CIExpert has welcomed HSBC's recent changes to its critical illness (CI plan), saying this marks the first time the bank 'has made efforts to compete' with major CI players.
Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert said: "HSBC, the only bank that continues to offer its own insurance products, has made substantial improvements to its critical illness offering.
P"reviously marketed as TraumaChoice and covering only five conditions the new version, simply named Critical Illness Cover, now extends to 16 conditions some of which are market leading, such as Blindness, Heart Attack, Loss of Limb and Paralysis.
"This marks the first time that HSBC has made efforts to compete with the major CI players. While only 16 conditions are included the wordings are of a high quality"
However, the major downside is that no claim will be accepted within 90 days of the policy start date, Lakey added.
The plan now uses the standard wording but extends cover to skin cancer that is confirmed as malignant and has spread beyond the epidermis to the lymph nodes or distant organs.
• Coronary By-Pass Surgery
The requirement for splitting the chest bone (median sternotomy) has now been removed.
• Heart Attack
HSBC is the first insurer to remove the requirement for specific Troponin readings. It requires medical reports, investigations and test results as defined by the recognised international standard prevailing at the time of the claim.
• Multiple Sclerosis
The requirement for 6 months continuous symptoms has been reduced to 3 months.
The old definition excluded claims due to traumatic injury to brain tissue or blood vessels.
• Benign Brain Tumour
Covers benign brain tumours that cause permanent neurological deficit or treated by surgical removal.
The standard ABI requirement is vision in the better eye measured at 3/60 or worse using a Snellen eye chart. HSBC has reduced this to 6/60 which is generally the measure of ‘blindness' used by health professions.
Goes beyond the ABI model wording by not requiring 96 hours on life support systems.
• Heart Valve Surgery
Uses the most claims-friendly wording which does not limit procedures to those involving the splitting of the chestbone.
• Kidney Failure
Employs the standard wording.
• Loss of Limb
Covers the severance of one limb above the ankle or wrist.
• Major Organ Transplant
Goes beyond the ABI model wording by including transplant of lobe of liver or lung.
• Motor Neurone Disease
Has joined Aviva in specifically including spinal muscular dystrophy.
Covers irreversible loss of muscle function of one limb above the ankle or wrist.
• Parkinson's Disease
Uses a market-leading wording which specifically includes other Parkinsonian Syndromes.
• Traumatic Brain Injury
Uses the model ABI wording.
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