Friends Life has reconfirmed its place at the top of the quality tree with a number of innovations CIExpart has concluded.
On the additional partial payment condition, Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert, said: "Friends already offers a superior definition for blindness which substantially exceeds the ABI model wording and has now included a partial payment condition covering significant visual loss, which seeks to mirror the definition for being registered blind."
He also praised the firm's new stroke definition, which allows for definite strokes which have caused definite permanent deficit but only requires 24 hours of persistent clinical symptoms.
"This will enable many claims which might otherwise have been rejected and will also act to accelerate the payment on others," said Lakey
In addition it was noted that the changes to children's cover, by removing the enabling claims from birth, instead of day 31, will enable many more claims than at present.
Lakey said: "Additionally, in 2011 around 2,100 children died between birth and 28 days old. Muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy have been added and these three accounted for around 2,500 child diagnoses each year."
Additional Partial Payment Condition
Significant Visual Loss The lower of £25,000 or 25% of the insured sum if the better eye is tested and found to be 6/24 using a Snellen eye chart or if the visual field is reduced to 45o of an arc.
Children's Cover Friends has substantially improved its critical illness cover for children. They now cover children from birth rather than from day 31. Additionally they have increased the payment to lower of £25,000 and 50% of sum insured, previously it was limited to 25% of sum insured.
Moreover they have specifically included the following conditions - cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
They are also providing a funeral cost payment of £5,000 should an eligible child die.
Existing cover for intensive care requiring mechanical ventilation for 7 consecutive days has been amended to exclude babies born prematurely, that is before 37 weeks.
Stroke Death of brain tissue due to inadequate blood supply or haemorrhage within the skull resulting in either
• Permanent neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms or
• Definite evidence of death of tissue or haemorrhage on a brain scan and neurological deficit with persistent clinical symptoms lasting at least 24 hours.
Excludes transient ischaemic attack
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