The Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) standard critical illness (CI) insurance definitions for heart attack and cancer are changing.
A new ‘marker’ for the heart attack definition will now be used, along with other established diagnostic tools such as electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, to assist in determining whether a heart attack has taken place.
But because it is not a cardiac enzyme, the ‘marker’ – troponin – does not fall under the current definition.
Troponin levels have been used as part of the diagnostic tests for heart attacks for the last couple of years. But now their use is common enough for the ABI to change the standard definitions.
Those who already have CI policies have nothing to fear – a valid claim would still be paid.
The cancer definition is also changing. The Government plans to introduce a screening service for prostate cancer. This is good news considering that cancer of the prostate is one of the most common cancers affecting British men, with over 10,000 dying annually from the disease.
The increased screening will detect more prostate cancers, many of which will be curable. Under the current CI cancer definition all forms of prostate cancer would be covered for a claim. As a result, the cancer definition is changing to exclude the less severe and treatable forms of prostate cancer.
What does this mean for your clients? Male clients who already have cover will benefit from the existing, wider, definition for cancer.
Clients who take out cover under the new definition will still have good cover, since only the less severe forms of the cancer are excluded.
Male clients will then be in a similar position to female clients, who are covered for the more severe versions of cervical cancer.
Nothing stands still. Our products cannot work in isolation – we must keep a watch on what happens in the world of medicine and plan for any changes.