Legal & General has launched Children’s Critical Illness Extra (CCIx) as a paid for but non-underwritten option, to provide enhanced features for parents who would like more CI cover for their children. L&G will pay 50% of the amount of cover, up to £25,000 for a valid claim. Children are covered from birth and there is no limit to the number of children a parent can claim for and the child is protected until the age of 22, irrespective of whether they are in full-time education.
As well as all the original benefits included in its Children’s Critical Illness Cover, CCIx includes a new children’s terminal illness benefit, providing cover of £10,000 if the child is diagnosed with an advanced or rapidly progressing incurable condition, with a life expectancy of less than 12 months by the hospital consultant and L & G’s medical officer. Twelve additional illnesses are covered under CCIx, including cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, spina bifida, Downs syndrome and type one diabetes. In total, CCIx covers 51 conditions, compared to 37 on the standard cover.
L&G has also enhanced its standard Children’s Critical Illness Cover, with new services including:
* Covering children from 30 days and extending the maximum age of cover from 18 (or 21 in full-time education) to 22.
* A reduced survival period from 14 to 10 days.
* An increase in Child Funeral Benefit from £4,000 to £5,000.
Standard Children’s Critical Illness Cover continues to be included when a customer takes out a Life with Critical Illness Cover policy. The changes aim to help further support customers and their children throughout the length of their Life with Critical Illness Cover policy L&G says.
Also included in children’s cover is a £5,000 Child Accident Hospitalisation Benefit, Childcare Benefit of up to £1,000 if the main policyholder suffers from a specified critical illness and Family Accommodation Benefit of up to £1,000 in the first three months following diagnosis.
What They Say
Director, intermediary, Craig Brown said: “Dealing with a critical illness is extremely challenging for anyone, but when it is a child, this makes it particularly distressing. The support provided by a children’s critical illness policy can make a huge difference in helping those during difficult times, yet only 13% of UK employees have taken out a CI policy. The UK still suffers from a significant protection gap and as this figure shows, there is a serious risk of leaving children exposed and parents vulnerable to financial difficulty if either suffer from a critical illness.”
What We Say"Analyst F&TRC points out that children’s CI claims are now commonly the fourth most common claims head on CI policies and many advisers now find children’s CI cover is very important to many parents. CIExpert adds that many clients prefer to pay extra to have superior cover, so L&G’s option to go for wider benefits should be welcomed.
"Interestingly, L&G has both improved its standard children’s cover and offered this new extra cost option too. Extending cover up to age 22 for all makes sense, not least because the old differentiator of having a higher age for kids remaining in education implied parents didn’t love their less academic children as much.
"One downside of CCIx is that parents will have to pay extra to get it – but we suspect for most parents, that will be an easy decision to take. For non-parents trough, we understand L&G doesn’t offer any premium reduction for not having children’s cover. Again though, that is not likely to worry many non-parents, provided the overall price quoted for their cover looks competitive."