When I hear that a provider has ‘revamped’ or ‘relaunched’ their critical illness offering, a feeling of dread passes over me.
What new medical terminology will I have to decipher? Should I just enrol onto a medical degree (not that they would have me) to understand the latest CI wording?
When Scottish Widows announced changes to its CI product earlier this year, I was more intrigued with the simplification of grouped conditions than the actual changes to the offering.
It announced it had cut down the CI definitions from 49 to 40 (30 main conditions and 10 additional conditions).
Cut down? Surely that must go against the old handbook, which traditionally added more conditions?
As I continued reading, I saw it had achieved wider cover in a common sense way. It combined similar definitions; with a particular focus on cancer and heart conditions.
Yes, the improvements to the level of payment for children’s cover and additional payments are great news, as is the introduction of booster payments for certain qualifying conditions.
But it is the introduction of the amalgamated list of conditions that really moved me. It is so simple that it is a wonder no one has thought of it before.
Many will suggest that my excitement stems from having nothing better going on in my life, but it is because, as an industry, we seem to finally be grasping the idea that advisers, and indeed clients, do not comprehend the term ‘critical’ and have no clue as to how one pronounces certain conditions, let alone what they mean.
I have sat in presentation meetings reciting the list of conditions a policy covers and have honestly seen the client lose interest after the tenth condition, mainly from a lack of understanding.
Scottish Widows adopting a concept that groups conditions around the body map is brilliant.
With five keys headings – cancer, heart and arteries, brain and neurological, organs and senses – clearly highlighted to the part of the body to which these apply, it adds an element of simplification and visual education.
A round of applause is deserved by all who contributed to this idea.
If further providers can adopt this level of simplicity, it can in turn only lead to a better understanding and help contribute towards better access to insurance for all.
Jiten Varsani is a mortgage and protection adviser at London Money