The Association of British Insurers has published new guidance that updates the definitions of medical terms used in all private medical insurance policy documents and information, and introduces guidelines to explain private medical insurance cover for cancer.

The revised definitions have been developed during a detailed consultation with the industry and other relevant groups, including the charity Cancerbackup. The definitions and guidance will help to ensure that private medical insurance (PMI) customers are able to understand what policies do and do not cover, and to compare the products of different companies more easily.

Nick Starling, director of general insurance and health at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), said: PMI provides valuable cover for around six million adults and children in the UK. It enables them to ensure that they can get the treatment they need when and where they want it, and it also helps to free up national health system resources.

The ABI has been working with member companies and organizations such as Cancerbackup, to create clearer definitions of medical terms. And for the first time, companies will be required to provide a more detailed explanation of their cancer cover. This is because cancer is a complex disease that does not always fit into the standard categories of acute or chronic illnesses. We hope that the new definitions will improve people’s understanding of PMI and encourage more people to take it out.