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Critical premiums climb at Swiss Life

Swiss Life is increasing its critical-illness premiums by up to 20 per cent and is no longer offering guarantees on stand-alone policies.

The move follows a general trend in the marketplace, which over the last few months has seen rivals such as Norwich Union raise rates by as much as 40 per cent.

But Swiss Life says the decision, which will take effect from January 27, will still mean its average policy is cheaper than it would have been in 1998.

Guarantees on accelerated cover will be available for up to 25 years rather than 85 years currently on offer and stand-alone policies will be reviewed every five years.

A 45-year-old male non-smoker taking out a 15-year term £100,000 sum assured policy after January 27 will pay £68.85 monthly premiums compared with £53.91 previously.

Research and planning manager Rosalind Pearson says: “Accelerated is easier for both us and the reinsurers to price and as an industry we are far more comfortable to offer guarantees on an accelerated basis.”

Direct Life & Pensions sales and marketing director Richard Verdin says: “Given the fact that the mark was set by Norwich Union, these premiums are below expectations and in line with those sold 12 months ago. This is not as bad as it could be.”

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