Gryphon Group Holdings targets protection disruption by removing exclusions for critical Illness and terminal illness
In January we announced that Gryphon Group Holdings planned to mount a challenge for UK protection business as Guardian, and today the first details of its offering have emerged.
Hinged on the ethos of ‘life made better' for customers and advisers, Guardian has announced ‘simple, broader definitions with no general exclusions' for critical illness cover and teminal illness benefit within life cover.
For CIC, there are some key changes to the most common definitions.
For stroke, rather than evidence in the form of a scan, if symptoms have lasted more than 24 hours and a UK consultant neurologist says it is a stroke, there is a pay-out.
With a heart attack, rather than detailed medical reports proving severity, the word of a UK consultant is enough to trigger a pay-out.
Currently a typical CIC pay-out for multiple sclerosis requires evidence that MS is current when the claim is assessed. However, as symptoms come and go, Guardian will pay out if a UK consultant neurologist says there have been symptoms due to MS, even if symptoms are not apparent at point of claim.
Meanwhile, most providers do not pay out on all malignant skin cancers, however a Guardian policy will pay out on all malignant skin cancers without exclusion.
For life cover, terminal illness is generally only offered if a doctor believes the policyholder has less than 12 months to live. However, as it is difficult for doctors to predict survival time, Guardian also guarantees a pay out if the customer is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, motor neurone disease, Parkinson-plus syndromes and CJD, even if they are expected to survive more than 12 months.
"The single most important thing about a protection policy is that it pays out," said Simon Davis, Guardian CEO. "If someone has a critical illness policy, they quite rightly expect it to cover them if their consultant says they've had a heart attack. They don't want any anxiety over whether their diagnosis is eligible. At Guardian, we use simpler, broader definitions without general exclusions. So, when our customers need their policy to pay out, it will."
He also told COVER that, as a result of these simplifications, "customers will have a much easier understanding of when they can claim and advisers will have a much easier process when explaining to a customer how our policies work".
"If we get to a claim point, it's a much easier and simpler journey to get that paid," he added.
For claims support and customer care, Guardian's HALO service will ensure that each claimant is helped by Guardian's network of medical, legal and financial experts, rather than issuing a set list of additional services for customers to choose from.
"Our whole business is about helping customers through difficult times," added Davis. "When it comes to claims support, it needs to be personal. Whether it's the little things like identifying what support is available after spending time in hospital, or the bigger things like estate planning following a terminal illness diagnosis, Guardian's HALO service is designed to offer bespoke and valuable support."
Guardian is focusing on life and criticial illness initially followed by income protection at a later date. From today onwards, it is entering the market with a pilot, working with selected adviser firms before rolling out the proposition with strategic distribution partners and major portals throughout the year.
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