HSBC’s two new critical illness (CI) insurance plans are aimed at the adviser market and both can be had with or without life cover. The plan is initially available only through the UnderwritMe system and the two plans offer:
• The core plan (Critical Illness) has 38 conditions on which it pays the full sum insured. There are also additional payments on low grade prostate cancer and on carcinoma in situ of the breast. The plan also pays out on terminal illness or total permanent disability.
• A higher level plan, called Critical Illness Plus, adds 11 full sum insured payment conditions and 17 additional payment conditions. Additional payment conditions pay out the lower of £25K or 25% of the sum insured.
Children’s cover pays out the lower of £25K and 50% of the sum insured on 100% conditions (as for adults except does not include TPD or Type 1 diabetes). For additional payments, the maximum benefit is limited to the lower of £25K or 25% of the full sum insured.
Comment: HSBC entered the adviser market last year with life insurance plans and has now followed that up with CI plans too. The plans are probably best described as offering good rather than market-leading cover.
However, their appeal will depend both on the customer’s and adviser’s view of HSBC and of course on factors such as pricing and service.
Bancassurers are often seen as competitors by many advisers, so it will be interesting to see how HSBC follows up this launch to win over more advisers too.
Plus points: A good quality CI plan from a well-known High Street brand, now available through advisers; Choice of two cover options.
Not so plus points: Relatively little innovation; Bancassurers are seen as competitors by many advisers; CI is seen as over-complex by many customers and by advisers too.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: CI; HSBC
I Mark: No