Shareholders Protection is designed to solve the problem that is created when on shareholder within a business dies, leaving their partner/family to run their share of the business, and the surviving shareholder(s) with a new, and often unwanted or inexperienced new business partner.
In simple terms, a shareholders protection policy pays out upon death to allow the surviving shareholder(s) of the business to purchase the shares at a pre-agreed price (or pre-agreed valuation strategy) from the deceased's shareholders' estate.
Using a cross-option or "buy and sell" agreement, each party within the organisation is bound to act in accordance with the pre-agreed process (typically, unless both parties are in favour to void).
The outcome of this is intended to be that the deceased's shareholder's family now have a cash lump sum that they can use, equivalent to the value of the share held in the business, and the remaining shareholder(s) are able to retain control and continue to run their business.
In more complex cases it is also possible for a variation of this process to work, to allow a business to buy some shares from the estate, but allow the family to retain a smaller shareholding in the business. For example to provide a future income, pass to children or to allow the family to benefit from a future business sale.
Share Protection is typically taken out as a life cover-only policy, as often shareholders will not wish to lose their shareholding in a company simply due to becoming ill (for example from a critical illness such as cancer from which they are likely to recover). However, it is possible to include critical illness cover as part of Share Protection.
We also have access to some policies which offer a "halfway house" solution, meaning they will pay out upon death, or diagnosis of a critical illness, but they have limited their critical illnesses to more serious conditions which are more likely to prevent an individual from being able to effectively return to work again. The cost of which is also reduced against the cost of a full critical illness share protection policy.