Aviva has made changes to its Critical Illness+ and Life Insurance+ with Critical Illness products for new business, in a move which it says will make it easier and quicker for advisers to explain their features to their clients.
The changes include merging definitions where the conditions and the criteria for a claim align, presenting the critical illness (CI) definitions in clear, logical groupings and equipping advisers with streamlined materials to aid their protection conversations.
The changes include:
Merging the traumatic brain injury and brain injury due to anoxia/hypoxia definitions into one single brain injury definition (brain injury due to trauma, anoxia or hypoxia), but maintaining the old level of cover.
Merging the stroke and spinal stroke definitions into a single stroke definition (stroke or spinal cord stroke), again maintaining the old level of cover.
Creating two simplified cancer definitions, both of which can pay out more than once, subject to a second less advanced cancer diagnosis at a different named site. The two new definitions are:
Less advanced cancer in situ with surgery.
Low malignant potential tumour of gastrointestinal stromal (GIST) and neuroendocrine (NET) types with surgery.
Other tweaks include removing terminal illness as a named condition and incorporating the old Accelerated Surgery Benefit within the relevant condition wordings. The life change benefit (guaranteed insurability option) has been extended to include rental increases as a trigger and children under legal guardianship will now be covered under the plans too.
Comment: CI Expert has described Aviva’s trend of amalgamating similar definitions into a smaller number of ‘umbrella’ definitions as ‘brave’. That’s true, but it’s also a very customer-friendly move that simplifies the plan, and one that is good for advisers as well as for their clients. Alan Lakey’s description is also a sad reflection that there are still ‘condition counters’ – advisers who do just that in a practice horribly reminiscent of the old phrase ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’. Hopefully services such as CI Expert and greater effective training will eventually eliminate the (hopefully few remaining) ‘condition counter’ dinosaurs.
The changes mean Aviva has now cut the number of conditions covered from 36 to 34 on the standard plan and from 87 to 71 on the Plus plan, and we see that as a very positive move indeed.
Overall, the plan remains a quality CI plan from one of the blue chip brands and wider cover more simply explained is always a good step forward
Plus points: More umbrella conditions; Wider cover by tweaking definitions; Good product from a blue chip brand.
Not so plus points: CI remains a complex product that still doesn’t cover every critical condition; There are still condition counting advisers who may fail to see that less sometimes really does mean more.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: CI; Aviva
I Mark: No