HSBC has launched two critical illness policies to the intermediary market, making the bank’s CI proposition available to advisers for the first time.
The two products — critical illness and critical illness plus — are each available as a stand-alone contracts or alongside the bank's life insurance offering.
The basic critical illness plan offers cover for 38 named conditions as well as terminal illness and total permanent disability cover.
The bank also offers two additional payment conditions for low grade prostate cancer and carcinoma in situ of the breast.
Additional payment conditions mean the provider will pay out 25 per cent of the lump sum insured or £25,000 (whichever is lower) if the consumer receives a diagnosis of the condition, but will pay out the entire lump sum if the condition continues and a full cancer diagnosis is given.
HSBC’s critical illness plus plan covers a further 11 named conditions and includes 45 extra conditions as additional payment conditions.
Children’s CI cover is automatically included in both plans, starting from age 30 days until their 18th birthday or age 21 if in full-time education.
For each of the two plans, children are covered for the relevant adult conditions with the exception of total permanent disability and type one diabetes.
Initially, the plans are only available to those advisers that are able to access the UnderwriteMe system.
The UnderwriteMe system is a platform through which advisers can go through a single process to quote, compare, underwrite and sell multiple protection products from a range of providers.
Alan Lakey, director at CIExpert, said HSBC’s offering was a “solid plan” which offered a “wide range of conditions”.
He added: “This positions it as high quality without causing sleepless nights to those insurers sitting at the peak of the quality table.”
Mr Lakey thought its appeal to advisers would be heavily dependent on its pricing, the ease of administration and its underwriting capability.
He also noted that by pushing the age at which child CI cover starts to 30 days, the plans exclude a number of birth-defect conditions, such as hole-in-heart.
He said: “This compares unfavourably against most of the quality plans in the market who have shifted to 22 days.
“Advisers are often wary of insurers, particularly bancassurers, that have traditionally set out to gain direct to consumer business thereby placing themselves as rivals.
“HSBC will therefore need to work hard to overcome such a mindset and to convince advisers that they are a major player and not a temporary entrant.”
What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.