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What is Shareholder Protection

One of the most damaging events a business can fall victim to is the death of a major shareholder or key worker. Should a shareholder or owner die unexpectedly, the event can have a serious impact on the company, not to mention the shareholder’s family.

Shareholder protection insurance is a life insurance policy designed to facilitate the buy back of shares from a deceased (or seriously ill) shareholder. In the event of death or critical illness, a sum of money is paid to the remaining shareholders to allow them to buy back shares from the deceased shareholder's wife or husband. In effect this allows the remaining shareholders to retain the ownership of the company and also rewards the wife or husband with a monetary value of the shares they have inherited.

How Does It Work?

There are three main ways shareholder protection insurance can be taken out.

  1. Life of another policy - This method is generally used when there are only two major shareholders. Each shareholder will own the other's policy and will be the beneficiary of each others policy. Premiums are paid for by the individual out of their own pocket which avoids any tax liabilities upon claiming.
  2. Company Share Purchase -  Under this method the company actually owns the policy and pays the premiums. In the event of a claim the company receives the money and is able to buy the shares back from the deceased wife or husband. Tax laws can be quite complex with this variation so we would always recommend you seek professional tax advice when setting up a policy this way.
  3. ‘Own life’ policy held under business trust - This option involves each shareholder taking out their own policy and placing the benefit in a business trust. In the event of a shareholders death, the money can be used by the remaining shareholder to purchase the shares back and redistribute them to the remaining shareholders.

How Much Cover Do I Need?

As a rule of thumb, each person should be covered to the value of their shareholding. Most companies take out a cover for a term of 5 years and of course share values can go up and down. In this scenario, we can recommend to index link the cover which means the sum will go up every year or just cover yourselves for more than the current value to try and foresee any increase in value. It may be worth seeking professional advice on the value of the company before valuing the shares. We also generally advise clients to think about what they would want their family to receive for the value of their shares as of course, it's partly your decision on what you value your shares at.

Whats The Cost?

The cost of shareholder protection insurance will depend on the below.

  1. The amount of cover - The more cover the more expensive it will be.
  2. The Term - The longer the term the more expensive it will be. This is due to the risk of covering someone to older age.
  3. The age of the life assured - The older the person is the more expensive it will be.
  4. Smoker status - Being a smoker will add to the premium.
  5. Critical Illness - Adding critical illness to a policy will make it more expensive.

Why not give us a call or fill in the above quote form to get a quote. It takes no more than 5 minutes.

Why Shareholder Protection?

It doesn't matter what type of industry you work in. Losing a shareholder to by death or serious illness can be catastrophic. It's therefore critical to ensure that you protect your business and livelihood with shareholder protection.

  • A safe and stable business plan - A shareholders death is a sure fire way of seriously jeopardising a companies strength and stability. By taking out shareholder protection insurance, shareholders and investors can enjoy the peace of mind that should a fellow shareholder pass away, surviving shareholders will not have to worry about finding the money to buy back the shares. Instead, they will receive funds which allow them to buy up the deceased’s shares quickly and efficiently.
  • Support for family members - Although shareholders generally have an in-depth understanding of how to run the business, inheriting family members will normally have limited know how and most of the time no experience in how to perform the ongoing duties of a shareholder. At the same time, it can be very damaging for a company to have a new member on board who has no idea what they are doing. This is where shareholder protection helps as most would rather receive a cash value of the shares and move on with their lives. Of course, money can never bring back the loss of a family but it will go along way in helping that family financially.
  • Critical Illness - You do have an option to take out critical illness. Given the right agreements are in place, a sick shareholder could sell his or her shares, and use the money to retire and help pay for any private health services.

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Shareholder Protection FAQ

Our dedicated team are here to offer you expert FCA qualified advice along with 1st class support to make sure the process is fast and simple.

Jody Pearmain

Managing Director & Founder (My Key Finance Ltd)

Lori Norton

Administration Manager at (My Key Finance Ltd)

Tyler Pearmain

Senior Keyman Insurance Adviser at (My Key Finance Ltd)

Keri Gardiner

Customer Service & Website Admin at (My Key Finance Ltd)