According to CI Expert director Alan Lakey, one new condition has been added and one condition has been uplifted.
The former is full payment being made if undergoing a spinal stroke causing at least 24 hours of neurological deficit, while the latter is to do with Motor Neurone Disease, extending the claim definition beyond the ABI model wording to accommodate claims for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Mr Lakey welcomed the enhancement, but pointed out around 100 children each year are born with the condition, therefore the exclusion for conditions present at birth reduces the scope for a claim.
“The adult form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy is also known as Kennedy’s Disease, a condition currently included by Old Mutual,” he noted.
A spokeswoman from L&G claimed that the spinal stroke cover is market leading, with “other providers asking for symptoms to be permanent and other have also adopted the ABI Changes”.
More generally, the provider now has several conditions adopting the new ABI model wordings:
• Benign brain tumour – Now specifically excludes tumours originating from bone tissue;
• Coma – Medically induced coma’s are now specifically excluded;
• Major organ transplant – Specifies a transplant must be from another donor and also excludes non-human transplants;
• Parkinson’s disease – Requirement for postural instability has been removed and Parkinsonism has been specifically excluded;
• Stroke – Eye strokes and death of tissue of the optic nerve are now specifically excluded;
• Traumatic brain injury – Formerly known as traumatic head injury, this condition has been renamed to support greater clarity.
Mr Lakey stated that the alterations are “relatively modest” and have limited impact on L&G’s position in the market.
“Legal & General is the leading office in terms of policies sold which reflects its strategy of obtaining business from advisers, tied bancassurers and direct sales,” he commented.
“The company has focused as much on premium and name awareness as on the quality of it’s offering and given the volume of business generated, who is to say that this is wrong?”