Skip to main content
Guardian 1821 logo

If we improve our definitions,

It’s not only new customers who can benefit

By Jacqui Gilles, Marketing and Proposition Director

Outside of the insurance world, what would you see as fair? Would you expect to get the best new product available without having to pay the same as a new customer? No. But would you want to be stuck with your old product because it can be difficult or costly to upgrade? Also no.

With all other critical illness providers, the definitions people have in their policy when they take it out, are the ones they’re stuck with. If improvements are made, then, to benefit, existing policyholders have to cancel their old policy and take out a new one. That penalises them because, as they’re older now, they may have to pay more for their existing terms.

Access to improved definitions also relies on a client and their adviser conducting regular reviews, as well as the adviser being up to speed with all the latest critical illness definition movements on the market. Not an easy job to take on. However, if the review doesn’t happen, and the client has an outdated version of a policy, it might let them down when they come to claim.

At Guardian, we’re doing things differently. All our critical illness policies come with a cover upgrade promise, so our existing policyholders don’t get left behind when we improve our critical illness definitions. If our critical illness definitions improve, at point of claim we check any claim against both the definitions your client bought, and the definitions for new customers. And we pay out if the claim is valid under either.

In late 2019, we made our first critical illness definition improvements – adding 3 new definitions and improving 6 existing ones. All our existing customers now benefit from these improvements at no extra cost to them. We emailed all our customers to let them know.

Occasionally, we may introduce changes that we won’t automatically upgrade. If this happens, we offer existing customers the chance to pay to add them at the same price we’d charge new customers.

At Guardian, our ambition is for every family to have protection that they can truly believe in. Our unique cover upgrade promise is one way we’re doing this.

To bring to life our unique cover upgrade promise, we’ve created Lee’s story. Visit to read Lee’s story, and other characters stories, to see why we do things differently at Guardian.