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HSBC hikes existing critical policies by 30% as claims soar

HSBC is raising premiums for existing critical-illness cover policyholders by up to 30 per cent.

The bank claims it has been forced to make the dramatic rate rises as the number of claims it has received are 80 per cent higher than anticipated.

Customers who will be hit by the rate rises took out CII policies between 1995 and July 2004 and most of them bought life cover with CII with reviewable rates. HSBC has written to 158,000 policyholders to tell them of the changes. Conditions and premiums will not be reviewed again for another three years.

Press officer Karen Garner says: “The cases that are affected are those whose policy reviewable dates have come up.”

Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr says: “We have been very vocal on possible rate rises. This is the first big name where we have seen rates jump.”

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