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Legal & General critical illness cover update

Legal & General are one of the UK’s largest insurance providers and they have made an announcement that will affect all their new critical illness cover policies.

Critical illness insurance is a great way to protect yourself and have some extra financial security, if you were to be diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The number of conditions covered can vary. You will usually be covered for common conditions such as cancer, heart attack and strokes.

L&G have revealed some big changes that should hopefully make things easier for their critical illness customers moving forwards. We will explain everything that has been announced for you on this page, so you know where you stand.

Legal & General critical illness cover

Critical illness cover will pay out a cash lump sum on diagnosis of a serious medical condition. You will need to survive for 14 days from diagnosis to submit a critical illness claim with Legal & General.

The money from a critical illness claim can be used for various things such as:

  • Mortgage payments/rent payments
  • Household bills
  • Necessary changes to your home after undergoing a medical procedure
  • Medical bills

You will have cover during the length of your policy term provided you continue paying your premiums every month.

Why have Legal & General changed their policies?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have made several changes in recent years to what they define as critical illnesses. Insurers have been slow to adjust their policies in line with this with Legal & General being one of the first to.

L&G’s main aim with these changes is to make improvements to their children’s cover as well updating their definition wordings for medical conditions. Several changes announced should also help to make their new policies more flexible, with adjustments to how much you can increase your cover by and other key changes we will explain below.

Legal and General children’s critical illness cover

One of the main things Legal & General have introduced is increasing the maximum amount you will be able to claim on children’s critical illness cover. This amount has increased from £30,000 to £35,000 (up to 50% of the sum agreed in your policy).

You will have a valid claim if your child is diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The payments you receive can help cover extra costs such as medical bills.

This applies to their Legal & General Children’s Critical Illness Extra policies not standard children’s cover, with other changes including:

  • Higher family accommodation benefit of £3,000 available to claim (a £2,000 increase)
  • Can now claim £35,000 for a child terminal illness diagnosis (previously £10,000)
  • 50% increase to the amount paid out as child funeral illness benefit (now £10,000 rather than £5,000)

Legal & General includes a guaranteed insurability option with certain policies and this allows you to increase the amount you are covered for without needing to submit more medical evidence.

This is particularly helpful for people with pre-existing medical conditions who may have needed to submit medical reports with their original application, especially if their condition has worsened since. You can use this option to increase your cover within 6 months of any of the following events:

  • You get married (or register a civil partnership)
  • Birth of a child or adoption
  • An increase to your mortgage amount due to a house move or home improvements
  • Your salary has increased due to a new job role or promotion

Legal & General have now stated:

  • The maximum age you can be when you increase your cover has increased from 45 to 55
  • You can now increase cover due to divorce or becoming a legal guardian
  • You can now increase your cover by 100% of the amount you are insured for (up to £200,000), which was previous capped at a 50% increase
  • There is now no maximum amount of times you can increase your cover

L&G have also decided to adjust their income protection policies in a similar way, allowing policyholders to increase cover for any salary changes of 10% or more. You can now increase cover at any time whereas before you could only do this every 3 years.

Changes to Legal & General condition definitions

Changes to Cancer definitions

  • Prostatectomy (removal of the prostate as treatment for prostate cancer) will now result in a full (100%) payment of the sum assured in the policy
  • L&G will no longer provide a full (100%) payment for lower grade Thyroid cancer where the tumour is small and cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes (T1N0M0 – non invasive cancer/ in situ cancer that is not life threatening)
  • L&G have further specified how serious Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) and Gastrointestinal tumours (GISTs) need to be to qualify for a critical illness payment

Changes to heart attack definitions

L&G have made their wording more specific surrounding heart attack exclusions in their policies. They now when excluding heart problems will exclude ‘myocardial injury without infarction (heart attack)’ meaning that they will not pay out for damage to the heart caused by myocarditis, angina, physical trauma etc.

Changes to dementia definitions

You will be able to claim when diagnosed with dementia by a neuropsychologist where you could not claim previously. This is due to this now being a known NHS referral process for dementia diagnosis. Before L&G would only accept a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, neurologist or geriatrician.

Will this affect my current Legal & General Critical Illness Cover plan?

NO – if you already have a critical illness cover policy with Legal & General you will be covered by the terms agreed when you bought your policy. It will be new policies that are affected by these changes.

Any changes Legal & General have made after your policy is already in place will not apply when you are trying to claim.

If you need some advice about your critical illness insurance policy, speak to one of our qualified insurance EXPERTS. We have years of insurance expertise and will be able to help clarify anything you are finding confusing.

We can also give you a FREE assessment of any current policy you have to check if you can get the same cover for LESS with another TOP-RATED insurance provider. Our team can then swap your policy over for you quickly and easily, so you can enjoy lower prices without extra hassle.

Useful resources

Legal & General – Our 2021 claims statistics

COVER magazine – Only 7% of UK adult have critical illness or income protection

ABI – Payouts for bereavement, illness, and injury claims top £18.6 million a day

ABI – Record amount paid out to help families cope with bereavement, ill health, and injury

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