CIExpert has released its assessment of changes Ageas has made to its critical illness plan.
Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert, the critical illness reference and comparison service, noted that Ageas Protect has "made a number of valuable additions and improvements to its critical illness plans confirming its intention to continue operating at the quality end of the protection market."
• Cardiac Arrest
Will meet a claim if sudden cardiac arrest is treated by implantation of a defibrillator. Annually, over 2,000 meet the claim requirement although the vast majority will be over
New Partial Payment Conditions
Payout is the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the sum assured
• Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation
This is an abnormal connection between the arteries and the vein. Friends will pay out if
the insured undergoes a craniotomy (operation involving removal of part of the skull) or
embolisation (and endovascular repair). This condition mainly affects those below age 15.
• Cerebral Aneurysm
This is a weakness in a blood vessel of the brain that causes it to bulge out and can cause headaches, eye and neck pain and vomiting. As with the above the condition is treated by craniotomy where the blood vessel is clipped or by embolisation.
• Coronary Angioplasty
This form of treatment was a staple amongst quality plans until ten years ago when it was considered to no longer be a major operation. Until now, Friends Life and LV= were the only providers to include the treatment, albeit on a partial payment basis.
Ageas Protect has gone beyond the existing wordings by not insisting on any minimum stenosis (narrowing) - the other plans insist on a 70% narrowing. This is of great importance as specialists consider a 50% narrowing to be the point where treatment is required.
Additionally, whilst they mirror the existing wordings by insisting on two or more arteries undergoing an intervention they will also agree a claim if the Left Main Stem artery requires stenting or some other technique.
• Low Grade Prostate Cancer
A claim will be admitted if a tumour with a Gleason score of 2 to 6 is treated either by prostatectomy or radiotherapy. Unlike Aviva and Legal & General which allows other forms of treatment.
• Testicular Carcinoma in situ
This is a new condition that Ageas has introduced. A successful claim is dependent on one or both testicles being surgically removed due to non-invasive cancer. The claims requirements are precise - both diagnosis of non-invasive cancer and removal of one or both testicles.
For 2011/12 there were less than 400 diagnoses within the age groups concerned and even lower figures for surgical removal so claims are likely to be very low
• Ductal Carcinoma in situ
Ageas has made two worthwhile improvements.
Firstly, the benefit is now paid in addition to the sum insured whereas previously the insured sum was reduced by any claim.
Secondly, until now the claimant had to undergo a full mastectomy which limited claims to less than half of all treatments. The definition has now been upgraded to include segmentectomy and wide local excision.
• Total & Permanent Disability
Ageas has adopted the revised ABI model wordings but has gone a step further by also meeting a claim if the insured suffers mental failure or is unable both to see well enough to read 16 point print and be unable to communicate with people.
• Major Organ Transplant
The definition has been extended to include the transplant (or inclusion on an official UK waiting list) of a lobe of the liver or lobe of the lung and mainly enhances the cover for children.
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