UnumProvident has introduced an individual critical illness plan that allows policyholders to select the illnesses for which they want cover.
Elixia 123 groups critical illnesses in three categories according to their level of seriousness. Category one covers life threatening conditions such as kidney failure, major heart attack and CJD. Category two covers disabling illnesses that are less serious than those in category one. This includes multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and blindness. Category three illnesses are deemed less serious still because advanced medical technology has made screening processes quicker and operations simpler. Conditions in this category include benign brain tumour and mastectomy.
Policyholders can choose to mix and match the categories of cover depending on their needs and their budget, or they can limit cover to just one category of illness, which reduces the cost of cover. However, the more serious the illnesses covered, the higher the premium.
Policyholders can also split their cover over all three categories. For example, they may choose to have 100 per cent of benefit paid out on category one illnesses, with only 25 per cent of benefit paid out on category two and three conditions. Alternatively, they can go for a 100 per cent payout on all three categories, which is the most expensive level of cover available.
UnumProvident's plan covers 37 conditions, 6 more than a similar critical illness plan from Liverpool Victoria Life, formerly Permanent Insurance. The Liverpool Victoria plan does not allow policyholders to isolate the conditions they want to be covered for, but its premiums are lower than UnumProvident's for policyholders who want to be covered for the full range.
A 35-year-old non-smoking male requiring £100,000 of critical illness cover over a 25-year term would pay £37.80 a month for all three categories of illness with UnumProvident and £26.07 with Liverpool Victoria Life.