Zurich has launched what it describes as the most comprehensive critical illness cover on the market with a new product that focuses on cancer, heart and neurological disorders.
The new product follows the updating of 50 definitions and has 85 conditions now covered.
Zurich says the new product focuses on recognisable conditions that also generate the most claims. The new product offers additional reduced payouts for 22 less advanced cancers including skin cancer.
These additional payments mean that eligible customers diagnosed with less advanced cancer will benefit from a payout of 20 percent of their sum assured or £15k, whichever is lower. Early payments do not reduce the full sum assured, and there is no restriction on the number of claims that can be made.
It is also simplifying the wording on its main cancer definition and including an additional ‘other’ cancer in situ definition to catch all other known early stages of the disease. Cancer accounted for 59 per cent of critical illness claims in 2015.
Zurich says customers will now be covered for all invasive cancers and the vast majority of early stage cancers.
Nine specific heart related conditions and 13 neurological definitions have been added, including stroke and multiple sclerosis, which now pay out on diagnosis. The number of conditions now covered by the product has increased from 58 to 85, while those that qualify for additional payments have increased from 12 to 32. Nineteen of the illnesses covered are ABI+ or exceed recommended industry wording.
Zurich head of retail propositions Peter Hamilton says: “Critical illness cover is here to help people who suffer life changing illnesses and with these enhancements even more customers will receive the invaluable financial support at the time they most need it.”
Protection Distributor Group chair Emma Thomson says: “We welcome these enhancements. We’re pleased to see improvements to definitions, wider coverage and a desire to provide greater clarity to clients about illnesses covered. These changes will benefit Zurich customers and we hope it will help move the market further forward.”
F&TRC director Ian McKenna says: “As medical science advances it is important for critical illness policy wordings to evolve. Advisers need to be confident that plans will adapt to meet changing consumer needs. The work Zurich is doing to make wordings future proof and easier to understand is a positive development that can help deliver better customer outcomes.”