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Extensive changes to critical illness plans this week

Extensive changes to critical illness plans this week

A busy week for critical illness product changes so Protection Guru started on Monday with an announcement from Royal London on some changes to their cover. Rob’s insight drew upon the expertise of our independent panel of doctors to fully analyse the changes and reviewed how the cover is improved with their new definitions and rewording of existing definitions. A useful article if you not only want to understand Royal London’s changes, but the broader significance of how we benchmark critical illness cover at Protection Guru.  

Our independent medical panel’s analysis is designed to empower advisers with confidence that they can make recommendations based on the informed views of medical professionals. I can’t imagine any adviser is going to believe they know more about illnesses and the minutiae of policy conditions than medical professionals are treating patients day-to-day who have also spent many years earning their professional qualifications and several years working with us to understand the underlying data. It is worth noting that, in addition to the medical qualifications, members of our panel have multiple master’s degrees that are relevant to understanding medical data and statistics.  This must make their views essential reading for anyone giving advice on critical illness policies.  

On Tuesday we launched our new Aegon business protection showcase page, providing advisers with one easy to access resource outlining all the USPs of Aegon’s business protection proposition.  

Later on Tuesday we also brought you a round-up of how LV= excelled in our 2022 product ratings. To have achieved 11 overall gold product medals and 111 medals for underlying features is quite a feat and highlights the quality of their proposition. Rob’s insight goes into more detail on what their key strengths are and why they achieved so many gold medals.  

We turned our attention to income protection on Wednesday, with a useful insight examining proportionate benefits and how insurers calculate the amount paid when a client can return to work following a claim. 

Thursday saw another piece of product news, this time an announcement from AIG on changes to their children’s critical illness cover. Rob’s article gives a full explanation of what the changes mean and our opinion on it. The simple answer is, while we understand why they are doing it, most new people taking an AIG plan will get less cover for their children than they did previously, unless the child has multiple claims. In the circumstances, advisers really need to understand what these changes mean, so again essential reading for anyone giving critical illness advice.  

Later on Thursday we published a new Aviva claim case study video on our claims hub. This provides a powerful reminder not only of the importance of protection insurance, but also the rehabilitation support many insurers now offer. This is an amazing story and shows an insurer really going above and beyond what they are contractually committed to. Personally I would be sending a link to this video to any client considering income protection cover. 

The many advisers active on social media might want to share claims pages and at their own messages when doing so. This collection of case studies makes a compelling case for the whole industry and probably a great way to make prospective clients think about why they really need such cover. You can find these here:   

 Unlike our other technical content which is meant for industry eyes only these pages are publicly available, i.e. not behind security so they should be easy to share.   

We finished the week on Friday with a final round-up article of our 2022 product ratings, this time focusing on our income protection ratings.  

On we started by highlighting our analysis of the new client portal from FinCalc. Every day the question of what advisers can make available to their clients digitally when they are not in the office becomes more and more important so we’ve done a lot of research on a range of other client portals. All our client portal analysis can be found here.  

At the end of the week, we revisited our AdviceTech Forum which focussed on the advances in Risk Profiling.  During the session our expert panellists discussed their thoughts on current events, building a sustainable portfolio and the future of risk profiling.  The full audio and text transcript for Parts 1 and Parts 2 are available on the site. 

On our Advice Tech Hub, we provide extensive analysis of several Risk Profiling Tools to make it easier for you to understand the full capabilities of your current system and the others available in the market.  

Finally, request please for all advisers to give us feedback on the different software packages you use yourself as part of our Advice Tech Surveys.  

Wealth Practice Managment System survey  

Cashflow Planning Survey  

Portfolio Analysis Tool surveyClient Portal survey 

The more information you can provide us with by completing these brief surveys the more we will be able to bring back to you to give detailed analysis of the experience of different systems. I’d really appreciate it if all our adviser users could take 10 minutes or so to complete the surveys on the various packages. 

Finally on Benefits Guru we started the week looking at the Pension Advice Allowance. This enables workplace pension savers to take up to £500 from their pension, up to a maximum of three times, to redeem against the cost of retirement financial advice. This insight explores how it works, and what workplace pension providers have in place to facilitate its use. On Thursday we looked at what scheme governance workplace pension providers have in place and the key people involved in the process. 

It looks like we’re up for another weekend of amazing weather so I plan to be out there enjoying it, I hope you can too.  


About The Author


Ian McKenna is the founder of Protection Guru. A 40 year veteran of the financial advice and related technology markets. Having worked for insurance and financial advice firms in 1995 he set up Financial Technology Research Centre, which publishes Protection Guru over a decade before “fin tech“ was recognised as an industry term. He believes passionately that far more people can be protected by life insurance and related contracts if we can demystify these and make objective comparative information on policies more accessible.

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