Zurich has introduced a number of changes to its critical illness cover.
Guaranteed critical illness premiums will be reduced where an exclusion is applied for cancer or Multiple Sclerosis.
Zurich has added six new critical illness conditions, extending the total number covered to thirty-eight.
The six new conditions now covered are:
- Pulmonary artery surgery
- Open-heart surgery
- Severe lung disease / Respiratory failure
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
In addition, Zurich is enhancing a number of existing definitions
- Aorta graft surgery - traumatic injury now included
- Benign brain tumour - the need for ongoing symptoms is being waived on surgical removal
- Coma - minimum time stipulation no longer applies
- Heart attack - severity definition reduced
- Loss of independent existence - age restriction no longer applies
- Primary pulmonary arterial hypertension - severity definition reduced
- Third degree burns - up to 50% facial burns now included
- Total permanent disability (own occupation) - definition now revised to include occupation prior to contracting illness
- Children's critical illness benefit - range of conditions covered now the same as an adult
Peter Hamilton of Zurich UK Life says, "These changes reinforce our commitment to the market. We believe that reducing premiums where we exclude cancer or multiple sclerosis is a positive change and the right thing to do. We have also improved and added to our definitions, but not simply to play the numbers game. We have considered, but expressly rejected, including certain conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. The definitions currently used in the market for these conditions are restrictive and will result in very few claims being paid, but they could easily lead to customers believing their cover is more extensive than it is".
The new and enhanced conditions apply to the following Zurich products:
- Decreasing Mortgage Cover (DMC)
- Level Protection Plan (LPP)