Advisers should consider children's cover on CI policies as one of the more important aspects of the contract. Mark Anders makes the case.
Caring for a child with a serious illness or medical condition can be demanding, and when a parent is forced to take a period of unpaid leave from work – or even give up their job altogether – finances can become strained and exacerbate what is an already stressful situation.
However, most critical illness policies on the market today now include cover for the child or children of a policy holder as standard, meaning parents can benefit from the security of knowing financial support is available if they become a carer for their child.
Though many insurers provide cover for children on their critical illness products most children are unlikely to suffer from or develop some of the conditions detailed in most policies available. It is a reasonable view that, when it comes to critical illness cover, the focus should really be depth over breadth.
Bolstering offerings by including obscure and rare conditions that people are unlikely to claim on is of little use to the policyholder; even less use to their children.
With protection, it’s a case of relevance when it comes to the conditions covered, especially where children are concerned.
If the majority of conditions listed are never claimed against, perhaps we need to start to question how valid the protection policies on the market really are. A protection product that covers child specific conditions is much more relevant.
It is inevitable that some of the many thousands of critical illness policy holders across the country will have to make a claim for their children in the future. The fifth biggest reason our customers make a claim against a critical illness policy after cancer, heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis, is for their child or children, which proves the value of including coverage for children in protection policies.
No matter what age a child is when they fall seriously ill, it is devastating news for their parents. But it can be even more distressing when the child in question is a newborn baby, suffering from a congenital condition, for example.
Insurance providers on the market have different approaches to covering congenital conditions in critical illness policies; some cover a handful of conditions, others don’t cover any at all, and some cover certain conditions, but with restrictions.
It is fair for consumers to expect a comprehensive policy will cover newborn babies for child specific conditions from the day they are born, so new parents can have some help to adapt their lives if they need to do so unexpectedly.
This can provide peace of mind for parents, who will be nervous enough about the change to their lives that a healthy baby would bring. Knowing that they might have to make extra provisions for a baby who will suffer from a serious illness as soon as they are born must be even more daunting, especially if that baby requires further care for a long period of time after.
The facts are stark. One in every 33 babies born is affected by a congenital condition, and every year these conditions result in the development of 3.2 million birth defect-related disabilities or complications.
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