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ABI will keep TPD name

The Association of British Insurers has agreed to keep the term “total permanent disability” ahead of the publication of its updated statement of best practice for critical-illness cover, due early next year.

The TPD clause within CI policies accounts for 3 per cent of claims but, of those, over half are declined due to confusion among consumers about when they can make a claim.

The ABI has been consulting with the industry and carrying out consumer research since 2007 on how to improve TPD definitions after it was given the go-ahead from the Office of Fair Trading to clarify when a claim would be successful.

The ABI came close to scrapping TPD before proposing in June this year to replace the term TPD with irreversible life-changing disability.

In the updated statement of best practice, to be issued early next year, TPD will be retained but will include clearer definitions and headings about what TPD covers.

By keeping the TPD name, the ABI says the updated terms can be applied both to new and existing policies.

Assistant director of health and protection Nick Kirwan says: “We believe that this package of measures will make a positive difference in reducing the number of declined claims. The whole industry will be using the same words to mean the same thing.”


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  1. Just a short point in the interests of clarity. Of course, insurers can’t change definitions or the terms of existing policies, but the education package we’re planning will be relevant for existing policies and we hope this will help reduce the proportion of declined claims on those and well as new policies going forward.

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