"We’ve listened to advisers and customers who have made it clear to us that flexibility, choice and access are top priorities."
Both the Core and Select levels of critical illness cover will be available, providing different tiers of benefits that these options include.
Standalone critical illness cover is often required when a customer already has a separate life insurance policy in place. Equally, if they don’t have dependents or a mortgage to consider but are looking to ensure they are supported should they become seriously ill. This is also an option when customers want life cover to continue after making a critical illness claim.
Children’s cover, multi-fracture cover, Total Permanent Disability (TPD) and waiver of premium can be added as optional extras, in the same way they can on the current product.
Zurich has also enhanced its TPD benefit with the addition of a ‘Work Tasks’ definition to provide wider access. Now, in scenarios where Zurich is unable to issue terms for the current ‘Own Occupation’ definition, customers will be automatically offered ‘Work Tasks’ instead. This pays the sum assured if a customer, through illness or injury, is permanently unable to carry out three out of six specified work tasks. These include walking, climbing stairs, lifting an object, bending, getting in and out of a car or writing.
Age limits for TPD have also been increased from 54 to 65 with customers able to claim until their 71st birthday (from 60th).
Zurich has also developed the functionality for relevant life trusts to be fully completed online. This removes the need for signatures and physical copies of the trust meaning that if all information is to hand, these trusts can be completed in one session. Further clarity has also been given on how many trustees should be added to the trust.
In light of increasing claims for mental health conditions, Zurich is now offering standard rates for customers with anxiety, stress and depression where symptoms are being well managed. The wording of application questions has also been improved.
Louise Colley, director of Zurich’s retail protection business, said: “We’ve listened to advisers and customers who have made it clear to us that flexibility, choice and access are top priorities. We’re confident that our latest enhancements will mean more people can access vital cover which meets their specific needs.
“We know through our claims expertise, that incidence of mental health issues amongst our customers is increasing. Our aim is to ensure that we can help as many people as possible put a financial safety net in place, with all of the benefits that come with cover such as Zurich’s Support Services offering benefits like free counselling.”