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David Gulland Joins PG Mutual as a Non-Executive Director

PG Mutual is pleased to announce the appointment of David Gulland as a Non-Executive Director.

David has spent his entire professional career working in the life insurance market both in the UK and abroad. He joins PG Mutual from working most recently through his own consulting firm. David has held a number of positions on boards as well as senior executive or advisory roles at Marine & General Mutual, Reinsurance Group of America and Deloitte.

David’s role as a Non-Executive Director will be to bring independent advice, product planning and and strategy to PG Mutual.
Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s Chief Executive, adds “We are thrilled to welcome David as a Non-Executive Director at PG Mutual. He brings with him a lifetime of knowledge and industry experience within the life insurance and mutuality sectors. We are looking forward to David’s guidance and advice in further growing the Society".

David Gulland commented “Income protection plays a crucial part in helping individuals and families be more resilient to life’s uncertainties. I am therefore delighted to have been asked by Mike and his team to help PG Mutual provide more protection to more people”.

PG Mutual Sponsor GB Para Table Tennis Athlete, Dan Bullen

This year, PG Mutual is thrilled to have sponsored 20 year old GB Para Table Tennis Athlete, Dan Bullen.

Dan Bullen suffers from Cerebral Palsy. His condition means that his leg muscles are very tight and do not grow at the same rate as his bones which causes pain and difficulty in everyday tasks. It also means that Dan requires the use of a wheelchair. Because of his condition, becoming a Table Tennis athlete has been a difficult journey for Dan.

At 8 years of age, Dan began playing Table Tennis and it was at this time that Table Tennis changed everything for him.

It took Dan weeks to hit a ball and one year before he was able to hit a ball with a Table Tennis bat.

However, Dan showed tenacity from a young age. Through hard work and determination, he is now ranked 6th in the world in the under 23’s and 33 in the World in the Wheelchair Class 5 category!

Although Dan has had much success as a GB Para Table Tennis athlete, he has even grander goals.  Dan has his sights set to compete at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020! 

In order for Dan to reach his goal of competing at Tokyo 2020, there are a number of tasks he needs to complete. These include continuing his intense training, further improving and developing his skills, fundraising and he needs to compete against other high ranking players. These tasks require more than just the hard work and dedication that Dan puts in. Each match that allows Dan to rank higher and be eligible for Tokyo 2020 costs around £800!

In order to reach his goal, Dan requires £5,000 to help him continue his training, travel to matches and allows him move up to 12th in the rankings which will allow him to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics GB Team.

Dan has already secured some of his sponsorship goal and is on track to reach the full £5,000 requirement.

Mike Perry, CEO at PG Mutual said: “We are very excited to be able to sponsor such a talented, young individual as Dan Bullen. He has already shown great drive and determination to get to where he is at today as a GB Para Table Tennis athlete. There is no doubt that if Dan continues down this path, he will be competing at Tokyo 2020!”

PG Mutual wishes Dan good luck in his endeavours to represent Great Britain at Tokyo 2020!

If you’d like to follow along with Dan’s journey to Tokyo 2020, you can follow us on Twitter at @PGMutual where we will be sharing more about Dan or you can follow Dan Bullen directly at @Danbullen1.

PG Mutual Paid 98% of New Claims in 2016

Each year, we strive to provide our members with the best claim rate we possibly can. We are thrilled with the new claims results for 2016.

In 2016, we were able to cover 98% of our new Income Protection Plus claims!*

Our top 3 causes of Income Protection Plus new claims in 2016 were:

  1. Infections and flu at 32%
  2. Musculoskeletal at 27%
  3. Gastrointestinal at 12%

Our average claim in 2016 was £1,896.80 and the average age of those who claimed was 48.*

Elisa Ashford, Head of Operations at PG Mutual, said “As a mutual, our commitment is to remain as transparent as possible with our current members and our future members. Sharing our claims statistics each year shows just how critical IP is in protecting our livelihood.”

“The 2016 data confirms what we know, Income Protection Plus has made a difference and continues to make a difference in our member’s lives by providing them with an important safety net when they needed it most: during illness or injury.”

“By publishing our statistics each year, we feel this provides reassurance to our members as well as further highlights the importance of Income Protection Plus.”

Don’t forget – if you need to make a claim, we have made claiming simple for our members. You can submit your claim through your members area.

*PG Mutual business new claims paid (1st January to 31st December 2016).

PG Mutual exhibiting at the BSAVA conference 2017 in celebrate their 60th anniversary!

Veterinarians and Vet Nurses train for too long to put their income at risk. That’s why we believe that our Income Protection Plus plan is a perfect fit for veterinary professionals to ensure they protect the lifestyle they have worked so hard to achieve.  

This year is a particularly special occasion for veterinary professionals as the BSAVA will be celebrating their 60th anniversary at their 2017 conference from 7th-10th April!

We are thrilled to say that we will be exhibiting in order to help mark such a fantastic anniversary as well as to discuss income protection with many veterinary professionals.

To help celebrate this special occasion for the BSAVA, we will have two great offers available for the BSAVA 2017 attendees only.

First, we will be hosting a prize draw for one lucky attendee to get their paws on £250 worth of FREE BSAVA CPD!* To enter the contest, all attendees need to do is pop around to our stand and complete their voucher from their delegate book.

Secondly, we will be offering a £60 high street voucher when you protect your income with Income Protection Plus!*

We would love to discuss how Income Protection Plus can give you and/or your practice peace of mind for the future.

Be sure to visit us on stand 914 to find out more about income protection!

*For full terms & conditions, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk/terms-and-conditions.

PG Mutual Sponsoring Callum Shaikh’s World Challenge Trip – Nepal 2018

The team at PG Mutual are thrilled to be sponsoring Callum Shaikh on his World Challenge trip to Nepal in 2018.

Callum Shaikh is 16 years old and currently studying his A-Levels in Northamptonshire in Biology, Physics and ICT Web Application at sixth form. 

On the 9th July 2018, Callum, along with 18 others student and 2 teachers will depart for their expedition to Nepal. The team will remain in Nepal for just over a month to complete numerous volunteer opportunities.

In April 2015, Nepal suffered devastation within many communities due to earthquakes that rocked the nation. Much of the work that Callum and the team will be completing includes re-building schools and homes for the locals, teaching young children and organising sporting activities.

“To me, World Challenge Nepal 2018 will be an experience of a lifetime that not many people will have the opportunity to take part in”, says Callum. “The challenge will be one of the most difficult I’ve ever had to face. However, it’s going to change the lives of the locals as well as my own in ways I would never have expected. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”

In order to complete his expedition, Callum has a sponsorship target of £4,500. This cost will cover his travel, insurance, medical and living costs. It will also cover the sports equipment and school stationary that he plans to take with him for the children of Nepal. 

Having already raised £2,000 towards his challenge, Callum is on track of reaching his goal. 

“I still have a ways to go. I have a long list of fundraising activities that will help me to reach my sponsorship goal.”

Along with fundraising, Callum faces other challenges including physical preparation for the expedition. Nepal is filled with mountains that peak at challenging altitudes and the villages that he will be volunteering within are located in difficult terrain.

In order to physically prepare for the demands of the Nepalese terrain, Callum will be completing a training expedition to Snowdonia on 11th November 2017. This will allow him to familiarise himself with the equipment and the altitude he will face. 

Mike Perry, CEO at PG Mutual said: “We are proud to be both associated and sponsoring Callum Shaikh for his World Challenge Nepal 2018 trip in his endeavours to help the Nepalese communities.”

“The whole team here at PG Mutual will be following along Callum’s journey and cheering him on as he undertakes this great challenge for a fantastic cause.”

If you would like to sponsor Callum Shaikh, you can do so by visiting his gofundme page here.

PG Mutual will continue to follow along and report on Callum’s training, preparation and sponsorship as he works towards his goal of World Challenge Nepal 2018.

A Modern Logo for a Modern Mutual

PG Mutual has unveiled its new logo to represent the modern ‘mutual’ it feels a friendly society in 2017 should reflect.  With an instant quick quote system and online claim procedure, PG Mutual has embraced technology to enhance the customer experience, whilst providing a high level of flexibility as well as achieving a 98% new claims paid rate for 2016.

The not-for-profit mutual, which was originally founded in 1928 as the Pharmaceutical and General Provident Society Ltd, has rapidly developed and diversified progressively to become the preferred income protection specialists of choice for working professionals.

The future for PG Mutual is ambitious and the team have already determined goals that are set to propel the company to even greater heights across the course of the next two years, “Planning for 2017 started last August when we wanted our new logo to represent a company that offers a safety net when it is needed most; if the unexpected happens and you cannot work due to illness or injury, your bills will still be paid.  With state benefits set to fall in real terms, income protection will become even more essential for families to have in place”.  Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s CEO said. “And, as well as protecting your income, the plan also offers an attractive investment element which builds up over the lifetime of the policy”.

PG Mutual is constantly seeking out new business opportunities wherever possible and is hoping to grow its business substantially over the next few years.  As well as being cost-effective, membership also brings with it access to additional services such as discounts and promotions from various retailers and leisure companies and, via its subsidiary PG Mutual Services, preferential offers for other health insurances such as Private Medical Insurance, Life Assurance and Over 50’s Life Cover.

“We have a strong corporate plan which details how we intend to grow: which market sectors and what additional resources and technology are required, with the focus on maintaining the high service levels our existing members expect and deserve”. Mike Perry concluded. “PG Mutual’s future has never looked brighter”.

For more information on Income Protection Plus from PG Mutual, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk or call 0800 146 307.

PG Mutual is working in conjunction with the Driving Instructors Association (DIA)

PG Mutual is working in conjunction with the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) who is the largest professional membership body for driver and rider trainers in the UK.  The new DIA Plus membership is the most comprehensive association package currently available for driver and rider trainers. DIA Plus membership includes enhanced discounts on DIA Shop, CPD Training, Tax Services, Income Protection cover and access to a whole range of discounts/cashbacks and offers on popular brands and services such as: John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Apple, free telephone legal service and much more.  It is estimated that you could make savings of up to £350 year on goods and services you frequently buy.

DIA Plus membership is available from age 18 (minimum age at entry) to age 63 (maximum age at entry), whether employed or self-employed.

DIA Plus members benefit from income protection cover and access to exclusive member benefits for an introductory offer of only £125 per year (equivalent to £2.40 per week for the first year of membership – introductory offer ends 31st March 2017).

Highlights of the DIA PLUS Membership include:

• Income Protection
• Guaranteed acceptance
• £208 per month cover if you are off work due to an accident or illness
• Three month deferment period
• An income to supplement state sickness benefits
• No penalty for making a claim and no limit to the number of claims you make

PLUS, as an added bonus, the plan builds up an investment element, whether you claim on the plan or not, offering you a cash bonus on retirement.

“We are delighted to be part of the DIA Plus membership offering and look forward to working closely with DIA in the months ahead” says Mike Perry, CEO.

For more information on the DIA Plus membership visit the DIA website on www.thedia.co.uk/membership-plans or phone 020 8686 8010.

PG Mutual National Championships broadcast revealed

Author: Jamie Gordon of Table Tennis England

Table Tennis England has agreed broadcast rights deals with two of the UK’s biggest broadcasters this week in a new sign of the sport’s resurgence.

The 2017 PG Mutual National Championships will broadcast live on TheSPORTbible after Table Tennis England signed a deal with Europe’s largest and most successful social video publisher, TheLADbible Group.

Highlights of the tournament will also be shown on Sky Sports, home to some of Britain’s best sporting content.

The men’s doubles, women’s singles and men’s singles finals will be shown live on TheSPORTbible Facebook page on Sunday March 5th, from 2.15pm.

The deal builds on the success of England Leopard’s European Qualifying match against Greece in November, which attracted a record 2.2million unique viewers on TheSPORTbible Facebook page.

TheSPORTbible is one of the UK’s most visited sports media websites. It has more than nine-and-a-half million fans on Facebook.

The production will be provided by 1080 Media via six cameras trained on the court, with full commentary and player interviews.

In addition, highlights of the PG Mutual National Championships will be shown on Sky Sports Mix at a later date.

Sky Sports Mix is a new sports channel on Sky TV which is free to air for many viewers and shows a diverse range of sports.

Mark Taffler, Head of Commercial at Table Tennis England, said:

“I am very pleased to be working with TheSPORTbible again. The fact the leading sports website in the country wanted to take another of our live broadcasts is a real indicator as to the health of our sport in England.”

“Recent figures published by the government show that 450k people play table tennis a month. We are in the top 20 of participation sports in the country. By having a true partnership – which is what we have with TheSPORTbible – we continue to disrupt broadcast market, take our sport to new audiences and offer real value to our commercial partners.”

“2.2m people watched our England Leopards play Greece. We are very excited to see how many people will tune in to see the best talent in England battle it out!”

Paul Rayner, Publisher, TheSPORTbible, added:

“As our previous partnership with Table Tennis England demonstrated, there’s a massive global appetite for many of the mass participation sports that traditional sporting TV networks have chosen not to cover.”

“Many established players suddenly woke up when they realised over two million people watched our last tie-up, with many staying online for longer than average. We even heard from our viewers who decided to give table tennis a go at their local club.”

“We have exciting plans for 2017 and will be working with a number of sports bodies and rights owners to stream their content, but we look forward to continued co-operation with Table Tennis England, a pioneering partner.”

The PG Mutual National Championships is the most prestigious event in the English domestic calendar and is being staged in Nottingham from March 3-5.

The best 32 male and 32 female table tennis players in the country, including up to six Team GB members from London and Rio, will battle it out in singles and doubles competitions. There are also a number of para competitions on the Saturday, featuring up to eight members of the Paralympics GB squad from Rio.

Get your tickets

A limited number of spectator tickets are still available through our ticketing partner, The Ticket Factory. Click here to get your tickets.

Sovereign Health Care Partners with PG Mutual to Launch Income Protection Plus

Bradford-based cash plan provider Sovereign Health Care is expanding its product range by offering an income protection product in conjunction with PG Mutual through its newly created subsidiary company, Sovereign Assured Partners Ltd.

Income Protection Plus will pay a regular income if the policyholder is unable to work due to illness or injury, but the plus is that it also has an investment element which pays out when the policy matures.  The partnership between the two organisations will see Sovereign act as an introducer to individuals and businesses, with PG Mutual acting as the insurer.

Commenting on the new partnership, Sovereign Health Care’s chief executive Russ Piper said: “After meeting PG Mutual chief executive Mike Perry through the Association of Financial Mutuals, we quickly realised that there was a lot of synergy between the two organisations, and that Mike’s approach to business was closely matched to my own. 

“Sovereign has a history of supporting individuals and businesses with the cost of everyday health care, helping people to stay fit and well. An income protection product is a natural addition to our product offering because it can also provide financial support following accident or ill health.

“Working together to offer Income Protection Plus makes perfect sense for our organisations and I am confident that this will be a very successful working relationship for both parties.”

Income Protection Plus provides policyholders with a tailored plan that pays a regular income to those who find themselves off work due to illness or injury; Government statistics show that around 300,000 workers fall into the welfare system because of health-related issues.1 The plan is designed to try and avoid this from happening by helping to pay bills such as rent or mortgage repayments while the person recovers. Cover lasts until the policyholder returns to their career, or reaches the age of 65.

Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s chief executive said: “At PG Mutual we are always looking for ways to introduce our services to more people, and so I began expressing an interest in working with other companies in similar sectors which share our values.  Meeting Russ presented us with an excellent opportunity to achieve this and I am very excited about the future of this shared initiative.”

PG Mutual is a not for profit membership organisation that has specialised in income protection since 1928.  As a Friendly Society, PG Mutual does not have outside shareholders and returns any profits to its policyholders. 

Similarly, Sovereign Health Care doesn’t have shareholders and any surplus it makes is reinvested in the business or donated to good causes. Sovereign Health Care is one of the UK’s longest established health care cash plan providers.

For more information about Income Protection Plus, please visit www.sovereignassured.co.uk

1www.gov.uk, 2014

Table Tennis England welcome PG Mutual as Official Partner

PG Mutual have signed a three-year deal to become the Official Income Protection Partner of Table Tennis England, the sport’s National Governing Body.
It follows the St Alban’s-based company’s successful title sponsorship of the PG Mutual National Championships in 2016, when the latter stages of the tournament were televised live on ITV4. 
PG Mutual will continue to put its name to the Nationals as part of the new deal. In addition, the company will have the opportunity to play a key role in staging the Cadet & Junior Nationals and the U10-U13 Nationals.
Mike Perry, CEO of PG Mutual, said: “Table Tennis England organised a very professional PG Mutual Nationals last year which were well received by spectators, the TV audience and the wider table tennis family, so we were keen to extend our involvement in the sport.”  
“I know what an exciting and family-friendly sport it is, as well as being a great way to be active and socialise with others. It fits in perfectly with our family-focused business approach.”
Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe said: “We’re delighted to extend our relationship with PG Mutual.
“Mike Perry and his team have shown outstanding commitment to help us develop our sport – this really is a partnership in every sense and we look forward to continuing to work together to help get everyone talking about table tennis.”
Table Tennis England plans to name further Official Partners in the coming months.
 

Protect Today and Save for Tomorrow

PG Mutual has been recognised as our highly coveted Membership Organisation of the Year, we are excited to reveal here at Business and Industry Today.
The not-for-profit mutual, which was originally founded in 1928 as the Pharmaceutical and General Provident Society Ltd, has rapidly developed, diversifying progressively to become the preferred income protection specialists of choice for working professionals.

Click here to download the full press release in PDF format.

PG Mutual to sponsor table tennis National Championships

PG Mutual, the specialist income protection provider, has been unveiled as title sponsor of the 2016 table tennis National Championships.
The St Albans-based company has invested in the event, which will be called the PG Mutual National Championships.
The latter stages of the event from March 18-20 will be televised live on ITV4, giving both the sport and PG Mutual national exposure.
Mike Perry, CEO of PG Mutual and an enthusiastic table tennis player, said: “We were looking for a sport which fits in with our ethos as a business.
Our support for the National Championships shows what you can achieve through sport. From a recreational sport which you might pick up on holiday, with hard work, dedication and the right support, you can achieve and compete at the top level.
We are very much dedicated to families and work hard to give them the right support when they need it, so it’s a very good fit for us.
We see this as the beginning of a fruitful relationship with Table Tennis England.”
Sara Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of Table Tennis England, said: “We are delighted to welcome PG Mutual to the table tennis family and thank them for their commitment to and investment in our sport. 
With the England Leopards currently performing heroics at the World Championships and the PG Mutual National Championships to be televised live on ITV4, this is an exciting time for our sport
We very much look forward to working with PG Mutual in the months and years ahead.
I would also like to thank our commercial partners at Female Sports Group for their hard work in securing not only TV coverage but also bringing a title sponsor to the table.”
Fraser Houlder, Female Sports Group Director, said: “We are proud to be working with Table Tennis England as their commercial partners as Sara and her team continue to grow the sport and raise its profile. 
Having secured ITV to broadcast the championships we are now delighted to have brought on board a title sponsor. Table Tennis is a family sport and has a huge participation and fanbase and in our discussions with PG Mutual we have found a company who can share this passion with supporting families. They see that table tennis is a sport on the up and they want to be a part of this. 
“We see this as the start of a long-term partnership between PG Mutual and Table Tennis England.”
 

Are people doing enough to protect their income?

Are people doing enough to protect their income? 
 
With the economy slowly emerging from the recession it is no surprise that the purse strings of the treasury are much tighter than they have been in the past regarding state benefits.  Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are no exception to this, but how many of us know the current levels of these benefits and how they work? 
SSP and ESA are never going to be an accurate reflection of the lifestyle most of us have worked hard to achieve. For most working people it is incomprehensible to be expected to maintain our standards of living on such a low amount. 
Let’s look at the facts:
If you are employed, you would be entitled to receive SSP from your employer after 3 days of absence from work; a payment that even your employer can no longer claim back from the government. The current level of SSP is now £88.45* per week (or £353.80 per month) and lasts for a maximum of 28 weeks.
However, if you are self-employed and, provided your N.I contributions are up to date, then you do not qualify for SSP but instead would have to apply for ESA. The level of ESA is currently set at £73.10* per week (or £292.40 per month) resulting in a significant drop in income and an onerous application process and a degree of qualification that the state can use to ascertain if an individual really isn’t fit enough to work. 
Consequently, small businesses, who are considering providing staff with their own income protection policy, could potentially save paying out thousands in unbudgeted sick pay costs which now cannot be reclaimed as their policy will pay staff a monthly income, on top of SSP, for a small monthly premium. 
It is clear that people are beginning to recognise that we are on our own when it comes to staying afloat financially during periods of sick leave, what little help the government offer is not designed to protect you for the long-term and therefore it is prudent that we all have a safety net in place. It is not surprising, therefore, that Income Protection sales have been rising in recent years.
So what is stopping people from protecting the one thing that pays for everything? 
It seems that there is a lot of confusion and cynicism surrounding Income Protection Insurance (IP) which is largely down to bad press around Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and a lack of trust for financial institutions in general. 
Cynicism about insurers stems from past scandals such as the mis-selling of PPI. These plans were cheap, unsophisticated, riddled with exclusions and mis-sold on an industrial scale. Since 2001 the Financial Ombudsman Service – which mediates between financial companies and disgruntled customers – has been flooded with over 1.3 million complaints about ‘PPI’.
By contrast, income protection cover has a good track record of paying out claims. Claim paid rates across the industry are often well above 90%. 
Cost of cover can also be an issue; however, the mistake that a significant number of people make is to automatically look to put as much cover in place as possible without first considering the actual cover they would actually need. Minimal state benefits will contribute and if you are seriously ill your lifestyle is highly likely to change.  It is unlikely therefore that many of us would actually need the maximum level of cover available. If Income protection is a serious consideration then consider a budget based approach. Work out the level of monthly contribution you could afford to protect your income and find out how much cover you could get for your budget. There are many ways to alter the premiums in line with your budget and providers are more than happy to discuss options and “tailor” a suitable level of cover around your budget. Consider that most mortgage companies and lenders in general would be more responsive to a borrower that is able to make proportional payments to one that makes none at all, so if your budget doesn’t cover the exact level of protection you need then at least think about what the alternative would be without protection at all.
 
*DWP, April 2015 
 

Leading UK income protection insurance provider asks who should be responsible for sick pay

Leading UK income protection insurance provider asks who should be responsible for sick pay
Whether it’s state-funded, self-funded or employer-funded, the simple fact is, if a person is unable to work due to illness or injury, they still need an income to be able to pay the bills and maintain a reasonable standard of living. The big question is, who should be paying for it? 
It seems the government has joined in the debate, with Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith being reported as saying he was “very keen to look at the possibility of people using flexible products to build up savings from which they can draw at times of need.” 
He went on to say, “We need to support the kind of products that allow people to dip in and out of when they need money for sickness or care or unemployment.”* 
Mike Perry, CEO of income protection insurance specialists, PG Mutual commented, “We welcome the government taking a serious interest in the reality of how people cope financially if they find themselves on sick leave. We have been offering the kind of products Mr Duncan Smith wishes to support for over 80 years. Our hope is that if the government do take this further, they consider recommending products from mutual suppliers like ourselves, and furthermore suppliers of Holloway products which give the customer an insurance policy as well as a savings element – just one of the many benefits of not having to pay big bonuses to shareholders! 
“We have seen a year on year increase in the number of people taking out income protection policies. All our members tell us the same thing, they don’t want to leave things to chance hoping that if something does happen to them, someone else will take care of them.”
This increase in membership is not surprising when you consider that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is just £88.45 per week, yet the average household weekly spend is £517.00^  – not nearly enough for most people to cover the bills. We should be asking ourselves, can we really expect our employers or the government to pick up the tab for our sickness bills? Or should we be taking responsibility for ourselves, and putting a plan in place to protect our financial security throughout our working lives?
*Mail Online – www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3159731/pm-consider-sickpay-change.html
^Office for National Statistics 2014

Leading UK income protection insurance provider’s record results show people are seeing the benefit

Leading UK income protection insurance provider’s record results show people are seeing the benefit of protecting their income…

Income protection insurance specialists, PG Mutual, are once again pleased to announce another year of record results for the mutual Society. The results highlight that people are thinking seriously and strategically about their financial situation and the impact a loss of income could have on their family and lifestyle. PG Mutual’s growth is impressive with increases in new members, premiums and the Society’s balance sheet.
2014 saw premiums increase by 3.8% and total policies increase by 3% compared with 2013. The Society also saw a 4.7% increase in their balance sheet, bringing it to a new record of almost £37m. The strong performance of the Society enabled it to declare a 3% interest rate to its members and a 25% terminal bonus. The Society is also pleased to report that over the past three years they have maintained a high level of claims payments at 97%.
PG Mutual’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Perry, said, “As with every year, the PG Mutual team has worked really hard to improve on the previous year’s performance, and once again I am delighted we have achieved it. We have spent the past year concentrating on improving processes and services. We are especially proud of our new member benefits scheme, giving our members best value deals and discounts on a wide range of products and services from well-known high street brands.
“What is most satisfying is seeing the growth in our membership and realising our message is getting through, that income protection is not an afterthought, it is an essential part of all of our personal financial budgeting. It is scary to think what might happen to us and our families if we were to lose our income due to illness or injury – our growth this year shows that people are no longer adopting the ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude and are taking positive steps to protect their financial security and lifestyle.“
 For PG Mutual’s full financial statements, reports and accounts, please visit the Corporate page of our website.
 

Travel insurance and sunscreen are not the only protection families should be considering

Travel insurance and sunscreen are not the only protection families should be considering when booking their summer holidays, warns leading UK insurer, PG Mutual Health & Wellbeing…
The average British family will spend two whole months’ salary on their summer holiday ^ – but leading income protection providers, PG Mutual Health & Wellbeing, are asking how families would find this money should the main earner lose that income due to an unexpected illness or injury.
Despite many people still living on a restricted household budget, one in five people feel that a holiday abroad is a necessity rather than a luxury*, with 53% of people taking at least one holiday overseas in the past year.**
With money still tight for many, planning ahead is a key part of managing the cost of an annual break – budgeting for travel insurance, luggage cover and many other extras – and there are a range of payment options out there to assist families with spreading these costs. However, leading UK insurer, PG Mutual Health & Wellbeing, are encouraging families to consider the one eventuality many holiday makers seem to forget – the risk of losing the income you need to pay for your break if an unexpected illness or accident were to occur.
With holidays already around 145% more expensive during the school holidays, many UK families will have to stretch their budget to afford the holiday they want. Many may consider credit cards or instalment payments, using their monthly income to meet these payments. Some will still be continuing to pay off the cost of their holiday long after their tans have faded – but with no plan in place for managing debt repayments if the main household income was lost, the dream holiday could become a nightmare to pay off.
While travel insurance may provide medical cover should a person fall ill or be injured on your break, without income protection insurance, should this be a long-term illness or injury, the consequences can be more severe if they can’t go back to work. While some employers may have a sick pay policy in place, many do not – meaning that an accident abroad could end up seriously impacting a person’s ability to meet their household bills for some time to come.
PG Mutual Health & Wellbeing Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “We know that this a key time for families planning their annual breaks, and that they have a lot of financial considerations in doing so – however, we see a number of people who have committed to a financial obligation such as credit card or holiday repayments who rely on our cover, and would not have been able to meet these obligations without it.”
“Whether you’re saving up to pay for a holiday for your family, or making repayment arrangements, no one ever likes to think about what would happen if you fell ill. But no holiday is worth leaving your family with serious financial difficulties, so we advise families to consider cover which would pay them a monthly amount in the event of illness or injury, and go some way to helping ensure they don’t end up missing repayments or having to use their savings to survive.”
For more information on income protection insurance from PG Mutual Health & Wellbeing, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk or call 0800 146 307.
 
^Daily Mail, March 2014
*Daily Mail, October 2013
**ABTA.com, September 2014
 

Lack of sick pay provision is latest threat to already-stretched UK home owners

Lack of sick pay provision is latest threat to already-stretched UK home owners, warns leading insurer.
As the general election looms, confusion over potential mortgage increases and concerns over housing costs are at a high. Leading provider of income protection insurance, PG Mutual Health and Wellbeing, is warning UK home owners not to ignore the threat income loss due to illness or accident poses to keeping up with their mortgage repayments.
UK homeowners seem to have faced threat after threat to their financial stability and mortgage repayment levels over the past year, with Shelter reporting 60% of people in the UK were struggling with their housing costs at the start of the year. According to their figures, over 3 million home owners were concerned about missing their mortgage repayments in January.*
As more and more evidence suggests, UK home owners are struggling in their current circumstances, leading insurer, PG Mutual, are warning one of the biggest threats to the stability of borrowers’ mortgage repayments is one that no one seems to want to think about – that of unexpected illness or injury. The consequences of this could potentially force home owners onto long-term sick leave – which could see them trying to manage repayments on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) of just £87.55 per week.** 
It appears many UK workers have no plan or protection in place for this eventuality, with only 4% having income protection insurance.^ Historically, many have assumed their employer will pay them their current salary until they are better – unfortunately this is often not the case. Worryingly, a survey by PG Mutual found 76% of people had no idea how much SSP they are entitled to – with many assuming it would be more than the current rate.
While no one likes to think about falling ill or having an accident, statistically a person is three times more likely to have to take sick leave during their working life than they are to die^ – something which would usually not be covered by common policies such as life and critical illness insurance. Macmillan reported over 250,000 cancer patients were struggling to keep up their housing payments at the end of 2014† – and with potential rate rises likely following the general election, PG Mutual are urging home owners not to ignore the threat having to take sick leave can pose.
According to predictions by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), mortgage payments could rise by at least £81 per year in 2015.‡ This isn’t good news for those already struggling, as Shelter predicts should they increase by more than £100, many borrowers would struggle to make repayments.*
PG Mutual Health and Wellbeing Chief Executive, Mike Perry, comments, “We are constantly reading reports in the media concerning how stretched UK home owners are already – and this is with many of them earning their full wage. No one likes to think about getting ill and having to take time off work, but if you ignore it, you could find yourself suddenly short of what you need to pay your mortgage. And the last thing someone needs when they are already going through a difficult time is a threat to their home. Our experts can provide friendly advice on the options available to protect yourself against this happening to you.”
*Shelter, January 2015
**DWP Website, April 2014
^UNUM, January 2012
†Macmillan, December 2014
‡Cebr, January 2015
 
 

One in two people in the UK will get cancer – could you afford to be one of them?

One in two people in the UK will get cancer – could you afford to be one of them?
 New figures released this month by Cancer Research UK have revealed that one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.* It has been said that longer life expectancies mean more people will be affected by cancer – but leading income protection insurer, PG Mutual, are calling on professional people to consider just how far and wide the effects of a long-term serious illness could reach.
 A cancer diagnosis and the subsequent treatment required can take anything from a matter of weeks, to months, even years** – meaning that a person diagnosed with the disease could be looking at a significant period of time off from their professional occupation. While some employees will have a sick pay policy in place to cover them in the event of a long period of sick leave, others are not so lucky. Some people will find themselves moving swiftly from their usual salary, to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support allowance (ESA) – which can be as little as £350.20 a month.*** For someone who is already going through an extremely stressful time in their lives, this financial strain can prove difficult to cope with.
 One solution to cover the deficit between state sick pay and the amount you need to keep your lifestyle going is to protect your income with an insurance policy. Income protection insurance is designed to pay out a set monthly amount to help you stay afloat if you were to have an extended period of sick leave. However, it is still misunderstood by many who believe that if they have life cover or similar insurance, they don’t need it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case – life insurance and similar policies will pay out a lump sum on the policy holder’s death – rather than providing financial support during a period of illness. While research showing that most cancer sufferers are actually surviving the illness* can only be seen as a positive, this means that many people may not benefit from having life cover should something of this nature occur to them.
 Leading UK insurer, PG Mutual is advising professionals to take a good look at how their lifestyle, and that of their families or significant others depending on their income, could be affected in the event of long-term sickness. As Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “The new figures released today just highlight how important it is for people to think about the future, however unpleasant it may be and make provisions for themselves and their loved ones. While we can all hope that it never happens to us, we never know what is around the corner.
"We are advising members of our partner organisations in the wake of these figures to take a good look at your financial set up and the provisions in place to protect it. If you have financial commitments such as loans, a mortgage, HP on a car etc., could you cover these on £350.20 a week? How about your weekly shopping bill or fuel? What is your employers’ policy on sick pay? Do they have one? What do your other insurance products cover?"
"No one wants to think about these kinds of things, but in the wake of the latest figures released, we can’t ignore the potential risk. While no one knows what might happen next, one thing you can do is insure your income – giving yourself one less thing to worry about, should the unexpected occur."
 To find out more about income protection insurance and how little it could cost you to safeguard your lifestyle, call 0880 146 307 or email enquires@pgmutual.co.uk.
 
*Cancer Research UK, February 2015
**Macmillan, February 2015
***DWP Website, February 2015. Calculated based on Statutory Sick Pay at £87.55 a week for a four week month period.

PG Mutual, announces record results for fifth year in a row – with members first to benefit

Income protection insurance specialists, PG Mutual, are delighted to announce yet another year of record results in 2013 – the fifth year in a row in which the Society has seen premium growth. Despite many financial services providers struggling over the past few years, PG Mutual has continued to flourish, with increases in new members, premiums and the Society’s balance sheet. These record results are not just good news for the Society, but also for their members – with an 11% increase in bonuses (bonus per share) given to each insurance member this year.

2013 saw an 8% increase in premiums in comparison to the previous year, and a 10% increase in total policies. The Society also saw a 9% increase on their balance sheet – a record increase on previous years. The Society is also pleased to report that over the past three years, they have paid 98% of all claims made. With increases, bonuses and the excellent payment record of claims made by members, 2013 has been a good year to be part of PG Mutual.

PG Mutual’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Perry, said, “The team at PG Mutual have been working harder each year to improve on the previous year’s performance, and I’m delighted that we have once again achieved this. As a member-focused organisation, it is always our priority not just to provide the best possible products and services for new members, but also to continue to grow in order to reward our current members for their loyalty. Being able to give something back to the people who have invested in our income protection policy is greatly rewarding, and is one of the reasons we are always striving to grow and develop the Society further.

This year has not only seen record growth; we have also been able to offer a range of new deals on other financial products and services, and have been working on the redevelopment of our website to make it even more efficient and informative for prospective and current members. We are in the process of carrying out a member survey to gain feedback on how we are doing, and hope to continue the success of the past few years even further in 2014.”

For PG Mutual’s full financial statements, reports and accounts, please visit www.pgmutual.co.uk/Corporate-Information/.  

4 million people in debt to energy suppliers, and 2.6 million struggling to pay their monthly bill

With 4 million people in debt to energy suppliers, and 2.6 million struggling to pay their monthly bills, leading UK insurer asks how households already under financial pressure would cope without their main income

Following research released this month by price comparison site, uSwitch, it has been revealed that 4 million households in the UK are in debt to their energy supplier.* This comes in the wake of research by Legal & General, which found that 2.6 million people in the UK were struggling to pay bills, with an average shortfall of £85 per month.** With so many people already behind on their payments, leading insurer, PG Mutual, is warning UK bill payers to consider how they would manage this debt and deficit if they were to lose their income altogether,  due to illness or injury.

For many people in the UK, their monthly salary is already not enough to cover the amount that they need to pay out each month. Despite this, by organising repayment plans and juggling debts, most people are able to manage their money and stay above water. For example, the research by uSwitch showed that one in ten people will organise a repayment plan for their energy bills, rather than paying in a lump sum. However, one thing that even the most careful financial planning cannot take into account is the unexpected income loss that can come from having an accident or falling ill, and having to take long-term sick leave.

Many people have no idea what their employer would pay them if they were to fall ill or suffer an accident that left them on long-term sick leave – commonly, it is thought that an employee will receive their current salary until they can return to work; however, this is not always the case. Many people are also unaware that Statutory Sick Pay is just £87.55 per week.^ With the average UK household spend now standing at £489.00 per week, many people would struggle to pay their main weekly outgoings, never mind paying out for additional debt repayments and making up the deficit between their salary and ever-increasing bills.

PG Mutual Chief Executive Officer, Mike Perry, explains, “We’re hearing more and more about how people are living beyond their means, and spending more than they have each month – but what if you didn’t even have your current salary? What if, due to no fault of your own, you fell ill or had an accident that left you unable to work? It’s only at this point where most people tend to find out about their sick pay benefits. In a lot of cases, it can be an unpleasant surprise to find you’ve only got a short time to recover on your full pay, before you go on to state benefits.

“No one likes to think about having an accident, but these latest statistics should be a stark warning to everyone who has bills to pay and debt repayments to make each month to think about protecting their income. After all, if you’re already stretching what you have to the limit each month, how are you going to meet your financial obligations if what you have coming in is severely reduced?

“Income protection insurance is still not commonly thought of as an ‘essential’ type of insurance, in the same way that home or car insurance is; however, having it in place means if you were to fall ill or have an accident that left you unable to work for a period of time, you would receive a regular monthly payment, which you would receive on top of Statutory Sick Pay. So, if you were to find yourself off work sick, at least you have the peace of mind of knowing you would have money coming in to help you cover your monthly costs."

As noted by Which? in their online guide to income protection, “The one protection policy every working adult in the UK does need is the very one most of us don't have – income protection.”

To find out more about how you could protect your finances in the event of falling ill or suffering an accident, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk

*uSwitch, May 2014
**Legal & General, February 2014
^DWP Website, April 2014

With debt problems more prevalent amongst the under 25s, leading insurer, PG Mutual, asks why...

With debt problems more prevalent amongst the under 25s, leading insurer, PG Mutual, asks why the majority of young people are still ignoring the importance of insuring their incomes.

As a young professional in the UK, it’s not unusual to take out credit in order to finance your lifestyle. From student loans, through to credit cards, car leases and mortgage loans, most people under the age of 25 will have a substantial range of financial obligations. However, it seems that even those who are able to manage their mounting monthly repayments haven’t given much thought as to how they would make them if they were to lose their income due to illness or injury.

Research by a debt charity in 2013 found a third of adults seeking debt advice were under the age of 25*; however, research has shown that people within this age group are the least likely to have an income protection insurance policy in place.** This means that if you’re under 25, you’re likely to have the highest level of credit repayments to make, yet you risk not being able to repay any of them if you were to fall ill or suffer an accident, and lose your income.

One reason that many under 25s may not have income protection insurance is the common belief that, at a young age, you are unlikely to fall ill. This doesn’t consider the fact that an accident that prevents you from working can happen to anyone at any age, and is also contradicted somewhat by recent figures that show over 30,000 people under the age of 25 were claiming Statutory Sick Pay in the UK.^

Currently, for under 25s, SSP stands at just £86.70 per week – around £346.80 per month. The average UK household spends £489.00 per week or £1,956.00 per month on their outgoings – so this would barely be enough to cover most people’s rent or mortgage, let alone pay for fuel, food, utilities etc., never mind repayments on a car or credit card, or other debt repayments. This highlights the serious implications for those who don’t have additional protection in place.

Another misconception by many young people is that the idea of only receiving SSP doesn’t apply to them, as they believe that their current employer will pay them if they are off sick for a long period of time. A survey by PG Mutual† found that nearly 30% of people questioned had no idea what their employer would pay them if they had to take sick leave, or for how long. There appears to be an assumption by many people that if they had to take an extended period of time off work due to illness or injury, their employer would continue to pay them at their current pay rate – however, this is not usually the case, and is becoming less and less likely as companies look to save money in the current climate.

PG Mutual Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “Young people think that income protection is just another type of insurance that people are trying to sell to them, like PPI or Critical Illness Cover. They are also a lot less likely to consider their health than someone older. However, when you are young, it is the ideal time to take out income protection insurance, as your premiums are likely to be lower, and if you take out insurance with a mutual, you may also find there is an investment element to the policy, which you can start building up for your future.”

To find out more about PG Mutual’s income protection policy and how little it could cost you per month, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk.

*MoneyExpert, February 2013
**LifeSearch, 2010
^YouCouldSave.co.uk, February 2013
†PDA Survey, 2012

PG Mutual are looking to employ an Account/ Business Development Manager

The role is varied in nature and will cover B to C, B to B and Key Account Management activities centred around our core Income Protection product. The ability to successfully develop and manage relationships with external business partners coupled with the ability to convert sales opportunities into new business is essential.

The ideal candidate will have a good level of financial literacy with experience of working in Financial Services looking to enhance their career and seize this fantastic opportunity.

Salary: Competitive + Car Allowance
Closing date: Friday 25th April 2014
Apply by sending your CV and covering letter to: Jenny.fisher@pgmutual.co.uk

PG Mutual are looking to employ a Membership Services Assistant

Income Protection provider – PG Mutual are looking to employ an
Membership Services Assistant to be part of a small and dedicated growing team in St Albans.

The ideal candidate will be proficient in all Microsoft office applications. Previous office experience desirable and full training will be given. We are looking for an individual who is enthusiastic, trustworthy, motivated and punctual. The minimum qualifications required are GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths.

Support the Operations team as and when directed. Handle all enquiries from PG members. Process all membership correspondence including; assessing applications for membership, variations in cover, income benefit claims, requests to cancel policies and any other ad hoc duties that may be required.

Salary: £15,000
Closing date: Friday 14th March 2014

Apply by sending your CV and covering letter to:
Jenny.fisher@pgmutual.co.uk

With millions taking out loans to pay for the festive excess and three-quarters of workers suffering

Taking out extra credit has become an increasingly common way to cover the cost of Christmas, but with 4 million people still paying off the cost of Christmas 2012 in November 2013,*** it appears many people are being left with long-term debt – debt that they would struggle to cover should they lose their income unexpectedly due to an illness or injury that forced them onto state sickness pay, which currently stands at just £86.70 per week.^

Leading insurer, PG Mutual, has warned that many UK professionals could find themselves struggling to meet the cost of their debt repayments in the event of having to take sick leave. With recent research showing three-quarters of UK workers were likely to suffer from ill health over the Christmas period†, PG Mutual believe that it has never been more important for those who rely on a regular monthly income to take preventative measures to ensure that they can keep up their financial repayments – even in the event of ill health resulting in a loss of pay.

PG Mutual Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “In the current economic climate, many people are not only dipping into their savings; they are resorting to credit cards and loans in order to cover extra expenses such as Christmas. While many people will manage their debt sensibly and make regular repayments, unfortunately an unexpected illness or an accident can throw even the most organised person’s finances into chaos.
“By insuring your income, you are making sure that even if you did have to take sick leave, and this significantly reduces your pay, you will still receive a regular monthly payment from your policy – which could be the difference between paying off your debt, and it spiralling out of control.

“We are always surprised at the number of people who don’t have income protection insurance in place – we would advise people who are juggling a lot of financial obligations after the festive period to look into taking out cover. Once you’ve fallen ill or suffered an accident, it’s too late to get insured, but you’ll still need to meet your repayments somehow – something most people would struggle with on state sickness pay.”

To find out how little income protection could cost you per month, or for more information, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk.

*Figure from Settle-my-debt.co.uk, September 2013
**Thisismoney.co.uk, December 2013
***Thisismoney.co.uk, November 2013
^DWP Website, July 2013
†HRZone.com, December 2013

Record new membership figures from PG Mutual

 Record new membership figures from PG Mutual highlight the increasing popularity of the mutual financial services provider

As the mutual sector continues to grow despite the economic crisis, leading not-for-profit insurer, PG Mutual has reported a record increase in new business for 2013 so far. These figures seem to support wider research that has shown the mutual sector to be particularly resilient during the recession, continuing to grow and even increase market share against commercial providers.*

PG Mutual, a specialist income protection insurance provider, has this week announced record figures for the first six months of 2013, with applications up by 209% year on year, and new members up by 220% compared to the first half of 2012. An increase of 179% in new business enquiries has also been reported. The increase is even more impressive in view of the fact that 2012 was the most successful year the company has seen since they were established in 1928. 2012 saw the company increase new business enquiries by 126%, and new members by 62%. Website visitors went up by an estimated increase of 66% on 2011.

Many factors have been suggested to account for for the increased popularity of mutual insurers and financial services providers, however, one of the most popular is that mutuals provide a much more customer-focused approach to business – something that consumers find reassuring after the banking crisis. Research by the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) found that 46% of people looking to change their financial services provider were looking for ‘an organisation that puts the interests of its customers before those of shareholders’. ** With this in mind, many people may be looking for a mutual provider in future.
 
PG Mutual Chief Executive Officer, Mike Perry, commented, “We are delighted that our Society keeps on growing, especially given the current climate and the situation many of our larger, commercial competitors find themselves in. We are dedicated to continuing to uphold our member-focused, mutual ethos, while adapting and changing to meet the needs of more and more new customers. We are also pleased to see the sector growing as a whole – the more awareness that can be generated around the benefits of mutuality, the better for everyone.”

*Market Insights Europe Study – March 2013
**AFM Survey, May 2013   

PG Mutual warns UK professionals not to ignore the importance of income protection

With over 300,000 employees moving from work to state sickness benefits, and many employers looking to reduce sick pay within the next year, leading not-for-profit insurer PG Mutual warns UK professionals not to ignore the importance of income protection

The cost of sick pay to UK businesses has been widely reported on since the start of the recession, with the bill for long-term sickness leave within the private sector estimated at around £3.1bn per year in 2012.* With this in mind, it appears many companies have had to review their sick pay entitlement for staff, with twice as many organisations considering decreasing this over the next year as those planning to increase it.** This means that while the number of employees taking long-term sick leave seems to be increasing, the provision of sick pay from employers is set to decrease. As such, employees are running the risk of state sickness pay becoming their only source of income if they had to take long-term sick leave.

A recent survey by PG Mutual^ found that nearly 30% of people questioned had no idea what their employer would pay them if they had to take sick leave, and for how long. There appears to be an assumption by many people that if they had a serious illness or an accident and had to take an extended period of time off work, their employer would continue to pay them at their current pay rate – however, this is not always the case, and is becoming less and less likely as companies look to save money in the current climate.

The same survey found that 76% didn’t know what level of state sickness pay they would be entitled to – currently, it stands at just £86.70 per week – around £346.80 per month. The average UK household spends £484.00 per week or £1,936.00 per month on their outgoings – so this would barely be enough to cover most people’s rent or mortgage, let alone pay for fuel, food, utilities etc. 

While it is estimated that the average person in the UK only has enough savings to live off for 19 days if they lost their income, the number of people with personal income protection insurance plans is still worryingly low, especially for those under the age of 25. Despite most UK adults having insurance in place for everything else, from their homes and cars to their iPhones and pets, little consideration seems to be given to how people would cover the cost of maintaining any of these things without a regular income.

Anecdotal evidence around why people don’t have income protection suggests a lack of understanding about the product and price – many people view the product with suspicion due to confusion with PPI, whereas others fear the cost to be prohibitive. In reality, all good income

In response to record demand for income protection cover, PG Mutual further strengthens its team.

PG Mutual is proud to announce the appointment of Donna Armstrong as a new Account Manager; she will be specialising in the Pharmacy profession where she will promote the value of Income Protection to both employers and their staff.  
Donna’s appointment is prompted by the surge in demand for PG Mutual’s Income Protection plan seen last year, with new member figures up 62% year on year, and increasing numbers of businesses who want to provide their staff with a clear, consistent sickness policy.

Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s Chief Executive says “I am very pleased that Donna has chosen to join us at PG Mutual during such a time of strength and promising growth for the Society. She is highly experienced in the insurance field and  we are looking forward to developing new and existing projects with many groups.” 

Donna joins PG Mutual from the National Pharmacy Association, where she looked after their key insurance partners.  “I am excited about joining PG Mutual because I will be able to continue to use my knowledge of the Pharmacy world, to help promote the advantages of PG Mutual membership, and also the other services now available.”

For your Income Protection quote visit the PG Mutual Quick Quote Webpage today. www.pgmutual.co.uk or call our expert team on 0800 146 307

PG Mutual claim payment rates stand out as income protection providers announce their 2012 figures

The claim payment figures of UK income protection providers have long been contested in terms of transparency and reliability. However, PG Mutual has published its figures for several years and announced it paid an impressive 98%of claims made in 2012 whilst still maintaining a safeguard for our members by ensuring each claim is genuine and appropriate. With one of the main factors potentially discouraging people from taking out protection policies in the past being uncertainty as to whether their claims would be settled, this will provide a welcome reassurance for anyone looking to take out income protection.
“We are extremely proud of our claim payment figures. On top of the 62% increase in our new membership figure year on year in 2012, it is pleasing that PG Mutual is not just taking on many more new members but we continue to demonstrate a strong track record of paying claims” explains PG Mutual Chief Executive, Mike Perry.
“Consumers know that you only find how good an insurance company is when you have to claim on your policy. PG Mutual is owned by its members and for us the priority is to be able to help them when they claim, as they may be suffering pain or worry about the ability to support their families”.
For more information on income protection insurance from PG Mutual, or check out the Quick Quote and new online application system, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk/quotation
 

PG Mutual strengthens team with appointment of new Financial Officer

PG Mutual is delighted to announce the appointment of Debbie McFarlane as their new Finance Officer. Debbie’s role is to ensure the successful transfer of the finance function in-house, providing expertise and access to financial information. Looking forward, she will be working on greater automation of our finance function such as processing of subscriptions, and integration with their accounting system. Her special interests include the investment account, and the management of the Society’s funds to achieve the best possible return on investments, to make sure members’ money goes further, while hedging risk securely.

Debbie joins the Friendly Society from CS Healthcare where she was Finance Director, and has worked previously at the Communication Workers Friendly Society as Head of Finance and IT. She comments “I am delighted to be joining PG Mutual at a time when the Society is thriving and ready to spread the message about the advantages of Mutuality”.

Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s Chief Executive, adds “Debbie is passionate about Mutuality and is a real asset. I am looking forward to her help in further growing the Society".

Growing recognition that individuals are taking responsibility for their financial health

Figures from PG Mutual indicate that an increasing number of professionals are aware that they may receive no ongoing financial support from their employer, and the bare minimum from the state in the event of long-term sick leave. The Friendly Society has reported an increase of 62% in new members year on year in 2012 as well as record numbers of enquiries.

PG Mutual ‘s Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains “We are seeing rising demand for income protection cover as people know that in the current economic climate, many employers are having to review how long they can support an employee who is off work sick. Professionals have worked hard to achieve a reasonable standard of living and don’t want to lose their income through an unexpected accident or illness.

“What many people don’t realise is that it’s too late to get cover once you’ve been struck down by illness or injury. The figures clearly show that people are taking action to protect their future rather than waiting for an accident to happen. In the current climate, people cannot afford to take the risk.

“The increase in our figures could also be attributed to the fact we offer customers the ability to choose the cost of the cover they take out. Because they tell us what they can afford, rather than us telling them what it will cost, many people are realising that income protection is actually very affordable.” 

For more information on the Income Protection Insurance offered by PG Mutual, please visit www.pgmutual.co.uk.

Putting customers first: PG Mutual appoints dedicated Membership Manager

It has been a long-running complaint against the larger financial service and insurance providers – the impersonal and problematic issue of call centres and poor customer service. A recent survey by the respected consumer body Which?* focusing on high street banks highlighted widespread customer dissatisfaction about the service they receive, particularly concerning how effective the banks were at resolving problems, and how knowledgeable the staff were about their products.

As a Friendly Society, PG Mutual understand the importance of looking after its members. With this in mind, they have appointed a dedicated Membership Manager, Joe Joyce, who will provide a named point of contact for all current members of the society. Joe has been with PG Mutual for nearly ten years, and knows many of the members personally, having helped them when they joined the Society.

“PG Mutual is all about looking after our members. We know how frustrating it is when you pay in money for a product, such as insurance cover, but struggle to get through to the right person when you need help, or have questions. That’s why we want our members to have one, dedicated, named person they can go to whenever they need anything from us. We believe that good customer service is ensuring that our current members are looked after just as well as new members” explains Mike Perry, PG Mutual Chief Executive.

New Membership Manager, Joe Joyce, commented, “I enjoy helping people and I look forward to working closely with our Membership Services team, who share my belief that we are here to work on behalf of our members. We are very proud to be a Mutual, and people tell us how important they feel this is”.

For more information on the Income Protection Insurance offered by PG Mutual, please visit www.pgmutual.co.uk.
*Which.co.uk September 2012: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2012/09/high-street-banks-failing-on-customer-satisfaction-295883/

PG Mutual launch fast, improved online service.

PG Mutual launch fast, improved online service to help eliminate the need for complicated insurance price comparisons for busy UK workers.
As many people find their money more stretched than ever with the aftermath of Christmas and the current economic climate, the number of people choosing to take out insurance to protect their income in the event of unexpected illness or injury is ever-increasing.* However, for those who are looking into income protection insurance for the first time, it can appear to be confusing, or potentially costly. 
Many of us have an idea of how much we would be willing to spend on insurance per month, but trawling through comparison sites trying to find cover at the right price can be a daunting prospect – and with the majority of people working longer hours than ever**, finding the time to find the right insurance can be difficult.
In response to the rapid increase in people applying for income protection, and to help those who are concerned about costs, PG Mutual are launching an improved Quick Quote and online application process, which allows you to set the amount that you are willing to pay for insurance per month, and then apply quickly and easily for cover via their new online system. Once you have submitted an application, you will then be contacted by one of PG Mutual’s UK-based Membership Team, who can guide you through the process of setting up your insurance. 
“We know how little time people have these days, and how vital it is that people are clear on what products such as insurance will actually cost them per month” says David Zerny, PG Mutual’s Marketing Manager. “As such, we wanted to put in place a system that makes it clear, easy and quick to apply to protect your financial security. A lot of our members are surprised at how little it costs to insure their income; this new online system is designed to help more people avoid running an unnecessary risk to their ability to look after themselves and their family in the event of illness”. 
For more information on income protection insurance from PG Mutual, or to check out the Quick Quote and new online application system, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk/quotation. 
 
*PG Mutual – December 2012
**Thisismoney.co.uk – January 2012

Surge in demand for income protection cover reported by leading Mutual

Evidence that income protection cover is becoming widely recognised as essential by professional people is shown in the latest figures from PG Mutual.  The Friendly Society has announced that new membership has risen year on year by 57%, and enquiries by 96%, for the period 1st January to 30th September 2012.

PG Mutual is a
leading not-for-profit Membership organisation, providing Income Protection Insurance for professionals and their staff.  Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains:

“People are losing trust in for-profits providers like banks and commercial insurers to take care of their interests as consumers. In addition to this, people have long since been aware that State Benefits are completely inadequate to support a reasonable standard of living. The recession has heightened people’s concerns that they can’t rely on their employer either, if they are off work sick for more than a few days.

“Professionals put in many years of hard work to develop their careers and to provide for their families. These results demonstrate that a mutual Friendly Society set up specifically to look after their needs is the answer they are looking for.”

PG Mutual partnership creates comprehensive cover package

PG Mutual has announced an exciting new partnership with specialist protection provider Bright Grey. Part of the Royal London Mutual Life and Pensions Company, Bright Grey offer Critical Illness and Life Cover. These products can now be purchased through PG Mutual, alongside Income Protection Insurance; providing buyers with a comprehensive package that covers your income in case of illness and injury, as well as protection of your assets in the case of critical illness or death.

Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s Chief Executive, explains ”We are pleased to announce that we offer a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for insurance and financial services at www.pgmutual.co.uk. This partnership makes it easy for those looking for comprehensive cover now that income protection, life and critical illness cover are all available from our website. We are delighted to partner with Bright Grey, who share our member-focused ethos.”

The importance of income protection insurance is clear; to lose your income due to an unexpected injury or illness would leave the majority of people unable to cope on state sickness pay. However, for those looking further ahead, life and critical illness cover can provide peace of mind in the long term. The Critical Illness cover offered by Bright Grey through www.pgmutual.co.uk can protect your assets and your family if you become diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness. Life cover means your family will benefit from a cash lump sum in the event of your death during the term of the policy.

A new protection specialist joins PG Mutual

A new protection specialist joins PG Mutual – helping protect the incomes of Healthcare Professionals.

With a recent survey showing that 74%* of us say that our employer sickness benefits have got worse over the past 12 months, many are now facing a ‘triple whammy’; falling disposable incomes combined with reduced state and employer benefits.  To enable more people to get expert help when selecting income protection cover, PG Mutual has announced the recruitment of an additional protection specialist.

Mo Shaikh joined PG Mutual on 2 July. As a Sales Manager, he will be responsible for looking after healthcare professionals in the Midlands, East Anglia and the Northern Home Counties. Mo will be working alongside Joe Joyce, who looks after members and key partners across Southern England, and Stephen Schofield, who manages the North of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

“At a time when the Society is seeing unprecedented demand for its income protection cover, I am delighted that Mo has chosen to join us”, says PG Mutual’s Chief Executive, Mike Perry. “Members tell us how much they value the personal service PG Mutual provides, and Mo will help us meet the needs of the growing number of healthcare professionals who rely on us to protect their current lifestyle when they are ill.”

Mo Shaikh commented, “I am very excited to be joining the Society at a time when so many people are turning to us as a trusted provider of income protection cover.”

*The Chemist and Druggist, 30 June 2012

Your Society highlights the advantages of Mutuality

The Financial Services sector seems to be mired in scandal these days, from the miss-selling of PPI to excessive ‘fat cat’ bonuses for City bosses. At a time when the public is questioning who they can trust to look after their financial interests, PG Mutual has seen many people taking an alternative approach when selecting their financial services provider.

The benefits of owning a share in your insurer or bank are becoming much better recognised, highlighted by the surge in new membership enquiries experienced by PG Mutual, the income protection specialists for healthcare professionals. During the first six months of this year, 78% more people enquired about taking out cover compared with the same period in 2011.

“We know that being able to trust your insurer or bank is of paramount importance”, says Mike Perry, PG Mutual’s Chief Executive.  “Mutuality makes all the difference, as the Society is solely driven by our members. Having no external shareholders to worry about means that members are at the heart of everything we do, and any surplus we make is returned to them. We paid 98% of all claims received in 2011, and our average member stays with us for twenty-two years; something of which we are very proud.”

PG Mutual launches Quick Quote

With 15 million UK adults’ financial security at risk if they were to lose their main source of income, protecting your income has never been easier with PG Mutual’s online ‘Quick Quote’

Recent research suggests 15 million UK adults’ financial security would be at risk if they were to lose their main source of income*; yet many still believe income protection insurance is beyond their financial means. With this in mind, PG Mutual, the specialist provider for healthcare professionals, is enhancing the service it offers by launching a Quick Quote function on their web site.

Users simply enter the amount they can afford to spend each month, and an illustration is generated. This can be tailored further to meet individual financial needs. Alternatively, they can type in the amount of cover required, and the subscription amount will be calculated.

“Our Quick Quote is designed to help people find the specific level of cover that they require and more importantly, they can afford”, says David Zerny, Marketing Manager at PG Mutual. “It’s quick and easy to use, as we want to encourage people to make sure there is enough money coming in to look after themselves and their families when off work sick.

“It helps users to match the cover they need with their budget. Having seen the number of visitors to www.pgmutual.co.uk double since the start of the year we believe it shows more people are becoming aware of the importance of protecting their income, and that offering a flexible quotation service will prove a valuable tool”.

For more information on protecting your income in the event of illness or injury, or to get a Quick Quote, visit www.pgmutual.co.uk today.

*Source: Unbiased.co.uk, 3 April 2012 - based on Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,015 UK adults from 2 September to 5 September 2011

PG Mutual first quarter figures highlight importance of Income Protection

Income protection insurance is frequently in the news these days, often against a background of reduced state or employer benefits when UK workers are ill or have an accident. More of us understand that there is very little in the shape of a state-funded safety net, and that the government now expects individuals to take responsibility for their own financial wellbeing.

This raised public awareness is shown by PG Mutual’s figures for the first quarter of 2012, with the number of new members between January and March up by 55% compared with last year, and enquiries up by 51%.

“People know that if their income stops the bills keep on coming, which raises the question ‘How do I pay them?’” says PG Mutual’s Chief Executive, Mike Perry.

Mike Perry added “At a time when the state is cutting back it is important that all healthcare professionals make sure their income is protected if they fall ill or have an accident. Ask yourself or your employer how much would I receive and for how long? If you are self-employed the state would provide £71.00 a week* which will hardly protect most current lifestyles”.

“PG Mutual’s recent marketing message had highlighted the amount received from the state which we believe is one of the reasons our first quarter results are so strong”.

*Employment Support Allowance is £71.00 a week. Source: DWP website, April 2012.

PG Mutual launches Essential Cover for Healthcare Technicians

Many employees receive little or no support from an employer above state sickness pay when off work sick. It can mean a huge drop in income unless the employer is willing to maintain their salary; but this carries the risk of a sick employee becoming a long-term burden which the business cannot afford. The employer may also face claims of unfair discrimination if they choose to support one member of staff when off ill, but not another.

To address this, specialist Income Protection insurance provider PG Mutual is making income protection cover more accessible for Healthcare Technicians with the launch of Essential Cover, which can provide a tax free income of £430 a month for just £10 a month subscription during the first year of membership*.

“We encourage everyone to look at their contract of employment to check the amount they would receive - and for how long - when they are taken ill or injured” says David Zerny, PG Mutual’s Marketing Manager. “This offer will appeal to employees who realise that the government is handing responsibility back to the individual, as state benefits are restricted or means-tested. Having income protection cover in place could provide their financial lifeline”.

“It will also be attractive to employers who want to recruit, retain or reward staff by providing such a valuable benefit.”

Full details can be found at www.pgmutual.co.uk/technicians

*This offer is subject to PG Mutual’s terms and conditions

PG Mutual members to benefit from new partnership with Skipton Financial Services

PG Mutual has announced a partnership with Medical Insurance Agency (MIA), a trading division of Skipton Financial Services (SFS), to offer its members access to whole of market financial advice through PG Mutual Financial Services. SFS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Skipton Building Society and is a whole of market financial adviser, which means it is not tied to any provider and can recommend products from across the market place. Its particular specialisms include advising on investments, pensions and inheritance tax planning for people of all ages. Mike Perry, Chief Executive Officer at PG Mutual, commented, “I’m very pleased to announce the launch of PG Mutual Financial Services on 5 April 2012. We see our partnership with SFS as an important development, with PG Mutual members having access to a range of products designed to help them make the most of their money, and plan for a successful financial future. SFS are one of the UK’s most respected and trusted financial service providers, and like PG Mutual are driven by the needs of their customers.” Andrew Barker, Managing Director of SFS, added, “We are delighted that PG Mutual has chosen to work with us. For them to entrust SFS to provide their members with advice on their personal finances is a real endorsement for us and a great opportunity for healthcare professionals to become aware of and benefit from our services.”

PG Mutual asks “Do you have a Plan B?”

For most people, Plan A is being able to maintain their lifestyle, have enough money to do the things they enjoy and to save for the future. For the majority, this is funded through earning a salary; however, surveys suggest that 9 out of 10 UK workers do not have any income protection cover in place* to provide them with an alternative income if they could not work due to illness or injury.

With state sickness benefit only worth around £300 a month** PG Mutual’s new advertising campaign emphasises the need for people to think about their own Plan B.

“In the current economic climate, at a time when everyone is acutely aware of rising living costs, we want to encourage healthcare professionals to ask themselves “Have I got a Plan B?” At PG Mutual we offer Income Protection Insurance that can help maintain your current lifestyle, with cover available from the first day of illness or injury. Our members can then rest assured that they have their Plan B in place” says Mike Perry, CEO of PG Mutual.

PG Mutual is a Friendly Society, dedicated to looking after the needs of healthcare professionals. To get a quotation visit www.pgmutual.co.uk or call 0800 146 307.

* Source: www.moneymarketing.co.uk, April 2012
**Employment Support Allowance is £67.50 a week. Source: www.dwp.gov.uk, March 2012

We’re changing! Pharmaceutical & General Provident Society becomes PG Mutual

Pharmaceutical & General, the specialist income protection insurer for pharmacy and other healthcare professionals, has announced that it is changing its name to PG Mutual from 1 March.

Mike Perry, Chief Executive of PG Mutual, said, “Pharmaceutical & General is a Friendly Society established in 1928 for the benefit of its members. At a time when the word ‘trust’ is not always associated with financial institutions, we feel it is right to promote that our mutuality makes us different – and we believe, better. Our new name PG Mutual, reflects the fact that we are owned by our members and exist solely to serve their needs.” 

The question we are asking everyone is ‘Could you survive on £67.50 a week?’ because for most of us, state sickness benefit is not enough to live on. People are now much more aware of their financial priorities and the need to have adequate income protection cover in place. They tell us that being able to rely on an income from the first day off work because of illness is an important aspect of their professional lives, especially as our cover lasts until they can resume their career; state benefit stops if they can perform any work. 

Our Mutual status means we don’t make a profit but return any surplus to members, and we
have seen the number of new enquiries grow by over 40% year-on- year.

Mike added that in addition to modernising its name, PG Mutual is helping members enjoy a range of new benefits. Recently, online access to Commercial Loans was launched, along with Buy to Let products available from lenders across the UK, rather than just the high street.

PG Mutual appoints Stephen Schofield as a Sales Manager

Stephen will take responsibility for the North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. He will be working alongside Joe Joyce, who is focussing on looking after PG Mutual’s members and supporting key partners across the Midlands, Central and Southern England.

PG Mutual’s Chief Executive Mike Perry said today: “We’re very pleased that Stephen has chosen to join us at this exciting stage in the Society’s growth. PG Mutual has posted record new membership figures over the past two years and we have recently launched Commercial Loans and Buy to Let mortgages (www.pgmutual.co.uk), with further financial products being planned for 2012. 

Stephen brings nearly twenty years’ experience of working in Financial Services, combined with commercial acumen and a strong enthusiasm for the Mutual sector in particular. He will help PG Mutual enhance the high levels of recognition that we already enjoy within the Pharmacy, Optometry and Veterinary professions as the “go- to” Income Protection provider.”  
 

Stephen Schofield comments: “I’m happy to be joining the team at PG Mutual, a Friendly Society whose success is based on putting its members first. 
 

It’s a great time to be promoting Mutuality. I believe the British public is increasingly aware of the advantages offered by organisations which exist to serve their members instead of making a profit out of them for outside shareholders. PG Mutual’s products are designed to meet the needs of healthcare professionals, backed by great customer service; I look forward to helping many more people to benefit from membership of the Society.”

Around 300,000 UK workers fall into the welfare system because of health-related issues each year, with those on long-term sick leave missing out on £4 billion a year in lost earnings.

February 2016