Aviva has introduced a number of enhancements to its Critical Illness+ and Life Insurance+ with critical illness products. More conditions are now covered and the enhancements all apply to the upgraded options on its products.
A key element is upgraded children’s benefit, which is available as part of the critical illness policy. This covers three new conditions:
* Diabetes mellitus type 1.
* Brain abscess when undergoing a defined treatment.
* Less severe third-degree burns meeting defined criteria.
Parents of children diagnosed with these conditions will receive a fixed £25,000 payment and children are covered from birth up to their 22nd birthday, regardless of whether they are in full time education. Previously, children were only covered up to their 18th birthday, or to their 21st birthday if they were in full time education.
For adults, the upgraded critical illness benefit now covers two new conditions. These are:
* Brain abscess when undergoing a defined treatment, which will be eligible for full payment.
* Less severe third degree burns meeting defined criteria, which will be eligible for the lower of £25,000 or the cover amount.
Customers who need to stay in hospital for more than seven consecutive nights also now receive a £100 Hospital Benefit per night, from the eighth night, to a maximum of £3,000. One negative change is that the policy no longer covers HIV.
What They Say
Mark Cracknell, head of protection distribution, said: "We are really pleased to be able to introduce these improvements to our critical illness policies, which mean that more of our customers will be able to claim successfully and receive financial as well as emotional support at a very difficult time in their lives.
"These critical illness enhancements add to our already comprehensive suite of protection products, and come at a time when we are running a number of initiatives and campaigns to provide advisers with tools and support to help them develop and grow their protection business."
What We Say"Let’s deal with the negative first. Aviva no longer covers HIV and, as ABI has dropped HIV as a model CI condition, we can expect other insurers to do so too. However, few HIV claims were paid by CI insurers anyway (proving cause was always an issue) and advances in treatment mean such cover is arguably needed less anyway."
"On the positive side, Aviva is a huge brand and has further enhanced an already well-proven product. The enhancements cover children’s cover as well as adults, so the plans should appeal even more to families now.
"The CI market is going through a period of positive change and we can expect more CI insurers to introduce changes to their cover so the real question is has Aviva done enough in this round of enhancements? The answer is ‘probably’, but expect further changes in due course as the industry improves further its CI cover, while making the product easier to understand too."