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Standard cuts critical cover term to 25 years

Standard Life is reducing the maximum term on its critical-illness policies from 35 years to 25 years and removing angioplasty from its list of covered conditions.

The firm says it would rather maintain the guarantee over a shorter term than introduce reviewable rates although rates on stand-alone plans will be reviewed every five years.

Standard says it is removing angioplasty because it is increasingly being diagnosed at a younger age and should be considered to be a condition rather than a critical illness. Heart attacks and coronary artery bypass grafts will still be covered as critical illnesses.

Standard is adding a number of conditions to its CI cover, including HIV infection from attack and blood transfusion, CJD, aplastic anaemia, bacterial meningitis in adults, liver failure and dementia.

The new rates start in mid-January.

Marketing development manager (individual protection) Gerry Warner says: “Every IFA we speak to tells us that guaranteed rates are what people need. It is difficult to justify guarantees for a longer term and very few mortgage contracts run longer than that anyway.”

John Joseph Financial Services director Steve Petrie says: “Standard are catering for their mortgage market but it is a shame that people taking out a policy in their twenties will be losing critical-illness cover in their fifties just when they may need it. Adding things like CJD is not really enhancing the policy very much because if you have that illness, you are likely to be able to claim under another condition anyway.”


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