Press releases

Legal & General announce improvements to critical illness cover.

Bonnie Burns, Protection Product Technical Director
Bonnie Burns
Protection Product Technical

07 August 2012

Bonnie Burns, Protection Product Technical Director
Bonnie Burns
Protection Product Technical

Legal & General is improving its critical illness cover (CIC) offering greater cover for customers. It now includes additional cover for low grade prostate cancer and has '14 ABI+' definitions exceeding the model definitions set by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). This includes four of the most commonly claimed for conditions; heart attack, cancer, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
The wider cover will now include:

  • Low grade prostate cancer
  • Three more ABI+ definitions for cancer, stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • Improved cover for ductal carcinoma in situ and heart valve replacement or repair
  • Reduced exclusion period of 12 months for terminal illness on life and life plus critical illness products
  • An increase to the maximum age for children to age 21 if in full time education
  • Replacement cover and joint life policy separation.

Legal & General started selling critical illness cover over 20 years ago and has retained its 5 star rating from Defaqto for 2012. Over £177 million* was paid out in critical illness claims last year.

These new and improved definitions aim to improve clarity, provide better cover for customers and reduce the number of claims that are declined for not meeting the policy definition.

Bonnie Burns, Product and Technical Director for Individual Protection, Legal & General said:
"Our key focus is to help people when they are at their most vulnerable and we want to pay as many claims as possible. Less than 5% of our critical illness claims are declined for not meeting the definition, but we want to get this figure even lower. Last year we paid out £177 million* to 2,784 customers and we hope to pay even more in the future. Our customers want to know that should the worst happen they have the cover in place that will do what it promised when they bought it. These enhancements will help us ensure we deliver on that promise."

Notes to editors

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions. The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK's leading financial services companies. As at 31 March 2012, we were responsible for investing £378 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders. We also had over seven million customers in or our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

1.Low Grade Prostate Cancer.  We will pay the lower of 25% of the amount of cover or £25K. Our definition doesn't require the customer to have had complete removal of the prostate or external beam or interstitial implant radiotherapy. The customer only needs only to have had treatment for the condition.

2. Wider cover.  Three illnesses improved to ABI+:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We have removed the requirement to have persisting systems for a minimum time of 6 months. We now only require a definite diagnosis of MS with current clinical impairment of motor sensory function caused by MS.
    Cancer. Our previous definition excluded all skin cancer other than certain stages of malignant melanoma. We will still cover malignant melanoma of certain stages but will now also cover other skin cancers, provided they have caused invasion in the lymph glands or spread to distant organs.
    Stroke.  We have removed the traumatic injury to brain tissue or blood vessels exclusion.
    Two further definitions improved:
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast. We've widened our definition to provide cover for any type of surgery that may be used to treat DCIS, for example a lumpectomy
  • Heart valve replacement or repair. We now cover any surgery for heart valve replacement or repair, including keyhole surgery.
  • 3. Reduced exclusion period for terminal illness cover. The exclusion period has been reduced from 18 months to 12 months before the end of the policy.
  • 4. Extended cover for children. We've increased the maximum age for children's CIC to 21 if a child is in full time education, otherwise the maximum age remains 18.
  • 5. Changing cover when lives change.  Replacement cover - We recognise that for joint life policies if one customer claims, ending the policy the other may still have a need for cover. We now give the non-claimant the option to replace their cover without full underwriting. Terms apply.

Joint life policy separation.  We offer the ability for customers with a joint life policy to replace it with two single life policies without going through full underwriting when relationships end. Terms apply.

Source - Legal & General claims department 2012, based on critical illness claims finalised in 2011.Cancer research statistics - Office
Source for all data: Legal & General Claims department, 2012 based on Critical = and some illnesses may not be covered. For the full definitions relevant to our range of Critical Illness Cover and details of the policy benefits and limitations, please refer to Legal & General's guide to Critical Illness Cover.

For more information please contact:

Alyson Bowcott

Alyson Bowcott
PR Manager, Legal & General Group

t: +44 (0) 20 3124 2092
m: +44 (0) 7764 582574