LV= has introduced an option to now take out Life and Critical Illness insurance with Enhanced Children’s Cover. The option includes child specific conditions, payments for pregnancy complications and increased payout levels. These are:
Cover for an additional ten child-specific conditions more likely to occur during birth or early infancy, including Type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome. This brings the total number of conditions to 95 for children.
£5,000 payment if the life insured is diagnosed with one of six pregnancy-related complications including stillbirth.
Increased children’s payouts - 50% of the parent’s cover, up to an increased maximum amount of £35,000, per child per policy.
This higher cover for children option is on top of a series of improvements launched in January to its Life and Critical Illness Cover, with more comprehensive cover for 87 conditions (and 85 conditions for children), increased enhanced claim payments for 17 conditions and improved cancer coverage including a cancer diagnosis payment.
LV= also offers customers a range of other potentially family oriented benefits including a 24/7 member careline with access to legal, medical and counselling experts. Plus LV= Doctor Services, provided by Square Health, with app-based access to remote GP, physio and mental health specialists, second opinion for people diagnosed with a serious illness, mental health support and discounted health assessments.
Comment: LV= has also introduced changes to its Family Income Benefit and those, along with this option, further increase its case to be considered as a top family insurer. That’s important because (2017 ONS data) there were 19.0 million families in the UK, up from 16.6 million in 1996. It’s a very big market!
Because not every person or couple has children though, LV= has sensibly made added child cover (which does have pricing implications) an option rather than something you have to pay for, even if you could never benefit.
LV= is not alone in offering two tier child benefits, and it appears the industry is now more heavily focused on offering higher benefits (and not just purely financial ones) but also allowing simple and cheaper cover too. That makes sense, although it can add complication.
Increasing child’s cover to £35K is also welcome. As a technical aside, it also highlights one of the unspoken areas product designers get sleepless nights about. In designing a product, insurers need to look not just at what customers and advisers want, but at larger societal issues too. It’s an awful thing to even think about but set the level too high and you also increase the (albeit tiny) risk of infanticide. Though abhorrent to, we would hope, everyone it’s one reason why child’s cover is unlikely ever to be set at 100% of parental cover. LV’s level looks to be sensible and is set at a level that would provide a great deal of help to a parent faced with the heartbreaking news that their child has a critical illness.
This is the second major CI change LV has introduced this year but these changes are very welcome and show LV’s determination to be seen as a high quality provider.
Plus points: An option to add a higher level of child cover to life and CI applications; Very high conditions count now, setting LV high in the quality of cover stakes; Higher maximum child benefit; .
Not so plus points: More choice for advisers to consider; According to CIExpert, reduced payment levels on additional payment conditions.
Rating (max 10): Overall: 8.5. Gold
Tags: CI; LV=
I Mark: No