Ageas Protect has today announced enhancements to its critical illness (CI) product, available through financial advisers, giving customers real added value and peace of mind, while future-proofing definitions based on medical advancements.

The product, which covers 18 ABI+ definitions, has introduced two tiers of partial benefit conditions to simplify cover, making it more relevant to the real needs of customers while also making it easier for customers to understand. In addition, children’s cover has been enhanced to cover any number of children, rather than only two as it is currently. The following additional benefits are now included:

Simplified and enhanced definitions including:

Blindness - now consistent with how people in the UK become registered as having “severe sight impairment”.

  • Heart attacks – removal of severity, reflecting inconsistencies in the measurement of troponin levels as well as medical advancements
  • Parkinson’s disease – moved beyond the ABI standard and now based on the stages at which symptoms are present, to allow earlier payouts for improved quality of life.
  • Strokes – claims are now paid on evidence of a stroke by scan rather than evidence of permanent symptoms, allowing a claim to be made even when there is a complete recovery
  • Breast Cancer – now includes lobular carcinoma in situ and pays out for the removal of a breast tumour regardless of the type of surgery.

New partial benefit conditions:

  • Carotid artery stenosis - now covered for endarterectomy or therapeutic angioplasty.
  • Diabetes mellitus Type 1 – now covered in adults who become insulin dependent.

Commenting on the enhanced product, Darren Spriggs, Managing Director at Ageas Protect said:  “We’re keen to get away from the CIC definitions ‘numbers game’ and instead increase customer confidence in our products by future-proofing them. Our upgraded CIC proposition keeps up with medical advances, ensures cover is more relevant to customers’ needs and simplifies definitions to help customers understand when they get a payout. Certain conditions now have a very good prognosis with regards to quality of life and life expectancy and we have therefore aligned the benefit to the severity of some conditions.”

Commenting on Ageas Protect’s CIC enhancements, Alan Lakey, Director of CIExpert, said:
“Ageas has chosen to ignore the race to see who can offer the most conditions. Instead, it is distinguishing itself by enhancing its carcinoma in situ of the breast definition and by including two partial payments.

”The introduction of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus for adults below age 40 is a first as is Carotid Artery Stenosis. Each year, in the UK, close to 3,000 people aged between 25-44 will suffer diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes so this is an important addition to a policy that is already of a high quality.”

Ageas Protect’s enhanced CI cover is available to Independent Financial Advisers in the UK on all of the major industry portals and from from 26 September 2013.