Experts call for boost to critical illness cover

Following this month's Future of Critical Illness summit, hosted by protection providers Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, a White Paper on how the industry can improve its critical illness offering is now available based on the suggestions made by the panel.

The key call to actions include:

  • Educate consumers as to the value of taking out critical illness policies
  • Simplify the conditions that are covered and explain the likelihood of being able to claim
  • Increased communication with charities, such as the Macmillan Cancer Charity, in order to raise awareness of the financial support that the product offers
  • Greater use of social media to complement publicity that television campaigns will generate
  • Production of a centralised protection information website, perhaps hosted by the ABI
  • Selling of an additional smaller sum assured critical illness policy alongside a life policy
Commenting at the Future of Critical Illness debate, Roger Edwards, proposition director of Bright Grey and Scottish Provident, said: "Perhaps life insurance has been reducing in price so much that the choice people make in a recessionary environment is ‘I will go for the very cheap life insurance as opposed to the perceived very expensive critical illness'. Perhaps it should be routine to add £20,000 worth of critical illness cover to every life cover, to make it more affordable in the current economic climate."

Neil McCarthy, sales and marketing director, Direct Life & Pension Services, said: "Consumers have a lot of priorities and they see protection in a much broader spectrum - from PMI cover, death cover, mortgage cover, to compulsory motor insurance for example.

“To a consumer, critical illness is just one part of the spectrum. They need to understand better the perceived value in critical illness."