Ageas Protect has introduced a number of updates to its existing critical illness (CI) cover plan, partly to help attract younger customers, using features that are more relevant to their health risks. The changes include:
– In total 47 critical conditions are now covered.
– Of which, 17 are ABI+ (Association of British Insurers plus) definitions (including for cancer, heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis, which together make up 87% of CI claims).
– Children up to age 21 are now covered through children’s CI cover, even if they are not in education.
– More early partial payments have been added. These include treatments such as angioplasty and breast and testicular cancer, where earlier payments are more beneficial to customers, Ageas Protect says.
– A new partial payment is for testicular cancer in situ. This typically affects 15-25 year olds but 95% can expect to survive for more than 10 years.
– Most partial payments pay the lower of 25% of the sum insured or £25,000, except for mastectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ where the percentage payout is raised to 50%.
– Congenital conditions are also covered, provided the parents were not aware of them before the child was born or before the policy was started.
New adviser guides have also been produced. Ageas Protect has three plans – Your Life Plan, Low Start and Real Life Cover, all of which can include CI cover. Optional total disability benefit pays out 1% of the sum insured each month, along similar lines to income protection cover. Plans also include Best Doctors family membership.
What They Say
Head of marketing and propositions Steve Casey said: “The introduction of these changes is just the beginning of the road that Ageas Protect wishes to pursue to ensure our products and services meet our customers’ needs.”
What We Say
"Ageas Protect has been quick off the blocks following both G-Day and the scrapping of the I-E tax regime for protection insurers, both of which have resulted in price rises for customers. The changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary but, essentially, any increase in cover means that more people will potentially be able to claim under their policy. That is particularly the case with partial payments which, along with ABI+ definitions are widening the scope of CI cover.
"The downside of all this is that CI cover is becoming more complex, especially when trying to compare conditions or definitions that apply to one policy but not to another. Such decisions are complicated by the fact that insurers do not set out just how many people (or what percentage) are likely to benefit from the changes being introduced. That said, Ageas Protect has a reputation for being one of the more innovative offices, and we look forward to seeing what other changes are in the pipeline.
"So far as the current changes are concerned, they add up to a strong proposition and we particularly welcome Ageas Protect’s aim to attract more younger customers."