Royal London has introduced flexible options and enhancements to its critical illness cover (CIC).
New customers will be able to choose one of three children’s CIC options: CIC with no children’s cover with a reduction in premiums from standard rates, CIC with standard children’s cover available with standard rates or enhanced children’s cover with upgraded benefits for children and an increased premium.
The enhanced children’s CIC includes the addition of 12 child-specific conditions and an increased pay out for a valid child CIC claim of 50% of the sum assured to a maximum of £50,000. This option also means a child would be eligible for a pay-out of 25% of the sum assured to a maximum of £25,000 for the additional conditions that were previously only available to adults. These include conditions such as hospitalisation of a child following an accident or partial loss of sight which children are not eligible to claim for under standard children’s CIC. If a child covered on the policy were to die, £5,000 would be paid.
Choosing the enhanced Children’s CIC option also provides the person covered by the plan and their spouse, partner and children with cover for nine pregnancy complications with a payment of £5,000 per pregnancy. This means if a person has an individual policy and their partner is diagnosed with one of the pregnancy complications, they will be able to submit a claim even though their partner isn’t covered under the policy.
Not everyone will need children’s CIC when they take out a plan; they can now remove this option, but it can also be added later if they have a child or are thinking of starting a family. If the plan includes Children’s CIC at the start, this can be removed at a later date too; this could be because the child has grown up and they are no longer eligible for cover. Advisers can now tailor CIC in line with their clients’ changing family and financial needs ensuring they have flexible cover and are not paying for a benefit they are not eligible to claim for.
The enhanced cover is designed to protect parents from pregnancy through to the children reaching young adulthood – no matter how quickly families grow.
Alan Lakey, director at CI Expert, said: “CI Expert has asked providers to bring innovation and forward thinking to product developments, these improvements from Royal London reflect the originality we have been calling for. Children’s critical illness claims are responsible for up to 10% of paid claims and has become an important differentiator when recommending the most appropriate plan to clients.
“The ability to choose from the three options enables consumers to select the best choice for their circumstances. Including a wider range of pregnancy complications and conditions that can affect a new born child shows that real thought has gone into the issues that can have a big impact on new parents. Kudos goes to Royal London for the most worthwhile improvements over the last 12 months.”
The 12 child specific conditions covered are:
- Cerebral palsy
- Child diabetes mellitus Type 1
- Child intensive care benefit
- Cystic fibrosis
- Down’s syndrome
- Edwards syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Patau syndrome
- Spina bifida
Jennifer Gilchrist, proposition lead at Royal London, added: “As a mother I don’t want to think about my child being seriously ill but, the reality is, it is the fourth most common reason for a critical illness claim. By improving our children’s critical illness cover, we are offering wider cover to families from pregnancy right through to young adulthood. As not everyone has a family we are also adding the option to remove cover.
“We’re avoiding a one size fits all. We’re building products to suit customers’ needs – not the other way around. We’ve designed our cover with impending parenthood in mind – but we’re cost conscious too. We’re not asking customers to pay for this tailored cover if they don’t need it.”