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Pru extends serious-illness plan after test

Prudential is withdrawing its old critical-illness plan and offering a new flexible protection plan to the whole of market.

The flexible plan was launched last summer as a pilot for 1,000 advisers and 2,500 policies have been sold so far.

The product covers 140 serious conditions and offers tiered benefits based on the severity of a policyholder’s illness but has been criticised by some advisers for its complexity.

Head of protection Paul Cowman says it is not a mass-market product but is pleased by sales figures. He says Pru is aiming for a 3 to 5 per cent share of the protection market and will be conducting training sessions to educate advisers on the plan.

He says: “We are beginning to get really busy and are trying to grow the market rather than churn business. We estimate the majority of the plans sold are new protection business.”

Sesame protection research manager Dale Tranter says: “It is a very innovative plan and Pru deserve credit for being the first to market with the serious-illness concept, but the degree of complexity involved may be a barrier for advisers.”

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