Improving claims outcomes for bowel conditions

Published  22 March 2024
   5 min read

I’m sure we all know what it’s like to feel invisible at some point in our lives—the feeling of not being seen or heard by others.

People with bowel disease are living with an invisible illness every day. While someone may look fine, they may be in excruciating pain, with their immune system essentially attacking itself. 

In the UK, about 1 in 123 people have either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. This amounts to about 500,000 people in the UK living with this painful and debilitating condition.1

These are conditions that are often diagnosed at a younger age. Of the critical illness claims we paid out for bowel conditions in 2023, the average age of the client was only 33.2

And with around 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s Disease needing surgery in the first five years after diagnosis, we’ve taken steps to help where we can.1


We’ve improved our definitions 

We focus on being able to pay more critical illness claims to your clients, faster. That’s why we’ve improved our definitions, which includes widening our bowel disease definition.

We understand that people living with other bowel conditions can also suffer from debilitating symptoms, so we’ve removed the separate Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis definitions which we previously had, and made a new, much wider full definition (severe bowel disease). This means your clients will now be able to claim for more conditions than they could before, such as Diverticulitis and Intestinal Ischaemia.

We’ve also added bowel disease as a new additional cover condition to help more of your clients sooner if they need to claim. And remember, if your client makes a claim for an additional condition, it doesn’t affect their cover – they can still make a critical illness claim in the future if they need to.


View from an industry expert

A leading industry expert Alan Lakey, Director at CIExpert, responded positively to this improvement:

“Royal London treads new ground by providing two payment levels for bowel disease - an additional payment for one bowel resection and a full payment for two resections or colectomy”.


A Helping Hand

Bowel disease is a lifelong condition, and can be unpredictable - with your clients having periods of good health but also some periods of flare-ups1. That's where they could benefit from our Helping Hand support service.

Helping Hand, through RedArc, can help your clients living with a bowel disease with some of the following:

  • Specialist nurse support
  • A second medical opinion
  • Support and advice from a dietician
  • Relaxation therapies and recommended apps to help with stress 
  • Support from a colostomy nurse, if your client has had to have a stoma fitted 
  • Counselling

Helping Hand is there for your clients, whichever stage in life they're at, and as a plan owner it doesn't cost them anything extra to use.

Find out more about our critical illness definition improvements, or speak to your usual Royal London contact.

Helping Hand is a package of support services and each service is provided by third parties that aren’t regulated by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. These services aren’t part of our terms and conditions and don’t form part of your insurance contract with us, so can be amended or withdrawn at any time. This means that you or your family’s access to these services could be amended or withdrawn by us in the future.



1 Crohn’s and Colitis UK    
2 Royal London UK intermediary protection business claims paid (1 January to 31 December 2023)   

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