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Aegon ‘substantially’ improves critical illness plan

Aegon has “substantially” improved its critical illness plan, according to CI comparison site CIExpert.

The provider has added a new full payment condition, taking the total conditions covered to 43. Now Aegon also covers cardiac arrest treated by implantation of a defibrillator.

It has also added eight new partial payment conditions. They include: accidental hospitalisation, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral ateriovenous malformation, critical fracture cover, crohn’s disease, early stage prostate cancer, partial loss of sight and ulcerative colitis.

For partial payouts, the insurer will pay between £1,500 and £25,000 in addition to the main benefit.

Aegon has also improved existing conditions, including definitions for blindness, the loss of a hand or foot, paralysis, carcinoma in situ of the breast and children’s cover, which pays £5,000 death benefit for children aged under 30 days to 18 years, or up to 21 if they are in full-time education.

Aegon now has 18 definitions classed as ABI+, the industry’s quality standard, compared with 14 previously.

Aegon protection director John Wilkinson says: “We’ve spoken to advisers about what’s important to them and their customers when it comes to critical illness cover. Price might be the key factor in a life policy, but there are many other facets for consideration when it comes to a critical illness policy.

“The quality and number of ABI+ definitions were high on the list along with the number of conditions covered, speed of underwriting and the inclusion of partial payments. And, unsurprisingly, advisers do still want to see all of this at an appropriate price.”

CIExpert director and Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “For some time now Aegon has taken a back seat, watching whilst its competitors climbed above it in the critical illness quality stakes. Finally it has rallied and upgraded its plans with the addition of eight partial payment conditions, one new full payment condition with improvements to five existing definitions. The partial payment conditions will not apply to children.

“Aegon is again in the mix when it comes to selecting a value-for-money critical illness plan. Consumers and advisers have come to expect a wide ranging cover and sensible claims definitions and this is a major step forward for Aegon.”

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