Group risk business shut down at Holloway Friendly

Holloway Friendly is closing its Optimal group risk brand to new business with immediate effect, with clients being offered the option to transfer to Canada Life on at least equivalent terms.

Optimal is writing to all advisers today to outline how to access the offer and will follow up with phone calls.

Canada Life will offer enhanced policy terms to the adviser and their client at their existing premium rate. All schemes will have continuity of cover during the handover period. The two providers say they have agreed a strategy to reduce the administration burden of the transfer process.

Canada Life says a dedicated team will support the transfer of Optimal business, the first point of call of which will be the adviser’s usual Canada Life account manager. If the adviser doesn’t currently work with Canada Life, they will allocate an account manager to them.

Optimal will continue to maintain current schemes and benefits until the process is complete. Claims incurred until the scheme transfers or ceases will continue to be assessed and paid, if valid, by Optimal. Claims incurred after that date will then be assessed and paid, if valid, by Canada Life if the scheme is transferred to them using the process offered.

Holloway Friendly CEO Stuart Tragheim says: “It is with regret that we have to announce the closure of our group life subsidiary, Optimal Protection. This is a result of the brand’s failure to achieve sufficient scale despite the launch and promotion of new products in recent years. As a mutual organisation Holloway Friendly must preserve value for our members, which is our primary concern.”

Canada Life managing director Tim Stoves says: “Canada Life looks forward to working with advisers to provide a continuity of support for employers. As well as retaining the current benefits profile and rates, we have enhanced the original Optimal support service offering with additional benefits.”