Have your say on the future of CII

The ABI Critical Illness Working Party review into critical illness insurance has now reached a crucial stage. The consultation paper has been completed and is out for comment. It sets out proposals which aim to ensure CII is sustainable in the long-term.

The main changes recommended by the CIWP are clearer definition headlines, future-proofing the definitions and some changes to the Statement of Best Practice. It also asks whether people think the product name should be changed and how would they feel about the introduction of a framework for staged cancer payments.

The recommended changes could have a huge impact on CII so it’s important you have your say. To introduce more descriptive critical illness definition headings would mean people would be able to see immediately what is and isn’t covered. For example, with the heading ‘Benign brain tumour’, it is proposed that this is changed to ‘Benign brain tumour – with permanent symptoms of brain damage’. Such changes should help cut down on claims for illnesses that don’t meet the definitions.

When it comes to future-proofing, by thinking about medical advances now, policy definitions are less likely to need to be changed each time a breakthrough is made, meaning fewer versions of CII. The proposed changes will affect 11 of the current definitions.

The recommendation to change the current Statement of Best Practice is to include additional illnesses within standard definitions. This would mean a standard definition would be available for Alzheimer’s disease with permanent symptoms, HIV contracted from a blood transfusion, a physical assault or at work and major head injury with persisting symptoms of brain damage.

The question about whether the name of the product itself should change is a way to help clients understand what it covers. Some ideas for a new name are ‘Specified Critical Illness Cover’ or ‘Listed Critical Illness Cover’.

The question of a staged cancer payment would be a major development so it is important you let the ABI know if you think it will work and which of its suggestions you think is best. The suggestions concern having two cancer definitions, one being the full definition similar to now and the other a restricted definition which would only pay out if the cancer was in one of the specified sites or spreading from its original site. The restricted cancer definition would be cheaper than the full definition, meaning it would be more likely to suit someone on a budget.

You can get a copy of the full consultation paper at www.abi.org.uk. This is your chance to be part of making sure CII is available to meet your clients’ needs in the future. Help drive change, don’t let change drive you.