Royal London has introduced flexible options for children’s critical illness (CIC) cover, including the option of paying more for increased benefits for children.
The enhanced children’s CIC means that children are covered for twelve child-specific conditions including Down’s Syndrome, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy.
Children would also be covered for additional conditions that were previously only available to adults.
These include hospitalisation of a child following an accident or partial loss of sight, which children are not eligible to claim for under standard children’s CIC. If a child covered on the policy were to die, £5,000 would be paid.
Choosing the enhanced Children’s CIC option also provides the person covered by the plan and their spouse, partner and children with cover for nine pregnancy complications with a payment of £5,000 per pregnancy.
This means if a person has an individual policy and their partner is diagnosed with one of the pregnancy complications, they will be able to submit a claim even though their partner isn’t covered under the policy.
Policy options range from no children’s cover, one with standard children’s cover or one with upgraded benefits, with premiums adjusted accordingly.
Jennifer Gilchrist, proposition lead at Royal London, said children becoming ill is the fourth-most common reason for a critical illness claim.
“By improving our children’s critical illness cover, we are offering wider cover to families from pregnancy right through to young adulthood.
"As not everyone has a family we are also adding the option to remove cover,” she said.
“We’re avoiding a one size fits all. We’re building products to suit customers’ needs – not the other way around.
"We’ve designed our cover with impending parenthood in mind – but we’re cost conscious too. We’re not asking customers to pay for this tailored cover if they don’t need it.”
Alan Lakey, director at CI Expert, said the enhancements reflected the improvements that he had been asking for.
“Children’s critical illness claims are responsible for up to 10 per cent of paid claims and has become an important differentiator when recommending the most appropriate plan to clients,” he said.
“The ability to choose from the three options enables consumers to select the best choice for their circumstances.
"Including a wider range of pregnancy complications and conditions that can affect a new born child shows that real thought has gone into the issues that can have a big impact on new parents.
"Kudos goes to Royal London for the most worthwhile improvements over the last 12 months.”