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REVIEW SUMMARY

RL360 LifePlan

RL360 is a global business with an experienced workforce focusing on the needs of customers to deliver solutions. They are based in the offshore financial stronghold of the Isle of Man, from where they do business in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the UK.

RL360 is part of International Financial Group Limited (IFGL). IFGL provides investment, savings and protection solutions to international investors around the world and the group comprises RL360, RL360° Services, Ardan International and now also Friends Provident International. The group employs over 700 staff and administers assets of £17 billion for over 230,000 customers.

Our Verdict
A Closer Look
FAQs
Customer Reviews

The RL360 LifePlan is a unit linked, regular premium, whole of life insurance policy, which offers insurance for up to 2 lives assured.

RL360 says that you can choose from a range of options such as primary life cover that pays a cash sum on the death of the life assured and, if selected, critical illness cover that pays a cash sum in the event of a covered critical illness or medical procedure.

The RL360 claims that the LifePlan is a flexible life assurance protection policy which can help you in different scenarios. LifePlan helps you cover a key man in your business or yourself and can be customised to suit your individual circumstances.

Quick facts about the RL360 LifePlan: 

  • Protection plan
  • USD 200 per month minimum
  • 3 plan currencies available
  • Whole of life cover up to $7,500,000
  • Term cover element
  • Accidental death cover available

Some of the key benefits given by RL360 for the LifePlan include:

1. Family protection:
God forbid a day should come when you are unable to provide for your family, a protection plan offers a lump sum to ensure your family and children's needs are still fulfilled, reducing the financial loss and change in circumstances and lifestyle that come with a sudden or untimely demise.

2. Protect your mortgage or loan: 
The plan allows you to minimise loss caused by illness of any key business partners.

3. Protection for life or a specific period:
The RL360 LifePlan allows you to choose a cover for a specific period or the whole of life cover where a specific sum is paid out to your family upon your death.

4. Protect your business:
The LifePlan also allows you to protect your business from the loss of any staff or business partner. This minimises long-term impact of unforeseen circumstances. 

5. Protect your children:
The plan can give your children a financial headstart in their education and careers says RL360.

RL360 LifePlan key features:

  • You can set up a plan in 1 of 3 currencies. These are: Pound sterling, Euro and United States dollar.
  • The minimum term allowed by RL360 is 5 years.
  • They claim that you can arrange term cover alongside whole of life for a specific period. 
  • RL360 says that you can have whole of life cover, without having to pay for the whole of your life. They allow you to choose the payment term so you can discontinue payments at an age suitable to you and have a fully funded plan in place.
  • There is a family-friendly guaranteed insurability option available under the LifePlan. It means that if your circumstances change in the future due to any reason, you may be able to increase your cover without a medical underwriting.
  • The RL360 LifePlan benefits are paid for through the cancellation of units. These are taken on a monthly basis.
  • RL360 says that the value of all benefits cannot exceed USD7,500,000 (or currency equivalent).
  • The fund range provides you with access to direct funds without any initial charges or bid/offer spreads. Only the AMC (Annual Management Charge of the annual fund itself is applied.
  • The fund choices can be made by you or a company appointed by you. Please note that RL360 does not provide investment advice or guidance.

Key risks of the RL360 LifePlan:

While the risk would entirely depend on the initial commission agreed/setup with the adviser, the key risk factor for individuals seeking flexibility or value is in the establishment charge which pays sales costs such as adviser commissions.

This eats up all premiums for the first two years. Nothing is invested and you cannot get this money back. From year 3 to year 10, you will pay 6% pa (this alone is highly likely to wipe out any growth in funds).

From year 11 onwards, the policy holder pays 2% pa on top of other fees. Since RL360 was subject to a management buy-out and private equity cash injection, it has arguably had more ambitious international distribution policies which include the payment of very high levels of adviser commission.

This may bring with it a number of risks which potential clients should consider prior to entering a policy.

NOTE:

  • In order to obtain life cover they will, in most cases, require you to undertake a degree of medical underwriting (which cannot be refused).
  • RL360 maintaining your cover is subject to you continuing to pay the agreed amount throughout the term of the plan.
  • We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' of this review to make an informed decision.

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The Pros

> Combines different insurances

The Cons

> Expensive
> Inflexible
> Commonly mis-used
Is the Isle of Man a good jurisdiction?

The Isle of Man, is a leading offshore financial jurisdiction that offers international professionals tax efficiency.

Isle of Man has is known for investor protection and supervision - they have an AA+ risk rating from Standard & Poor’s (as at November 2012) and an AAA rating from Moody’s (as at November 2010).

Policyholders are said to be protected by the Isle of Man Compensation of Policyholders protection scheme.

However, this does not necessarily protect individual investors from poorly suited products (we would recommend reading the expert verdict).

When does the LifePlan from RL360 pay out?
  • RL360's LifePlan pays a cash sum on the death or the diagnosis of a defined terminal illness of the person who's life is assured under the policy.
  • If the life assured selects it at the very beginning of the policy, RL360's LifePlan aims to pay a cash sum if the person is diagnosed with a covered critical illness or undergoes a covered medical procedure.
What is the tax efficiency of the RL360 LifePlan?

The Isle of Man is known for it's tax efficiency and does not tax any growth or income earned through the policy.

So, apart from any withholding tax that may be deducted at source on income that comes from the investments held in some countries which cannot be reclaimed by RL360, the plan will grow without any further tax deductions.

What are the main risks and disadvantages of the RL360's LifePlan?

There are a few disadvantages of the RL360 LifePlan:

1. The charges RL360 deduct from your policy may be higher than those shown in your Personal Illustration.

If that happens, you may have to increase your premium payments to maintain the chosen benefits (it is part of the terms you agree to).

2. Future charges may also be higher than those shown in your Personal Illustration.

For example, premium collection charges may change, or switch charges may be imposed at a later date.

3. If the investment return is less than that expected by you and your financial adviser, you may have to increase your premium payments to maintain the chosen benefits.

4. If you choose not to increase your payments and your policy value runs out your benefits will cease.

5. The value of your policy is linked to your chosen investment funds, whose value may fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed.

6. If you stop paying your premiums earlier, your cover may cease.

7. If you take a premium holiday and your policy value drops during that time, your benefits may be at risk.

8. If you change occupation or move country this could affect the level of premiums you need to pay.

NOTE: RL360's LifePlan cover may not always be available for certain high risk jurisdictions or occupations.

What are the available cover and benefits of the LifePlan?

This list contains an overview of the different benefits of RL360's LifePlan.

1. Life Benefits: 

  • Primary Life Cover:  This is a benefit that pays out when the person who's life is assured dies.
  • Term Life Cover:  This is the benefit that pays out if the relevant life assured dies during a specified period of time as detailed on the plan schedule.
  • Terminal Illness Benefit:  some life benefits can be claimed if the relevant life assured is diagnosed as terminally ill (subject to conditions and exclusions).
  • Accidental Death Benefit:  This benefit that pays out if the relevant life assured dies in an unfortunate accident.

2. Life Cover:

This applies to you if any of the following benefits are detailed on your plan schedule:
• Primary Life Cover
• Term Life Cover

When RL360 will pay a claim - 
They will pay a claim if the life assured dies during the agreed term of the LifePlan cover.

How much they will pay - 
RL360 will pay whichever of the following amounts is the greatest:
a) the amount detailed on your plan schedule; or
b) your plan value.

RL360 says that if your plan schedule includes term life cover, they will pay, in addition to any other amount payable under conditions mentioned above, the amount detailed on your plan schedule if the claim is made within the term of the cover detailed on your plan schedule.

3. Terminal Illness Benefit:

This applies to you if any of the following Benefits are detailed on your Plan Schedule:
• Primary Life Cover
• Term Life Cover

When they pay a claim -
RL360 pay a claim if the Life Assured is diagnosed with a Terminal Illness during the Term of the Cover subject to a few sub-conditions.

How much RL360 pay - 
They pay whichever of the following amounts is the greatest:
a) the amount detailed on your Plan Schedule; or
b) your Plan Value.

4. Accidental Death Benefit:

If your plan schedule includes Accidental Death Benefit, RL360 will pay, in addition to any other amount payable, the amount detailed therein if the claim is made within the relevant term of the cover detailed on your schedule.

When they will pay a claim -
RL360 says that they will pay a claim if the life assured dies wholly and exclusively as the result of an accident within 90 days of that incident occurring.

How much they will pay - 
RL360 will pay the amount detailed on your plan schedule.

5. Repatriation Benefit:

This is a service that provides the relevant life assured’s beneficiaries with an advance on the primary life cover to assist in transporting the body of the deceased life assured to their home country. This applies to you if repatriation benefit is detailed on your plan schedule.

6. Other:

Guaranteed Insurability Option is a feature that allows you to increase your cover when certain life events happen.
Can I take a payment holiday?

Yes, RL360 allows you to take a payment holiday.

As per them, you can take a break from paying premiums as long as the value of the policy is at least twice the total annual premium.

The policy will also need to have sufficient value to fund the entire premium holiday that you are requesting, otherwise the plan benefits may be at risk.

RL360's charges for coverage will continue and premium payment will need to be restarted at the end of the holiday period.

Where is my money invested with the LifePlan?

Your money is invested in the funds of your choice after you pay the charges. You can choose from an array of UK authorised and international collective investment schemes.

A full list of available funds can be found in the LifePlan investment guide that RL360 has on their website.

RL360 allows you to switch between funds without any charge and redirect future premiums into new funds at your free will.

Under LifePlan you may hold up to 5 individual investment funds at any given time.

Can I cash in part or all of my LifePlan at any time?

RL360 allows you to cash in part of your policy provided that the remaining policy is valued at least USD15,000.

You can also cash in your entire policy at any time after which your benefits will cease.

What charges are applied to the underlying funds that I can invest in?

RL360's fund range provides you with access to direct funds without any initial charges or bid/offer spreads. The only fund charge that will apply is the underlying AMC (Annual Management Charge) of the direct fund.

How can I cancel my RL360 LifePlan?
  • If you no longer require your plan, RL360 allows you to request for a cancellation. If you do this during the first 2 years you will get no money back (commissions paid to the adviser).
  • After that you may receive an amount back which will depend on your payments, charges and fund growth achieved.
  • You can withdraw your application at any time before they issue your plan, without any charge.

Too many restrictions

At first glance I was impressed with the many benefits lifePlan offers...

But a closer look revealed too many restrictions, and complexity. I just wanted a straightforward insurance plan, so I looked elsewhere.

Expert Assessment of RL360 LifePlan

We do not recommend this plan because we believe other, more cost effective and flexible options, exist.

If you already have the LifePlan from RL360, we recommend you get a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.

There are likely to be much more suitable solutions for you, at a far lower cost.

GET A SECOND OPINION

RL360 LifePlan Brochure

RL360 LifePlan Investment Guide

RL360 LifePlan Key Features

RL360 LifePlan Product Guide

RL360 LifePlan Terms and Conditions

RL360 LifePlan Fund Performance Bulletin

RL360 LifePlan Protection Fund Guide

RL360 LifePlan Fund Switch Instructions

RL360 LifePlan Form of Discharge

RL360 LifePlan Company Application Form

RL360 LifePlan Split Trust

RL360 LifePlan Temporary Accidental Death Benefit Terms and Conditions

RL360 LifePlan Corporate Trustee Application Form

RL360 LifePlan Bulk Switch Service Guidance Notes

RL360 LifePlan Claims Statistics

RL360 Supplementary Declaration Form

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