Aviva has made enhancements to its group critical illness (GCIC) policy, including cover for child-specific illnesses – a first in the UK.

The enhanced policy now covers:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephalus – treated with the insertion of a shunt

In addition, it also includes cover should a child need intensive care treatment requiring mechanical ventilation for seven days, or if they suffer a loss of independent existence which would continue to affect them throughout their life.

Aviva has also removed the 30 day age limit previously in place on its GCIC cover, meaning children are now covered from birth and against congenital conditions which are diagnosed during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.

While some individual protection products offer this type of cover to the customer’s children, Aviva said this is a first in the GCIC market in the UK.

Child-specific conditions

If a child suffers from a critical illness or one of the above child-specific conditions and their parent is an Aviva Group CIC member, they will receive a payment of up to 25% of the policyholder’s benefit up to a maximum of £20,000.

Steve Bridger, managing director of group protection at Aviva, said: “Seeing your child become ill must be one of the hardest things a parent can go through, so if we can ease the burden at all by providing a financial safety net or an extended support network, then it is the right thing to do.”

Other enhancements to the GCIC offering include:


  • Making the existing “cancer – second and subsequent” option standard, as well as extending cover to the spouse/partner of an employee.
  • Offering access to a cancer drugs fund benefit as an additional option selected by the policyholder (employer) across both standard and extended cover options.


The cancer drugs fund benefit, for example,  is an optional extra the employer can choose to include on behalf of their employees and provides a fund of up to £100,000 to pay for cancer medication which has been rejected by their NHS trust on financial grounds.