Protection Guru has worked with AIG to create a concise objective analysis of their product range.
AIG in their own words
Paying for childcare, adapting a home to new ways of living, settling a mortgage – all things for customers to consider when planning their financial future. But if their finances were squeezed because of a serious illness, covering the bills might not be so easy. They already insure their home, their car and maybe even the family pet, so providing for loved ones should be equally as important.
Our critical illness cover gives customers choices. They can personalise cover to their own budget and needs, starting with core critical illness cover, and then choose from additional options, including our comprehensive children’s option, designed with the family in mind.
The product has the umbrella conditions you’ll be familiar with – simple to explain and easy to understand, but we’ve also consolidated over 20 conditions into four impact-based groupings. By focusing on specific surgeries or the impact on daily life, not the name of a condition, it makes for fairer customer outcomes. If the impact is the same, customers will be covered – whatever the name of the condition.
The ability to tailor cover to clients’ needs
AIG’s new approach to critical illness enables advisers to tailor cover to suit each client’s needs. For those with budget constraints, core critical illness cover provides a lower cost option. For those wanting comprehensive cover, enhanced critical illness cover can be added to provide far broader cover. Children’s cover can also be added to the plan at any point for those with a young family or those planning to start a family.
Covering the impact, not the cause
Long lists of definitions covering sometimes extreamly obscure conditions has unfortunately become quite commonplace within the critical illness market. Whilst providing cover for a wide range of conditions is clearly beneficial, having the largest number of definitions does not reflect the broadest coverage. AIG’s new approach epitomises this by providing specific definitions for specific conditions where required, but also providing four group wordings focusing on the outcomes of certain groups of conditions as opposed to the specific condition itself. This provides fairer cover for a wider range of conditions as it doesn’t require the diagnosis of a specific condition only the symptoms or surgery.
Degenerative neurological disorders
Covering the impacts commonly seen in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, CJD, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkison plus syndromes among other neurological disorders.
Reduced Heart Function
Covering the impacts commonly seen in conditions such as cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension and many other cardiac conditions
Surgery to the heart, aorta or pulmonary artery
Covering surgeries such as aorta graft surgery, cardiac arrest, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery bypass grafts, heart surgery, heart valve replacement or repair, pulmonary artery replacement among others.
Surgery via the skull
Covering the common surgeries used to treat cerebral or spinal arteriovenous malformation or aneurysms, pituitary gland tumours, brain abscess, drug resistant
epilepsy and others.
What our doctors say:
“AIG now have 4 grouped wordings that are based around treatment or the impact that illness has on customers, as opposed to a specific diagnosis. This has a number of advantages to consumers.
Firstly, this avoids unnecessary overlap of conditions and is a refreshing move away from the “condition race” whereby insurers claim to cover ever increasing numbers of illnesses, despite many being covered in other wordings and providing no additional benefit. This is generally misleading and results in complex policies and confusion amongst advisers and policy holders.
Secondly, it allows the coverage to be broader as it is not focusing on a specific disease. AIG have managed to maintain coverage of all previous conditions covered in today’s market, but would also allow claims for other diseases. The risk with providing specific disease wordings is that rarer conditions, despite causing a similar burden of disease and impact to life, may end up “slipping through the net” and not result in a payment. Insurers in the past, have tried to cover this with “catch all” wordings, such as terminal illness or loss of independence, but these usually cover the end stages of an illness which may result in a sufferer not reaching this point during the lifetime of their policy. AIG’s new grouped wordings, provide an additional safety net and appears a fairer approach to providing cover.”
Future Proofing cover
AIG have also worked extremely hard to add in as much future proofing to their new critical illness wordings as possible. In doing so they have allowed for future advancements, breakthroughs in treatment and potentially new diseases as our doctors explain.
“By providing cover related to the impact of a disease, instead of at diagnosis, this provides future proofing of the policy. Advancements and breakthroughs in treatment and management are occurring frequently in modern medicine. This has the potential to quickly change the face of what is considered a critical illness. It is easy to appreciate this when you consider the vast changes in mortality and morbidity of many illnesses even in the last 20 years. These safeguards are important to keep this type of insurance viable, as it is not sustainable to make frequent large payments for an illness that has little burden on an individual. An example, in AIG’s policy is the addition of “expected to progress throughout the life of the person”, in the degenerative neurological disorders. There are already some encouraging treatment advancements in certain genetic neuromuscular disorders, through the use of gene replacement therapy. This could potentially provide a cure or prevent this becoming a progressive illness in years to come.”
The result is broader critical illness cover
As a result of their impact based definitions and client focused approach, AIG’s critical illness is now more comprehensive than ever highlighting the fact that less definitions does not necessarily result in less cover.
(click on an chart below to see how our doctors score the AIG plan for males and females)
Children’s cover designed for children
Not all clients have children, so why should those without children pay for cover when they will not be able to claim on it? In recognition of this AIG have made their children’s cover an option and not included as standard.
Unlike other plans in the market, AIG do not just cover a clients’ child for the same core conditions plus a few child specific conditions. Instead, they offer the children’s cover effectively as a separate policy with its own list of definitions. This enables them to focus on providing the best possible definitions for children.
Within the plan there are three categories of critical illness conditions each paying a differing amount on a successful claim. Our doctors explain each condition in more detail below:
AIG will pay £50,000 if a child suffers from a group 1 critical illness and survives at least 10 days.
(this is the maximum AIG will pay per child)
AIG will pay £25,000 if a child suffers from a group 2 critical illness and survives at least 10 days.
(A further claim can be made for the same child on a group 1 condition where the benefit will be reduced to £25,000)
AIG will pay £5,000 if a child suffers from one of four birth defects.
(Claiming on one of these conditions does not affect the ability to claim on Group 1 and 2 conditions)
Unique birth defects coverage
Whilst providing excellent coverage for the traditional “congenital” conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome and muscular dystrophy, AIG have also added four unique conditions to their plan. These provide cover for birth defects that although not life threatening, will often require surgery to correct and as such will be a tough period for both the child and parents.
Our doctors explain the conditions in more detail below:
Cleft palate and cleft lip, which is a gap or split in the upper roof of the mouth or lip, present at birth. It affects 150 per 100,000 births in the UK currently. This requires surgery, usually in the first year of life, with difficulties in feeding, hearing, speech and dental problems leading up to this point. The infant usually needs a long term care plan and can cause immense disruption and distress in this early period of life. AIG cover both cleft lip and cleft palate where there is surgery to repair the defect.
A baby is born with their ankles pointing downwards and the feet pointing inwards. If this is not corrected, the soles of the foot will not be able to be placed flat on the ground when they start to walk, causing mobility issues. This is a common problem and affects 1 in 1000 babies born in the UK. It is treated with the Ponseti Method, which is a combination of manipulation and casting, that is changed on a regular basis to bring the feet back into alignment. AIG will cover all cases where the Ponseti Method is used. This will cover the vast majority of cases, as research has shown that this gives better results than surgery and is the preferred first line treatment method.
Developmental Dysplasia of the hip
DDH is a condition where the hip joint does not form properly and the ball part of the thigh bone does not fit correctly into the socket of the pelvis. 1-2 in 1,000 babies have DDH that requires treatment and it is more common in females. AIG, will cover this condition if surgery is performed. The first line treatment is a fabric splint that holds the hips in a stable position, known as a Pavlik Harness, and it needs to be worn constantly for several months. Only if this is ineffective, or if this was discovered after 6 months of age, would surgery be needed. Surgery has been reported as around 25 per 100,000 in females and 5 per 100,000 in males in the first year of life. Incidence rates drop drastically after this and is rarely performed after 4 years of age.
As a result of adding coverage for these conditions, AIG now provide even more extensive coverage for conditions that would be diagnosed either during pregnancy or immediately following birth.
Most claimed for conditions
Adult Critical Illness Claims
Children’s Critical Illness
Cancer – 67%
Cancer – 30%
Heart Attack – 9%
Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 – 13%
Stroke – 7%
Childrens death benefit – 11%
Multiple Sclerosis – 2%
Blindness – 6%
Heart Valve Replacement/Repair – 2%
Down’s Syndrome – 6%
Areas for improvement
- Whilst AIG have vastly improved their documentation, we would like to see more visuals and imagery to illustrate to clients what is covered.
- We would like to see AIG offer a life with standalone critical illness option
Supporting videos and literature
Protection Guru has worked with AIG to create a concise objective analysis of their product range. AIG have had input to the design of this page and contributed to the cost of this construction maintenance, however Protection Guru have maintained editorial control over the content to ensure objectivity.