Canada Life has updated its existing individual life and CI product, making a number of changes and improvements. These include:
• Core illnesses covered has gone up from 41 to 52. The new ones are:
o Brain abscess - with specified treatment.
o Brain injury due to anoxia or hypoxia - resulting in permanent symptoms.
o Cauda equina syndrome – with permanent symptoms.
o Heart failure.
o Intensive care – requiring mechanical ventilation for ten consecutive days (not available for children who are already covered under their own definition which has seven consecutive days).
o Myasthenia gravis - with specified symptoms.
o Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease) – with clinical symptoms.
o Peripheral vascular disease – requiring bypass surgery.
o Severe Crohn’s disease – treated with two surgical intestinal resections or removal of entire large bowel.
o Syringomyelia or syringobulbia – with surgery.
• Additional illnesses covered is up from 19 to 44. Some 13 definitions have been changed too.
• Child terminal illness cover now includes a catch all payment to cover non-listed CI illnesses. This pays out 50% of the sum insured, up to a maximum of £25,000. In addition, the funeral benefit will be paid as an advance payment.
• If a joint life policy has become a full claim and the policy ended, the other life insured can now take out a new single life plan.
• If cancer is excluded by the underwriter, the customer will get a premium discount.
• A Personal Nurse Service and Second Medical Opinion have been added to the life insurance terminal illness cover.
• All Canada Life individual protection customers get an app with discounted cinema tickets and savings at over 1,000 retailers and restaurants.
Comment: Canada Life has certainly widened the cover of its individual protection plans, although it is hard to point at anything that is unique.
That wasn’t the intention though – Canada Life looks to want its plan to be both competitive conditions wise and keenly priced rather than to be seen as offering wider cover than any other insurer (which may be an impossible advantage to try to maintain anyway).
That risks being seen as a ‘me too’ insurer although, given the market’s continuing focus on price, maybe that is no bad thing either.
The end result is comprehensive cover with good features, including third party benefits.
Having a catch all within the terminal illness benefit of child’s cover is an idea that could maybe be developed and extended to adult cover too. A partial payment (£25K) for any critical illness not otherwise covered that results in certain thresholds being achieved (loss of income; inability to work; long term physical effects etc) could maybe replace or supplement the much criticised TPD benefit (which, although it accounts for relatively few claims has the reputation of having the highest percentage of claim rejections by protection insurers).
Overall there is a lot to commend in this plan.
Plus points: A lot more benefits have been added; And some improved; Useful catch all on child’s terminal illness cover; Useful third party services; Price competitive rather than trying to offer most conditions covered.
Not so plus points: Me too benefits; Has Canada Life done enough to be ranked with current CI market leaders?
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: CI: Canada Life
I Mark: No