Legal & General has enhanced its critical illness cover by offering support from nursing service RedArc at no extra cost to the client.
The additional services provided by RedArc include serious illness, disability or bereavement support, second medical opinion, mental health support, carer support, Help at Home and Eldercare.
A paid option has also been launched, Legal & General GP24, giving access to a round-the-clock virtual GP that can be accessed via telephone, Skype or an app, and a private self-pay consultation concierge service.
Provided by Healix Health Services and Medical Solutions UK, the service allows an unlimited number of consultations for policyholders and their family at a cost of £3.25 a month for single life plans.
To accompany the updates, L&G has unveiled a content hub that aims to act as a one-stop-shop for critical illness information, raising awareness about the cover and helping advisers to provide further support to their customers.
Advisers using the hub can access a suite of supporting documents, including literature, videos and other resources relating to critical illness cover.
Craig Brown, director of intermediary at Legal & General, said advisers and providers had a duty to close the protection gap that meant just 13 per cent of UK employees had a critical illness policy.
He said: "For advisers, that means continuing the hard work of raising awareness about the benefits of critical illness protection with clients, and for insurers, it means creating innovative products that will improve the support and protection we provide to our customers.
"That is precisely why we continue to review our protection offering and have taken the decision to update our critical illness product with a range of new features, both standard and paid-for, to give individuals even more support throughout the lifetime of their policy."
Alan Lakey, director at Hertforshire-based CIExpert, said: “Legal & General is the largest provider of life and critical illness insurance in the UK with a business model predicated as much on price as comprehensiveness.
"These are welcome additions to their range of plans. There are however no additional conditions or changes to the wording of the conditions covered within the policy.
"Many insurers have seen the inclusion of added benefits services as a means of enhancing their plans, and those insurers not doing so risk being exposed as appearing lightweight."