LV= has introduced a number of changes to its existing critical illness cover including increasing the number of conditions covered from 59 to 64, upping those with ABI+ definitions from 18 to 19 and adding more partial payments, taking those to 20. Key changes are:
* A full payment is now made for all clinically diagnosed heart attacks, which LV= estimates will mean it paying out 10% more heart attack claims a year.
* On stroke, there is no longer a requirement for permanent neurological deficit. Now, the plan pays out if symptoms have persisted for 24 hours or more.
* For cancer, the severity limit has been lowered for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (of which there are 3,200 cases a year).
* The definition for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been extended. The policy now pays out on evidence of two or more attacks of impaired motor or sensory function.
* The deafness definition is now ABI+.
* Parkinson’s disease now has an improved ABI+ definition.
* Partial payments have been added for new conditions. This includes Type 1 diabetes (with no age restrictions), partial loss of hearing and ovarian tumour. There is an increased payment for accident hospitalisation, an improved definition for AVM of the brain and an increased payment for ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast. All benefits are now either 12.5% or 25% of the plan sum insured, after which the plan continues as before. 20 partial payment conditions are now included.
* Children’s cover has been improved by extending cover to age 21 (with no requirement to be in full time education), covering conditions that existed before birth (congenital conditions) and removing the initial 30 day waiting limit from birth.
What They Say
Protection manager Chris McNab said: "We have listened to advisers and customers plus worked with our claims and underwriting teams to ensure that any changes we made to our policy made it market-leading, were meaningful and added value.
"Critical illness cover is designed to provide essential financial support to clients when they need it most. Increasing the number of partial payments covered in our policy allows us to take a more flexible approach, and provide a greater number of clients with financial assistance. We are committed to the critical illness market and believe the changes we have made will significantly benefit advisers and their clients."
What We Say
"The CI market continues to be one where cover is getting ever-wider. Some people regret this trend, but why wouldn’t you want your clients to get the widest cover possible?
"LV=’s latest changes are welcome as they not only widen cover but also, in some cases, simplify it too (e.g. by now just having two partial payment levels). Full credit too for setting out in the online video how the change to the heart attack definition will mean paying 10% more claims in practice – that’s the kind of information that’s of real value to advisers and clients alike. More please!"