An Association For Critical Illness Insurance May Be In The Works

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At a recent meeting in Chicago, 17 people representing 15 companies gathered informally to discuss whether the time is right to form a trade group focused on critical illness insurance.

The tentative name is the National Association for Critical Illness Insurance.

Whether the organization will become official is still uncertain, “but we did agree to plan another meeting for the fall to explore a final proposal,” says Daniel R. Pisetsky, a CI marketer who is president of US Living Benefits, Manchester, Conn.

Pisetsky spearheaded the Chicago meeting with the assistance of Marcia Johnson, vice president-marketing communications at ING Life Group, Denver, Colo.

The Kraich Group, a Washington, D.C., association development firm, has been assisting in developing NACIIs structure and format.

Of the 15 companies attending the Chicago meeting, 12 are direct writers and three are reinsurers, Pisetsky says.

CI insurance pays a lump-sum benefit if the insured is diagnosed with one of several serious medical conditions; the patient can use the money to pay expenses or for any other purpose.

Dr. Marius Barnard, brother of famed South African heart surgeon Christian Barnard and a well-known promoter of CI insurance in the United States and elsewhere, endorsed the idea for a national CI association in a letter he sent to Pisetsky before the meeting.

In that letter, he also indicates he will “promote and serve” the organization, when and if it forms.

Since its “small beginning” in South Africa in 1983, CI insurance has become a major source of “protection insurance” in many countries, Barnard says in his letter, because it protects a persons financial health when the person is threatened by failing health.

Whats needed now, continues the doctor, is an organization that will ensure CI policies will fulfill this need. He specifically suggests that the organization work to be sure CI policies have “clear” definitions, and that their claim decisions be “honest.”

Such steps will help create “confidence in our much-needed product,” he says.

“What CI insurers need right now is a forum to discuss common developmental and policy design issues,” Pisetsky concurs.

These issues range from underwriting, policy definitions, claims, and compliance with state insurance departments, he says, to marketing, agent training, commissions, tax issues, media exposure, consumer perception, and many more. Those are some of the topics addressed at the Chicago meeting.

Down the pike, “I also envision having a Web site, offering educational meetings and seminars, and providing support to CI producers,” Pisetsky says.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 4, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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