The Seven conditions have had their wordings tidied up to meet the December 2015 deadline for complying with the changes to ABI model wordings. These have minimal impact other than to add clarity.
The four major changes are;
a) The introduction of a new over-arching condition – ‘less advanced cancers’.
b) The introduction of a new additional payment condition ‘severe hearing loss’
c) Ensuring homogenous payouts for all of the additional payment conditions
d) Removal of Alzheimer’s Disease, as this is already covered within the auspices of the Dementia condition.
Less Advanced Cancers
Currently Friends includes four specific in situ cancers – breast, prostate, cervix and bladder. These provide for payments varying between £12,500/12.5% and £25,000/25%. The new inclusive condition covers 20 in situ cancers. These include the four shown above as well as the following 16 new areas - anus, bile duct, colon/rectum, gallbladder, larynx, lung/bronchus, oesophagus, oral cavity, ovary, pancreas, renal pelvis, stomach, testicle, uterus, vagina, vulva.
All apart from carcinoma in situ of the renal pelvis and urinary bladder all the others in situ cancers require some form of treatment. This improvement means that Friends Life now offers the widest cancer cover within a standard CIC policy.
Severe Hearing Loss
The ABI model wording which is standard for most providers requires hearing loss in the better ear to be 95 decibels or higher. This additional payment reduces the requirements to 70 decibels in the better ear. Whilst a welcome addition this condition wording mirrors the deafness wording used by Old Mutual and L&G, both of which provide 100% payouts.
Additional Payment Conditions
By mandating all additional payment conditions payments as the lower of £25,000 or 25% of the sum assured Friends has removed confusion and in some instances has doubled the existing payment, e.g. CIS of the breast, CIS of the cervix, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral arteriovenous malformation, Lobectomy and non-malignant pituitary adenoma
In short, the above improvements are beneficial in that they will increase the numbers of claims and simultaneously reduce those cancer claims that are currently declined for being in situ.