AIG Life is continuing its critical illness (CI) cover revamp by consolidating the conditions insured under its group CI product into eight categories.
The categories AIG decided on are degenerative neurological disorder, reduced heart function, surgery to the heart, aorta or pulmonary artery, surgery via the skull, brain injury, loss of use of a limb, lung disease or removal, and blindness or removal of an eyeball.
On face value, these categories cover 27 conditions. A further 21 stand-alone conditions have been listed which wouldn’t fit into these subsets.
“We’re removing the complexity that has plagued our industry to make having group critical illness a no-brainer,” said Lee Lovett, managing director for AIG’s group protection arm. .
“Until now, employers had to choose which medical situations they wanted the insurance to pay out on, and needed some level of medical knowledge to know what they’re buying.”
He added: “There’s been a bit of a ‘conditions race’ in the product market."
Lovett claimed AIG was “the first” group provider to cover employees based on specific surgeries or the impact on their daily life, as opposed to basing its cover on a “rigid” list of conditions.
“The impact on an employee's lifestyle is more important than the condition itself. And our product gives policy holders an element of future-proofing,” said Lovett.
“So far, no-one else has gone down this route. Making changes of this nature takes a long time. It’s not something you can copy.”
By simplifying how employees interpret conditions, Lovett said AIG can offer “broader”, more “flexible” coverage which “keeps pace with new medical developments and doesn’t diminish over time”.
It is also fairer, he said.
Conditions such as multiple system atrophy - a degenerative condition - affects some 3,300 people in the UK and Ireland, according to MSA Trust.
CI has not traditionally covered this condition. But by including the category ‘degenerative neurological disorder’, sufferers of this condition are now receiving recognition under AIG’s cover.