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Partner Content by Scottish Widows


Talking to your clients about Critical Illness Cover can be hard. Not only is it a sensitive subject to broach, with many clients likely preferring to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the possibility that they or their families may become ill, but many policies can also be complicated to explain. 

In the past, insurers have provided customers with long lists of illnesses that they either covered or fell outside of the scope of their policies. This can make what is a fairly straightforward product appear complex and difficult to understand.

In turn, advisers face a challenging conversation that risks ending with clients taking out a policy that is not right for them or not taking out this type of protection at all.

“When it comes to protecting what matters most, clients are looking for clarity, simplicity and reassurance that they have the right plan in place. That’s why our refreshed Critical Illness Cover focuses on comprehensive cover with simplicity at its heart,” says Amanda Kerr, Head of Protection Proposition at Scottish Widows.

“We’ve combined some conditions and grouped our 30 main conditions under 5 easy-to-understand headings and visualised these through the image of the body. This helps advisers to explain Critical Illness Cover and customers to understand what they are covered for.”

Amanda adds: “Considering that less than one in 10 (9 per cent) of people in the UK have Critical Illness Cover*, we need to do everything we can to make what’s seen as a complex product easier to understand.”

Our solution is straightforward: a simplified protection proposition that is even more comprehensive in its coverage.


First, we have combined some conditions and grouped our 30 main conditions under five easy-to-understand headings: Brain and neurological system; heart and arteries; organs; senses; and cancer.

Then, we have taken these five areas and visualised them through the image of the body to create a useful infographic. Rather than reading through a list of illnesses, advisers can present this resource to clients to make clear the illnesses that we cover. 

This helps you, the adviser, explain Critical Illness Cover and your clients to understand what they are covered for. 

We want to help support your client conversations and the simple body diagram ensures we do just that. 


We said our cover is simple yet comprehensive and that’s because we have widened the scope of our definitions. For example, we have added five new conditions, including heart failure, heart surgeries, neuroendocrine and gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Then, we have also reduced the overall number of definitions to 40 from 49, and lowered the number of main conditions to 30 from 41. 

Where previously we had six separate heart surgery definitions, now they fall under one definition.

All of this means your clients’ illnesses or conditions have a greater chance of being covered and, therefore, they are more likely to receive a payout.

Simplicity across our protection offering is vital. Ultimately, it helps advisers like you to engage your clients on the importance of taking out cover for them and their families.