Braintree, United Kingdom (PressExposure) August 19, 2008 -- British Insurance has launched a new Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI) policy for households involved in shared ownership schemes.
It is the first time people who part-purchase a property have been able to buy a policy that will meet their monthly mortgage and rental payments should accident, sickness or unemployment occur.
Managing Director, Simon Burgess, believes this product addresses years of discrimination: "All householders should be able to protect the payments they make and keep their home, whether it's those with mortgages or those with rent and buy agreements via Housing Associations. Insurers have traditionally offered this financial safety net to people meeting a certain criteria, excluding people on lower incomes in social housing, who are more financially vulnerable."
The shared ownership scheme is part of a Government program that aims to help more than 100,000 households into home ownership by 2010. It allows people to have a mortgage on the share of the property they wish to buy, paying rent on the share they don't own.
According to the National Housing Federation, 70,000 new affordable homes are needed in England each year to meet existing and future requirements and with predictions that the average house price is rising by 25% over the next five years to Â£274.000, demand for social housing will be even greater.
As the number of shared ownership schemes escalates, so to, says Burgess is the need for insurers to adapt their policies to protect the increasing number of people buying properties this way. He continues: "British Insurance is leading the way in designing comprehensive, affordable products for those who most need them. I hope this will encourage other insurers to follow suit and become more socially responsible - we all have a duty of care to help everyone keep their homes in times of economic uncertainty."
British Insurance's Mortgage Payment Protection policy has a five star rating from research specialist Defaqto who after scrutinizing 103 MPPI policies placed it 'at the very top of the market' for its wide-ranging cover and support services.
As well as offering back to one day payouts, age-rated premiums and a choice of cover options, the policy caters for people who voluntarily leave work to become careers for up to one year.
It provides a free back to work service with self-help guides, access to a specialist website and telephone advice via employment counselors. Claimants can get ongoing support and guidance on work searches, career changes, state benefits, managing time effectively, tips on CV preparation and help with interviews.
The policy also offers free Health, Employment and Legal Protector cover, providing 24/7 health and legal helpline services and Legal Expenses in relation to employment and bodily injury disputes. The legal advice line aids people with personal legal problems, whilst the health and medical helpline provides information on general health and non-diagnostic matters such as allergies, side effects of drugs and health service waiting lists.
A counseling helpline offers a confidential service with onward referral to relevant voluntary and professional services where appropriate.
Burgess concludes: "The breadth of cover and services on my policies are wider because I take less commission. Instead of making vast profits I use the money to fund policy add-ons that give people a helping hand and a bit of breathing space should they get into financial difficulties"