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Royal London updates critical illness cover

Royal London updates critical illness cover

Royal London has updated its critical illness cover to remove some conditions and add others. 

Fourteen months after the insurer made its last set of changes, Royal London is making adjustments to the basic plan design.

In line with other insurers, HIV/AIDS has been removed from the roster of conditions and one 100 per cent payment condition and four additional payment conditions have been added.

Eight conditions have also been reworded to improve the quality and/or to remove exclusions. Drug and alcohol exclusions have been removed from five conditions and pulmonary hypertension claims are no longer restricted to idiopathic cases.

The new 100 per cent payment condition is for the removal of an eyeball due to injury or disease, which according to CI Expert founder Alan Lakey, is a low-scoring condition. 

Royal London has also removed HIV from the 100 per cent payment conditions, which is in line with what many other insurers have already done. Last year, medical researchers reported on medical advances trialled on a 'London Patient' which has seen the condition go into remission in the patient. 

The four additional payment conditions are for:

  • Carotid Artery Stenosis - Paid if undergoing endarterectomy or angioplasty to treat at least 50 per cent narrowing of the carotid artery.
  • Cerebral or Spinal Aneurysm - Paid if undergoing specified treatment.
  • Cerebral or Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation - Requiring the undergoing of specified treatment.
  • Non-Malignant Tumour of the Pituitary Gland -Paid if undergoing surgical removal or treatment by radiotherapy.

There have also been a raft of partial and full removals of conditions, such as that of accidental hospitalisation, which has removed the drug and alcohol abuse exclusion, and consolidated two separate conditions relating to brain injury into one. Mr Lakey called this "sensible", as the outcome for this would be the same. 

Additionally, Royal London has introduced an advanced payment for 11 conditions requiring surgery upon admittance to an appropriate waiting list, including cardiac arrest, pulmonary artery graft surgery and ulcerative colitis.

Mr Lakey added: "In January 2018, Royal London made substantial and impressive improvements to children’s conditions. Those consumers searching for high-quality child cover would have been impressed but clients without relevant children would possibly have chosen other more comprehensive plans.

"These changes, while not earth-shattering, serve to elevate the value of the main cover, ensuring that the plan does not falter amidst the recent glut of insurer upgrades. No doubt more improvements will follow in due course as the merry-go-round of plan adjustments continues apace."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com