suitable for you, we recommend getting in touch with a financial adviser, who will be happy to take you through what options are available. Should you consult a financial adviser there could be a cost involved and you should confirm this cost beforehand.