Zurich improves critical illness definitions

Zurich improves critical illness definitions

Zurich has updated its critical illness cover for new policies, making improvements to the coverage on key conditions and by adding to the number of illnesses covered.

The key changes include coverage for the two most common forms of skin cancer and the most common form of adult leukaemia and a reduction - from six months to three - of the period when multiple sclerosis symptoms must persist, or removed entirely with MRI evidence of two or more attacks of impaired motor or sensory function.

Zurich will also now make a full payment on the loss of one hand or foot, while for heart attack they are removing the threshold for elevated troponin levels, meaning that any diagnosed heart attack showing a raised level of troponins will be payable.

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Eight conditions have been enhanced to exceed the ABI’s definitions, so in total Zurich now offers eighteen ABI+ conditions, including the top four reasons for claims – stroke, cancer, heart attack and multiple sclerosis – which accounted for 84 per cent of pay-outs last year.

Further enhancements include doubling the number of conditions that customers can claim additional payments on from six to 12.

These payments mean that eligible customers diagnosed with less advanced critical illnesses covered by the product will benefit from a pay-out of 20 per cent of their sum assured or £15,000 - whichever is lower.

Peter Hamilton, head of retail propositions, said that the firm focused on improving the definitions for the conditions customers are most likely to claim on and have made them clearer.

“This follows our investment this year in cutting claim turnaround times which have reduced by a quarter. We know what a difference these payments make to our customers and ensuring they get the support they need as soon as possible is crucial.”

Earlier today, Aegon updated its multi-benefit proposition for both personal protection and business protection.

On the critical illness side, the changes include a focus on the most common claims - cancer, heart attack and multiple sclerosis - and simplifying the heart attack definition by removing the need for specified ‘troponin’ levels, making it easier to claim.