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SunLife updates CI definitions in-line with ABI standards

SunLife updates CI definitions in-line with ABI standards

SunLife has updated its critical illness definitions to make it easier for customers to claim.

Moving in-line with the updated Association of British Insurers best practice, it remains at the ABI standard on cancer and stroke definitions, but has improved the heart attack definition to become ABI+.

Mark Jones, protection director at SunLife explained that the ABI definition states that Troponin levels must be at least 0.2, whereas SunLife’s definition has no specific level just a ‘rise of biochemical cardiac specific markers’.

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“Most critical illness products have great long lists of illnesses, making it difficult for customers to be confident that they understand what is and isn’t covered; we wanted to do something different,” he commented.

“Cancer, heart attack and stroke make up nearly 90 per cent of critical illness claims, and our qualitative research found that the majority of customers were unable to name any additional illnesses that they would expect to see covered over and above cancer, heart attack and stroke.”

Initially SunLife had expected that the critical illness take-up rate would be around 20 to 30 per cent, however the simplified approach has seen over half of its customers choose to add CI since it launched the cover in September last year.

SunLife’s move follows that of several other providers, including Aegon and Friends Life, with the ABI stating that there has been a “steady increase” in the percentage of claims paid since the introduction of its code of practice on non-disclosure.

First issued in 2008, it clarified which medical information customers needed to share with insurers.

peter.walker@ft.com