Alan Lakey reviews the latest raft of changes to Royal London’s critical illness cover and child cover
A year is a long time in the rarefied world of the UK critical illness plan designer and unsurprisingly, some 14 months after its last set of adjustments, Royal London has announced a list of improvements designed to keep it afloat in the quality tables.
Previous changes saw Royal London focusing on child cover and this time they are making adjustments to the basic plan design.
In line with other insurers HIV/AIDS has been removed from the roster of conditions and one 100% payment condition and four additional payment conditions have been added. Eight conditions have also been reworded to improve the quality and/or to remove exclusions. Drug and alcohol exclusions have been removed from five conditions and pulmonary hypertension claims are no longer restricted to idiopathic cases.
New 100% Payment Condition
Removal of an Eyeball
Paid on loss or surgical removal of an eyeball due to injury or disease. Most are as a result of cancer so this is a low scoring condition.
Removal of a 100% Payment Condition HIV
This has been removed from the roster of conditions in line with current thinking.
Changes to children's cover
The age range has been extended for both basic and enhanced children's cover. The protection now runs to 23rd birthday if in full-time education or to 21st if not.
Moreover, if Enhanced Children's Cover has been selected, an insured child is able to trigger a conversion option enabling them to take out their own plan of up to £50,000 without providing any medical information. This option is triggered when their own cover stops and is made available for 6 months. This is more generous than most other insurers.
Additionally, Royal London has introduced an advanced payment for the following eleven conditions requiring surgery upon admittance to an appropriate waiting list. Major organ transplant already includes waiting list cover.
- Aorta graft surgery
- Benign brain or spinal cord tumour
- Cardiac arrest
- Coronary artery by-pass grafts
- Heart valve repair or replacement
- Open heart surgery
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Pulmonary artery graft surgery
- Ulcerative colitis
January 2018 saw Royal London make substantial and impressive improvements to children's conditions. Those consumers searching for high quality child cover would have been impressed but clients without relevant children would possibly have chosen other more comprehensive plans.
These changes, whilst not earth-shattering, serve to elevate the value of the main cover ensuring that the plan does not falter amidst the recent glut of insurer upgrades.
No doubt more improvements will follow in due course as the merry-go-round of plan adjustments continues apace.
'A worthwhile upgrade'
What is normal?
According to gender and different ages
'Advisers... don't be lazy'