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Aviva launches new CI product

Aviva is attempting to put an end to the critical illness conditions race with the launch of its principles based product this week.

The product, revealed by Money Marketing in June, launched yesterday.

Aviva chief underwriter Michael Whyte says: “This is the first step to trying to put an end to the conditions creep. We don’t want to keep continuing on this race where there is even more extreme conditions, or where you are renaming conditions in a different way. We want to offer a product that gives real genuine value.”

As part of the review Aviva is adding liver failure, bacterial meningitis, aplastic anaemia, encephalitis, cardiomyopathy and progressive supranuclaer palsy.

Whyte says Aviva is also making sure that the criteria for claiming on conditions is in line with current medical practice.
He says: “There is no point adding a condition where the majority of people trying to claim cannot meet the high criteria set. There is some degree of disingenuinity there, which always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.

“Providers are scrapping at the bottom of the barrel now with some of CI conditions. There has got to be some justification for adding more conditions because otherwise it is just going to get ridiculous.”

Aviva is also increasing the maximum sum assured from £500,000 to £2m, increasing the maximum policy term from 25-40 years and increasing the maximum age to 75 years.

Lifesearch senior policy adviser Matt Morris says: “Principle-based sounds good but I’m not sure what form it takes in practice and how much of a difference it will really make. I agree that a conditions race can be counter productive if it’s at the expense of more necessary but less attention-grabbing improvements. However, I’d rather have an extra condition than not.”


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