Friends Life has improved the childcover benefit on its Protect + critical illness product.
The provider will now cover children from birth, even if the condition is diagnosed during pregnancy, as long as the policy was in force prior to diagnosis. Previously cover would start from when the child was 30 days old.
Children are also now covered for cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
Friends has also increased the maximum percentage it will pay on its childcover benefit to 50 per cent of the client’s cover to a maximum of £25,000. Previously this was 25 per cent to a maximum of £25,000.
In addition, the provider has added child funeral benefit which will pay a lump sum in addition to childcover benefit.
Further, the provider has removed the requirement for “permanent neurological deficit” from its stroke definition, as it feels “permanency can be difficult to determine”.
The new stroke definition requires a “definite diagnosis by a consultant of a stroke; as well as associated new neurological symptoms”. This, the provider says, will enable it to pay more claims, quicker.
Friends Life has also added a partial payment for significant visual loss of up to £25,000 for permanent and irreversible deterioration of sight.
Friends Life managing director of protection Steve Payne says: “Protect+ is designed to provide financial advisers with an innovative, comprehensive solution that reflects the real needs of their customers.
“Moreover, we cover what really matters: the conditions covered in this product are relevant conditions that we expect people to claim on. A product which covers hundreds of conditions would be of little use to customers if they are never going to claim for them.”