Unum in strategic broker partnerships to grow critical illness cover
11th April 2016
Introducing Simplicity CI, a modern employee benefits solution for new to market customers
Employee benefits provider Unum has created a fresh proposition which it says fills an important gap in the group critical illness market. Simplicity critical illness by Unum is available through a limited number of intermediaries selected for their shared aim of reaching out to employers who haven’t yet thought about or seen the value in the traditional group CI product.
The easy-to-understand offering is designed for workforces of 50 or more. It is hassle-free to set up, avoiding complex pre-acceptance risk assessment both at policy and member level. Most importantly, it eases employer concerns that the policy may not pay the benefit employees thought they were covered for because of a discovery at claim of a significant medical history. Unum believes this has significantly restricted CI growth over the years.
The ten common reasons for claiming are insured, none of which, according to Andrew Potterton, Unum’s head of proposition development, require a medical dictionary to interpret - although, for consistency, standard ABI or ABI-plus definitions apply to each of them.
Reducing complexity still further, the employer can choose the same cover amount it wants to buy for all employees (between £10,000 and £60,000). There is an option for a simple flexible benefit basis so employees may top up a basic level of employer-funded cover (up to the same £60,000 ceiling).
If the approach to medically underwriting group CI risk has indeed been off-putting, Simplicity critical illness by Unum gets past that. There is no underwriting of any kind – ever. Medical history is disregarded. As Potterton says, “Although members clearly can’t claim for a heart attack they had before joining, they’re covered if they have another one meeting the criteria once the policy is up and running. Cancer history, likewise, doesn’t prevent a claim for an insured event, whether it’s a recurrence of a cancer that was thought to have gone away, or a new one. With this approach, clearer expectations may be set with staff as current serious health conditions that could lead to a CI claim are more likely to be known to the employer.”
“It’s not too late for intermediaries ready to grasp this new to market opportunity to get on board, although space is limited. Interested brokers should in the first instance speak to their Unum salesperson for further product information or to instigate a conversation to compare business plans.”