This is an update of PruProtect’s severity-based Serious Illness Cover, which now claims to cover more cancers than any other insurer, as well as all heart attacks and strokes.
The main enhancements are:
* The plan now pays out on all diagnosed heart attacks and strokes regardless of their clinical symptoms or severity. The payout is 50%, 75% or 100% of the full sum insured for heart attacks and 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% for strokes on both the Comprehensive Cover and Primary Cover versions of the plan depending on severity.
* Carcinomas in situ in all body areas are now covered, as are some non-melanoma skin cancers (PruProtect says other insurers typically only cover cancers in situ, i.e. non-spreading, in specific areas such as the breast or testicles or only if the customer has had surgery or other invasive treatment. PruProtect argues that modern medical techniques mean this isn’t always necessary.
* Insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1) is now included for adults. The payout is 15% of the sum insured.
* Children’s cover has been extended to include all children from the age of one month to age 23 if in full time education (previously the maximum age was 18).
* On conditions identified as having a long-term physical impact, a ‘Booster’ results in the payout being boosted to the plan’s full sum insured or up to 200% of the sum insured. The sum paid depends on the specific condition and the client’s age at the time of claim.
The plan itself offers policy terms of from 5-50 years and either reviewable or guaranteed premiums. In total, Serious Illness Cover now covers some 166 conditions on the Comprehensive Cover plan and 102 conditions on the cheaper Primary Cover plan.
What They Say
Product and actuarial director Deepak Jobanputra said: “We’ve listened to advisers and consumers and updated our policy to ensure people have the peace of mind they believe they are buying. We have also updated our cover to give people a greater payout if their condition will have a long-term impact on their health, giving them more financial security to help deal with a life-changing illness.”
What We Say
"PruProtect’s CI philosophy is different to that of many CI insurers – Vitality is there to help avoid becoming a claimant, while severity-based benefits mean a greater likelihood of making a claim and a payout more closely aligned to the client’s actual financial needs at the time. That does mean less chance of a ‘windfall’ (getting a serious condition, getting a big payout and having a good prognosis so one’s ongoing life is little affected) however – but is that really what CI should be offering anyway?
"Which approach is best? The jury is still out for many, but it is interesting to note that severity based benefits are becoming more popular, while Vitality offers options and incentives rather than compulsion, so what’s not to like?
"Of more immediate appeal to many will be PruProtect’s claims both to cover more cancers than any other insurer and to cover all heart attacks and strokes (albeit not all with 100% payout). We spotted a couple of website glitches, but hopefully these will now have been sorted."