Aviva enhances critical illness cover to pay more claims

Article date: 31 July 2015

  • Seven critical illness conditions enhanced 
  • One new additional benefit added
  • Two conditions enhanced to ABI+ definitions*
  • Definitions made clearer to explain when claims can be made

Aviva has enhanced definitions for seven critical illness conditions and added a new additional benefit, to increase the number of claims paid.

Definitions have been enhanced for Alzheimer’s disease, blindness, deafness, intensive care, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

The enhancements vary according to the condition, but include extending cover to the end of the policy’s term for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (previously ended at age 65) and widening the multiple sclerosis definition to enable payment on diagnosis, instead of requiring three months of continuous symptoms. 

Ulcerative colitis has also been added as an additional benefit, while carcinoma in situ of the breast - also an additional benefit - has been enhanced, removing an exclusion for lobular carcinoma in situ. Additional benefits mean that customers receive a payment of up to £25,000** while the policy continues in force and the sum assured is unaffected.

The enhancements apply to new critical illness policies taken out from 20 July 2015. The changes have been introduced ahead of the December 2015 deadline for implementation of the ABI's statement of best practice for critical illness insurance. 

Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva says: “It’s our number one priority to make sure we pay as many claims as possible, so we’re continually looking at our claims records to understand where claims have not been paid and the reasons why. We’ve enhanced cover across a range of conditions, widening our definitions so more claims can be accepted.

“We also found that in some instances we were more likely to pay claims than our policy wording might have suggested, so we have made some updates to reflect our claims philosophy more accurately. We’ve also revised the descriptions of some conditions, so it’s clearer to customers what will be considered during a claim, and they can know exactly what to expect, making for a better customer journey all round.” 

The changes mean that 56 conditions are covered under Aviva’s critical insurance policies, including 11 additional benefits. The number of ABI + definitions* has increased to 19.

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact: Melissa Loughran, Aviva Press Office : 01904 452791 : 07800 691947 : melissa.loughran@aviva.com

Notes to editors:

* Where a definition is described as ABI+, this means that the Aviva definition goes beyond the parameters set by ABI guidelines.
** Customers receive a maximum of £25,000 or 25% of the sum assured, whichever is lower.

Enhancement  Benefit type affected  Definition previously New definition

Removal of age limits for:
Alzheimer’s disease
Parkinson’s disease

Full payment Conditions covered where diagnosis is ‘before age 65’. Age restriction removed and cover remains in place for these conditions until the end of the term.
Blindness  Enhancement to full payment blindness definition and removal of additional benefit for significant visual impairment Permanent and irreversible loss of sight to the extent that, even when tested with the use of visual aids, vision is measured at 3/60 or worse in the better eye using a Snellen chart. Permanent and irreversible loss of sight to the extent that, even when tested with the use of visual aids, vision is measured at 6/60 or worse in the better eye using a Snellen chart or visual field is reduced to 20 degrees or less of an arc, as certified by an ophthalmologist. This was previously covered as an additional benefit for significant visual impairment, but now people will benefit from 100% of the sum assured. This is now an ABI+ definition.
Deafness Full payment Permanent and irreversible loss of hearing to the extent that the loss is greater than 95 decibels across all frequencies in the better ear using a pure tone audiogram. Permanent and irreversible loss of hearing to the extent that the loss is greater than 70 decibels across all frequencies in the better ear using a pure tone audiogram. This is now an ABI+ definition.
Intensive Care Full payment Intensive care requiring mechanical ventilation for 30 consecutive days. Intensive care requiring mechanical ventilation for 10 consecutive days. 
MS wording Full payment Multiple sclerosis with continuous symptoms for at least three months.  Multiple sclerosis, where there have been symptoms. A definite diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by a consultant neurologist. There must have been clinical impairment of motor or sensory function caused by multiple sclerosis.
Carcinoma in situ of the breast Additional benefit Lobular carcinoma in situ excluded. Exclusion of lobular carcinoma in situ removed.
Ulcerative colitis Additional benefit - Ulcerative colitis treated with total colectomy. A definite diagnosis of ulcerative colitis which is treated with total colectomy (removal of entire large bowel) Amount payable: 20% of sum assured or £20,000, whichever is the lowest.  

About Aviva:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 34* million customers, across 16 markets worldwide
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index. 
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £245 billion in assets.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £24.6 billion in benefits and claims in 2014.
  • By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society. 
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