Skandia has ‘fired a shot over the bows of its rivals' with changes to its Critical Illness (CI) plan, according to CIExpert.
CIExpert director Alan Lakey (pictured) said the revamped product provided a "clear demonstration that Skandia is not playing the numbers game and instead is looking to add greater clarity to its plan and the claim wordings within."
Skandia has removed two conditions - Multiple System Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy - and replaced them with a new all-encompassing wording titled Parkinson Plus Syndromes.
This definition also encapsulates other conditions that permanently impair motor function, eye movement and postural instability.
Lakey said: "This is one of those rare instances where less really is more.
This alteration increases the likelihood of a claim being met for a number of rare neurological conditions that have similar outcomes to Parkinson's, MSA or PSP but are not diagnosed as such."
The revamped offering now offers 43 full conditions and 13 partial payment conditions.
Additionally, Skandia has upgraded its definitions for Blindness and Liver Failure and introduced a new partial payment in ‘low grade testicular cancer'.
Skandia has also increased its maximum age for applicants to 67 from 65 and extended the expiry age from 75 to 80.
Skandia Protect re-entered the critical illness market in April 2013, and all of the changes will be backdated to that point.
Ian Jefferies, head of protection at Skandia said: "Since its launch in April our CI cover has received much praise and we have chosen to focus on enhancing the quality rather than simply adding more definitions."
New Full Payment Conditions
• Parkinson Plus Syndromes
This encompasses the following conditions;
• Multiple System Atrophy,
• Progressive Supranuclear Palsy,
• Parkinsonism-dementia-amyotrophic-lateral sclerosis complex,
• Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration, and;
• Diffuse Lewy body disease.
The claim requirement is for permanent clinical impairment of either motor function, eye movement disorder, postural instability or dementia.
New Partial Payment Conditions providing the lower of £25,000 or 25% of sum insured
• Low Grade Testicular Cancer - Diagnosis of intratubular germ cell neoplasia with histological confirmation by biopsy, together with the undergoing of surgery to remove a testicle
Amended Full Payment Conditions
• Blindness - The definition has been widened to include limiting the central visual field to no more than 20°, previously they stipulated 10°
• Liver Failure - Skandia has removed the specific requirement for cirrhosis
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