about ellipse

Ellipse is the trading name of the UK branch of ERGO Lebensversicherung AG, wholly owned by Munich Re.

ERGO Lebensversicherung AG was established in the UK on the 14th of August 2009 under the Freedom of Establishment regulations and trades as Ellipse. Its business is 100% reinsured by Munich Re AG through UK Life Branch.

Yes. We are the UK branch of ERGO Lebensversicherung AG, one of the leading providers of insurance products in Germany, which is itself part of Munich Re. For our current financial strength ratings from the main rating agencies, please click here.

We are the UK branch of ERGO Lebensversicherung AG, one of the leading providers of insurance products in Germany.

As the UK branch of ERGO Lebensversicherung AG we are authorised, and our liquidity and solvency are regulated, by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), the German financial regulator. Our registration number is 1184.

How we conduct our business is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Full details of how we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority can be found in SUP13A Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the FCA Handbook through the following links:

the cover we offer

Event limits apply to group life schemes and are limits placed on the value of claim payments that will be paid following a single catastrophic event, or a series of linked events. Using the specific postcode of the location, Ellipse has categorised the whole of the UK into risk areas to calculate the event limit available. We can generally offer up to £100m within one postcode, but on a case-by-case basis we can provide £300 million or even £500 million.

If you have any clients with more than £100m covered at one particular location please contact us on 020 3003 6262 with the postcode of the location and we will tell you the potential event limit available. Please note, postcodes must reflect actual workplace locations and not P.O. box numbers.

Generally, yes. There are a few countries that we feel are just too dangerous to provide cover in, but otherwise we can usually cover scheme members outside the UK as long as they are eligible to join a UK scheme, with a UK contract of employment and liable to UK tax. We are a UK insurer, though, so we do expect the majority of any scheme’s members to be resident and working in the UK.

When it comes to group life cover, instead of requiring employees to be AAW on the day cover starts, which can cause a gap in cover should an unexpected absence occur, we ask employer to tell us about employees who are currently absent before we start cover. For companies with 50 or fewer employees we ask to be told about any employees who have been absent for a week or more, for 51-500 employees it’s four weeks and for companies with more than 500 staff we only need to be told about employees absent for 12 weeks or more.

Actively at work conditions do still apply for income protection policies and flex selections on group life and critical illness cover.

Yes, once a member has been assessed. If they are accepted at ordinary rates or a loaded premium by no more than 500%, we will not normally have to assess that member ever again. ‘Once and done’ underwriting will not apply if we have loaded benefits by more than +500% or if we have declined to offer some (i.e. applied an exclusion) or all cover for that member.

Where we take over the insurance of existing schemes whose members have enjoyed ‘once and done’ underwriting, we will not usually do any further assessments of them until the previous scheme’s once and done limit has been exceeded.

Once and done applies up to sums assured of £5 million per employee (including the capitalised value of any death in service pension).

Yes. Once the limit is exceeded, we assess cover in £500,000 blocks, i.e. once a member’s benefit is accepted at its current level, no further assessment will be done until the benefit exceeds ‘current level + £500,000’.

Yes. If an existing scheme transfers, we will accept acceptance decisions with a maximum loading of 400% which were made less than 5 years ago on a no worse terms basis (including honouring existing ‘once and done’ terms). We will transfer existing levels of cover up to £5 million (including capitalised death in service pensions).

If an employee has been previously underwritten and the decision was to decline or postpone, then they will be covered for their previous level of insured cover. If the decision was to restrict their cover to the automatic acceptance limit, then they will be covered for either the higher of the old automatic acceptance limit or the previous level of cover insured.

Yes. We offer temporary cover of up to £5 million for 30 days, which is plenty of time for members to be assessed online. Also, we won’t charge any extra premium for temporary cover.

Temporary cover is subject to the following conditions:

  1. If a claim arises directly or indirectly as a result of any medical condition (whether known by the member or not) suffered within the last two years immediately prior to the temporary cover starting, the temporary cover will not apply. Benefits paid will be limited to the amount the member was previously entitled to.
  2. Temporary cover will not be given to any individual:
  • who has previously been declined, offered cover on non-standard terms or where a decision on their benefits has been postponed.
  • who has failed to provide medical evidence that has been requested.
  • who is joining outside of the eligibility conditions or is being offered a benefit greater than the rules of the scheme provide for.
  • who is a late entrant.

Temporary cover is limited to a maximum of £5 million of total benefit.

Temporary cover starts from the date you notify us that the member’s benefit has exceeded the automatic acceptance limit. So it’s important that you notify us immediately to ensure that the member does not have any gaps in cover.

online security

Our security policies conform to standards as outlined by the W3C – the World Wide Web Consortium – which is the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web (WWW).

We use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption for the dialog forms provided on our web pages. SSL protects the data you send us against unauthorised third-party access.

All logon sessions automatically expire after a period of inactivity requiring the user to log back into the system to resume their session.

There is no limit on the number of people within your organisation who can register.

Anyone within your firm can register. Once they have, they will be able to access all the information about your company’s account with Ellipse, including client policy documentation, correspondence and agency account details.

One person within a client firm must be designated as the administration contact, who will be the point of contact with Ellipse and will receive notifications of new documents being available. Either the same person, or a second one (who can be your adviser, if you prefer), can be designated as a data contact, who uploads data when this is due. The registered administrator can also set up access for other users within their organisation. This will allow access to the document store to receive documents as appropriate.

getting quotations (for advisers)

Yes. You can quote for linked schemes which share the same premium rates and terms, but are administered separately. These can still be done online. Combine both schemes and process through the online system as if they were only one scheme. If you then want to go on-risk, please tell us of the need to split the scheme between two (or more) trusts. The premium you have been quoted won’t change.

Ellipse’s online quotes system allows registered advisers to obtain quotes in just a few minutes. This is for group life, death in service pensions, group critical illness and group income protection schemes with between two and 200 lives.

A unit rate is an average cost applied across a scheme to all members, regardless of their age, sex, occupation or anything else. We don’t use them.

Instead, we take the age of each member and charge the rate specific to the amount of cover each of them has within the scheme. There is no cross-subsidising or averaging involved. The only thing that’s similar to a unit rate about our approach is that we guarantee that the basis for calculating your premiums will be fixed for two years. At the end of each two year period, we look at the premium basis applying to your scheme and let you know if it needs to change at all. If so, we will explain the impact on the actual premiums you will be paying for the subsequent two years.

Yes. If you have any group life schemes with 200 or more lives, you can quote offline. Please send a scheme specification and full data to quotes@ellipse.co.uk.

There is no upper limit to the number of members we can quote for. As is the case for quotes of any size, your company will need to have set up an agency before any quotes can be provided.

Yes, for schemes with any number of employees. Our systems have been designed to integrate seamlessly with benefits platforms.

For advisers with the appropriate software to run flex schemes, we can even offer online quotes up to 199 members. For larger companies, we will need to quote offline. Please send the details of what you need, including full member data to quotes@ellipse.co.uk.

Our industry and activity lists are broadly based on the 2007 Standard Industry Codes sections and divisions. If you aren’t sure which category is most appropriate for your client, the explanatory notes you can find here may help.

If you cannot find an option that fits your client exactly, pick one that is close enough to be reasonable. If your client operates in more than one industry, use the one which involves the majority of the workforce.

Yes. Please process as one single scheme to obtain one quote. If you would like to accept the quote, please call us on 0203 003 6262 and let us know how the scheme is to be split which bit needs to be in a registered scheme and which in an excepted one. The premium you have been quoted won’t change.

Apart from obvious things, like the nature of your client’s business and what benefits are required, make sure you know the following:

For all schemes, the following data for each member is needed:

  • Salary
  • Dates of birth
  • Gender
  • Postcode location

Having provided salaries and the benefit basis, our system will work out each member’s benefit. The only exception is if you are getting a quote for death in service pensions based on members’ prospective retirement pensions. In this case, there is no way our system can calculate the benefit, so you will need to know the actual amount required for each member. We will need to know the number of employees who travel abroad for work purposes, specifically to these countries.

For schemes that already exist, you will need to know:

  • How many claims have there been and what benefits paid out over the last five years?
  • Have any members’ benefits been declined, postponed or restricted to the automatic acceptance limit?

For group life schemes:

We need to know if there are any members who are absent due to illness or injury and have been

  • in schemes with up to 50 members, for one week or longer.
  • in schemes with between 51 and 500 members, for four weeks or longer.
  • in schemes with 501 or more members, for twelve weeks or longer.

We will want to know the reason for their absence, and the date their absence started and how much cover they have.  We also need the same information about any members who have retired early but are still entitled to cover.

No. Ellipse’s unique approach to rating group schemes relies just on knowing what business your client is in and combining that information with employees’ salaries. It saves you having to find out what every single employee’s occupation is.

The way to handle this is to obtain separate quotes for each benefit but, if you then decide to place the business with us, contact us before you need cover to start. One automatic acceptance limit will apply across both benefits, as will the event limits.

We only need to know if members have had benefits declined or postponed. If a member has been restricted due to non-provision of medical evidence, or has been loaded, we do not need to know at quote stage. Restricted members will remain restricted to their previous level of cover insured, and loaded members will have their benefits loaded accordingly at inception.

Yes. There is an option for you to select ‘Unknown’ conditions, but this will tend to push our price up and in some cases may mean that we can’t quote. To get the best price from us, please make every effort to establish the specific conditions suffered.

Yes, you can select the free text option and enter in your own definition. Although you will be able to get a quote, it will be marked as ‘illustrative’ and if you decide to set up a policy, our underwriters will need to confirm the category definition you have entered is acceptable before we can go on-risk. That being the case, we encourage you to use the definitions already given as much as possible to ensure you receive an immediate, binding quote.

Yes, you can use the ‘Manage quotes’ section of the secure website to retrieve quotes and then re-quote them with, for example, a new benefit structure. If you are working with new membership data, you will need to start a new quotation, but you can save time by importing some information, such as membership categories, from the earlier quote.