Mar 23, 2002
IN A move that could revolutionise the increasingly fraught critical illness market, a new policy will enable holders to cut premiums by 30 per cent if they choose the diseases they think they are going to catch.
The US-owned UnumProvident, the UK's biggest disability insurer, this week launched Elixia 123, allowing customers to either have complete cover or opt for one of three categories.
The first group of illnesses are the killers - invasive cancer, major heart attack, severe stroke, emphysema, kidney or liver failure. Second are conditions described by Unum as "disabling and having a significant impact on lifestyle", such as Alzheimer's, blindness, Parkinson's, motor neurone disease or multiple sclerosis.
Finally there are traumatic diseases that could change lifestyle, including open-heart surgery, angioplasty, coma, severe head injury, open heart surgery and lesser forms of cancer, heart attack and stroke.
A 35-year-old non-smoker with pounds 100,000 worth of cover over 20 years would pay pounds 26.61 a month for total cover of all three categories, but only pounds 16.54 if they wanted to be covered only for the killer illnesses. Policyholders can opt to have their cover apportioned among the different categories. Someone with pounds 100,000 cover could opt for that entire sum to be paid for a killer disease but only pounds 25,000 for a disease in one of the other two categories. It would mean a premium of pounds 19.06 a month.
Eugene McCormack, Unum's marketing director, said: "Previously fatal
conditions are increasingly becoming survivable, but nonetheless they still
have a devastating impact on a person's life."
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