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Critical illness FAQs

How long has the investigation been running?

The CMI critical illness investigation started in 1999 with the first data collected in 2000. The first data collected pertained to claims settled during 1998 and 1999. The 1998 data was significantly lower in volume than subsequent years, so has not been analysed further. In November 2013 the CMI changed the structure of the life office mortality and critical illness investigations into annuitant mortality and assurances investigations: the latter focuses on both mortality and critical illness.

What is the definition of critical illness?

The ABI defines critical illness cover as "Critical Illness cover means cover which pays out on a diagnosis of a listed critical illness.  The list of illnesses must include cancer, heart attack and stroke".

How do you collect/analyse data?

Until 2005 we have collected census data, ie, in force data at 1st January each year and claims settled during an investigation year, from insurance companies, termed contributing offices.  The in force data is in a per life, per policy format and the claims data is per claim settled.  The analysis methodology is described in detail in Working paper 14. For 2006 data, we encourage offices to submit data in accordance with the 'per policy' format.

Who should I send data to or ask about the critical illness investigation?

For all investigations the CMI use group email addresses in order to manage communications.  Any general enquiries about the CMI should be directed to For correspondence about the critical illness investigation, or to submit data, use Should you want to speak to someone directly, please call the CMI on 020 7776 3820.

Do you analyse rated policies?


What is the definition of date of diagnosis?

The CMI understands that it is not always easy to determine what constitutes the date of diagnosis for all claims. For heart attack or stroke, for instance, it is much clearer when the event occurred, however, for cancer it may not be. Additionally, different companies may have different practices, and indeed even between different claims assessors. The CMI therefore developed guidelines in conjunction with the Health Claims Forum.  These were published in November 2006. 

Do you provide the raw data underlying the results?

The CMI has agreed to release the underlying data to the 1999-2002 all office experience to members of the CMI. See Critical illness data 1999-2002. It is not necessarily the case that future data will be made available.

What is the age definition used in producing the results?

The CMI analyses use an initial exposed to risk and an age definition of age nearest. The principal table we use for comparisons is CIBT93, which was originally contained in A Critical Review, presented to SIAS in 2000. There has been some confusion as to the age definition that should be assumed for CIBT93. Although paragraphs 3.1.2, 3.10 and 4.3.3 of the paper state that CIBT93 is age exact, this appears to be contradicted by the details of an experience investigation in section 4.

Using a census method to calculate exposure, there are two distinct groups of lives, one aged x nearest at the start of the year and one aged x nearest at the end of the year. Hence lives are aged x nearest, on average, throughout the year and qx-½ (rather than qx) is required, assuming an age exact table. However the paper states that no adjustment has been made to CIBT93 where it is applied to (in force) data with an age definition of age nearest at 31 December. Consultation with the authors has also confirmed that this is what was actually done.

The CMI has always used the latter approach to CIBT93, i.e. CMI results are consistent with the results in "A Critical Review", rather than with CIBT93 being an age exact table.

Contact Details

If you have any questions about the CMI please email