Skip to Content

Andrew McCurrie: Don't leave financial advice to chance

By Andrew McCurrie, Actuary and Director of Technical Marketing at Vitality

Published: 17/09/2021

One in 12 of all Serious Illness Cover claims paid out in 2020 were for conditions only covered by Vitality.


What do a 25-year-old male suffering from Crohn’s disease, a 35-year-old female diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and a 32-year-old male who experience a detached retina all have in common?

Simple, they all received a Serious Illness Cover payment for a condition that isn’t paid by any other provider in the market. And they were not alone. In 2020, one in 12 Serious Illness Cover claimants received a payment for a condition that is only covered by Vitality. Pulmonary Embolisms was the most claimed upon unique condition in 2020 by Vitality Serious Illness Cover members, followed by moderately severe inflammatory bowel disease and surgery for cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Rather than paying out a set amount for a limited number of conditions, Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover pays out a severity-based amounted linked to the lifestyle impact. This ensures that conditions with the same lifestyle impact are both covered at the same level while allowing more comprehensive cover and increased likelihood of claim.

Critical illness policies generally have an “all or nothing” approach with any additional conditions not paid at a 100% level being subject to limits.

Put simply, critical Illness products are a gamble as to whether a client receives a payment that is disproportionately large or that they receive no payment at all. And for the clients mentioned at the start of their article, they would have lost that gamble.

- Andrew McCurrie, Actuary and Director of Technical Marketing at Vitality
In addition to this, any Serious Illness Cover plan can be claimed on an unlimited number of times, up to three times the level of the initial cover selected. Last year, one in 11 claimants had claimed previously on their plan and one in 20 were making their third claim or more.

Why should this matter for your client? Because this approach helps to ensure their cover stays in place for longer, potentially preventing them from becoming financially vulnerable if an illness recurs or they suffer an unrelated secondary condition, even after they’ve claimed.

Further insights on Vitality’s claims experience can be found in our recently released Claims and Benefit report.

Where to next?

  • Serious Illness Cover vs Critical illness cover tool

    Unlike typical critical illness cover, our award-winning Serious Illness Cover pays out on a severity based approach. Our cover is so different so comparing against other providers isn't always easy. That’s why we’ve created our Serious Illness vs. Critical Illness comparison tool.

  • Serious Illness Cover Conditions Covered tool

    The Conditions Covered tool is designed to help you find out which conditions we cover and what we pay out on Serious Illness Cover, compared to other providers.

  •                Insights Hub                 

    Our Insights Hub brings you our range of adviser content - from video series to articles & blogs.