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Critical questions on cancer cover

Scottish Widows’ decision to supply Virgin Money’s directly sold cancer cover has provoked the ire of many advisers.

Virgin cancer cover, the Big V, is aimed at Virgin’s youngish consumer base, typically 18-34 years old. It will pay out if policyholders get cancer, whether diagnosed in the early, intermediate or advanced stages.

However, advisers believe it does not make sense because they could get these people a broader combination of critical-illness and life cover cheaper.

The Widows’ argument is that this market has no protection in place but linking with Virgin will encourage them to consider it.

Advisers say the crux of their argument is the fact that around 70 per cent of late-stage diagnosed cancers lead to death in 12 months. This, they say, is where life cover is necessary.

No one is suggesting a ban on direct selling but Virgin and Widows must make sure no one gets the wrong impression about what they are buying and their associated rights.

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