Guardian and Zurich join Stonebridge’s protection panel

Stonebridge has appointed Guardian and Zurich to its protection panel, taking the number of primary providers from six to eight.

Guardian and Zurich join AIG, Aviva, Legal & General, LV=, Royal London, and Vitality on the panel.

Stonebridge member firms can now access Guardian’s full range of products containing features such as enhanced terminal illness definition on Life Protection, Cover Upgrade Promise on its critical illness covers, Optional Children’s Critical Illness Protection, dual life approach, own job definition of incapacity on Income Protection and Premium Waiver as standard on all covers.

Plus, with the recent launch of Life Essentials, advisers can recommend a choice of two life covers for their clients depending on whether quality or price is their priority.

Zurich recently enhanced its critical illness proposition offering customers bespoke packages of targeted cover.

Its ‘modular’ approach allows advisers to craft individual solutions for each customer, meaning they only pay for the cover they need, when and for how long they need it.

Zurich now offers three different levels of critical illness cover and two levels of children’s cover – where customers can select any amount of cover between £10,000 and £100,000.

For those customers planning to start or add to their family, the Pregnancy and Early Childhood option offers specific and tailored protection, and it can be added or removed during the term to suit a customer’s needs. Each of the children’s cover options can be added to a Life Cover policy also.

Stonebridge said the addition of two more major insurers to the panel, further strengthened its overall protection proposition, which offers AR firms access to iPipeline’s Solution Builder technology, fully integrated into the network’s own system, Revolution, plus full BDM support, and an in-network referral option – Stonebridge Protect – for those firms wanting to place their client with a specialist in this space. 

Rob Clifford (pictured), chief executive of Stonebridge, said: “Our protection panel and broader product provider solutions are all about providing Stonebridge AR firms and advisers with as much choice as they need, in a vitally important sector.

“Consumer Duty highlights the importance of advisers not just looking after the mortgage advice needs of their clients but also ensuring they have advice and support in crucial other areas, such as protection.

“We are therefore very pleased to have appointed both Guardian and Zurich to our protection panel, widening the already comprehensive product options available to our network partners, and ensuring even more choice to cater for individual circumstances.

“Protection remains an extremely important area for us as a network, and our member firms have everything at their disposal to be successful in this space, including market-leading tech, ongoing support from our business development managers (BDMs), plus the opportunity to refer if they wish to do so.”

Vincent O’Connor, head of strategic partnerships at Guardian, added: “We’re delighted to have joined the Stonebridge protection panel. Stonebridge advisers are focused on providing their clients with high-quality advice and products, and our proposition fits hand in hand with that.

“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be running training sessions with all the Stonebridge advisers, and our BDMs will be calling to introduce themselves. We look forward to working with them to make sure more families are protected.”

Louise Colley, director of protection at Zurich, said: “We are delighted to be joining the Stonebridge panel, which extends our reach and will provide more customers with access to our innovative product range.

“We hope this will be the start of a long and successful partnership.”