The single most important aspect of any critical illness plan is that it pays out
when a life assured is diagnosed with a critical condition. All else is mere fluff
and window dressing because added benefits and options matter for nothing if the
claim is rejected.
Some advisers do not pay the same attention to critical illness as they do investment
planning and stock picking. This may be due to protection plans being a minor part
of their business or possibly because they feel that the various plans are uniform.
In fact, there is a vast gulf between the better and the lesser plans.
We strongly recommend that you seek advice from an adviser. We provide our affiliated
advisers with access to a set of tools to assist them in providing informed advice.
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The insurance industry uses statistics to set their rates and these are based around
the likelihood of somebody suffering from one of the conditions covered. That old
saying about statistics is fully in evidence when it comes to investigating the frequency
of diagnoses and the various curative techniques.
Incidence is the annual rate of diagnosis and incidence statistics provide the main
information required to determine the worth or relevance of a particular condition
However, there are a number of problems with this; not least that for many conditions
there is a lack of worthwhile statistical information.
Our research base has information from numerous sources such as National Statistics,
cancer and heart charities as well as American, European and Australian sites.
Around 275,000 heart attacks p.a.
c.86,000 afflict those under 65
About 55% are first time heart attacks
Men are 3 times more likely to suffer
Smoking ban reduced heart attacks by 10%
As mentioned, many conditions overlap with others which adds to the confusion when
Many examples of Paralysis are caused by a Stroke and many Angioplasty operations
are performed on people who have already suffered a Heart Attack. Liver Failure and
Kidney Failure are generally dealt with under the Major Organ Transplant definition.
The basis of this guide is to focus on conditions which means that other important
matters such as underwriting, claims philosophy, premium rates, occupational variations,
name awareness and trust have to be considered separately.
These are nonetheless important and this is why a specialist protection adviser should
be consulted and online bucket shops and comparison sites avoided.
This may be the area that provides the greatest gnashing of teeth and potential for
disagreement. Some opinions are obviously sound and cannot be argued with whereas
others are necessarily based on subjectivity and personal judgement.
The most appropriate plan for a 25 year old non-smoking male may not be the best
for a 45 year old smoking female.
The potential incidence for some conditions rises with age whereas with other conditions,
such as Multiple Sclerosis, it may actually fall. Family history presents information
to underwriters and is of equal use to advisers in determining the aspects of a plan
that will prove most beneficial.
Insurers regularly upgrade (or downgrade) their plans and the comparisons quickly
CIExpert is an independent organisation that creates in depth analysis to assist
advisers in choosing the best policy for their clients.
We also seek to provide guidance and education to consumers in understanding the
value and choice of Critical Illness Insurance.
We pride ourselves on maintaining an objective view.