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ABI tells CI firms to alter prostate cover

The ABI is telling critical-illness cover providers to offer a product that does not cover prostate cancer, arguing that if it is not excluded, the product will become too expensive for most male consumers.

The trade body&#39s revised CI statement of best practice also compels providers to change the definition of what constitutes a heart attack to take into account advancements in medical technology.

New key features documents must be in place by the end of May 2003, which clarifies definitions of CI following a review of the documents by the Plain Language Campaign.

The ABI says prostate cancer is no longer critical for many men and to continue cover against it would result in consumers facing increased premiums. Providers will still be allowed to offer a product which includes the condition but must also offer a plan that does not offer protection against it.

Scottish Provident head of product development and chairman of the ABI&#39s criticalillness working party Nick Kirwin says: “If we were to accept all the instances of prostate cancer, numbers of claims would go up and CI would become unaffordable to most people.

“The question is, should the insurance industry charge everyone more to provide cover against a disease which is not really critical?”

IFA John Joseph Financial Services managing director John Joseph says: “Anything that brings clarification and better consumer understanding is a good thing. There will always be those who try and fight progress but the way forward is to embrace technology and scientific progress, not ignore it.”

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