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Widows gets back to basics for protection

Scottish Widows is relaunching into protection with a back to basics critical-illness product that sees the firm offer- ing guaranteed rates for the first time.

The CII product is stripped of special features and is only available with level decreasing cover, up to 25,000 of child cover and with an optional waiver of premium benefit.

Market director (protection) Nick Kirwan says the Straight Talking CII product is designed to address the issue of customers having claims declined because they have misunderstood to what extent they are covered.

Research by Widows shows that around half of clients who have had claims declined did not understand the extent of their cover.

A borderline claims’ team has been tested over the last four months to probe claims that fall into grey areas and to assess all claims on children.

Widows says stripping out extras does not mean that the number of illnesses covered by the product will be reduced. Currently, 28 conditions are covered.

The product will be available through intermediaries only, launching on August 22 with quotes on The Exchange from August 23. Further protection products will be launched in the near future.

Kirwan says: “This product does not have an endless list of features and benefits. It is clear and simple to understand and forms part of the treating customers fairly initiative.”

Life Policies Direct managing director Jason King says: “We are glad to see Scottish Widows back into the guaranteed market. It is a good option for Widows to have this sort of product as they have got to get the basics right first.”

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