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Define time

Sesame head of protection research Dale Tranter, sets out the changes being made by product providers to their critical-illness insurance conditions as part of the ABI’s new guidelines.

The deadline for implementation of the new criticalillness definitions has now passed and all ABI providers, with the exception of Zurich, have moved to the new definitions.

Most companies have taken the opportunity to refresh their propositions, adding an illness or three, at the same time.

Sesame will be revising its recommended list of products in the near future but is getting full details of revised products from the providers concerned before making any decisions.

To help advisers, we highlight here how each of the providers have implemented the changes.

Aegon Scottish Equitable

It has added respiratory failure and traumatic head injury. It has removed the HIV exclusion and is now ABI-plus on aorta graft surgery – traumatic injury covered as well as disease to the aorta – and coma.

Axa – Protection Account

It has added severe lung disease and traumatic head injury. It has also added Skandia-style mastectomy benefit, lesser of £15,000 or 20 per cent sum assured. Furthermore, it has increased the maximum term for guaranteed rate CI to 40 years and the maximum sum assured to £1m, previously £500,000.

For Multiplan with Lifecare cardiomyopathy, CJD, liver failure, progressive supranuclear palsy, pre-senile dementia and traumatic head injury have been added.

Bright Grey

It has added open-heart surgery, progressive supranuclear palsy, severe lung disease and traumatic head injury.


It is now ABI-plus on six standard definitions – HIV, no geographical restrictions; coma, no 96-hour requirement; loss of hands and feet, severance of only one required; heart attack, no typical clinical symptoms requirement; third-degree burns, 50 per cent of face allowed as an alternative to 20 per cent of body surface area; and aorta graft surgery, traumatic injury covered as well as disease to the aorta.

It is also adding systemic lupus erythematous and traumatic head injury. The first named, also being covered by L&G, sounds like a wolf-like dinosaur from the late Jurassic period but is in fact a disease of the autoimmune system.

Friends Provident

Same illnesses as before, with the addition of traumatic head injury. All ABI standard.

Legal & General

It is now ABI-plus for heart attack, no requirement for typical clinical symptoms; aorta graft surgery, traumatic injury covered as well as disease to the aorta; and coma, no 96-hour requirement. It has also added traumatic head injury, primary pulmonary hypertension, systemic lupus erythematous and encephalitis.

The last two are both new to the industry, the. latter being an acute inflammation of the brain.


It has added traumatic head injury. Otherwise, the illness list is unchanged, with all ABI standard.

Liverpool VictoriaIt has not included traumatic head injury, although it has added aplastic anaemia, cardiomyopathy, liver failure, progressive supranuclear palsy and severe lung disease. All conditions meet ABI standard definitions with no enhancements.

Norwich Union

Traumatic head injury added. Otherwise, no new illnesses and all meet ABI standard. Has also increased the term of reviewable life and CI to 40 years, mortgage-related, or 50 years, level term.

Royal Liver

Moved first of all back in November, having a representative on the ABI working party obviously has some advantages. It has added traumatic head injury and retained its mastectomy benefit under cancer.

Scottish Provident

Self Assurance & Pegasus is now ABI-plus, aorta graft surgery, traumatic injury to aorta covered as well as disease; benign brain tumour, permanent neurological deficit not required if following surgery; coronary artery bypass graft surgery, no sternotomy requirement; coma, no 96-hour requirement; heart attack, no require-ment for typical clinical symptoms; and heart valve replacement and repair, no sternotomy requirement.

It has also added cardiomyopathy, chronic lung disease, liver failure, progressive supranuclear palsy and traumatic head injury.

Furthermore, there are now no age restrictions for claiming under multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s.

Scottish Widows

ABI standard with no enhanced definitions. It has added progressive supranuclear palsy and bone-marrow failure to its guaranteed-rate plan, plus traumatic head injury for both guaranteed and reviewable products.


Now ABI-plus for aorta graft surgery, covering traumatic injury to the aorta as well as disease; covers HIV through IVF, as well as blood transfusion; and has added traumatic head injury. This applies whether written on a term or whole-of-life basis. It has also retained the mastectomy and low-grade cancer benefits.

Standard Life

No illness changes but it is now ABI-plus for aorta graft surgery, injury covered as well as disease; and benign brain tumour, permanent neurological deficit not required if surgery needed to remove tumour. It does not, however, cover traumatic head injury.


Same illnesses as before, with addition of traumatic head injury. All ABI standard.


Introduced new ABI definitions and added traumatic head injury in January. Its former enhancement to the old series Blindness definition is now incorporated into the new standard.


Has introduced new ABI illness headings and added traumatic head injury but will honour 2003-2007 definitions on new business until the launch of a new product, due in July.

This is just a summary of the changes that companies have made – many already covered illnesses which others have recently added.

Furthermore, when selecting a provider for critical illness cover, advisers should also consider other factors, such as financial strength, service, product flexibility and so forth, and not just look at the number of illnesses covered.


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