CIExpert has analysed recent changes to Aviva's critical illness (CI) plan and said it has highlighted how complex policies are becoming.
Aviva has announced a major upgrade to its CI plans with the addition of three new conditions, two partial payment conditions and improvements to its heart attack definition and children's cover.
Three of the conditions are unique to Aviva - Devic's disease, Spinal stroke and Bladder removal.
On top of the recent additions made by LV= to their CI policy, this confirms how complex CI plans are becoming, CIExpert said.
Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert added: "It is always gratifying to see insurers improving their plans although it makes it harder for both consumers and advisers to discriminate between them.
"Overall it has improved the Aviva plan and ultimately that is the important thing."
New Full Payment Conditions
• Devic's Disease
Also called neuromyelitis optica this rare illness is similar to Multiple Sclerosis in that it is a progressive neurological condition for which there is no cure. Women are 4 x more likely to be afflicted than men.
• Spinal Stroke
Is a stroke within the spinal cord or the arteries that feed it. It is much less common than strokes that affect the brain showing as just over 1% of all strokes.
• Cardiac Arrest
Payable on suffering cardiac arrest and undergoing insertion of a defibrillator. This outcome is already included by Ageas, Friends Life, LV= and Skandia.
New Partial Payment Conditions - providing the lower of £20,000 or 20% of sum insured
• Bladder Removal
Complete removal of the urinary bladder for any medical reason. Some insurers cover diagnosis of carcinoma in situ of the bladder. Whilst Aviva does not meet a claim on diagnosis it does cover bladder removal caused by non-cancerous means.
• Non-malignant Pituitary Adenoma
Payable upon diagnosis of a non-malignant pituitary tumour requiring radiotherapy or surgical removal. This condition is already included by Friends Life and Zurich.
• Heart Attack
The universal Troponin measurement for confirmation of a heart attack is;
Troponins recorded at the following levels or higher
- Troponin T > 1.0 ng/ml
- AccuTnl > 0.5 ng/ml or equivalent threshold with other Troponin 1 methods"
Aviva has reduced its requirement to Troponin T > 0.2 ng/ml and AccuTnl > 0.2 ng/ml.
This will enable it to accept claims from heart attack victims where, possibly due to delays, Troponin levels have fallen back to more normal levels.
• Children's Cover
Aviva will now pay a children's death benefit of £5,000. Their definition of a child is one aged 30 days to 18 years (to age 21 if in full-time education).
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