Child-specific illnesses such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy are to be covered in Aviva’s group critical illness offering, a move the insurer is describing as a first for the UK market.
Spina bifida and hydrocephalus are also, as are situations where a child need intensive care treatment requiring mechanical ventilation for 7 days, or if they suffer a loss of independent existence which would continue to affect them throughout their life.
Aviva has also removed the 30 day age limit previously in place on its GCIC cover, meaning children are now covered from birth and against congenital conditions which are diagnosed during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.
If a child suffers from a critical illness or one of the above child-specific conditions and their parent is an Aviva group CIC member, they will receive a payment of up to 25 per cent of the policyholder’s benefit up to a maximum of £20,000.
The product also comes with Best Doctors second medical opinion and RedArc Personal Nurse Adviser services for employees, their spouse, partner and children.
Other improvements in cover include making the existing “Cancer – Second and Subsequent” option standard as well as extending cover to the spouse/partner of an employee, and offering access to a Cancer Drugs Fund benefit as an additional option selected by the policyholder (Employer) across both Standard and Extended cover options.
The ‘Second and Subsequent’ cancer definition means that both the employee and their spouse/partner will now be able to make a claim should they be diagnosed with a new unrelated cancer during the term of the policy. This allows employers to provide cover to extended family members who have previously been diagnosed with cancer and may not be able to get cover elsewhere.
The Cancer Drugs Fund benefit is an optional extra the employer can choose to include on behalf of their employees and provides a fund of up to £100,000 to pay for cancer medication which has been rejected by their NHS trust on financial grounds.
Aviva managing director of group protection Steve Bridger says: “Protecting your family is the priority for all parents so I am delighted that Aviva is the first provider to add specific children’s cover to our Group Critical Illness proposition. Seeing your child become ill must be one of the hardest things a parent can go through, so if we can ease the burden at all by providing a financial safety net or an extended support network, then it is the right thing to do.
“No parent should be worrying about money while taking care of their sick child and our enhanced group CIC policy can remove that worry, leaving the parents to concentrate on helping their child get better.
“Our offering really increases the value of a group CIC to both the employer and the employee and we’ve worked hard on these enhancements, trying to put the family at the heart of what we do.”