Critical Illness cover can provide a financial payout to a claimant even when they have or are expected to make a full recovery.
However, for those clients who may not make a full recovery or indeed those who may have ongoing issues, Aviva offers an extra care cover option.
The extra care cover option was launched in 2016, but in July this year Aviva made some changes to it.
It will pay out if the claimant is under 55-years-old and meets Aviva’s CI criteria for dementia, kidney failure, liver failure, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease or respiratory failure.
Parkinson’s-plus syndrome and heart failure are also included if the client has chosen upgraded CI benefit.
Aviva will also pay out for loss of independence where the claimant is unable to carry out at least three of the following six activities of daily living: washing, feeding, moving, dressing, continence, transferring, and where they are unable to claim under any other CI definition.
The extra care cover option is available on Aviva’s Life Insurance+ with CI cover and its Critical Illness+ policies.
It is currently the only plan offering an additional payout after a CI claim has been made.
The money can be used as required towards such expenses as ongoing care, changes in lifestyle, home adaptations and a specialist vehicle.
Aviva suggests it can help to replace lost income, though I would argue that is what an income protection policy (full-term) is designed to do.
At an additional cost, starting from £1.69 per month, it can provide an additional £50,000 (indexation is available if selected for the main cover) on top of the standard cover at the time of the claim or up to 12 months afterwards, to help cover costs associated with ongoing support for the covered conditions.
The notion is to make the client comfortable while they adapt to their change of lifestyle.
Though the additional payment for the various specified conditions is good, my concerns arise around the use of activities of daily living measurement for loss of independence.
As an industry, we have been stung by these in the past.
Though it is a great start, there is also the concern of how long £50,000 will last for those with longer-term illnesses.
Jiten Varsani is a mortgage and protection adviser at London Money