The firm has also added six new critical illness conditions, extending the total number covered to 38, and says it has enhanced a number of existing definitions.
Protection management director Peter Hamilton says: “We believe that reducing premiums where we exclude cancer or multiple sclerosis is a positive change and the right thing to do.
“We have also improved and added to our definitions but not simply to play the numbers game. We have considered but expressly rejected including certain conditions where the definitions used are restrictive and will result in very few claims being paid.”
The changes apply to Zurich’s level protection and decreasing mortgage plan.
Last year Zurich paid out £58.5m in critical illness claims with less than 1 per cent declined for non-disclosure.