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&#39Definitions as important as price in comparing CI cover&#39

Skandia says IFAs advising on critical-illness cover should pay as much attention to the definitions of illnesses as they do to premiums or face the risk of legal action.

Seven out of the 12 CI providers have changed their products in line with the revised ABI code of practice to exclude prostate cancer, according to protection brand manager Shelley Robertson. She says it is common practice to differentiate products on price alone but warns that IFAs do so at their own peril.

Robertson says IFAs must tell male clients if the product they are recommending includes prostate cancer cover. If the client is diagnosed with prostate cancer, they could have a legal claim if they cannot make a claim on a new-style policy.

The changes to the code of practice permit providers to offer CI policies excluding prostate cancer because high recovery rates are forcing reinsurers to raise premiums.

All product providers will expected to make the switch eventually but Robertson says potential danger exists until they do.

She says: “IFAs cannot just look at the cheapest price, they have to give at least equal weighting to the definitions these days, otherwise they could leave themselves open to being sued.”

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