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L&G cuts critical rates

Legal & General has moved to make itself more competitive in the critical-illness cover market, cutting its guaranteed rates by an average of around 8 per cent, breaking the trend in the market.

Protection event director Ronnie Martin says the move should not be interpreted as a reversal of the trend for increasing premiums but as a “tidying up” for the new year.

The change, which takes effect from January 18, relates to guaranteed rates on critical-illness products that include life cover, with marginal changes taking place on stand-alone life cover products.

L&G is increasing the number of critical-illness conditions covered from 24 to 32, bringing it in line with other providers, but is removing angioplasty from the list of conditions covered.

Liverpool Victoria is also making changes in the critical sector from January 19 by ending guaranteed rates on its stand-alone critical-illness policies and striking angioplasty from the list of conditions.

It says the changes reflect the claims experience of its reinsurer GE Frankona Re, market conditions and improved diagnostic techniques.

Life Policies Direct director Jason King says: “To get a reduction is really surprising. We are just pleased that they have managed to find some sort of capacity from reinsurers to allow them to reduce their rates so dramatically. But how long they last is the important thing.”

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