Alan Lakey is 'impressed by the two policies which offers flexibility to match individual needs' which 'compete strongly with other top quality policies'
Zurich Life has launched its new protection platform - Life Protection Platform - and with it has come an array of changes to its critical illness policy.
"Zurich has radically overhauled its current critical illness offering by replacing its current plan with two new versions - a standard policy that competes on cost and a high quality ‘select' policy," said CIExpert director Alan Lakey. "This is a developing theme within the protection world and offers consumers a choice based on cost or quality."
Covers 40 Full payment conditions, as below
Aorta Graft Surgery
Benign Brain Tumour
Coronary Artery By-pass Grafts
Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease
Heart Valve Replacement or Repair
Interstitial Lung Disease
Loss of Hand or Foot
Loss of Speech
Major Organ Transplant
Motor Neurone Disease
Paralysis of Limb
Parkinson Plus Syndromes
Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary Artery Replacement
Removal of an Eyeball
Third Degree Burns
Traumatic Brain Injury
Covers 2 additional payment conditions - lower of £25,000/25% of sum insured
Less Advanced Cancer of the Breast
Less Advanced Cancer of the Prostate
OPTIONAL Standard Child Cover
Pays lower of £25,000 or 50% of the sum insured, £25,000/25% for additional payment conditions.
Covers children from birth until 22nd birthday, death benefit from 30 days.
Includes all of the 100% and additional payment conditions above plus a £5,000 death benefit
Includes all Standard policy conditions plus the following 11 Full payment conditions
Benign Spinal Cord Tumour
Brain Injury due to Anoxia/Hypoxia
Intensive Care for 10 days
Neuromyelitis Optica (Devic's Disease)
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
Syringomelia or Syringobulbia
Covers another 46 additional payment conditions - lower of £25,000/25% of sum insured
Aplastic Anaemia (lower severity)
Brain Abscess with Craniotomy
Carotid Artery Stenosis
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Central Retinal Artery Occlusion
Cerebral/Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation
Diabetes Type 1
Drug Resistant Epilepsy
Facial Reconstruction Surgery
Guillain- Barré Syndrome
Less Advanced Cancers of the . . .
Non-malignant Pituitary Adenoma
Removal of one lobe of the lung
Significant Hearing Loss
Significant Visual Loss
Third Degree Burns 5%-19%
Additionally, there is a fixed £5,000 payment if a definite diagnosis before age 45 of one of the following complications of pregnancy - Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, Ectopic Pregnancy requiring emergency surgery, Benign Hydatidiform Mole, Placental Abruption and Eclampsia.
Critical Illness Benefit Uplift
Diagnosis of one of the following conditions prior to age 50 results in an additional payment of £100,000 or the sum insured if lower.
Enhanced Children's Benefit
This benefit is automatically included if the ‘select' policy is chosen. Pays lower of £25,000 or 50% of the sum insured
Covers children from birth until 22nd birthday, £25,000/25% for additional payment conditions. Includes all of the 100% and additional payment conditions within the basic and Select plan plus a £5,000 death benefit.
Additionally, the following child specific conditions have been included
There will also be an additional payment of the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the sum insured if a child is able to receive suitable treatment abroad which is unavailable in the UK.
There is a similar additional payment if the child is diagnosed with invasive cancer. This payment is on top of the existing cancer payment so effectively pays up to £50,000.
"For many years Zurich has been content to offer a reasonably costed but average critical illness plan which relied as much on reputation and underwriting as it did the quality of its definitions," said Lakey.
"The new contracts confirm that Zurich is emerging as a serious player in both the premium-based and the quality led determinations. The ‘select; plan offers a comprehensive range of cover with an emphasis on invasive and in situ cancers and when children's cover is chosen includes the enhanced children's cover."
Lakey praised the "clear approach" taken by the insurer with children's cover included for every adult as well as six child-specific conditions, extended to age 22 without any requirement to be in full time education. "The uplift for children's cancer recognises the financial impact that such a diagnosis can have on parents and seeks to assist with payments over and above that paid for other conditions," he added.
Zurich has also done well to acknowledge "consequences of diagnosis at an early age" by offering "significant enhanced payments" of up to an additional £100,000 for certain neurological and other conditions diagnosed before age 50. There is also a conversion option whereby children ages 16-22 can effect their own policy up to £25,000 without evidence of good health.
"We are impressed by the two policies which offers flexibility to match individual needs and particularly the ‘select' version which will enable Zurich to compete strongly with other top quality policies," concluded Lakey.
Read about Zurich's new income protection policy here.
With child cover enhancements
£570 a month benefit
Asks Alan Lakey
Decided by 'independent' panel