LV has just launched its revamped critical illness cover and it looks impressive.
The amount of conditions covered has increased to 49 full claim conditions, 38 additional partial payments, and it has now introduced a £1,000 payment for any policyholder or child, diagnosed with a claimable cancer.
Among other things, LV has also introduced the payment of an additional £200,000 on top of the policy sum assured, for the diagnosis of one of four conditions, before the age of 55.
All are welcome upgrades and somewhat outside of the norm of CI policies.
LV has also joined with cancer charity Maggie’s Centres, providing access to support practical and emotional support specialists, benefits advisers, nutritionists, therapists and psychologists.
As an adviser, I am finding that value-added benefits are becoming more and more integral to the advice process.
There is something with CI cover that has always baffled me a little.
We know that a significant bulk of claims on these policies are for cancer, heart attack and stroke.
LV has stated that 58 per cent of its CI claims are cancer related; 24 per cent for income protection; 42 per cent of life claims; and 60 per cent of children’s claims.
But at times I do wonder what is the worth of all the other conditions listed in these policies? What is the likelihood of actually being diagnosed with one of these other conditions?
In contrast to LV, Scottish Widows has just announced its new CI offering and done something that I have wanted to see for a while: fewer conditions, better definitions.
It has reduced the number of claimable conditions, but its definitions mean that its policyholders are still covered for the same thing.
The policy now offers 30 core full claim conditions and 10 partial payments, that have been depicted on the image of a human body to make the different conditions relatable and not just a long list of medical terminology.
It looks and feels simpler, but maintains its quality.
Scottish Widows has a long-standing relationship with Red Arc Nurses, a group of specialist nurses that can become an expert friend to policyholders in their time of need.
Through personal association, I know these nurses to be highly caring and supportive people, who have an abundance of resources to help policyholders in a wide range of health situations.
For me, I am torn between which one is best.
I like the idea of simpler CI contracts, with better definitions.
I also like the idea of being covered for as many conditions as possible, as a ‘just in case’.
Ultimately, I think that there is a place for both of these approaches.
I do not think we can compare these on a basis of which one is better, as they are doing different things.
LV is focused on covering a lot of medical conditions, while Scottish Widows is focusing on providing a core set of quality definitions.