Aviva enhances critical illness cover

Aviva enhances critical illness cover

Definitions for seven critical illness conditions have been enhanced by Aviva, along with a new additional benefit to increase the number of claims paid, although one protection expert claimed it will have “minimal impact” on outcomes.

Enhancements have been made for the definitions for Alzheimer’s disease, blindness, deafness, intensive care, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

They include extending cover to the end of the policy’s term for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (previously ended at age 65) and widening the multiple sclerosis definition to enable payment on diagnosis, instead of requiring three months of continuous symptoms.

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An additional benefit has also been added for ulcerative colitis, whilst carcinoma in situ of the breast - also an additional benefit - has been enhanced, removing an exclusion for lobular carcinoma in situ.

Aviva said that additional benefits mean customers will receive a payment of up to £25,000 or 25 per cent of the sum assured, whichever is lower, while the policy continues in force and the sum assured is unaffected.

The changes mean that 56 conditions are covered under Aviva’s critical insurance policies, including 11 additional benefits.

The updates apply to critical illness policies taken out from 31 July 2015. They have been introduced ahead of the December deadline for implementation of the Association of British Insurer’s statement of best practice for critical illness insurance.

However, Alan Lakey, CIExpert founder and partner at Highclere Financial Services, commented: “Most of these are clarifications are general tidying up and have minimal impact on claims outcomes.”

He added that Aviva has only amended its critical illness to reflect the alterations required as a result of changes introduced by the ABI critical illness working party.

Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva, stated that it is their number one priority to make sure as many claims are paid as possible. “We’ve enhanced cover across a range of conditions, widening our definitions so more claims can be accepted.

“We also found that in some instances we were more likely to pay claims than our policy wording might have suggested, so we have made some updates to reflect our claims philosophy more accurately.

He added: “We’ve also revised the descriptions of some conditions, so it’s clearer to customers what will be considered during a claim, and they can know exactly what to expect, making for a better customer journey all round.”