Simplifications for heart attack, stroke and cancer (and more) with exclusions removed
For CIC, there are 72 critical conditions - 51 of them are 100% paid definitions and 21 pay the lower of £50,000 or 25% of the sum of critical illness insurance.
The plan also includes Terminal Illness cover and Permanent & Total Disability protection, and waiver of premium is automatically included within each plan.
"Of particular note is the promise that when a critical illness claim wording is improved the better of the definitions will be used to assess any future claim," said CIExpert's Alan Lakey. "There may be occasions where such an upgrade results in an increase to the premium, in these instances Guardian will offer the upgrade as an option."
CIExpert also pointed out that buyback of CIC is optional and includes all of the 100% and additional payment conditions apart from that which caused the claim and any ‘linked' conditions. The new plan is set at 25% of the pre-claim critical illness sum with a maximum sum of £50,000.
Child cover, which is optional, offers the choice of any sum between £10,000 and £100,000 as well as the ability to add or remove it during the life of the plan. It commences at birth and lasts until age 18 or the 23rd birthday if in full-time education.
They are covered by exactly the same 100% and additional payment conditions as the parents. For additional payment conditions, they receive 25% of the selected child critical illness insurance.
There are also a number of specific 100% payment conditions. These include cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, Down's syndrome, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.
"There is much to like about Guardian's approach," said Lakey. "Both heart attack and stroke rely on the specialist's confirmation as opposed to meeting a set criteria such as raised enzymes. Similarly, Guardian does not exclude any malignant skin cancers from its cancer cover."
He also noted that a benign brain tumour claim is payable on diagnosis even if treatment was not required, while a coronary angioplasty claim is paid if one artery undergoes balloon angioplasty or stent insertion without the necessity for a prescribed level of narrowing.
All carcinoma in situ instances are covered where surgery is required and all six main motor neurone diseases are included.
"Whilst Guardian has made efforts to rationalise conditions, such as introducing total colectomy, which incorporates other conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, it has unnecessarily added to the list of conditions by having spinal aneurysm and spinal arteriovenous malformation as named conditions when many insurers have included such cover within the cerebral aneurysm and cerebral arteriovenous malformation headings," said Lakey.
"Similarly having both open heart surgery and structural heart surgery is odd when other insurers consider these terms to be interchangeable," he added.
Overall, though, Lakey believes Guardian has "breathed fresh air into a market that is in danger of being too clever for its own good".
"For years we have endured insurers aping each other, copying competitor's conditions and frequently confusing advisers and consumers with technical terminology," he explained. "Often, we have suffered the introduction of somewhat pointless conditions that seem to be added purely to increase the condition count. Guardian may have changed this."
He also pointed out that the policy is of a "high level" and will be "welcomed" by advisers and consumers who prefer quality over low cost. It will help to reduce the number of declined claims for heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis and benign brain tumour too.
"Other insurers will surely react to this, which will increase the overall quality of offerings," he concluded.
100% payment conditions
Aorta Graft Surgery
Benign Brain Tumour
Benign Spinal Cord Tumour
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Chronic Lung Disease
Chronic Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease
Diabetes Type 1 Insulin Dependent
Drug Resistant Epilepsy - with surgery
Heart Valve Replacement/Repair
Intensive Care with mechanical ventilation
Interstitial Lung Disease
Loss of Hand or Foot
Loss of Speech
Major Organ Transplant
Motor Neurone Disease
Paralysis of Limb
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary Artery Surgery
Removal of an Eyeball
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Third Degree Burns - 10% of body/20% of face
Traumatic Brain Injury
Additional payment conditions - lower of £50,000 or 25% of the insured sum
Carcinoma in Situ of the Breast
Carcinoma in Situ Requiring Surgery
Carotid Artery Stenosis
Central Retinal Artery or Vein Occlusion
Cerebral or Spinal Aneurysm
Cerebral or Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation
Connective Tissue Disorder
Craniotomy to treat Brain Abscess
Low Grade Prostate Cancer
Non-malignant Pituitary Tumour
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Ovarian Tumour of Low Malignant Potential
Significant Visual Impairment
Syringomelia or Syringobulbia
Testicular Cancer of Low Grade
Third Degree Burns - 5% of body
More needs to be done within the workplace to tackle wellbeing
Pulse Insurance's Torquil Mclusky discusses the stigma surrounding mental health, embracing mindfulness and how the industry can provide more inclusive access to cover
Above industry average figures for both critical illness and life paid claims
"The tides have changed for protection"