5 Powerful Reasons To Review Your Critical illness Insurance


5 Powerful Reasons To Review Your Critical illness Insurance

Fast Facts

There is a pressing need to for anyone who has bought critical illness insurance from a Bank, online or even with their financial adviser between 2005 and 2011,who has not had it reviewed recently to get it reviewed now

#1: Heart Attacks

Improved so you can claim on  minor heart attacks

#2: Strokes
Reduced the need for “permanency” meaning quicker & more claims paid

#3: Cancer

Covering more early stage cancer – which can only be good news for claimants

 #4: Partial Payments
Significant improvements being made on cover for the less serious illnesses 

 #5: 21st Century Comparison Report

Quick and easy compare to find the best plan for you


By : Strategic Development Director

Do you spend any time on the small print on your critical illness insurance cover?  In fact most people will take a quick look at the conditions and assume they are fully covered, before putting it away in a drawer.

You might think that with critical illness cover the insurance company’s description of “critical” would always tally with the client’s definition.

However that may not always the case, when it comes to meeting the plan wording at time of a claim.

Let me explain…


Why Does Critical Illness Insurance Need to Change

The world is a different place to what it once was, and it is changing day by day for all of us. Improvements in healthcare, diet and living conditions mean we are now living longer than ever before.

Medical technology is advancing all the time. Tests and screenings are now much better at identifying less severe conditions. For example, doctors are now able to detect less severe heart attacks.

At the same time, people are more aware of the risks to their health, so they are going for screenings sooner. This means certain conditions, such as cancer, are now being diagnosed much earlier, sometimes even before symptoms develop.

So surely that’s a good thing, right? In the main – yes it is! It means we’re around longer to see our families grow and flourish, to make the most of life and to enjoy all that it has to offer.

But it’s much more complex than that. By living longer, it means our lives are no longer black and white. New complications are emerging. The 21st Century may bring new benefits, but it also brings new problems.

That’s why some of the forms of critical illness covers drawn together in the 20th Century are no longer relevant to life today.

So what changed with CI Cover in 2017

Last year was a year of tremendous change due to some insurers making improvements to the depth and breadth of their CI cover, making claiming on a plan much easier, which can only be good news for new consumers…

… but what if you already have a plan?

*It is estimated that of the 5 million critical illness plans in existence today over 50% plans can be upgraded to better levels of protection, with those who took out plans between 2005 and 2011 gaining most.

Subject to cost and underwriting, this certainly corresponds to our own client reviews, which means:

  • quicker and faster pay outs at time of claim.
  • broader coverage so you can claim on more illnesses.
  • less stress and hassle for claimants and their families.

That’s why there is a pressing need to for anyone who has bought critical illness insurance from a Bank, online or even with their financial adviser who has not had it reviewed in the few years to get it reviewed as soon as possible.

Here’s my 5 powerful reasons to review your critical illness insurance in the hope that you don’t discover that the small print excludes your illness – because it is not serious enough.

 Critical Change #1: Less Severe Heart Attacks Now Covered 

There are around 103,000 heart attacks each year in the UK. Incidence increases markedly with age with:

  • men in the 25-44 age group suffering 300 per million and
  • men in the 45-64 group 5,300 per million.
  • men under age 50 are over four times more likely to suffer a heart attack than women.

Whats changed

A number of insurers improved their policy definitions to make it easier for people to make a claim for a heart attack.

Some have removed the need for troponin to reach a specific raised level for a claim to be successfully paid, and instead simply requiring enzyme levels to be raised for a paid claim, Some even removed the need to rely on enzyme levels altogether.

Which means with some insurers you are 45% more likely to get a pay-out?

 Critical Change #2: New Plan Wording Will Help With Quicker Payments and Fewer Declines

Each year of the 150,000 strokes in the UK about 110,000 suffer a first stroke, did you also know that:.

  • 12,500 first stoke victims were under age 65.
  • male to female ratio is 60:40.
  • between 20% & 30% of sufferers will die within a month.
  • the risk of a first stroke for smokers is 140% higher
  • for Diabetes sufferers is 100% higher

Let’s go a bit deeper on the CI changes…

Around one in six stroke sufferers will meet the permanent neurological deficit requirement required under the policy wording for a stroke.

Stroke definitions were streamlined so that neurological damage no longer needed to be permanent in order to make a claim, instead taking into account symptoms extending beyond 24 hours with a positive brain scan.

According to the Stroke Society a third of people who have a stroke make a significant recovery within a month. But most stroke survivors will have long-term problems. It may take a year or longer for them to make the best possible recovery.  – however a stroke does not always present permanent symptoms by removing the need for permanency…

…we expect insurers to pay even more claims, with quicker payment and fewer declines.

 Critical Change #3: Significant Cancer Cover Improvements

Cancer is not a single disease with a single type of treatment. There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.

According to CI Expert cancer is the single most feared disease with 320,000 new diagnoses in the UK during 2011, ignoring non-melanoma skin cancers. Of these, 117,000 affected those below age 65 and over 60% of these affected females.

Unsurprisingly it is also the condition most likely to result in a claim and half of people diagnosed with cancer now survive their disease for at least five years.

The main cancer definition has remained unchanged for many years but we have seen some insurers extend cover for:

  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • skin cancer basal cell carcinoma
  • squamous cell carcinoma

*Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer of the basal cells, it accounts for 75% of all skin cancers in the UK, while squamous cell carcinoma and accounts for about 20% according to evidence from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Early stage cancer – carcinoma in situ

One insurer has updated its serious illness cover in relation to cancer payments. Typically insurers only cover carcinoma in situ cancers  with a partial payout– this is an early forms of cancer in specific parts of the body and only if the client has surgery or invasive treatment.

The insurer moved to paying out a 5 per cent partial payment on all forms of carcinoma in situ cancers regardless of where they are in the body, and on some non-melanoma skin cancers.

It also pays out on diagnosis of the carcinoma in situ cancer, rather than requiring evidence of treatment or surgery to make a claim.

With cancer accounting for circa 65% of all insurer claims, again this can only be good news for claimants increasing what they can claim on.

Critical Change #4:  More Partial Payments for Serious Illness 

Over the last few years we have seen the inclusion of partial payment conditions into CI plans. from the introduction of  children’s critical illness to more recent inclusions of mastectomy due to ductal carcinoma in situ and early stage prostate cancer, both that add great value to a plan.

Although the  main focus has been on two conditions ,we  are now seeing an increase into other areas with some traditional CI insurers now adding up to 17 early stage pay-outs for less serious illnesses, covering  conditions like – coronary angioplasty: crohn’s disease and severe visual impairment.

Only one insurer offers a full severity based plan with up to 166 conditions covered – that’s over 100 more than any other insurer.

Breaking the cover down for you even further. Recent changes to full severity Illness Insurance now covers:

  • All types of heart attacks and strokes – including those that other insurers don’t
  • More forms of cancer than any other insurer.
  • Early stage forms of cancer upon diagnosis only – again, this is something that other insurers simply won’t do.
 Critical Change #5: More Transparent Comparisons  

Imagine if you could effortlessly compare all the competing critical illness cover plans in the market quickly and transparently without lifting a finger, so you get the plans with the highest statistical likely hood of paying out to you and your family with no:

  • personal judgement or bias
  • insurer marketing hype
  • sales pressure

Here is an example of our report when analysing a 2008  plan against one of the newer style plans – the first column shows that we lose no important conditions or plan wording and the second column all the areas that can be discussed and improved upon.

Critical illness plans have evolved over the last few years. How does your plan stack up – click the button below to see a sample full report

View Sample Report

So as you can see, there’s a great deal of thought and effort that has gone into this to make sure that the client – the person that matters in all of this – comes first.

I could have created a bigger list of improvements but kept to the ones that I feel have the biggest impact  and relevance to consumers. But it worth mentioning that improvements were made into areas like; children s CI cover; well-being support and claims ratios.

Next Steps

Now I don’t know about you but arranging your critical illness insurance efficiently can make a significant difference to the scope and breadth of being able to make a successful claim and get the best value plan for your budget.

I’m not going to say that I am the perfect person to arrange your critical illness insurance because that might be too pushy. What I will say is I am more than happy to provide you with a FREE comparison report so you see the difference for yourself.

It couldn’t be simpler just click on the “Get Your Free Report” button to get started and discover how our highly personalised approach to your family protection can make the difference you need.

Warmest regards


Equity SMART

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