LV= has increased the number of conditions it now covers under the critical illness (CI) element of its Flexible Protection Plan (a guaranteed or reviewable premium plan which can also include life cover and income protection). It has added ten new conditions, increased the number of ABI+ definitions by seven and added five new partial payments. The conditions now covered are:
- Standard ABI (Association of British Insurers) definitions. Blindness; deafness; kidney failure; loss of speech; motor neurone disease; terminal illness; and traumatic head injury.
- ABI+ conditions (where the definition is wider than the standard ABI definition and so covers more events). Alzheimer’s disease; aorta graft surgery; benign brain tumour; cancer; coronary artery by-pass graft; coma; heart attack; heart valve replacement or repair; loss of hands or feet; major organ transplant; multiple sclerosis; HIV infection; Parkinson’s disease; paralysis of a limb; stroke; and third degree burns.
- Extra conditions (100% benefit). Aplastic anaemia; bacterial meningitis; benign intramedullary spinal cord tumous*; cardiomyopathy; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; dementia*; encephalitis; liver failure; loss of independence; total permanent disability; primary pulmonary hypertension; progressive supra-nuclear palsy; pulmonary artery surgery*; severe lung disease; surgical removal of an eyeball*; and and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
- Partial payment conditions (where the plan can continue after a claim is made). Coronary artery angioplasty* (25% of cover, up to £25,000); prostate cancer (25%/£25,000); ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast (12.5%/£12,500); partial loss of sight* (12.5%/£12,500); removal of one or more lobe(s) of the lung* (12.5%/£12,500); severe Crohn’s disease* (12.5%/£12,500); and severe ulcerative colitis (12.5%/£12,500).
* These conditions have newly been added. Children’s cover of the lower of £25,000 and half the sum insured is included (from 30 days old to age 18) and is paid on all conditions except TPD. Only one claim per child is payable and a maximum of two children’s claims per policy is payable.
What They Say
Head of protection Mark Jones said: “We’ve worked hard to enhance our CI product in a meaningful way, to make it not only market-leading but, more importantly, to add real value.”
What We Say
"LV= is moving the CI game forward by including a significant number of extra conditions and no less than seven are now partial payment conditions, which means more people are paid something and at an earlier stage in some cases. We welcome that.
"CI is however still too technical and some of the new conditions are ones that most people won’t even have heard of, let alone could tell you what they are. What percentage of all critical illnesses are now covered by the best plans? We don’t know. What are the chances of any customer getting a critical illness that is not covered? Again, we don’t know.
"This is an industry, not a specific company issue but, as more conditions are added, so these questions will become more important."