The Financial Services Council (FSC) has released a draft of the minimum standard trauma definitions, which make up part of the new Life Insurance Code of Practice just launched.
Heart attack, stroke and cancer all have standard definitions in the draft, which are set out as suggestions only at this time, with the industry to agree together.
The adoption of these standards are desirable to ensure standard definitions that everyone is bound by in an identical fashion when assessing critical illness and trauma claims for the three main medical conditions. The standards will reflect current medical practices and tests, being based on the latest research. Consumers will know that there are standards, and what they are exactly, and that that will be their minimum - this will help to increase confidence in policies. Consistent labelling, the FSC says, could also be useful.
The FSC is hoping to have these standards in place for 1 July 2017 when all product disclosure statements must include:
- Cancer – excluding early stage cancers
- Severe heart attack – measured by specific tests
- Stroke – resulting in permanent impairment
Insurers can opt to improve on the minimum cover by either providing cover for more conditions, or paying out on less severe conditions than the standard.