ABI eyes fewer declined CI claims after updating guidelines

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The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has updated its guidelines on how critical illness (CI) policies should be described and explained to consumers, in a move it hopes will ultimately lead to fewer declined claims.

The ABI's new Statement of Best Practice for CI insurance includes clarification of the difference between additional and partial payments and also brings the heart attack definition in line with clinical practice.

CI product providers have until December 2015 to adopt the new statement, which the ABI said was the result of extensive consultation and research into what customers need and where there have been problems in the past.

According to the ABI's figures for 2013, the percentage of CI insurance claims being paid continues to rise, with 91.8% paid last year, up from 80% in 2005. But there were still more than 1,300 declined claims.

ABI head of protection Helen White said: "The updated [statement] will mean customers have a much clearer explanation of what their policy does and does not cover when they buy it and if they need to make a claim that it meets their expectations. This in turn should also lead to fewer declined claims."

ABI Statement of Best Practice for Critical Illness Insurance

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