Aviva has made changes to its critical illness (CI) cover - particularly concerning policyholders diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or who have had a stroke - with the aim of meeting more valid claims.
Customers diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) will no longer be required to present continuous symptoms for three months. Instead they will need a definite diagnosis with current symptoms.
Similarly, if a customer suffers a stroke, they will no longer need to have permanent symptoms in order for their claim to be paid.
Customers will also receive a payment of up to £20,000 if they are diagnosed with one of the following conditions:
• Carcinoma in situ of the cervix requiring treatment with hysterectomy
• Carcinoma in situ of the testicle requiring surgical removal of one or both testicles
• Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) of the brain with specified treatment
• Cerebral aneurysm with specified treatment
Aviva has also extended the scope of its terminal illness benefit. Previously customers were unable to claim under this benefit if they were diagnosed within the last 18 months of their plan, but this exclusion has now been removed on new policies.
The enhancements will be introduced on all new policies from today.
This is the latest in a series of changes to Aviva's protection policies this year. It follows improvements to Aviva's critical illness heart attack definition in July, and a move to underwrite all income protection policies as own occupation in October.
Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva says: "We're continually looking for ways to improve our cover in a way that will make a real difference to our customers.
"It's our business to pay claims, so our latest enhancements have been developed to make sure that more customers will receive a payment at a time when they need it most.
"Ninety-three per cent of our CI claims are made up of just five conditions - cancer, heart attack, stroke, MS and benign brain tumour - so by concentrating our enhancements around these core illnesses, we can hope to make a difference to the largest number of people possible."
Bought plans in 1988 and 1989
To be added to model portfolio service
Launched 25 September