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Critical illness

Hannover Re has long been a leading player in the critical illness market. Ever since the product concept was first developed in South Africa, we have been one of the main reinsurers in this area, believing it offers huge opportunities for innovation and the creation of tailormade niche proposition variants.

Unlike policies such as income protec­tion or private medical insu­rance, which are designed to protect policy­holders against lost income or medical costs incurred, critical illness does not indem­nify the policy­holder. Instead it provides a lump sum (or sometimes regular pay­ments) should they suffer a defined medical condi­tion, reach a defined degree of impair­ment, or under­go a parti­cular sur­gical procedure.

Its complex hybrid nature suits critical illness to a wide variety of product design approa­ches. Our clients benefit from our long­standing and wide-ranging experi­ence with diffe­rent types of critical ill­ness products around the world, posi­tioning Hannover Re uni­quely well to provide expert gui­dance and to bring fresh ideas and insights to the table.

We have an esta­blished track record as inno­vators in the critical illness market. For example, we part­nered with a leading UK life insurer to design the first severity-based critical illness product in that market, and remain active members of their team to this day.

The product in question current­ly covers more than 160 diffe­rent condi­tions, for each of which we have identi­fied appro­priate pricing para­meters, workable medical defini­tions as well as appro­priate under­writing proto­cols and point of sale rules. The expe­rience we have gained here has brought us an unri­valled under­standing of the pricing and under­writing consi­derations appro­priate to a uniquely wide range of condi­tions.

Claims manage­ment is one of the areas in which we can add parti­cular value, both through the access we offer to dedi­cated medical experts and through the fle­xible and holis­tic approach we take to claims adjudi­cation.

This involves looking beyond the strict wording of a defi­nition to the spirit of the contract and the broader objec­tive of treating clients fairly.

Our clients bene­fit from the involve­ment of a full service rein­surer, ready and willing to provide as much or as little support as they require. We are capable of be­coming fully em­bedded in our clients' product design teams, of sharing our expert product know­ledge or capabi­lities in certain key areas, or simply sharing the risk as reinsurer.