Phoenix is a group of insurance companies which are owned by Phoenix Holdings (formerly known as Pearl Group). In the last decade many insurance companies in UK were bought by Resolution Life, which in 2008 was acquired by the Pearl Group. This company was founded in 1857 as Pearl Loan Company. In 2009 it was bought by Liberty Acquisitions Holdings. As a year earlier it obtained Phoenix insurance business along with the purchase of Resolution Life, it was decided to rename the company to Phoenix Holdings. The company trades on London Stock Exchange and has annual revenues of almost £6,5 bn (in FY2011). However, it reported a negative income of almost £100 million in FY2011.
Phoenix Life earlier offered various insurance services to its clients. However, now Friends Life insurance handles most of Phoenix life insurance policies such as critical illness cover, income or mortgage protection. The company itself provides only few options that can be chosen: home or car insurance and guaranteed over 50s plan.
Guaranteed over 50s plan is eligible for people who are 50-85 years old and are residents in UK. This plan may be considered as a good choice because the acceptance is guaranteed. Thus, people who would not qualify to getting a normal term life insurance policy or could get it but would have to pay high premiums for the policy, may find this insurance option as an attractive one. The premiums for this plan may be between £5 and £74 a month.
Moreover, it is possible to terminate the contract in the first 30 days after receiving the policy documents and all the premiums that were paid will be refunded. However, for the time being it is not usually the case as the first month of the policy contract is free. Furthermore, a free gift can be chosen. It is possible to get a satellite navigation system for a car, 16 inch LED TV or other gifts.
The policy pays out in case the person dies. The fixed sum and premiums are set before underwriting an insurance contract and will not be changed throughout the duration of the policy. The maximum amount of money that can be chosen is £20,000. Though the sum of cover is smaller compared to the one provided from other insurance policies it still may be a very significant amount of money for the person’s dependents as various expenses for the funeral will have to be incurred after the death. However, if the person dies in an accident or in 90 days because of an accident, the payout will be three times higher than the chosen sum of cover.
First of all, the policy does not pay out a sum of cover if the person dies not in accidental death within the first two years of the policy. If the insured one dies not in an accident only the amount of money equal to 1.5 times of paid premiums will be given to the dependents.
Furthermore, if the death was caused because of the person involving himself in a dangerous events such as time events with a car or other vehicle or as a result of self inflicted injury, the policy will only pay out the normal fixed amount of cover despite the death being accidental one.
One more thing that should be remembered is that though the policy can be terminated any time, there is no cash-in value. Thus, all the premiums paid, will not be refunded and the person gets nothing in such case.
Moreover, depending on how much the person lives, the amount of premiums paid may be higher than the sum assured. It can also be pointed out that as the amount of cover is fixed, because of the inflation its value decreases over the time. Also it can be subject to be taxed as an inheritance that also reduces the sum assured which is received by the dependents.