L&G’s latest changes to its CI plans go considerably further than the usual route of adding a bit more cover and increasing the condition count. Instead, the insurer has looked to make a number of changes to its two option level critical illness (CI) plans, to widen cover and to simplify.
The key changes include:
• Under the CI Extra plan, additional payment conditions now pay the lower of £30K and 50% of the sum insured instead of 25%.
• The old coronary artery by-pass grafts (CABGs) and open heart surgery conditions have been combined and are now called specified heart surgery.
• Necrotising fasciitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and total colectomy have been added on CI Extra plans.
• On both plans, the loss of use of hand or foot, major organ transplant and motor neurone disease definitions have been changed and improved.
• On CI Extra plans, the benign spinal cord tumour and brain damage due to a hypoxia/anoxia definitions have been improved.
• On CI Extra plans, new additional payment conditions have been added. These are coronary angioplasty and craniotomy for brain abscess. The drug resistant epilepsy definition has been improved too.
• Children’s cover now includes all adult conditions.
• Some other conditions have been rationalised or simplified.
• Rather than list each in situ cancer covered, a generic ‘other cancers in situ or neuroendocrine tumours of low malignant potential’ definition now applies. However, eight such cancers retain a specific definition too.
Comment: We are used to seeing CI insurers regularly updating their CI cover, typically offering a bit more cover and tweaking a few definitions or benefits.
L&G has gone rather further and looks to have made a genuine attempt to simplify the proposition wherever it can. That includes amalgamating some conditions, while also looking in detail at each definition to improve and simplify where possible. It’s a bit like a new version of a familiar car – all the comfort of the old model, but with a lot of detailed changes that add up to a better product overall.
CI remains a complex product for adviser and customer alike, but we like the approach L&G has taken.
Plus points: L&G’s update is much more than just a cosmetic exercise to offer a bit more cover; A genuine attempt to simplify CI and make it easier to understand.
Not so plus points: Despite the simplification exercise, CI remains a complex product to understand and advisers need to undertake a detailed analysis to work out what plan best suits which client.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8.5. Gold
Tags: CI; L&G
I Mark: No