Forces Financials New Personal Accident Insurance

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Forces_Financial, Mar 6, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. It had been clear for some time that the cost of Personal Accident insurance was on the increase and, in response to this and feedback from our customers, Forces Financial has recently introduced a unique Personal Accident insurance product that takes an innovative approach to providing affordable comprehensive cover for the Armed Forces.

    Our aim is to deliver a Personal Accident insurance solution that gives more Service personnel the opportunity to maintain an appropriate level of cover at all times, at an affordable price. So you don’t pay extra for cover that is already available to you through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, and the Forces Financial Personal Accident policy focuses its main benefits on providing cover for permanent injuries experienced off duty.

    Find out more about the product and how we can help by going to

    Forces Financial is a trading name of Stuart Harvey Insurance Brokers Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registration number 301858. Registered Office: Globe House, 24 Turret Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1DL
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    All very misleading.

    AFCS applies to everyone, and PA policies are always in addition to it, not instead of. You have to ask yourself whether the AFCS is enough in the event of the worst happening, and whether you would like to leave more to your family, or have more for yourself after being injured.

    This product cost considerably less, but also offers considerably less.

    Also, consider question 8 on the FAQs:

    "Isn't the risk of death higher when service personnel are on duty on overseas operations?

    Understandably the percieved risk is higher, but MoD figures for 2007 indicate that, as in previous years, factors other than hostile action have been the main cause of death in the Services. 64% of the 201 deaths in the regular Armed Forces in 2007 were attributed to other causes, such as land transport accidents, which can occur off duty".

    Very misleading, as the death benefit is the same whether on or off duty.

    Forces Financial, perhaps you could share the more meaningful figures with us:

    How many of those 201 deaths would have been on duty, but not caused by hostile action. This would give an indication of the percentage split between on and off duty accidents in contract terms. This would then allow your potential clients to weigh up the real risks of on vs off duty coverage. Better yet, do you have the stats for on/off duty VSI?

    Would you consider a soldier driving their own car on a journey which would be in receipt of an MMA claim on duty? What about between their SFA or home address and usual place of work?

    Come on, Treating Customers Fairly requires honest statements which do not mislead.

    As always folks - seek expert INDEPENDANT advice about what the various products offer before purchasing any insurance, and read the wordings carefully.
  3. Duke

    In order to clarify, and certainly not mislead, may we take your points in order:

    This new product is intended to keep options open for those seeking Personal Accident insurance in a market that, as other posts here have indicated, has become increasingly difficult. AFCS does apply to everyone, however the cover it provides is only available whilst you are serving in your role as a member of HM Armed Forces; it does not provide cover whilst you are off duty.

    In order to provide a lower cost alternative with some valuable benefits we have used our experience and knowledge of this specialist product and taken a completely different approach to other established providers. If customers wish to take out Personal Accident insurance and can afford a traditional product we would not disuade them from obtaining the maximum protection they can afford from other military insurance specialists. However experience shows that many soldiers cancel their Personal Accident insurance when they return from deployment, putting themselves at potential risk, and feedback suggests affordability pays a large part in this decision.

    I believe you may have misinterpreted our point regarding Q8 on the FAQ as we are not trying to imply that customers receive more for death attributed to off duty events with our policy, but instead that we believe there is a call for cover both on and off duty. Our product is first and foremost designed as a Personal Accident product to provide cover against life changing events like permanent injury or disablement, it is not an Accidental Death product. The accidental death cover is an additional benefit rather than a main feature. If a customer has concerns for providing for dependents there are many suitable Life insurance products available designed to provide this.

    In answer to your questions the statistics quoted in Q8 are from DASA, and relate to all deaths in service – 128 of which (64%) were attributed to causes other than violent death (hostile action) in 2007. Likewise VSI data on operational casualties can be found at the DASA site.

    Regarding the motoring queries, as set out in the AFCS booklet, travel between an SFA (or home address) and the usual place of duty is not covered by the AFCS unless the accomodation is over 50 miles away. So we would consider the soldier making this journey (under 50 miles) to be off duty, and where it is unclear at the tiime of notification of a claim whether the loss occurred whilst on or off duty we may seek to determine the insured persons duty status by reference to either the AFCS guidelines, and/or the insured person’s commanding officer or medical officer.

    We are realistic in anticipating it may take some time for a product with such a radically different approach and no direct comparisons to become fully accepted. Our experienced teams are busy delivering surgeries and briefs to communicate that understanding so customers can be made aware of all the options open to them before, as you say, taking independent advice.

    Forces Financial is a trading name of Stuart Harvey Insurance Brokers Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registration number 301858. Registered Office: Globe House, 24 Turret Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1DL
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    If the death benefit is of little relevance (which I agree it is), why do you have it as an FAQ?

    To save everyone searching through DASA, perhaps you could answer my questions. For ease, I will write them out again:

    How many of the deaths not attributable to enemy action would have been considered "on duty" for the purposes of your scheme?

    How many of the VSIs would have been considered "off duty"?

    This is a key question, and a material consideration when deciding if this product meets the demands and needs of the soldier. For example, if 50% of all VSIs are off duty, then it becomes a potentially attractive product. If it is, say, 20% then you only have a 1 in 5 shot of claiming the headline benefit of 150k in the event of a VSI.

    For interest, below is a comparison of level 4 Friendly Forces vs 3 units of PAX. In the absence of a specific Quadraplegia benefit on the FF programme, I have assumed that quadraplegia will equate to a full permanent total disablement payout, with sums depending on off duty vs on duty status.

    PAX FF
    AD 30,000 25,000
    Quadraplegia (on duty) 200,000 30,000
    Quadraplegia (off duty) 200,000 150,000
    Permanent total disab (usual) 7,500 15,000
    PTD (any) on duty 60,000 30,000
    PTD (any) off duty 60,000 150,000
    Loss of one eye on duty 30,000 15,000
    Loss of one leg on duty 30,000 22,500
    loss of one eye off duty 30,000 150,000
    Loss of one leg off duty 30,000 112,500

    You will note that the FF product is only actually offering higher sums insured for the PTD (any occupation) while off duty and PTD from usual occupation. The sums offered for PTD usual occupation are not material under either scheme, as they will not allow you to retire on them - they assume that you will benefit from a disability pension, and find work once you are unfit for service in the army. The benefits for certain parts of the scale (examples given being loss of an eye/leg) are also better when off duty under the FF scheme

    The PTD (any occupation) benefit requires you to be unable to do any form of work ever again, and the off duty payment from FF is over twice that of PAX, but the on duty payment is half that of PAX. That is why the on/off duty question is key to the whole thing.

    Also, note that even AFTER the 29% rate increase, 3 units of PAX is still cheaper than level 4 FF on an annual basis.

    Read the detail, folks.

    Edit - apologies, formatting got lost. First number after each benefit is the PAX payment, the second is the FF payment
  5. Duke

    In trying to develop a new Personal Accident product that enables personnel to afford a level of cover 24/7 we have focused on providing the maximum benefits of the policy for off duty accidents that are not already covered by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. So customers do not pay extra in their premiums for cover that is already provided.

    Taking just one of the examples you give above – the loss of one leg – it is possible to see what this can translate into for the injured soldier:

    Loss whilst on duty (FF level 4 and PAX 3 units)

    PAX - £30,000 + Armed Forces Compensation Scheme - £115,000 = £145,000 benefit
    FF - £22,500 + Armed Forces Compensation Scheme - £115,000 = £137,500 benefit

    Loss whilst off duty (FF level 4 and PAX 3 units)

    PAX - £30,000 benefit
    FF - £112,500 benefit

    So whilst the AFCS is there providing adequate cover for incidents on duty/in service - topped up by the benefit provided by any additional Personal Accident insurance a customer decides to take out - it is when the same injury occurs off duty that the unique aspect of the Forces Financial product steps in to provide maximum benefits.

    We drew attention to the DASA statistics only to illustrate that, whilst the perception may differ, more serving personnel are at risk of dying from factors attributed to other causes, such as RTAs, than hostile action. Therefore cover when not on overseas operational duty is as important. Without knowing the individual details of each death not attributed to enemy action, which the report does not provide, we would not speculate on the duty status in each instance. You raised VSI, and DASA records 47 operational casualties under this category in 2007.

    Our product is unlike any others in the market at the moment, this does make it difficult to compare directly against PAX or the products of other providers who specialise in this market. So we would encourage calls to our advisers for more information
    (00800 11 22 33 04 free from the UK and Germany, and +44 1993 862046 from the rest of the world). I have also sent you a pm Duke.

    Finally, we like the ‘Friendly’ – but it’s Forces Financial you need to call!

    Forces Financial is a trading name of Stuart Harvey Insurance Brokers Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registration number 301858. Registered Office: Globe House, 24 Turret Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1DL
  6. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    Sorry mong fingers with product name.

    I understand the differences in your product, I know what the intention is, and the difference between AFCS benefits being paid or not.

    Shame that you will still not answer the questions though. Your comment about more people dying from non-operational causes is absolutely correct, but conveniently avoids the key issue - how many of the non-operational accidents were on duty vs off duty. An RTA is non-operational, but a rolled vehicle on exercise is on duty, and would get the reduced benefit.

    Your underwriters (and trust me - I know them personally) would not have generated a premium without a much better breakdown of injury rates between on duty and off duty to enable them to come up with a comparative probability of accident occuring on or off duty.

    All I am asking is that you give readers of this forum the opportunity to weigh up the relative likelyhood of an accident occuring whilst on or off duty, so that they can evaluate the true value of your product.

    I have asked this before, on both of my posts. Care to allow the members of the site to make an informed decision?

  7. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    If anyone else apart from FF is still awake and reading this, perhaps a quick explanation of why I am so persistent about the relative injury ratios is in order.

    Example 1

    Non-operational deployment year. You buy the FF product during a year when you are in a routine, non operational deployment year with no high intensity training.

    Using the loss of leg example, lets assume that you have a 50/50 chance of being off duty when you have the accident. Not a bad assumption, as your chances of an RTA whilst stood down are a major factor in the accident statistics and you are not exposed to operational losses or high intensity training.

    50% chance of 22,500
    50% chance of 112,500

    Example 2

    Year involving operational PDT and a tour.

    If we take the death ratios to be comparable to the injury ratios, 36% of injuries will be on Ops, and 64% not.

    However, in intensive PDT, your likelyhood of a training accident could increase dramatically in line with the training events, driving to and from exercise etc.

    Lets assume it goes up as high as 80% on duty 20% off duty.

    You are now looking at a total on duty (including on ops) likelyhood of 87%, with 13% whilst off duty.

    Happy to only have a realistic chance of claiming the full benefit for loss of a leg running at 13%?

    This is why the stats are so important. The fact that the product is designed to be kept running continuously, and not bumped up for Ops means that having a good understanding of these figures is even more essential if the soldier is to make an informed choice.
  8. Had to sleep on that Duke – and thanks for the pm.

    I know it seems like we are the only ones engaged on this topic, but we are on a public forum and as such I don’t think you would expect us to share our underwriters rating policy here.

    This product is not trying to compete against PAX or any other provider of military Personal Accident (PA) insurance. We know that their traditional product, whilst costly, provides the widest cover that can currently be achieved for the risks involved.

    What we have is an alternative that can be used by soldiers who either cannot afford any type of additional cover, or take out PA on operations and cancel when they return home. Interestingly, turning your argument on its head, you haven’t proposed soldiers returning from deployment should then cancel PAX.

    With occupational cover provided by the AFCS we want to provide the option of covering off-duty life too, rather than having nothing in place. Everyday we hear from soldiers with mates who suffered injuries or death from accidents off duty. Just like civilians they know they have to make a decision about whether that is a risk worth covering, and I know you are trying to inform that decision. But as with civilians, ultimately the final decision to take out an optional policy like this is determined by the individual’s approach to risk, which only they can determine, their lifestyle (we are all very different – motorbike riders for example) and available income. Knowing that they have a 13% likelihood (your figure) of claiming on our policy might help to a degree, or that say 18 in 100 civilians will be involved in a major non-fatal accident each year. But for many, knowing they can insure against being caught without any provision should the worst happen, is sufficient reason for taking out insurance.

    Following the announcement that PAX premiums are set to increase by 29% in April we have heard many soldiers say they will be cancelling their PAX cover. Our reaction has been to suggest they could keep their cover but reduce the existing level by the £11.73 it would cost to take out Level 4 with Forces Financial’s PA. Then for the price of their existing premium (pre-increase) they will have an element of PAX (which can currently be increased in line with increased pay when they are deployed), and the benefit of enhanced off duty cover from FF – covering all bases.

    Forces Financial is a trading name of Stuart Harvey Insurance Brokers Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registration number 301858. Registered Office: Globe House, 24 Turret Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1DL
  9. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    Thanks for the answer - sort of. Still no answer to the on/off duty question rather than the on ops/off ops ratios that you highlight in your FAQ, but I doubted you would ever provide that. Anyone following the thread can read into your decision not to answer whatever they chose to.

    I do not suggest that people should cancel their PAX on return from ops - quite the opposite. If you have a life changing injury, whatever the cause, then money will not make it better but it will certainly remove a lot of the financial concerns associated with it. The AFCS payment is an additional amount when on duty, as a benefit to reflect the increased demands made of members of the armed forces. It is getting better, but I would not like to rely on it to keep my family supported.

    People can now make their own choice:

    The cost of one round of drinks per month for cover that is very good when you are off duty, but does very little when you are on duty (which lets face it is most of the time now the armed forces are "running hot")


    One night on the lash per month for cover which pays you the same benefit whether you are on or off duty.

    Stay at home rear party type with fablonned biff chit vs active soldier is busy ops/ex cycle?
  10. It s not a problem to the rest of us you two having your own thread, it is very informative so crack on.

    Please put me on right track if I have got this wrong but it appears that:

    PAX if you are likely to go on ops in the near future.

    FF if you are unlikely to be deployed.

    for similar levels of cover and costs.

  11. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Not really, but nearly!

    PAX (or similar - I have used PAX as an example, it is not the only provider) if you want to know that you will get the headline sum insured whether you are on duty or not, and are willing to pay more for that certainty.

    FF if you are happy to get a much lower sum insured when on duty, but good sum insured when not, and are happy to pay less for less cover and rely on the AFCS.

    A combination of the two (as FF suggests) may be a reasonable compromise, but how many soldiers do you know that would pay for 2 lots of cover if they thought they could get away with one?

    FF (max benefit) is around 20% of the cost of PAX(max benefit), but only offers a 20% benefit for all the time you are on duty - how much your on duty accident risk is compared to the off duty accident risk is the question that FF won't answer. You will have to decide for yourself what you think the likelyhood is.
  12. The_Duke

    "I can see clearly now..."

    It is a duty vs off duty conundrum.

  13. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    So PAX it is then every time.