Bright Grey has introduced seven new conditions to its critical illness proposition. Five pay the full sum insured on diagnosis. They are:
- Pulmonary artery graft surgery, with surgery to divide the breastbone.
- Encephalitis, resulting in permanent symptoms.
- Intensive care, where continuous mechanical ventilation is required for ten or more consecutive days.
- Multiple system atrophy, diagnosis resulting in permanent symptoms.
- Pneumonectomy — undergoing surgery to remove an entire lung.
In addition, the insurer has added two new definitions that pay 20% of the plan’s sum insured on an earlier diagnosis than would be covered under a main benefit. The maximum benefit for each of these two is £15,000 and the two conditions are:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This is the undergoing of a full or partial mastectomy, segmentectomy or lumpectomy operation for early forms of breast cancer.
- Low grade prostate cancer. Tumours classified as having a Gleason score of between two and six inclusive.
In addition to the new benefits, the existing definition of stroke has been upgraded to ABI+ (i.e. better than the ABI’s standard). Bright Grey’s CI cover now has a total of 43 CI definitions, nine of which are ABI+.
The plan itself offers a choice of level, increasing or decreasing lump sum benefits or a level or increasing monthly income. Plans also include £20,000 children’s cover per child at no extra cost.
What They Say
Head of product development and technical support, Ian Smart, said: “With the treatment of illnesses such as cancer, stroke and heart disease constantly improving and with more people surviving conditions they would have died from 20 years ago, it is crucial that our critical illness cover keeps pace with these advances. Introducing two definitions that will provide additional cover for people suffering from early forms of cancer is a big step forward in terms of offering IFAs even greater choice for their clients.”
What We Say
"Bright Grey describes these changes as a ‘massive leap’. We’re not so sure, although they are clearly a good step forward. Adding two severity based definitions will help clients who are diagnosed early for either of these two major cancers and the other new and uprated definitions are welcome too.
"But a growing concern around all CI plans is whether they are now ready to go to the stage of trying to cover almost all critical illnesses rather than just most. Even if by ‘most’ you actually cover close to 100% of likely events, is that enough? Would you, for example, want a term plan that only covered you if you died form ‘most’ causes of death but not all?
"CI cover has now been around for more than a generation, but needs further innovation if sales are to get back to or exceed those seen a few years ago."