The definitions of four conditions covered by the plan, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and stroke, have been upgraded to ABI +, so the cover provided goes beyond the definitions set by the Association of British Insurers. The plan now has 15 ABI + conditions, including two types of total & permanent disability. One definition is where the person is unable to do a suited occupation ever again and the other is based on the person’s inability to complete three specified work tasks ever again.
Ageas has also added total disability as an alternative to TPD. There is no ABI definition for this condition, which refers to disabilities that stop someone working, but are not permanent.
Finally, Ageas has doubled the children’s benefit where treatment is only available overseas. This benefit has increased to 100 per cent of the sum assured to £100,000 and was previously available up to 50 per cent of the sum assured to £50,000.
Defaqto insight analyst for life and protection Ben Heffer says: “Following improvements to YourLife plan, Ageas Protect not only has a high number of critical illnesses covered but now boasts 15 ABI+ definitions. Research has shown that many IFAs favour critical-illness products with the widest cover both in terms of the number of conditions and the number classed as ABI+. Advisers should always take care that such enhancements genuinely increase the likelihood of more claims being paid, but Ageas has nevertheless produced a marketable product.
“The contract has some value added features that will also be attractive to IFAs and their clients, not least the double children’s critical-illness benefit for when treatment overseas is necessary; and Ageas’ popular monthly-paid total disability benefit, which goes some way to bridging the gap between critical-illness cover and income protection. Ageas is an innovative provider that challenges the established players for IFA business.”