Posted on Oct 26, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa
Aviva Life Insurance Company Ltd, part of Aviva PLC, has announced to its brokers and agents in Hong Kong that the company will be cancelling its line of Aviva Global LifeCare products.
The Aviva Global LifeCare plan is an individual international private medical insurance policy licensed out of Hong Kong SAR.
In a recent communication to the Aviva distributor network in Hong Kong the company has stated that "we have decided to discontinue any new business of our Aviva Global Lifecare products with immediate effect and also the renewal of all existing Aviva Global Lifecare policies."
This means that any policyholders in possession of an Aviva Global LifeCare plan will be unable to renew their policy. However, until the plan reaches the renewal date, now the cancellation date, Aviva has confirmed that customers will be able to seek coverage under the plan.
This poses a grave concern for many individuals and families currently covered by the Aviva plan, as the cancellation will force them to seek alternative health insurance options. Any medical conditions developed by the policyholder while enrolled on the Aviva policy would subsequently be treated as Pre-Existing with any new health insurance application.
Pre-exsiting medical conditions are normally not eligible for coverage under an international health insurance policy.
As of the time of publishing, Aviva has offered no solutions for continuing coverage to Aviva policyholders currently suffering from severe chronic conditions whose plans will be cancelled. This means that individuals experiencing life threatening medical conditions, such as cancer, are now no longer to obtain coverage from a plan which they have been enrolled on for a number of years.
Additionally, many Aviva policyholders are finding that they have only just completed the waiting periods associated with coverage benefits such as Maternity, and are now being told that their policy is no longer being offered. These individuals must find new coverage and complete a new set of waiting periods before they are able to start their family with the protection they deserve.
A current Aviva policyholder, who did not wish to be named for this story, said of the cancellation:
"This is horrific; I'm absolutely outraged at the decision. This belies an utter lack of commitment to the customer and is, quite frankly, extremely disappointing from one of the world's, supposedly, 'premier' insurance providers½ How am I meant to get coverage now?"
Upon being asked if he had any pre-existing conditions which would require continuing coverage the policyholder stated:
"Yes, and it's definitely a condition which will be excluded from my next plan - if I'm even accepted. The whole situation is verging on the criminal, in my opinion."
One woman, asking to be called Mrs. S in this article, who had purchased the policy expressly for the maternity coverage said of the news that "this is insane! My husband and I were going to try to start a family this year½. We now have to wait another 10 months on a different policy before we can give birth? How can Aviva do this?!"
Aviva entered the international health insurance market with the Aviva LifeCare plan in 2007 and it is unknown at this moment why the company is choosing leave. Additionally, it is also unknown whether Aviva's offerings in the United Kingdom or Singapore will be affected by this decision.
However, it should be noted that Aviva has had a history of extreme premium increases over the last 2 years with the LifeCare product, with average plan costs doubling for 2 consecutive years. This is unusual for Health insurance and may indicate a structural unsoundness at the core of the Aviva LifeCare business.
At this time International Insurance News recommends that any person holding an Aviva Global LifeCare Health Insurance policy should contact their agent, broker, or representative to establish continuing coverage options.