Wrong type of cancer, heart-attack, stroke or MS? Aviva extends scope of three of the five most claimed for conditions
Aviva has enhanced its critical illness (CI) cover for new customers with a series of radical enhancements, extending the number of conditions covered to 53. Coming into effect on new policies from 7 July 2013, the changes focus around the most commonly claimed for conditions including heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS).
This follows specific recommendations from Aviva’s protection claims team to ensure as many cases as possible will be paid. After analysing which types of claims couldn’t be paid due to criteria not being met, the insurer has made the following changes to help support their customers when it matters most:
Heart attack severity level lowered
Under the new CI cover, Aviva has lowered the threshold of troponin levels which need to be met in order for a heart attack to qualify as a valid claim. Previously a customer would have needed a troponin level recorded at the following level or higher: troponin T > 1.0 ng/ml. Under the new cover, this level will need to be troponin T > 0.2 ng/ml.
This is lower than any other provider in the IFA market for a full payment claim. There are 103,000 heart attacks* every year in the UK, making it the second biggest cause of claim. This step will help to increase even further the number of claims which can be paid under the heart attack definition.
Extending the scope of the most common conditions
From 7 July 2013, Aviva’s critical illness cover will include three new conditions, extending the scope of three of the five most claimed for conditions: multiple sclerosis, stroke and heart attack. Two of the new conditions – Devic’s disease and spinal stroke – are brand new to the UK critical illness market.
Devic’s disease causes symptoms which are similar to – and may be worse than – MS, while spinal stroke causes debilitating symptoms similar to a stroke in the brain. The third new condition is cardiac arrest, which more people are now surviving due to increased awareness and availability of treatment. This means that the enhanced critical illness cover offers financial protection against 53 conditions, 17 of which are ABI+.
Including more additional benefits as standard
Aviva has also extended cover by adding two new additional benefits: bladder removal and non-malignant pituitary tumour. Aviva will cover bladder removal for any reason, the only provider in the IFA market to do this. This takes the number of additional benefits covered to seven. These – like all of Aviva’s additional benefits – receive a payment of up to £20,000*, while the policy continues in force and the main sum assured remains unaffected.
Child death benefit added in addition to child CI cover
New critical illness policies will also extend cover to the children of policyholders to provide a lump sum death benefit of £5,000. This is in addition to child CI benefit of up to £25,000** and will be paid on top of any payouts made for child critical illness. These additional benefits are designed so the family can use the financial support as they choose, such as taking time off work.
Andy Doran, claims philosophy manager says: “It’s always been our ethos to only add conditions which make a genuine difference to the customer, so we’ve worked very closely with our claims experts and used our claims experience to enhance our cover. For example, no provider or adviser wants to be in the position of saying: ‘I know you’ve had a heart attack, but it’s not bad enough’, so we’ve really concentrated on where we can add most value.”
“Ninety-three per cent of our critical illness claims are made up from just five conditions – cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis and benign brain tumour – so we’ve focused our improvements around these. In doing so we’re adding conditions which will help us pay more claims, so we can make a difference to more people’s lives.”
In 2012 Aviva paid out more than 92.5% of critical illness claims. The provider also provides free access to RED ARC’s value added support service at the point of claim.