Legal & General has introduced a raft of changes to its group critical illness plan, bringing the number of core conditions covered as standard to 15 which, optionally, can be increased up to 41.
Children's cover, included as standard, has also been enhanced. There are now six child-only conditions, and children are covered from birth until age 21. The six conditions are: cerebral palsy; cystic fibrosis; hydrocephalus (treated with insertion of a shunt); muscular dystrophy; spina bifida, and child loss of independent existence.
For adults, three new conditions have been added. These are: cancer (second and subsequent), cardiac arrest and progressive supranuclear palsy. In addition, eight existing adult conditions have been updated. These are the removal of postural instability for Parkinson's; improved definition for loss of hand or foot (only one now needs to be affected); 20% burns to head or face for third degree burns; removed reference to specific troponin levels for heart attack; paralysis of limb definition changed; Hong Kong added to HIV country list; subcutaneous nodules and positive rheumatoid factor test removed for rheumatoid arthritis, and removal of exclusion for Kennedys disease for motor neurone disease.
The insurer has also introduced unlimited step changes at each benefit selection date, to allow increased flexibility for flexible benefits and voluntary customers. The maximum benefit is now the lower of £500,000 or five times scheme earnings.
In addition, Total and Permanent Disability is now on an 'own occupation basis'; 'any occupation basis'; or cover can be excluded for Total and Permanent Disability and Terminal Illness.
Children are covered for the same illnesses and conditions as the insured employee as well as for the additional six child-only conditions.
Comment: L&G has followed up making changes on its individual CI plans with changes on its group CI plans now too. The changes widen cover – although individual plans still typically offer even wider benefits. Unlike group life and IP, group CI cover can include children’s cover and so is more family friendly, and the children’s CI cover benefits have been improved too.
Group CI is a much smaller market than group life or IP and to re-establish its past fast growth we wonder whether even more innovation is necessary?
Plus points: More conditions covered; Greater flexibility; L&G says more changes are on the way.
Not so plus points: Group CI plans typically cover fewer conditions than individual CI plans do; Group CI is relatively a smaller market than individual CI for most advisers.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8. Gold
Tags: GCI; L&G