Royal London has made a series of changes to its critical illness (CI) and children’s CI cover available through its menu plans.
It has removed the drug and alcohol exclusion and combined several definitions to provide simplicity.
Advanced surgery benefit has been added, allowing a pay out to be made as soon as a customer is on an NHS waiting list for surgery, rather than after it is performed. This applies to any of the 12 surgeries within the policies’ main definitions.
In addition, a new conversion option has been added to Royal London’s enhanced children’s CI cover. This allows the policyholder’s children to take out their own CI without any medical underwriting within six months of the children’s cover ending.
It has also increased the maximum age a child is covered to 23 if they are in full-time education (21 otherwise).
Jennifer Gilchrist, protection specialist at Royal London, said the changes focus on offering cover where it matters.
“These enhancements to our critical illness cover are part of our ongoing mission to make a real difference to our customers, by removing barriers to claims and making even faster payments,” she stated.
Adam Higgs, head of research at Protection Guru, said the removal of alcohol and drug exclusions dramatically increases the chances of clients claiming for conditions such as traumatic brain injury, where this is a particularly high-risk factor.
“The inclusion of a child continuation option is also very positive and something that that can help advisers turn the children of their clients into full clients themselves,” he added.
Alan Lakey, of CIExpert, said: “These changes, while not earth-shattering, serve to elevate the value of the main cover ensuring that the plan does not falter amidst the recent glut of insurer upgrades.”