Aviva enhances critical illness cover

Number of conditions increased from 35 to 48

Aviva has made a number of changes to its critical illness (CI) cover, taking the total number of conditions covered from 35 to 48.

Previously, the insurer covered 33 full conditions, two partial conditions and child cover, whereas it now covers 42 full conditions, five partials and child cover.

Part of the additional conditions come from separating out its total permanent disability definition, whilst Aviva has also enhanced the definitions of five conditions to achieve Association of British Insurers plus (ABI+) status.

Previously, it had 12 ABI+ definitions while it now offers 17, after adding cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, major organ transplant and motor neurone disease.

Aviva says the addition of cancer means that the top four CI conditions, which account for 90% of claims, will now have an ABI+ definition under its policy.

Newly added conditions include rheumatoid arthritis and severe lung disease, while significant visual impairment, Crohn’s disease treated with intestinal resection and removal of an eyeball have been added as partial payments.

Partial payment claimants will receive 20% of their sum assured up to a maximum of £20,000.

In addition, Aviva has increased the maximum child benefit payout from £20,000 to £25,000.

The insurer has also published a guide to its CI cover for advisers and consumers, which it says shows at a glance which conditions are covered and the level of payment for each.

Robert Morrison, chief underwriter at Aviva, said the policy has been reviewed with the aim of making cover easier to understand for consumers.

He said: “We’re determined that we only add conditions which increase breadth of cover and provide greater clarity for customers. We know exactly which conditions account for the largest number of claims, so we’ve taken great care to make changes where customers will benefit most.”

Alan Lakey of Hemel Hempstead-based IFA Highclere Financial Services said Aviva’s previous offering was already an above average and competitively priced plan, but the upgrade shows an ambition “to compete at the quality end of the market”.

He said the alterations position it towards the top of the CIExpert league tables – his CI comparison site launched earlier this year – in terms of potential future claims.

Aviva’s changes come after similar CI product enhancements from other insurers in recent months. For instance, in May Bright Grey added two now conditions and an ABI+ definition to its CI cover, taking its total number of ABI+ definitions to 10 and its total number of conditions covered to 45.

Financial research company Defaqto calculated at the time that the average number of conditions to be covered by a CI policy is 40.

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