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Swiss Re attacked after calls to review cancer definitions

Royal Liver has criticised Swiss Re after it asked the Association of British Insurers to review its cancer definitions.

IFA market manager Andy Milburn says changing the ABI’s standard definitions would create two-tiered cancer cover because Royal Liver and other providers have already implemented, or are in the process of implementing, the new definitions.

Milburn says the ABI protection committee voted unanimously against having two sets of standard definitions at the start of the consultation period over concerns it would confuse consumers and advisers.

Prudential head of development propositions Paul Cowman says the ABI must resolve the situation quickly so a single standard set of definitions can be implemented soon.

The ABI calls the timing unfortunate and says, at the time the definitions were finalised, no one knew new medical evidence would come forward.

Swiss Re UK head of communications Tim Dickenson says: “The concerns we have raised in relation to the cancer definition are not a late response to the ABI statement but represent new evidence which arose mid-2006 following medical advice relating to real-life claims. We felt it only right that we informed the ABI and our clients about this.”

Milburn says: “If the ABI agrees to bow down to Swiss Re’s request, I wonder whether the FSA would consider such action to be treating customers fairly? I am sure advisers who have just sold products with the new definitions would not.”

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