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Critical Illness and Critical Illness Plus from HSBC


Solid CI cover from a big High Street brand.Many advisers see bancassurers as competitors.
Now available through advisers too.Good but not market-beating cover.
Choice of two cover levels.CI remains a complex product for many advisers and clients.

The Product

HSBC has launched two critical illness (CI) insurance plans for the adviser market. Both can be had with or without life cover:

  • Critical Illness lists 38 conditions on which it pays out the full sum insured. In addition, it pays an additional payment on two low grade cancers (low grade prostate cancer and carcinoma in situ of the breast) and pays out on terminal illness or total permanent disability.
  • Critical Illness Plus adds 11 full sum insured payment conditions and 17 additional payment conditions. The latter pay out the lower of £25K or 25% of the sum insured.

Children’s cover pays out the lower of £25K and 50% of the sum insured on 100% conditions (as for adults except does not include TPD or Type 1 diabetes). For additional payments, the maximum benefit is limited to the lower of £25K or 25% of the full sum insured.

The plan is initially available only through the UnderwritMe system.


What we say

HSBC entered the adviser protection market last year, and has now added CI options to the life plans it launched then.

Advisers are often suspicious of bancassurers, who many will see as rivals, but HSBC has pitched these plans as a quality alternative to other CI insurers.

According to analysts CI Expert, the plans don’t sit at the peak of the quality table, but nevertheless provide a good range of cover, with two cover options.

HSBC’s success in the adviser sector will depend partly on pricing (which we don’t look at in our reviews as it can vary by many factors including age and term and can change overnight anyway), partly on underwriting and partly on how good its admin is and how strong its brand is perceived to be.

Those factors aside, the plan may appeal most to clients who are already HSBC customers or who have a high regard for the HSBC brand.