Policy Summary

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This document contains a summary of the main terms of the ATL Protect Plan. It does this in a question and answer format which has been designed to show the how the Plan works including the main limitations and exclusions of the Plan. This summary does not contain the full terms of the policy. The full terms can be found in the policy document. This summary document also sets out a list of important points in relation to the product that we wish to draw to your attention.

What are the aims of ATL Protect?

We, Irish Life Assurance plc (Irish Life), insure ATL Protect, and have appointed Affinity First Ltd (“Affinity”) as our Appointed Representative to provide information to members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) about the Plan.  ATL Protect is a group insurance plan designed to pay a monthly benefit to ATL members whose income has reduced or stopped altogether due to illness or injury, and who are unable to continue working in their normal occupation or have to reduce their normal working hours.

What is my commitment as a member of ATL Protect?

When you apply to join ATL Protect you commit to:

  • Paying monthly premiums (referred to in this document as your membership contributions) by direct debit for the duration of your cover under the Plan
  • Participate in the Plan in accordance with the Policy terms and conditions

How do I know if I am eligible for membership of ATL Protect?

To be eligible for membership of ATL Protect you must:

  • Have a personal bank account in the UK, from which direct debits can be collected.
  • Earn a salary of at least £15,000 per annum before tax.
  • Be under 59 years of age.
  • Have an email address and regular internet access.
  • Be an ATL member, living and working in the UK on a permanent employment contract in the education sector. If you claim for benefits under ATL Protect and it is found that this is not the case, you will not be paid any benefits and your cover will be withdrawn.

What benefits does ATL Protect give me?

ATL Protect will, after a ‘waiting period’ (also called the ‘deferred period’), pay you a monthly benefit if your income has reduced or stopped altogether due to illness or injury, and you are unable to continue in your normal occupation or have to reduce your normal working hours.  This is what we call the ‘definition of disability’.

The waiting period is 100 working days in a row after which point you will become entitled to a benefit of 17.5% of your insured salary.

If you are still absent from work or have to continue working at reduced hours for a further 100 working days in a row, your benefit will increase to 35% of your insured salary from that point on. You should note that the waiting period is the same for all members.

Under current UK tax law this benefit is paid to you free of income tax.

‘Working days’ means weekdays other than bank holidays.

Is there any limit to the amount of benefit I can be paid?

Yes. There is a cap on the level of benefit which can be paid to you by ATL Protect.  This means that your total income – including your ATL Protect benefit and any other income you are receiving – cannot be more than 82.5% of the after-tax income you were earning before you fell ill.  If your income from other sources exceeds this amount, the benefit paid by ATL Protect will be reduced, so that your income overall does not exceed 82.5% of your after tax income.

Examples of other sources of income and/or awards which may be taken into account include:

– any other income you receive from carrying out continuing work

– any other on-going insurances you receive for your illness or injury

– lump sum awards you receive in respect of your illness or injury

How is the level of my benefit and the amount of my membership contribution calculated?

  • The membership contribution rate is the same for all members. The membership contribution rate is currently set at 1.2% of your insured salary.  This rate may rise or fall during future reviews of ATL Protect and will be agreed with ATL and notified to all members. Typically, these reviews take place every 2 to 3 years. As part of the review we will look at whether or not the amount paid out in claims is more or less than we expected. We will also look at other relevant changes including changes in economic conditions such as interest rates and taxation and changes in medical treatments. We will tell you when a review takes place and explain any changes in your benefits and membership contribution rate.  You will be given three months’ notice before any changes take effect. You may cancel your membership if you do not accept any such changes.
  • We decide whether or not to accept your application to ATL Protect based on the information you provide when you apply.  In some cases, we may decide to offer you cover only on the basis that certain medical conditions are excluded. If this happens, we will provide you with full details of the medical conditions which are excluded so you can decide whether to join on this basis or cancel your membership application.
  • The level of your benefit and the amount of your membership contribution is based on the salary you provided when joining ATL Protect. This salary is your ‘insured salary’.  There will be a salary benchmarking exercise each year which will be used to increase all members ‘insured salary’ for the purpose of premium and benefit calculations by a fixed percentage. The outcome of the annual salary review will be decided by us after consultation with ATL and the decision we and ATL make will be final. Affinity will contact you in advance of us applying any increase. The increase will be applied unless you tell us not to do so.   
  • Each time your insured salary is changed your level of cover and membership contributions are changed in line with your new insured salary.  Your direct debit will be adjusted to reflect your new membership contribution. We will contact you to let you know these changes have been made.

How are my membership contributions collected?

Your membership contributions will be deducted from your bank account at the start of each month by direct debit.

What happens if I do not pay my membership contributions?

If your membership contributions are not paid your cover will cease within 31 days. No refund will be made to you.

Will I have to pay my membership contributions if I am being paid benefits by ATL Protect?

No. Your membership contributions will not be collected from your bank account while you are being paid benefits by ATL Protect.  

Can I change my mind and cancel my membership of ATL Protect?

Yes. You can cancel your membership at any time by calling or emailing Affinity at 0800 138 1690 or the-team@affinity.co.uk. If you cancel within 30 days of being accepted as a member of ATL Protect we will refund you in full any membership contributions you have already paid.  If you cancel your membership after 30 days no refunds will be paid.

How do I claim for benefits from ATL Protect?

You can contact Affinity on 0800 138 1690 to start the process of claiming for benefits.  We will send you a Claim Notification Form and an explanation of how to claim for benefits from ATL Protect.

You can submit your Claim Notification Form once it becomes likely that your illness or injury will go on for longer than the waiting period but you should submit your claim for benefits no later than 2 months from the end of the waiting period. Claims made after this deadline may not be back-dated to the end of the 100 working day period and the payment of your benefits is likely to be delayed.

Claims made more than 3 months after the end of the waiting period will not be paid unless there is a good reason for the delay.

In assessing your claim, we will seek medical confirmation that you are unable to work your normal hours.

Are there any restrictions I need to remember?

Yes. There are three situations where you may not be entitled to benefits from ATL Protect:

  • if your illness or injury is deliberately self-inflicted;
  • if you do not follow the advice of your treating doctor or the advice of the independent medical examiner we appoint to assess your case;
  • if your illness or injury is as a result of you breaking the law.

Will my benefit be increased during payment?

Yes. If you are being paid benefits by ATL Protect, the amount you are paid will increase by the lower of 2.5% or the Retail Price Index each year.  The increase will be applied on the anniversary of the date on which your benefit payments started.

Will I have to pay tax on my benefits?

No.  Currently there is no obligation to pay income tax on the benefits you receive from ATL Protect.

This is based on our current understanding of English Law and HM Revenue and Customs practice. Any changes in the future to the current practice may affect this.

For how long will my benefits be paid?

Your benefits will be paid for as long as you continue to meet the definition of disability which applied when your benefits under the Plan first started to be paid, unless:

  • your other sources of income have increased to 82.5% or more of the after tax income you were earning before you fell ill
  • you have, in our opinion, recovered your health to such an extent that you could return to work in your normal occupation for the same number of hours each week you were working before you fell ill (even if you do not do so),
  • you have actually returned to work in your normal occupation for the same number of hours you were working before you fell ill,
  • you die, or
  • you have reached the expiry age, which is the later of:
    • age 60, or
    • 5 years prior to Normal Pension Age under your employer’s pension scheme, to a maximum of age 63.

Can my cover start again once if I return to work after a period of being paid benefits by ATL Protect?

Yes.  Your cover will start again once you return to work.  Contributions will become due and we will recommence deductions by Direct Debit from your bank account when this happens.  If you no longer wish to remain a member of ATL Protect then you should notify us, and we will cancel your membership.

What are the risk factors I need to be aware of?

We think it is important, before you decide whether or not to apply to become a member, for you to consider the following features of the ATL Protect Plan:

  1. You are only covered under this policy as long as you are in permanent employment and are a member of ATL.
  2. Your sick pay entitlements from your employer may operate on a different basis to ATL Protect, you should bear in mind that there may be a gap between the time your sick pay entitlements from your employer end, and benefit payments from ATL Protect begin. You should consider this before joining ATL Protect.
  3. ATL Protect is reviewed periodically, typically every two to three years.  Based on changes to factors relevant to the pricing of the ATL Protect Plan (and which are set out in the policy), the rate at which the membership contribution is set may be increased or decreased.  If, as part of the review, we reasonably consider that the membership contribution would need to be increased significantly, we may instead reduce the amount of cover available under the Plan. Through Affinity, we will tell you when a review takes place and explain any changes in your benefits and membership contribution rate.  You will be given three months’ notice before any changes take effect.  
  4. We reserve the right to make changes to the ATL Protect product where we think it is necessary as a result of a change in law or regulation in order to avoid any significant adverse effect on members or us.
  5. Your membership contributions and the level of benefits you get from ATL Protect will be based on your insured salary increased annually at a rate applicable to the scheme as a whole. If this insured salary is lower than your actual salary, your benefits will based on your insured salary.  As a result, it is very important that you review your insured salary and contact us if you want to ensure that your insured salary stays fully in line with your actual salary.
  6. Benefits from ATL Protect are also subject to a maximum of 82.5% of your actual salary.  The cap is 82.5% of your after-tax salary at the time your benefit payments start (increased each year by the lower of 2.5% or the RPI). This means that if your insured salary is higher than your actual salary this cap may be more likely to apply.
  7. We reserve the right to stop your benefit payments if, while you are being paid benefits by ATL Protect, you are resident outside the United Kingdom and Ireland and remain so for more than six months.
  8. If the information you provide at the time of joining or afterwards is found to be incorrect, then you may find that your entitlement  to benefits from ATL Protect  may be reduced or, in some cases,  your cover may be cancelled with no refund of membership contributions.
  9. If your annual salary is less than £20,000 at a time when you apply for benefit payment from ATL Protect, it is possible means tested state benefits may result in no financial gain for you, taking both the ATL Protect benefit and means tested social welfare benefits into account.
  10. If the ATL Protect scheme is no  longer financially viable, for example because of the level of increase in premiums that would be required following a review, or due to a change of law, then we reserve the right to cancel  the  Plan  by giving three months’ notice to members.  
  11. Once the ATL Protect policy has been in place for at least 8 years, ATL may give us 6 months’  notice to cancel the policy [because acting in the best interest of members it wants to move it to another insurer]. If members have agreed in advance, we may agree to reduce this notice period to 3 months. If ATL cancels ATL Protect we will notify you in advance and stop collecting your membership contributions. You will no longer be covered by ATL Protect following such cancellation. However, any members who are already being paid benefits by ATL Protect will continue to be paid these benefits for as long as they remain entitled to receive them – even though we are no longer insuring ATL Protect.
  12. There is no option to continue cover under an individual policy if membership of the ATL Protect Plan ceases or if it is cancelled.
  13. Your membership of ATL Protect will not entitle you to an encashment value at any time.

Am I covered by the UK Compensation Scheme?

Yes the UK Policyholder Protection Scheme covers UK resident policyholders and members of the ATL Protect Plan. The scheme currently provides compensation for 100% of the amount due in respect of a policy of insurance in the event that the insurer  is declared to be in default (for example, because it is insolvent).

How do I make a complaint?

If at any stage you are unhappy with us or Affinity, you should contact us or Affinity outlining why you are unhappy. If we or Affinity are unable to resolve any issues to your satisfaction you will be entitled to refer your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service which is a free service for you.  

Financial Ombudsman Service

Exchange Tower

London E14 9SR

Phone: 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123

Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Making a complaint will not affect your right to take legal action against us.

How will we communicate with you?

It will be necessary for you to have an email account and internet access in order for you to receive information about the product.  We may contact you by phone, email and/or letter to ensure we process your application for cover, your claim or other details about the Plan in a timely manner.  

Affinity will stay in touch with you by email and phone.  

You will also have access to your own account on the Affinity online members’ area, where you can review all documentation in relation to your ATL Protect Policy.  If you have difficulty with reading emails or hearing phone conversations, please let us know and we will arrange to contact you by letter or some other acceptable medium.

If you are claiming from ATL Protect or are already receiving a benefit from ATL Protect we will communicate with you by letter, phone or email.

Other Information

Contact Us:

You can contact us by writing to us at our Head Office:

Voluntary Risk Department

Corporate Business Division

Irish Life Assurance plc

Irish Life Centre

Lower Abbey Street,

Dublin 1

Ireland

Phone: 0800 161 5811 (lines open 9 am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

Email: ATLProtect.Queries@irishlife.ie

Website: www.irishlife.ie

 

Information about Irish Life’s business will be set out in our Solvency and Financial Condition Report which will be available on the website of our Appointed Representative, Affinity First Limited. The website address is www.affinity.co.uk

 

Please quote the ATL Group Policy No. 25500, and your personal reference number, which you will be able to see on your membership certificate in your portal.

Alternatively you can contact our Appointed Representative, Affinity, by writing to them at:

6th Floor, Aldgate Tower

2 Leman Street

London E1 8FA.

Phone: 0800 138 1690

Email: the-team@affinity.co.uk

Website: www.affinity.co.uk

 

You will be sent a copy of the policy document, which details the full terms and conditions when you are accepted for cover by Irish Life. If you would like a copy before then, you can obtain one by logging on to www.affinity.co.uk or by contacting us.

Law

The policy is governed by the law of England.

Our Regulators

We are authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. Irish Life is on the Financial Services register and our FCA registration number is 148172.

The information in this document is to help you to decide whether this product is suitable for you.  Irish Life and its appointed representatives will not provide advice on the suitability of this product for you.  If you want advice you should talk to a personal financial adviser.  If you do not have a financial adviser, you can find one local to you by using the following website: www.unbiased.co.uk

Please note: every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication is accurate at the time of going to press. Irish Life Assurance plc accepts no responsibility for any liability incurred or loss suffered as a consequence of relying on any matter published in or omitted from this publication. Readers are recommended to take qualified advice before acting on any of the matters covered.
In the interest of customer service we will monitor calls.

Consultant
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Just because you're their superhero doesn't mean you're invincible!

If long term illness strikes, do you have a plan?

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Three quarters of all ATL members believe the stress of the job is having a negative impact on their health
- ATL Report, March 2012

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The average duration of long term sick leave is 7 years
- Centre for Economic and Business Research Report 2012

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For the majority of teachers, sick pay halves after 100 working days...and stops altogether after a further 100 working days
- Maintained school sick pay regime

The Problem

Teaching is an increasingly challenging profession

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It's no surprise that teaching is consistently listed amongst the top three most stressful professions1 and that education has a higher than average level of work-related illness2.

The reality is that the last thing you need if you're sick is the worry of a major drop in income. Sadly, typically welfare and other benefits just aren't enough to make up the shortfall when your sick pay runs out.

But now, as an ATL member, you can protect you and your family's financial future...

1 Times Educational Supplement - 25th June 2015.
2 Office of National Statistics - Labour Force Survey 2015

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The Solution

ATL Protect. One for all.

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ATL is all too aware that poor health is one of the primary reasons for loss of income amongst our members, that’s why we've teamed up with Affinity and Irish Life to put together a solution: ATL Protect.

ATL Protect is different. It’s an insurance plan developed specifically for ATL members which uses ATL’s collective strength to help us help each other.

Curious about how much income you’d have if you fell ill?

Find out

How ATL Protect helps

ATL Protect. The core idea is simple:
In return for a modest contribution, ATL Protect will pay you a tax free income if you fall ill and are absent from work for 100 consecutive working days and your income drops or stops altogether.

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See just how long term illness could impact on your income.

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Check whether ATL Protect makes sense for you.

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If ATL Protect is right for you - join now!

Apply now

Stories

What other teachers say

"I know teachers who have had bad experiences that have caused them to stop working, and that has made me think a lot more about the fact that anything can happen."
Kelly

30, Primary School Teacher, North East London

"I feel that this is something people don’t even know about or have ever considered they would ever need; you would just presume you’re covered for that [by the state]. Friends I know would say 'are we not?' That’s really scary!"
Katherine

34, Primary School Teacher, Hertfordshire

"I think this scheme is very good and offers a very comprehensive cover for a lot of teachers."
Joseph

25, Teacher

"I have a mortgage so I should probably be a bit more responsible! At first I was a bit cynical....But it actually makes sense!"
Becky

32, Primary School Teacher, North London

Research was carried out on behalf of Emeritus Consulting Ltd. by The Nursery Reserach & Planning Ltd. The teachers quoted were paid a gratuity for use of their feedback in the survey.

What ATL says

A message from ATL

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logo ATL

"ATL Protect provides vital financial protection for members who are unfortunate enough to lose their salaries through illness. We urge every member to take just a few minutes to see if it makes sense for them"

Mary Bousted, General Secretary, ATL

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Want to know more?

Find out more about how ATL protect can help you secure your financial future:

Policy Summary FAQs
logo_ Affinity

Affinity First Ltd. has been appointed by Irish Life to provide information to ATL members about ATL Protect. Affinity’s directors have decades of experience in providing tailored financial services designed specifically for members of public service unions such as teachers, nurses, civil servants and local government employees.

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Irish Life is Ireland's leading life investment and pension company. Irish Life is now a part of the Great-West Lifeco group of companies, one of the world's leading life assurance companies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ATL Protect?
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ATL Protect provides vital financial protection for members who are unfortunate enough to lose some or all of their salaries through ill health and are unable to work or have to work reduced hours as a result of the illness or injury. It’s a group insurance plan developed specifically for ATL members which uses ATL’s collective strength to help members help each other when they need it most. The core idea is simple: in return for a modest monthly contribution it pays a monthly payment to ATL members whose income has reduced or stopped altogether due to illness or injury, and who are unable to continue working in their normal occupation or have to reduce their normal working hours. Naturally there are some terms and conditions and you can find an overview of these here.

Why is ATL Protect necessary?
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Like most ATL members, if you are unable to work because of long-term illness or an accident you’re likely to be entitled to some sick-pay from your employer. 100 days of full-pay followed by 100 days of half-pay is fairly standard (but make sure you check to find out exactly what your sick pay entitlements are).

The problem is that if you suffer long term illness, you may find it hard to make ends meet once your sick pay reduces or runs out altogether. Even if you’re able to continue working, you may have to cut back on your hours of work because of your medical condition. Some members are able to survive on income from other sources such as a partner or a second job, or can claim some state benefits or even an incapacity pension. The reality is however that many ATL members are likely to find that, without their salary, they face real financial hardship. Thanks to ATL Protect ATL members can now enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’ll have added financial security should they suffer loss of income because of long term illness.

Is ATL Protect is right for me?
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ATL Protect is designed for ATL members who are concerned that they may not have enough income to maintain their standard of living if ever they should be unable to continue working or have to work at reduced hours and lose some or all of their salary due to long term illness. Typically ATL Protect will be more suitable for ATL members on permanent contracts earning more than £20,000 a year. In fact those on temporary contracts and those earning less than £15,000 are not eligible to join ATL Protect.

You must make up your own mind about whether ATL Protect is right for you. To help you decide whether ATL Protect is right for you, take a moment to look at Affinity’s Benefit Checker. This will give you a rough indication of how your salary could be affected should you suffer long–term illness and it’ll show you what the cost of membership of ATL Protect would be for you. You can then factor in any other income you might be able to rely on if you fall ill and see whether you could make ends meet so you can decide whether ATL Protect makes sense for you.

You can check out the Benefit Checker here or ask us to help you complete a Benefit Check over the phone on 0800 138 1690. You may prefer to do a Benefit Check in your workplace with an Affinity consultant and if so we’ll be only too happy to arrange this for you. To arrange a visit from an Affinity consultant just click here, call 0800 138 1690, or email us at info@affinity.co.uk.

Who is eligible to join?
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To be eligible for membership of ATL Protect you must:

  • Have a personal bank account in the UK, from which direct debits can be collected because all membership contributions you make to ATL Protect, and any payments you receive from ATL Protect, are in Sterling.
  • Earn a salary of at least £15,000 per annum before tax because membership of ATL Protect is unlikely to be of benefit to those earning less than this as they may be entitled to means tested state benefits This raises the risk that any payments you get from ATL Protect will themselves be taken into account when calculating your entitlement to these means tested state benefits.
  • Be under 59 years of age because benefits from ATL Protect typically end at age 60 and so those who have reached age 59 or older will receive no benefit from ATL Protect if they fall ill.
  • Have an email address and regular internet access as, for environmental reasons and in order to keep the membership contribution as affordable as possible for members, we typically communicate with ATL Protect members by email.
  • Be an ATL member, living and working in the UK on a permanent employment contract in the education sector. This is because ATL Protect has been designed and costed for ATL members living and working in permanent employment in the UK. If you join ATL Protect and subsequently apply for benefits under ATL Protect and it’s found that you fail to meet the eligibility conditions, you may find that you are not entitled to any payments from ATL Protect and your cover may be cancelled with no refund of membership contributions.
Can I join ATL Protect if I’m not an ATL member?
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No. ATL Protect is designed specifically for the ATL membership and therefore is open only to ATL members. If you are an ATL member when you join ATL Protect but then subsequently leave ATL, you must also cancel your membership of ATL Protect. If you don’t cancel your membership of ATL Protect you may find that you are not entitled to any benefits from ATL Protect and your cover may be cancelled with no refund of membership contributions.

Will I have to do a medical to join?
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Those who have had no major medical issues in the past, who are in the younger age categories and who are not earning salaries which are at the higher end of the scale will not usually have to do a medical.

Irish Life may however seek further information about any applicant’s medical history. Typically this will involve a confidential telephone call at an agreed time to the applicant by a trained nurse working on behalf of Irish Life. This health professional will talk through any further details about the applicant’s medical history which Irish Life may need.

Less frequently Irish Life may seek further details from the applicant’s doctor and occasionally may request that the applicant attend for a medical examination.

What if I have medical problems in the past?
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Irish Life reserves the right to refuse membership of ATL Protect but if you have had medical problems in the past this will not necessarily prevent you from being accepted as a member of ATL Protect. However for those whose medical history is such that they are more at risk of prolonged illness in the future, there is a possibility that Irish Life may refuse membership of ATL Protect. However even in such cases Irish Life may accept an application for membership subject to the exclusion of cover for one or more medical conditions.

Are all applications accepted?
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No. Irish Life decides on whether or not to accept your application to ATL Protect based on the information you provide when you apply and reserves the right to refuse membership of ATL Protect. Typically this will be in the case of applicants who have had medical problems in the past with the result that they have a significantly greater risk of suffering prolonged illness in the future.

However even in such cases Irish Life may accept an application for membership subject to the exclusion of cover for one or more medical conditions. If this happens, Irish Life will provide you with full details of the medical conditions which are excluded so you can decide whether to join on this basis or cancel your membership application.

In cases where Irish life believes it cannot, because of your health history, accept you as a member of ATL Protect immediately it may agree to reconsider your application at a specified date in the future.

Are there any medical conditions which are excluded under ATL Protect?
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Yes. The following medical conditions are not covered:

  • Those arising from any involvement by you in terrorist activity or armed forces (other than those of the Crown);
  • Those which are deliberately self-inflicted;
  • Those resulting from your failure to follow medical advice;
  • Those which result from you breaking the law.

You should also remember that if you are accepted as a member of ATL Protect subject to the exclusion of one or more medical conditions, then you will not be covered for loss of income due to ill-health arising from these particular medical conditions.

How can I cancel my membership of ATL Protect?
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You can cancel your membership at any time by calling or emailing Affinity at 0800 138 1690 or info@affinity.co.uk. If you cancel within 30 days of being accepted as a member of ATL Protect we will refund you in full any membership contributions you have already paid. If you cancel your membership after 30 days no refund of your membership contributions will be paid.

We love to talk about ATL Protect!

If you want to find out more about ATL Protect simply contact us on:
email: the-team@affinity.co.uk
phone: 0800 138 1690