Laymond is optimistic, saying it covers: “All Association of British Insurers and IFAA core benefits plus cardiomyopathy and progressive supranuclear palsy.”
Franklin simply calls the range excellent, while Daly says: “Very comprehensive, both in those listed and in definitions.”
Greening has nothing but praise when it comes to the flexibility of the plan: “Excellent, I cannot think of anything else I could add to the contract to make it more flexible. I particularly like the facility to have more than one policy within a plan, and the ability to have one policy in trust and perhaps others assigned.”
Laymond and Daly are largely in agreement, with Laymond picking out flexible terms, ability to increase sum insured, range of medical conditions covered, and higher age limits.
Conversely, Franklin is lukewarm, saying: “As good as anyones.”
On the subject of the plan's disadvantages, Laymond points to the lack of a decreasing term assurance version, while Greening looks to the restrictive underwriting.
Franklin picks up on the scope of the product: “Wide range of options can cause problems when quoting or explaining or applying or claiming.”
Daly is in agreement, but adds: “The requirement for critical illness buyback to be bought from policy inception is not particularly ideal for younger clients.”
Considering Skandia Life's reputation, the panel are unanimously positive. Laymond calls it: “Second to none.”
Daly says: “It has an excellent reputation”. Greening adds: “Skandia were the pioneers of whole of life critical illness cover.”
Franklin says simply that he is very happy with the company's reputation.
Looking at the plans that will provide the main competition for Skandia, the panel pick up on Scottish Provident, SM Pegasus, Permanent, Swiss Life and Royal & SunAlliance.
Turning to the cost of the plan, Laymond, Greening and Franklin feel that the premiums are competitive compared to other companies in the field.
Daly says: “I have not seen any suitable comparisons – I do hope to see Skandia recapture the competitive edge from SM Pegasus for critical illness cover.”
Both Greening and Franklin feel that the policy charges are fair and reasonable.
Daly feels that charges are “not really appropriate under this type of contract.”
Laymond is very positive: “Unbelievably, there are no admin or policy fees or charges for any changes. The premium paid covers cost of risk. A true 'what you see is what you get' policy.”
Looking at the commission for the plan, Franklin considers it to be fair and reasonable, and Laymond calls it: “Generous to a fault.”
Greening says: “My preference in most cases would be the rolling term cover. This offers flexible whole of life rates of commission, and the fixed term offers term rates. Both have a two year initial commission period.”
Daly says the two year commission earnings period on the rolling term option is especially favourable.
The panel have a difference of opinion when it comes to the product literature produced by Skandia Life.
Greening calls it plain and concise and very user friendly. Laymond agrees, but also feels the inclusion of the case studies is an excellent idea.
Daly says: “To a good standard – both straightforward with sufficient technical details and examples for clients.”
Franklin is, however, less enthusiastic: “A bit wishy washy but written well and set out well. Bulky, however, for mailing purposes.”
Summing up, Laymond says: “Superb IFA website to support this product includes access to all special forms needed, and all colour stripped out of brochure to save printer ink in IFA office.”
Daly says: “Overall, this is a highly innovative contract. There are a number of small 'bugbears' such as accidental death benefit claims cover provided during application does not apply to travel outside of Europe.”
Greening feels that the 'best doctors' aspect should be advertised to all clients.