As the financial advisor for More Than Money I wanted to take a look at Vitality Life Insurance and shares my review and experience.
I’m big on insurance; obviously. I dedicate my working week to find the best insurance products to suit the lifestyle, budget and needs of people from all walks of life – and I’m often asked, ‘Who are you with?’. Well here is my Vitality Life Insurance review.
If you’re reading this for the first time and have no idea who I am… I forgive you. I’m a humble advisor and the proud joint owner of More Than Money. It’s my goal to protect as many families as possible.
So, back to my review of why I chose Vitality Life to insure me…
Before we start, if you’re serious about Vitality life Insurance and genuinely want to know more before getting a quote then read this whole review in full. I explain everything from the quality of their cover, to how their rewards and discounts work.
I also talk specifically about the Apple Watch 6 offer for £37 and how it works and if it’s worth it or not.
This article takes 8 minutes to read in full, but trust me, it’s worth it.
For me, Vitality were the best choice – and not just because the sausage dog on their TV ads makes me laugh, or because you get free rewards like an Apple watch and free Nero’s – although they are lovely added extras!
I’m a financial advisor with knowledge of all the insurance policies available – and yet I have chosen Vitality for my Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover…
Who Are Vitality Life Insurance?
Vitality started life in 2007 in the UK as a joint venture between PruHealth and PruProtect – becoming VitalityLife 2014. The company is the first to start rewarding customers for living a healthier lifestyle by discounting up to 30% off your premiums and offering other goodies through their Vitality Points scheme (more on that later!)
So, they do things a little differently – but that doesn’t mean they offer less in terms of cover to some of the older, more traditional insurers…
Vitality Life Insurance
Just like other insurance providers, Vitality offer term Life Insurance and Whole of Life Insurance, let’s review:
- Term Life Insurance – This type of policy pays out if you die within the term of the policy. If you ‘outlive’ your policy, you don’t get a payout and you would have to start a new policy in order to be insured again.
- Whole Of Life Insurance – More expensive, but this type of policy will pay out whenever you die.
For me personally I went with a Term insurance policy which will stay in place until I retire. I did this for budgeting reasons, and I understand when I retire my needs will be different to what they are now.
But why Vitality? Well they paid out on 99.6% of their life insurance claims in 2019. This is the most in the UK. Higher than other providers like Aviva and Legal and General. So, I trust they will do the same if I die.
Vitality Critical Illness Cover
That title isn’t strictly true. To review, Vitality’s version of Critical Illness Cover is actually called Serious Illness Cover, and is available as an add-on to your Life Insurance or as a standalone policy.
So, how is it different to the traditional Critical Illness Cover?
How Is It Different?
There are several ways Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover is different to the Critical Illness Cover offered by other insurers.
- Your pay out depends on the severity of your illness – Vitality recognises that different illnesses will have a different financial impact and pay out accordingly. A severe stage of cancer could result in you receiving a full pay out, for example, whereas the diagnosis of something more easily treatable might mean that you receive 25% of your pay out. The key thing to note here is most insurance companies would pay out nothing for the more easily treatable condition.
- You can claim on your policy multiple times – Unlike other Critical Illness policies, which you can claim on once and that’s that, Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover allows you to claim more than once. This is because they recognise that with today’s advances in medicine and science, we’re surviving illnesses that we might not have done in the past, and illness cover should reflect this. The important thing to note here is if you received a 25% pay out on your policy, Vitality will leave the other 75% for you in case you need to claim again in the future.
- You’re Covered For More Conditions – Most Critical Illness policies cover around 50 conditions, but Vitality covers over 154 – which is great value for customers as it’s 3 times more likely to pay out compared to more traditional Critical Illness Cover.
- They Offer Two Levels Of Cover – Vitality’s Primary Cover is more basic (and cheaper) and covers 154 of the most severe illnesses, paying out from 15% of your cover up to 100%. Their Comprehensive Cover insures you against 185 illnesses, with the addition of some earlier stage illnesses, paying out from 5% up to 100%.
For me personally, I’ve chosen to insure myself with Vitality’s Comprehensive cover. It was only a few pounds more per month, but I now have the most comprehensive policy in the UK in my opinion.
The importance of Vitality paying out on severity is not to be underestimated. Your standard Critical illness policy in the UK will define how ill you need to be before you get paid out, and it leaves little room to get any money if you don’t meet that definition. However, Vitality will pay-out at much earlier stages of the illness.
Even if it’s only a 25% pay out, it’s 25% you wouldn’t have got elsewhere.
Remember, the rest of your money is protected for any future claims.
You’re probably now getting some sort of idea of why I chose Vitality for my insurance; being fairly young, fit and healthy (and wanting to stay that way – the fit and healthy bit at least!), plus the company’s incentives for sticking to a healthy lifestyle have been very motivating!
Let me tell you more about the fitness points and rewards that Vitality offers.
Benefits And Rewards
An insurance company offering a free welcome gift when you take out a policy is nothing new – an Amazon gift card if you’re lucky, a cuddly toy that’s a disappointing reproduction of the official mascot if you’re not; but Vitality takes it to another level altogether. They allow you to earn rewards based on a points system, offering rewards such as free cinema tickets, money off of spa breaks and gym memberships, a free weekly coffee, and an Apple watch.
So, How Does It Work?
By tracking your daily activity through a tracking device like a fitness watch or app like Apple Health you earn Vitality Points – the more active you are, the more points you earn.
You can then use these points to receive Vitality Active Rewards – like the ones I’ve mentioned. When you combine this incentive with the 30% premium discount, you can see that Vitality’s Life Insurance offers a lot more value for money than some other insurers.
Below is a list of the rewards you can earn, it’s important to know, the amount of rewards you can have is based on how much you spend –
|Tier 1 = From £8 per month*||
Tier 2 = From £25 per month*
Tier 3 = From £49.75 per month*
|Up to 80% off a Bluecrest Health Screen once per plan year||Up to 80% off a Bluecrest Health Screen once per plan year||Up to 80% off a Bluecrest Health Screen once per plan year|
|Up to 75% off Champneys Spa once per plan year||Up to 75% off Champneys Spa once per plan year||Up to 75% off Champneys Spa once per plan year|
|25% off Runnersneed Running Shoes once per plan year||25% off Runnersneed Running Shoes once per plan year||50% off Runnersneed Running Shoes once per plan year|
|40% off Polar, Garmin & Withings devices once per plan year||40% off Polar, Garmin & Withings devices once per plan year||40% off Polar, Garmin & Withings devices once per plan year|
|10% off Expedia.co.uk||10-20% off Expedia.co.uk||10-20% off Expedia.co.uk|
|50% off Caffe Nero Drink once per week||50% off Caffe Nero Drink once per week||Free Caffe Nero Drink once per week|
|40% off gym membership at Virgin Active, Nuffield Health and David Lloyd||40% off gym membership at Virgin Active, Nuffield Health and David Lloyd|
|Apple Watch 6 for £37|
|2% cash back American Express credit card|
|Free Cinema tickets every 2 weeks to Vue and Cineworld|
|Up to 25% cash back at Waitrose|
|Up to 2 free Rakuten TV movies a week|
|Up to 25% off Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels discounts|
|Free Amazon Prime Membership|
*These rewards are earned based on you hitting your Vitality points targets, I explain more below.
What you need to know when quoting for Vitality
Ok, so here is the important stuff!
You have two options when choosing your Vitaly policy:
Vitality Select – This option will give you no discount on your monthly premium and a limited amount of rewards (Tier 1 rewards only).
There are also no requirements to keep healthy or earn points.
This option is great for people who just want to pay for their policy and forget about it.
Vitality Plus – this option gives you up to 30% off your monthly premium and will give you access to a much wider range of rewards and discounts depending on what you spend on your insurance. (Tier 1,2 or 3 rewards).
On this option, you are then required to stay active and healthy. However, don’t worry, I work in an office every day and I hit my Vitality target every year.
Your target is to get to 2,400 activity points in a year and reach Platinum level.
If you reach platinum level, you will earn the maximum rewards available and keep 100% of your discount applied to your monthly premium.
Below are the different levels you will reach based on the points you earn.
|0-799 points||800-1,599 points||1,600-2,399 points||2,400+ points|
How easy is it to reach platinum and what happens if I don’t?
I get asked this question all the time, well put it this way, as I said, I sit in an office all day and I hit my yearly points target!
Here is my rundown on how to always hit Platinum!
When you first join Vitality Life Insurance, you will need to complete a Vitality health review. This takes about 10 mins and can be completed on your phone earning you your first 100 points. This is repeated at the start of every policy year.
You will also earn 100 points every year you remain a non-smoker.
So that’s your first 200 points bagged without moving an inch.
My next move, I book myself in with my local Lloyds Pharmacy for a health screening. They check my –
- Height and Weight
- Blood Pressure
I get this done once every year, I book the appointment through my Vitality app, it only costs me £10 and once the results come back, (usually within 24 hours) I earn up to 600 points.
So, without moving a muscle (apart from walking to my local Lloyds Pharmacy) I’ve earnt myself 800 points.
So, I only have 1,600 points to go to hit my target.
This breaks down to 30 points a week on average you’ll need to hit through activity.
Here are some ways you can earn these 30 points –
- 12,500 steps in 1 day = 8 points (do this 4 times a week and you will earn 32 points)
- 10,000 steps in 1 day = 5 points 5 (do this 5 times a week and you will earn 30 points)
- Gym workout with heart rate above 60% age related capacity = 8 points (do this at the gym 4 times a week will earn you 32 points)
- Run or cycle for 60 mins = 8 points (do this 4 times a week and you will earn 32 points)
You see, you only have to be active 4 times a week and you will hit your 2,400 yearly points target.
Well what if I don’t?
Obviously, not everyone will reach Platinum. If you don’t reach Platinum, Vitality will remove some of the discount they’ve given you on your monthly premium.
NOT ALL OF IT.
I’ve put a handy table together to show how this works.
Depending on what status you finish in, the following discount will be removed from your premium:
|2.5% is removed||1.5% is removed||0.5% is removed||0% is removed|
To put this into context, if you never moved a muscle and stayed in Bronze status year after year, it would take you 12 years before all your 30% discount was removed.
Ok, the Apple watch 6 for £37
You can save up to £432 on the Apple watch series 6 – an attractive gift incentive for the active Vitality customers.
To make the most of the offer, you would need to earn activity points through the Vitality Program.
The more activity points you earn, the less you pay back each month for the Apple watch.
To be eligible for this offer you would need to be on a Vitality Plus plan.
You would also need to be paying a minimum monthly premium above £49.75.
You will need to agree to a consumer credit agreement (0% APR) and set up a direct debit for 36 months.
A deposit of £37 is required, but the monthly direct debit will be paid for by Vitality in full every month if you hit your point target.
Payments are between £0 and £12 depending on your level of activity in the previous month, (how many points you have earned).
In order for vitality to pay the £12 monthly direct debit, you need to earn 40 points in a month.
Do this every month for 3 years and yes you will NEVER pay more than the £37 deposit.
What happens if you don’t hit the 40-points required in a month?
Well the direct debit cost is shared. For example, if you only hit 20 points, Vitality will pay £6 and you’ll pay £6.
If you’re wondering, yes, I have the watch.
Do I always hit my 40 points?… no not every month. Life gets in the way.
Is it still worth it?… Yes
The watch helps me stay active, it’s made me push myself harder in the gym or run that bit longer or take the longer route to work to get my steps in.
That’s the beauty of Vitality Life Insurance and why I wrote this review. Not only do I have a very comprehensive policy, but I’m also genuinely fitter and healthy because I’m with them.
Oh, and plus I get a free coffee every week!