Bright Grey has introduced a raft of changes to its critical illness (CI) plans. These include:
* Spinal stroke has been added as a full payment condition,
* The Parkinson’s disease definition has been upgraded and is now ABI+ (Association of British Insurers+) status.
* The multiple sclerosis definition has been simplified.
* Breast cancer and prostate cancer definitions have been improved.
* A number of other full payment and severity definitions have been changed, including to those for aplastic anaemia; benign brain tumour; cancer; coma; heart attack; multiple sclerosis; stroke and children’s critical cover.
* The maximum payout under the severity definitions has been increased to the lower of £25,000 and 25% of the sum insured.
* The changes bring the plan into line with the requirements of the ABI’s latest Statement of Best Practice for Critical Illness Cover.
What They Say
Director Debbie Kennedy, head of protection proposition design for Royal London, said: “We've continued to focus on making changes which affect our most claimed for conditions; to make improvements that result in more claims paid and faster payments to customers. It’s also important for us to improve clarity in our definitions, to supplement the ABI Statement of Best Practice.
"During 2014, Bright Grey’s protection proposition was significantly developed, to enhance services for advisers and their clients. These latest developments are the latest improvements to its critical illness cover proposition."
What We Say
"Most CI insurers are on a seemingly never-ending path of changes and tweaks to their CI cover, and Bright Grey is no exception. These latest changes bring the plan into compliance with the ABI’s new SoBP for CI (sorry for all these initials…) but they go further too by widening the cover and so benefiting customers.
"Though some may lament the chase to add ever more and wider definitions, my view is that any change that benefits consumers must fundamentally be a good thing, unless it adds disproportionate cost. That said, the flipside of the argument is that yet another layer of complexity is invariably added, when all the end customer really wants is an assurance that if they suffer a critical illness – regardless of its name or cause – their policy will pay out.
"Another issue for some IFAs may be whether they should wait until Bright Grey changes its name, which it is due to do (taking on its parent’s name) later this year. I hope not – names are not that important and, if this plan meets your client’s needs at the right price then it should be on your shortlist, regardless of what the company is called.
"Overall, these are welcome changes – but bring on that name change…"