Legal & General has improved its critical illness offering by introducing two levels of adult cover.
The new critical illness upgrade option includes Standard and Extra cover and is a part of a continuing improvement to their critical illness solution.
Both levels incorporate basic child cover with each having the option to upgrade to children's critical illness extra cover.
This two-pronged approach mirrors that introduced in 2016 by Aviva, which has been increasingly adopted to provide flexibility in choice for children’s cover.
The new CIx option will be available via intermediaries and allow advisers to recommend a wide range of benefits and options to meet customer's needs.
This also enables advisers to choose between a cheaper basic plan and a pricier more comprehensive version without changing providers.
Alan Lakey, director at CIExpert, said the choice of extra options positions the policy to compete with other quality plans in the market.
He said: "Legal & General has added an upgrade option for its adult cover and in doing so consolidates its position in the market.
"In addition to its standard competitive cost product it has provided advisers with the option of choosing higher quality cover for both their clients and/or their clients children.
"The resultant combined upgrade creates a policy which places it amongst the market leading offerings and will no doubt register a strong impact.
"The critical illness cover market has clearly shifted to recognise that clients will no longer select the cheapest offering but require the choice of balancing quality against cost that is matched to their personal needs.
"Advisers tell us that by presenting their clients with a tangible choice on quality of cover it enables them to engage clients in dialogue regarding the value of their protection and allows them to focus on advising on the most appropriate cover for their particular needs.
"Legal & General has long been a market-leading brand and with this welcome upgrade, we anticipate that it will continue to drive a market focus of competing on quality of cover, which increases both the true value and actual claims paid."
The offering has a 100 per cent payment policy on various conditions, which are covered in the CI Extra adult plan.
These include benign spinal cord tumour, brain injury due to anoxia or hypoxia, cauda equina syndrome, drug resistant epilepsy, heart failure, Parkinson's disease and Kennedy's disease to name a few.
However, it now has additional cover for conditions that are covered in the ‘CI Extra’ plan only.
This includes various conditions such as third degree burns and removal of urinary bladder.
It also now has improved wording for adult conditions for both its standard and extra plans.
This includes benign brain tumour, which was previously paid if there was a permanent neurological deficit or involved surgery.
But now it also includes radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Blindness has also been extended to include a visual field reduction to less than 20 degrees or less of an arc.