Aegon UK improves their critical illness (CI) to improve payouts
The improvements announced today by Aegon enhance both personal and business protection cover. The addition of cardiac arrest means that Aegon’s CI policy now covers 43 conditions in total (previously 42) and has a total of 18 definitions now classed as ABI+ by exceeding the ABI’s standard definitions (previously 14).
Aegon’s CI policy now 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.
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.
John Wilkinson, Protection Director, said: “These improvements are driven by feedback from advisers and our desire to pay more claims and offer the broadest level of cover to our customers.
“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.
Wilkinson continues: “These enhancements coupled with our ability to accept CI applications from people up to the age of 74 and underwrite sums assured up to a value of up to £4m for CI, deliver a winning combination for advisers and their clients and puts Aegon back on the front of the protection stage. While the changes have added value to the overall CI cover, it’s the full picture that makes our CI cover stand out.
“We’re confident we’ve set the bar high for 2014 and there will be more to come.”
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 (HIV tests are not routinely requested for applicants aged 60 and over) from above £1m to above £1.5m on CI and life cover applications.
In 2012, Aegon paid out £24.3m in CI claims which was 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’. Cancer was the most common reason to pay a claim and the average age of a claimant was 46.