Aviva overhauls critical illness cover

Article date: 8 October 2009

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, is improving its critical illness cover. It is increasing maximum sum insured to £2 million, extending the terms for which policies are available and widening the definitions covered for all new policies.

The changes are being introduced following a review of products offered in the market and the mechanisms advisers use when valuing polices offered by competing providers. This prompted Aviva to establish a set of principles to make the process of developing its CI cover transparent and clearer for advisers to understand.

The improvements to policy terms include:

  • Increasing maximum sum assured from £500,000 to £2m
  • Increasing maximum term assured from 25 to 40 years
  • Increasing maximum age assured to 75 years
  • Increasing number of conditions covered * (See notes to editors)
  • Improving definitions of existing conditions and removing unnecessary exclusions
  • Increasing scope and doubling the level of free child cover from £10,000 to £20,000.

Michael Whyte, chief underwriter for Aviva, said: “Critical illness protection helps financially support families during some of the most difficult times they can experience. The changes Aviva has introduced will increase consumer confidence by reducing complexity and making its cover more comprehensive.

“There has been a move in the market to increase the number of conditions covered to make policies appear more attractive, but the problem is that this lures customers and financial advisers to compare policies solely on the number of conditions covered.  

“The Aviva approach is to follow these principles. We won’t add conditions unless they increase the scope of cover - for example, they are not already covered within other definitions. The conditions covered must have a significant impact on a person’s life even if rare and definitions must be able to be fulfilled under current medical practice.”

Life and critical illness pays out a lump sum if you either die or are diagnosed with a critical illness that meets Aviva’s policy definition and survive at least 14 days. Aviva covers only the critical illnesses it defines in its policies and no others.

Aviva offers critical illness cover only with term assurance and mortgage life insurance plans. A policy will pay out only if diagnosed during the term and there is no cash-in value.


Aviva press office contacts:
Holly Smart                                                          
Telephone: 01904 45 2791   
Mobile: 07800 699218

David Gwyer                                                        
Telephone: 01904 452659    
Mobile: 07800 693187

Notes to editors:

Aviva paid out 744 CI claims during the six months to end of June 2009, totalling almost £60 million to people in need, with the average payment at just over £80,000.

Increasing number of conditions 
The conditions added provide clients with greater peace of mind that their policy provides more comprehensive cover. Conditions currently covered by Aviva’s critical illness policy are:

Blindness, cancer, deafness, kidney failure, loss of speech, major organ transplant, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, paralysis of limbs, stroke, terminal illness, traumatic head injury, CJD, TPD, coronary artery bypass grafts, loss of hands or feet.

New conditions
Aplastic anaemia, cardiomyopathy, encephalitis, liver failure, progressive supranuclear palsy.

Updated conditions
Bacterial meningitis, aorta graft surgery, benign brain tumour, coma, heart attack, loss of independence, HIV infection, third degree burns, heart valve replacement or repair, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, pre-senile dementia.

For more information about critical illness cover from Aviva, speak to your Aviva Consultant or visit www.aviva.co.uk/adviser/

About Aviva
Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. Aviva also provides roadside assistance through the RAC. 

Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.

Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.


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