Aegon UK said it is ‘continuing its drive back to the top of the protection market' with improvements to its Critical Illness (CI)cover.
The insurer has added cardiac arrest meaning it is now covering 43 conditions in total (previously 42.)
It has also introduced a total of 18 definitions now classed as ABI+ by exceeding the ABI's standard definitions (previously 14).
John Wilkinson, protection director at Aegon UK (pictured) said: "We're confident we've set the bar high for 2014 and there will be more to come."
Aegon's CI policy also includes eleven additional critical illness conditions including two children's definitions.
These include partial loss of sight, children's death benefit and critical fracture cover, a unique benefit offering a payment for specified significant fractures.
Further enhancements include increased cover options to mastectomy for carcinoma in situ and children's critical illness protection, as well as an increase to the point at which an HIV test is routinely requested from above £1m to above £1.5m on CI and life cover applications. HIV tests are not routinely requested for applicants aged 60 and over.
These enhancements combined with the fact that Aegon has the highest age limit in the market for applying for CI cover (74 years old), a maximum sum assured limit of up to £4m for CI (subject to a discussion with Aegon's underwriting team) and only has one standard exclusion (alcohol and drug abuse) on its policy, have contributed to a Defaqto 5 Star Rating.
Wilkinson said these improvements were driven by adviser feedback and a desire to "pay more claims" and offer the "broadest level of cover" to customers.
He continued: "We've spoken to advisers about what's important to them and their customers when it comes to critical illness cover. Price might be the key factor in a life policy, but there are many other facets for consideration when it comes to a critical illness policy.
"The quality and number of ABI+ definitions were high on the list along with the number of conditions covered, speed of underwriting and the inclusion of partial payments. And, unsurprisingly, advisers do still want to see all of this at an appropriate price."
In 2012, Aegon paid out £24.3m in CI claims - 91% of claims made. Of the 9% of claims declined, 35% were due to ‘misrepresentation' and 65% were due to the ‘definition not being met'.
Decided by 'independent' panel
A fixed pay-out of £2,500
‘Still one of the very best’
Just 35% would pay for CI cover