LV= has extended the cover on its critical illness (CI) plan to encompass 59 conditions, up from 48 previously. Eighteen are now ABI+ (up from 16), while the number of partial payments has been upped from 7 to 16. Minor heart attacks and strokes are also now included. Partial payments are from 12.5% of the sum assured (e.g. for severe Crohn’s disease or carcinoma in situ cervix) up to 25% (e.g. on coronary artery angioplasty and non-severe cardiomyopathy). Ten conditions have a 12.5% payout, one 15% (accident hospitalisation cover) and five pay 25%.
On diagnosis of one of a number of neurological conditions before age 45, 150% of the sum assured is now paid. That goes up to 200% if the condition is as a direct result of an accident (e.g. loss of speech, paralysis of a limb or traumatic head injury).
The maximum age for taking out CI has been increased from 60 to 65. Children are now covered for the same number of conditions as adults, although total permanent disability is excluded.
Double accident cover pays 200% of cover up to £200,000 and enhanced payment for neurological conditions is also limited to £200,000. Accelerated stroke benefit means clients will receive 25% of their sum assured up to a maximum of £25,000 on receipt of confirmation that the claimant has had a stroke (obtaining proof of permanent neurological damage can take several months, so this gives claimants an immediate sum to help them until then).
What They Say
LV= head of protection Mark Jones said: “Advisers can feel confident that our product covers the most serious conditions and that we also look to provide financial support for sudden events like an accident, or an illness that may not be life threatening, but can still have a huge impact on people’s circumstances.”
What We Say
"CI is now developing beyond ABI+ definitions and the simple race to cover more conditions to now having a range of partial and ‘turbocharged’ (e.g. greater than 100%) benefits. Whilst that generally benefits customers, it does make comparison more complex and can make determining what sum assured to choose more complex too. Moreover, there are still critical conditions not covered on any CI policy, so there is still scope for all insurers to develop CI further.
"LV=, which is particularly active on product development just now, has significantly improved its plan and widened its appeal and, in essence, more and wider definitions means more clients being able to claim under their plans – even if working out just how many is beyond most of us!"