"As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."
J K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
In the critical illness market the opportunity for choice has grown substantially over the last few years, both in terms of providers and, probably more so, the choices a single product can present. This often includes the choice of cover for a core group of illnesses and conditions or an upgrade to include an additional list of conditions.
I'm not really a fan of Harry Potter, but this quote does appeal to me. It can be applied to the simplest of day-to-day choices and to decisions with much greater, life-changing consequences.
In the critical illness market the opportunity for choice has grown substantially over the last few years, both in terms of providers and, probably more so, the choices a single product can present. This often includes the choice of cover for a core group of illnesses and conditions or an upgrade to include an additional list of conditions. Similar choices can be made for children's cover.
I don't think choice is a bad thing, but choosing a critical illness policy isn't easy. There are ever-increasing lists of unfamiliar illnesses to navigate. Choosing whether to include all of these or leave some out, and whether you include children's cover or not, maybe what level of children's cover; it's a lot to consider.
We have a slightly different approach. We don't want you to be faced with a decision of what to choose, or perhaps more crucially, what to leave out. It would be a terrible situation if a client became ill only to find that they cannot claim because their illness is covered by the upgraded cover they chose not to include.
This is why the full cover that we offer is the only cover that we offer.
Numbers aren't everything
We provide full payment for a wide ranging 50 illnesses and conditions, plus additional payments for a further 28 conditions. But numbers aren't everything. What's important to us is providing quality cover and that starts with comprehensive cover for the most claimed for conditions.
This includes a cancer definition that goes beyond ABI standard, plus cover for a range of less severe cancers and any cancer in situ that requires surgery – no matter where it is in the body.
We pay out for any heart attack, whatever the severity. There are a further 13 cardiovascular conditions covered including cardiac arrest and treatment with a pacemaker.
For strokes, including spinal, the effects only have to last 24 hours for us to pay out. 'Eye stroke' is also covered.
These are just three examples and cover extends across neurological conditions, serious accidents and mental illness.
Support for long term illness
For some of these conditions it's possible to make a full recovery and return to everyday life, but for some the effects can last far longer. That's why we include Additional Care Benefit. This additional payment, of up to £50,000, pays when a critical illness leaves the life assured with severe and permanent physical or mental symptoms.
In some cases the benefit can be paid at the same time as the claim, in others, where symptoms of the condition become progressively worse, a claim for the additional support can be made up to two years after the initial claim.
Speeding up surgery
I've been lucky with my experiences of the NHS, but we all know that for some surgeries waiting lists can be lengthy.
A number of the conditions require surgery, and for 11 of these we can pay the cover before the surgery takes places, giving the option of private treatment rather than waiting.
Comprehensive cover for children
Probably one of the greatest worries for a parent is that their child may become seriously ill. At such a stressful time, the last thing you need is financial difficulty. While our cover will never stop the worry, it can help to ease any financial burden.
We cover any number of children from birth to their 22nd birthday and children born after the cover has started will automatically be included – without having to tell us.They're covered for the same 50 full payments as adults, a further eight child specific illnesses and 27 of the additional payments.
Payments don't reduce the main cover and can be doubled if both parents are covered by the policy or each have a separate policy.
Naturally we want the best care for our children, but sometimes treatment isn't available in the UK. If treatment is only available outside of the UK, we will double the payment.
That means if both parents are covered we could pay up to a total maximum of £100,000 in total.
Children's cover also includes surgery benefit, an additional £10,000 for an advanced illness and £5,000 life cover.
When is a child not a child?
So what happens when they reach 22? They'll always be 'children' to their parents but not by the definitions of our policy.
They may have their own income, and bills to pay which is why we include First Time Cover.
It gives the child no longer covered the opportunity to apply for their own, full adult cover, of up to £50,000 if both parents are covered, without any health questions.
There for you
When we talk about comprehensive we mean more than helping to relieve the financial difficulties.
Our There for You service can provide the kind of emotional and practical support that a client may not get as part of their treatment by connecting them with a RedArc nurse adviser.
Available at any time, without having to claim, and at no extra cost, the service provides second medical opinions, counselling and therapies, care advice, and so much more – enough for another article!
Importantly, the one-on-one support with the same nurse adviser is available to the client and their family for as long as it's required.
And so, back to choice. A policy that offers many choices or a policy that offers comprehensive cover as standard? I guess it's just another choice to throw into the mix.
We’ve put together a short video infographic to help you explain to your client, in less than two minutes, what we include as standard in our critical illness cover. Visit www.bitly.com/OMWCI-video to view the video.
Our protection specialists are here to support you. Visit www.bitly.com/OMWCI-contact to get in touch.