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ABI gives in to pressure on CI cover for cancers

The ABI has bowed to pre-ssure from Swiss Re and changed its statement of best practice on critical-illness insurance for two types of cancer.

In light of medical evidence from Swiss Re which suggests that the two cancers may be malignant in some cases, the ABI has decided that the rare conditions will now be covered by CI insurance.

Previously, the conditions were given as examples of pre-malignant cancers not covered but essential thrombocythaemia and polycythaemia rubra vera will now be deleted from this category.

Royal Liver and Prudential are believed to be the only providers which have introduced the ABI’s new CI definitions on their products.

Royal Liver IFA market manager Andy Milburn says: “This was what we expected. Unfortunately this does create an element of distrust in future ABI consultations and we expect whenever changes are made that providers will implement them as late as possible.”

Swiss Re says its reasons for asking for these changes to be made were because the exclusion of these two cancers could have been seen as technically incorrect and there would have been more potential for consumer misunderstanding and claim disputes.

The new CI definitions are due to come into force in April but the industry has been encouraged to implement them before then.

ABI head of health and protection insurance Richard Walsh says: “The ABI protection committee has carefully considered all the evidence and has decided that the two cancers will be covered by critical-illness insurance.”

Swiss Re head of communications Tim Dickenson says: “Swiss Re asked the ABI to consider amending the statement so that the pre-malignancy exclusion would omit the two examples cited alongside. The result of the protection committee’s discussions is that these conditions are now removed from the exclusions listed under the cancer definition. This is the outcome we were seeking.”

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