Legal & General has updated its critical illness product by partnering with RedArc to introduce six additional support services for its customers.
The services include serious illness, disability or bereavement support, second medical opinion, mental health support, carer support, help at home and 'eldercare', providing customers with support tailored to their circumstances.
The changes aim to help support a customer's health and wellbeing throughout the life of their critical illness cover (CIC) policy and post-claim and come at no extra cost, the insurer said.
The launch of a 'paid option' brings new paid-for features to help support customers' wellbeing.
This includes Legal & General GP24, a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year virtual GP that can be accessed via telephone, Skype or an app, and a private self-pay consultation concierge service.
The GP will be available to policyholders and their family, with an unlimited amount of consultations.
This service is provided by Healix Health Services and Medical Solutions UK and costs £3.25 a month for Single Life Plans.
To accompany the product update, Legal & General has also developed a ‘Content Hub'. Advisers will be able to access a suite of supporting documents, including literature, videos and other resources relating to CIC.
Craig Brown, director, intermediary, Legal & General said:"Managing a critical illness is extremely challenging for anyone, but the support provided by a critical illness policy can make a world of difference.
"However, despite the valuable role these policies can play in providing reassurance to customers, just 13% of UK employees have taken out a CIC policy.
"That means thousands remain unprotected from the potentially damaging financial impacts of diseases like cancer or heart disease, which are sadly all too prevalent."
He added: "As advisers and providers, we have a duty to try to close this protection gap.
"For advisers, that means continuing the hard work of raising awareness about the benefits of CIC protection with clients, and for insurers, it means creating innovative products that will improve the support and protection we provide to our customers.
"That is precisely why we continue to review our protection offering and have taken the decision to update our CIC product with a range of new features, both standard and paid-for, to give individuals even more support throughout the lifetime of their policy."
For Engage planning solution
Group paid £56m in last decade
Data from each insurer
Nine in 10 do not have income protection
Ahead of launch next week