CIExpert has welcomed Ageas Protect's amendments to its Critical Illness (CI) policy and highlighted its position as the first insurer to extend Type 1 diabetes cover to adults aged below 40.
Alan Lakey, director of CIExpert, said: "Ageas has joined the legion of insurers making extensive changes and enhancements to their critical illness plans. Two new conditions have been added and eight existing conditions have been amended with some notable enhancements.
"Ageas is the first insurer to extend Type 1 diabetes cover to adults aged below 40. This will result in a significant number of claims as annually around 4,000 people aged 21 to 39 are newly diagnosed."
CIExpert said the heart attack definition has removed the need for an established raised enzyme level as this is now seen as unnecessary.
The definition for stroke has been streamlined so that neurological deficit no longer needs to be ‘permanent'. Symptoms extending beyond 24 hours is deemed sufficient in combination with a positive brain scan.
Carotid artery stenosis treated by endarterectomy affects around 800 people each year, although 40% of these are age 75 or over.
Extending cover for carcinoma in situ of the breast will prove beneficial as ductal carcinoma in situ accounts for around 85% of diagnoses.
Additionally, enabling any surgical tumour removal greatly uplifts the cover because full mastectomy accounts for less than 50% of surgical procedures, Lakey added.
Additional Partial Payment Conditions
• Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
The lower of £25,000 or 25% of the insured sum if diagnosed with insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes mellitus. This cover applies to adults aged 21 or over.
• Carotid Artery Stenosis
The lower of £25,000 or 25% of the insured sum if undergoing endarterectomy or therapeutic angioplasty due to 70% narrowing/blockage of a carotid artery.
The ability to claim has been extended to those whose vision is less than 6/60 in the better eye and suffering from complete loss of peripheral vision and a central field of 10 degrees or less.
• Heart Attack
Death of heart muscle due to inadequate blood supply with new ECG changes and characteristic rise in enzyme or Troponin levels.
Death of brain tissue due to inadequate blood supply or haemorrhage within the skull resulting in neurological deficit with persistent clinical symptoms lasting at least 24 hours. Excludes transient ischaemic attack.
• Parkinson's Disease
Definition has been amended to require one of tremor, muscle rigidity or postural instability. Formerly it required all three of these.
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