Aviva enhances critical illness cover with conditions that affect customers most

Article date: 8 July 2013

  • Cover now includes 53 conditions, 17 of which are ABI+
  • IFA market-leading heart attack definition – severity level lowered significantly
  • Extended scope of three of the five most claimed for conditions: heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • Child death benefit added
  • Adviser online video available to explain enhancements

Aviva has enhanced its critical illness (CI) cover for new customers with a series of radical enhancements, extending the number of conditions covered to 53. Coming into effect on new policies from 7 July 2013, the changes focus around the most commonly claimed for conditions including heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS).

This follows specific recommendations from Aviva’s protection claims team to ensure as many cases as possible will be paid. After analysing which types of claims couldn’t be paid due to criteria not being met, the insurer has made the following changes to help support their customers when it matters most:

Heart attack severity level lowered

Under the new CI cover, Aviva has lowered the threshold of troponin levels which need to be met in order for a heart attack to qualify as a valid claim. Previously a customer would have needed a troponin level recorded at the following level or higher: troponin T > 1.0 ng/ml. Under the new cover, this level will need to be troponin T > 0.2 ng/ml.

This is lower than any other provider in the IFA market for a full payment claim. There are 103,000 heart attacks* every year in the UK, making it the second biggest cause of claim. This step will help to increase even further the number of claims which can be paid under the heart attack definition.

Extending the scope of the most common conditions

From 7 July 2013, Aviva’s critical illness cover will include three new conditions, extending the scope of three of the five most claimed for conditions: multiple sclerosis, stroke and heart attack. Two of the new conditions - Devic’s disease and spinal stroke - are brand new to the UK critical illness market. 

Devic’s disease causes symptoms which are similar to - and may be worse than - MS, while spinal stroke causes debilitating symptoms similar to a stroke in the brain. The third new condition is cardiac arrest, which more people are now surviving due to increased awareness and availability of treatment. This means that the enhanced critical illness cover offers financial protection against 53 conditions, 17 of which are ABI+.

Including more additional benefits as standard

Aviva has also extended cover by adding two new additional benefits: bladder removal and non-malignant pituitary tumour. Aviva will cover bladder removal for any reason, the only provider in the IFA market to do this. This takes the number of additional benefits covered to seven. These - like all of Aviva’s additional benefits - receive a payment of up to £20,000*, while the policy continues in force and the main sum assured remains unaffected.

Child death benefit added in addition to child CI cover

New critical illness policies will also extend cover to the children of policyholders to provide a lump sum death benefit of £5,000. This is in addition to child CI benefit of up to £25,000** and will be paid on top of any payouts made for child critical illness. These additional benefits are designed so the family can use the financial support as they choose, such as taking time off work.

Adviser video explains changes

To help advisers understand the changes and why they have been introduced, Aviva has also created a useful video to explain the enhancements. The eight-minute film can be seen online at www.aviva-for-advisers.co.uk/adviser/site/public/support/business-building/family-protection

Andy Doran, claims philosophy manager says: “It’s always been our ethos to only add conditions which make a genuine difference to the customer, so we’ve worked very closely with our claims experts and used our claims experience to enhance our cover. For example, no provider or adviser wants to be in the position of saying: ‘I know you’ve had a heart attack, but it’s not bad enough’, so we’ve really concentrated on where we can add most value.”

“Ninety-three per cent of our critical illness claims are made up from just five conditions - cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis and benign brain tumour - so we’ve focused our improvements around these. In doing so we’re adding conditions which will help us pay more claims, so we can make a difference to more people’s lives.”

In 2012 Aviva paid out more than 92.5% of critical illness claims. The provider also provides free access to RED ARC’s value added support service at the point of claim.

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Sarah Poulter: Aviva Press Office : 01904 452828 : 07800 691569 : sarah.poulter@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Aviva’s life and critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if the life insured either dies or is diagnosed with a critical illness that meets the policy definition and then survives for at least 14 days. Critical illness insurance only covers conditions defined in the policy and no others.

* Source: British Heart Foundation.
** Claimants will receive 20% of their sum insured up to a maximum of £20,000.
** Claimants under children’s CI cover will receive 50% of their sum insured up to a maximum of £25,000.

About Aviva:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 34 million customers worldwide.

We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.

Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2012 we invested £5.7m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 30,000 hours.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life, especially education. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes company information and a news release archive. For broadcast-standard video, please visit http://www.aviva.com/media/video/. Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc

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