Critical Illness updates

From 1 January 2018, a number of changes have been made to the Southern Cross Critical Illness policy.

Policyholders are being notified from 30 October 2017 about these changes.

To help you understand more:


To upgrade your level of cover, or discuss how these changes may affect you, contact your Adviser or call us on                          0800 800 181 

To add children to your policy, contact your Adviser or call us on                                        0800 438 268


Critical Illness updates FAQs

We've changed how we assess policy exclusions so that in some cases we now exclude specific conditions rather than an entire category.

If your Critical Illness Certificate shows an entire category has been excluded, you need to contact us so we can see if we need to change the exclusions that apply. If you have had a previous diagnosis, this condition will continue to be excluded, but if you suffer another type of qualifying condition unrelated to the excluded condition, this could be claimed for under the policy.

As an example, if your Critical Illness Certificate currently shows an exclusion for 'cancer', this would be reviewed and amended to the specific cancer that you have previously been diagnoses with such as 'bowel cancer'. The Certificate would list an exclusion for bowel cancer and you would be able to submit a claim for an unrelated qualifying cancer in the future.

To discuss reviewing your exclusions please contact your Adviser, email or contact us on 0800 800 181. We're here to help Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

No, this doesn’t apply to members who took out a Critical Illness policy prior to 1 January 2018. However, if you upgrade your Critical Illness cover or add children or other dependants to your policy after 1 January 2018, then this exclusion will apply if a genetic predisposition for cancer is declared.

New members who apply for Critical Illness after 1 January 2018 will be asked to declare any known genetic predisposition for cancer and the relevant cancer/s will be excluded from cover.

Effective 1 January 2018, we’ve changed the diagnosis criteria for the following categories (as they appear in your policy document):

1.2.1 cancer – cover has been removed under the cancer benefit for ‘carcinoma in situ of the breast if it results directly in the removal of the entire breast’ as this does not meet the threshold of ‘a malignant tumour’.

We’ve also removed the exclusion for ‘tumours treated by endoscopic procedures alone’.

1.2.3 cardiac - heart attack – the definition of a heart attack has been changed to more accurately reflect medical diagnosis criteria.

1.2.7 stroke – we’ve removed the requirement for ‘the cerebro-vascular episode or event to last for more than 24 hours’, as we already state in the diagnosis criteria that permanent neurological deficit is required to be eligible to claim.

From 1 January 2018, cover for members aged 65 or over will be extended to include cover for a qualifying cancer diagnosis. Currently the $20,000 cover maximum that applies from age 65 only covers loss of independent living and functional loss as a direct result of an accident.

Yes, there are new levels of cover of $200,000 and $300,000.

This means you can now choose to have a Critical Illness cover level of $20,000, $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 or $300,000.

Increasing or decreasing your Critical Illness cover level will change your premium and can affect your policy in other ways. In particular:

  • any exclusions (as set out in your Critical Illness Certificate) affecting you or any dependant covered by the policy prior to any increase or decrease will remain.

If you increase your Critical Illness cover level:

  • your new Critical Illness cover level will only apply from 3 months after the date of the increase, and
  • your previous Critical Illness cover level will continue to apply for any critical illness event that developed before the date of the increase.

If you decrease your Critical Illness cover level:

  • your new Critical Illness cover level will apply immediately from the date of the decrease, and
  • your new Critical Illness cover level will apply for any critical illness event that developed before the date of the decrease.
To change your Critical Illness cover level you will need to complete and submit an application. The new level will apply to everyone covered by the policy (if entitled) and will be noted on your amended Critical Illness Certificate

Yes, the policyholder can now add dependants up to 21 years of age to the policy at any time. The policyholder needs to complete an application for the dependant being added, with details of their medical history.

See the Critical Illness plan page for details on how exclusions, premiums and cover will work for your dependants. 

Yes, adult children will remain on your policy unless you request us to remove them. If you wish to remove them from your policy, and they would like to continue cover with Southern Cross, they should apply for their own Critical Illness policy.

If they apply for the same level of cover as they had under your Critical Illness policy or a lower level of cover, and they apply within 1 month of being removed from your Critical Illness policy, they will not need to complete a new medical declaration. 

Yes, but you will need to complete a new application with details of your medical history and we will determine what cover we are able to provide and what exclusions will apply.
No, each person can only have cover under one Critical Illness policy at the same time.
No, each person can only have cover under one of these policies at the same time. To find out more about Cancer Assist, click here.