Royal London Launch Best-in-Class Serious Illness Cover


14th Jun 2017

Royal London

Leading protection specialist Royal London has announced changes to its Specified Serious Illness insurance cover which now includes organ donor cover as part of the standard policy. The offering, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, is an extra benefit which pays out a one off lump sum to help provide a financial cushion for policyholders who donate a kidney, bone marrow or a portion of a lung or liver to another family member.

In 2016, according to The Organ Donation Community 280 organ transplants were carried out in Ireland1. And if you think that all of these organ donations happen when the donor is deceased, you wouldn’t be alone in that assumption. However certain organs and portions of specific organs, including kidneys, lungs and liver can be donated by living donors who can go on living healthy lives after the event.

Commenting, Colette Houton Underwriting and Claims Lead at Royal London said, “We’re proud to be the first provider in Ireland to roll out donor cover to consumers here, as part of recent enhancements to our Specified Serious Illness cover which make it the best in the market2. The supply of organ donations is an ongoing issue in this country, with an ever increasing demand, that relies on public donations to those who are unfortunate enough to need organ transplantation. This shortage has led to more people receiving organs from living donors. A live organ donation usually involves one family member donating an organ to another family member, according to the Health Service Executive3.

The relative is usually blood-related, most commonly a parent, although it could be a spouse (partner), as in most cases family members have the closest blood and tissue type matches. Compatibility is an important factor and the better the match the greater the chance of a successful outcome, without rejection. As a provider of Serious Illness cover we believe that this is a natural extension of cover to policyholders who find themselves in the position where they are a suitable candidate and would like to make a donation of an organ or portion of it, while living, to a family member. (Terms and conditions apply. These include an exclusion where the symptoms or illness that resulted in the transplant being necessary were present at the start date.)

“Understandably, loss of earnings coupled with high medical bills and expenses are things that potential donors face and we want to alleviate these worries and concerns, by providing some financial aid to support them through surgery and recovery time. Living organ donation is an admirable, altruistic act and a lump sum can at least help to offset any costs the donor incurs following the operation and recovery involved.”

According to The Organ Donation Community in Ireland, 2016 saw an increase in living donor transplants of kidneys alone, up by 52% to 50 donations from 33 in 20151. This makes the kidney the most common organ to be donated by a living person in Ireland. Beaumont Hospital’s Kidney Centre4 states that an advantage of living donor transplantation is that it generally results in better long-term success than a deceased donor transplant. It also explains that there are further advantages to receiving a kidney from a living donor rather than a deceased donor. There is usually a much shorter wait time compared to the average three years it takes for a suitable deceased donor kidney to become available for transplant. This shorter time period can also be of benefit as it can mean the possibility of avoiding time-consuming and restrictive dialysis. Another benefit is the ability to plan and prepare for the major survey in advance with a living donor.

Under their recently revamped Serious Illness policy offering, Royal London will pay €2,500 as a one off lump sum to living donors who donate a kidney, bone marrow or a portion of lung or liver to a family member.

Colette continued, “Our organ donor benefit is a unique offering which adds an additional layer of benefit to Royal London policyholders. As at March 2017, there are approximately 600 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving transplants, including kidney, lung and liver5. It would be nice to think our pay-out could potentially help to offset the cost incurred as part of the admirable, altruistic acts that living donors are carrying out.”

Royal London products are only available from authorised Financial Brokers, who offer financial advice to help customers meet their needs.

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Notes to the Editor
About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with Group funds under management of €122.3 billion. Group businesses provide around 9.0 million policies and employ 3,341 people. (Figures quoted are as at 31 March 2017)

Royal London’s Irish office is based at 47- 49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland 2016 Annual Report

  • A total of 280 people received a lifesaving organ transplant in Ireland. Compared to 2015 this represents an overall increase.
  • There were 77 deceased organ donations. Kidney transplants from deceased donation increased to 122. Living donor kidney transplant increased to 50 compared to 33 in 2015.
  • There were 58 liver transplants and 35 lung transplants in Ireland, achieving another strong year and one of the highest rates in Europe.


1 The Organ Donation Community (

2 Royal London has improved its Specified Serious Illness and it now covers more illnesses than any other product on the market – in fact, there are no illnesses covered by any provider’s product that Royal London does not cover. In addition, it includes enhanced definitions and offerings like its unique Donor Cover and it also now provides Children’s Specified Serious Illness Cover from birth.

3 Health Service Executive (

4 Beaumont Hospital’s Kidney Centre (

5 Irish Kidney Association (