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CI cover adapts as medicine advances

Last month was National Heart Month, which aims to raise awareness of heart and circulatory diseases.

Heart problems are the UK’s biggest killer and account for more than one in three deaths each year.

But the good news is that the death rate is declining as a result of medical advances such as angioplasties and clot-busting drugs.

In fact, surviving a critical illness before you reach 65 is now almost twice as likely as dying.

This is great news but there’s a flip side. Because individuals are surviving more illnesses and living longer, the chances of them suffering secondary illnesses are rising. For example, half of all heart attacks are repeat events.

Under traditional critical illness plans, policyholders would receive payments for their first attacks but then their cover would end.

On the other hand, severity-based products, whereby payouts are linked to the severity of illnesses, continue after clients have made claims and without higher premiums.

So if a client’s condition gets worse or they suffer a different condition they can claim again and again.

The severity concept is changing the important protection question from ‘Will my claim be paid?’ to ‘How much will I be paid?’. This is better for everyone.

Protection is the foundation of financial planning and choosing products on the basis of price alone means CI policies may suit pockets but not provide the features, cover and assistance clients need.

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