Old Mutual Wealth has introduced a raft of changes to its CI plan including:
* Ten new conditions have been added, taking the total number of conditions covered to 65. Full payment is made on diagnosis of intensive care (for ten days continuous duration); Kennedy’s disease; neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease); Peripheral vascular disease (with bypass surgery), and spinal stroke. New additional payments are made for carotid artery stenosis (where treated by endarterectomy or angioplasty); central retinal artery or vein occlusion; diabetes mellitus type 1; ovarian tumour of borderline malignancy or low malignant potential, and pituitary tumour.
* Definitions have also been improved (resulting in more claims being payable) for heart attack (about 20% more are now covered); stroke; multiple sclerosis; aplastic anaemia; benign brain tumour; benign spinal tumour; cerebral arteriovenous malformation; coma; coronary angioplasty; coronary artery by-pass grafts; HIV infection; loss of independence; major organ transplant; respiratory failure, and third degree burns.
* Definitions have been simplified and clarified for Crohn’s disease; dementia (including Alzheimer’s); kidney failure; motor neurone disease; significant visual impairment; third degree burns; loss of hand or foot; primary pulmonary arterial hypertension; terminal illness; traumatic brain injury, and cerebral aneurysm.
* Surgery benefit has been changed to pay out sooner (now it pays if the customer is on a waiting list rather than waiting for the surgery itself). It also now pays out on more surgeries.
In total, the plan now pays out on 65 conditions, of which 47 are main conditions and 18 of those are ABI+ definitions. It also pays additional benefits on 18 conditions, has a surgery benefit and covers children for 47 conditions plus surgery benefit from birth to age 21 (and pays double if both parents have a policy or jointly have a policy).
The plan offers terms from five to 40 years, with premiums guaranteed throughout. Alternatively a rolling ten year term can run for ten year periods with no upper age limit.
What They Say
Head of protection Ian Jefferies said: “Our aim in making these substantial enhancements has been to offer the most comprehensive critical illness cover that is available in the market. We have also condensed, simplified and clarified a number of existing conditions in order to make the product easier for customers to understand. Overall, these changes will enable us to pay more claims to customers at the most crucial times.”
What We Say
"It’s hard to argue with what Old Mutual has done. It has not only added new conditions and improved others, but also undertaken an early Spring cleaning by tidying up a number of other definitions.
"In fact, our summary above is just that – you’ll have to go onto its website to understand all the changes made. Even then, most changes are pretty technical and, frankly, the implications are well beyond my medical knowledge.
"That’s a criticism that can be made of all CI insurers, so we do have to rely on their explanations (and the work of folk such as CI Expert) to work out what they might mean. The bottom line is that we are reassured by Old Mutual’s assertion that the changes will mean more claims paid but we have no idea whether that means 0.001% more claims or substantially more than that!
"What would be useful to all advisers would be some quantification of the benefits of the changes. That in itself is easier to ask than to provide, but without it, advisers run the risk of not having the knowledge to be able to advise their clients what such changes really mean."