Critical Illness  

Aviva simplifies critical illness cover

Aviva simplifies critical illness cover

Protection provider Aviva has followed in the footsteps of rival providers in simplifying its critical illness cover for new business.

Aviva said it had focussed its overhaul on merging definitions where conditions and criteria for a claim aligned, with definitions presented in “clear, logical groupings”, as well as providing advisers with materials to support protection conversations.

For instance, it merged the ‘traumatic brain injury’ and ‘brain injury due to anoxia/hypoxia’ definitions into one single ‘brain injury’ definition, while maintaining the current level of cover.

The provider has also extended its standard and upgraded children’s benefit to include children under legal guardianship.

As well as the changes to definitions, advisers will have access to an interactive critical illness presentation to show clients how the product works, what it covers and the options available to clients.

Aviva hopes the changes will make it “easier and quicker” for advisers to explain the product to clients, and improve clients’ understanding of their cover.

Mark Cracknell, head of protection sales at Aviva, said: “We know that the complex nature of critical illness cover across the market can lead to customer confusion over which illnesses are covered on a policy.

“The last eight years in particular has seen an expansion of plans and cover, with increased definitions adding a complexity that is often difficult for advisers and their customers to navigate. 

“At Aviva we are constantly challenging ourselves to make things clearer and simpler for customers while keeping our focus on product quality, coverage and flexibility.

“We’ve listened to our customers and our adviser colleagues and these changes are being implemented to ensure that advisers and customers have a clear and full understanding of their cover.”

Since 2018 providers have increasingly simplified their CI offering, following in the footsteps of protection challenger Guardian.

Launched in May 2018 the provider sprung into the market with a pledge to broaden critical illness coverage, boasting clear definitions and a pay out on a doctor’s word.

The positive reaction to what the firm was trying to achieve also prompted other providers to take stock and amend their own lengthy lists.

Alan Lakey, director at CIExpert, said: “Aviva’s actions have reduced the numbers of conditions within the standard plan from 36 to 34 and within the upgraded plan from 87 to 71.

“This is a brave modification because there remains a hardcore of ‘condition counters’ who refuse to analyse plan details and subtleties. Obviously, they will miss the fact that, despite numbers reducing, the plan now offers wider cover.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com