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Life insurance Covid claims 2020

Covid life insurance claims hit £202million in 2020

Recent figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that just over £200million was paid out in 2020.

Tragically over 74,000 people lost their lives in 2020 in the UK because of Covid-19.

The life insurance industry has been brought into the spotlight recently due to dramatically increased claims from Covid related deaths.

It is suggested that there were just over 10,000 claims on individual life insurance policies and over £550,000 per day was paid out.

Life insurance has always been the most reliable way to protect your family’s financial future should anything happen. Covid has highlighted the importance of proper financial protection and what could happen if nothing is in place.

When we think about Covid-19, we generally think about vulnerable people living with pre-existing medical conditions.

The life insurance industry now needs to do more to help protect those people in the future and their families. Covid has helped to remind us of how fragile we can be and what could potentially happen in extreme situations such as this.

Headline life insurance figures for Covid-19 in 2020

Total amount of life insurance claims paid out for Covid related deaths in 2020 for individual and group policies£202 million
Total number of claims received in 2020 for individual and group life insuranceTotal: 11,198 (Individual claims: 10,205 / Group: 993 claims)
Average claim payment for individual and group life coverIndividual: £13,100
Group: £74,600
Total amount of claims paid out to customers due to Covid-19 across all insurance services (including travel insurance and business interruption)£2.5 billion


Life insurance provider claims statistics from Covid-19 in 2020

Some of the top insurance providers have also released figures to show how they were able to help customers during the pandemic.

Below are just a few examples from several of the leading life insurance brands and our key partners.

Aegon life insurance claims statistics 2020

One of the oldest and most established life insurance brands in the UK, Aegon (previously Scottish Equitable), records £140million paid out in 2020.

Aegon paid out on a total of 1,584 claims during 2020 which was an increase of 17% on the previous year.

Aegon claims figures 2020

Life insurance claims paid out in 2020 for individual and business protection£81.3million (803 claims)
Top 3 causes of death recorded for life insurance claimsCancer – 40%
Heart conditions – 21%
Respiratory diseases – 14%
Average payout per claim for life insurance and the average age of the claimantAverage claim: £100,751
Average age: 63 years old
Percentage of claims where Covid-19 was recorded as the cause of death12%


Aegon also noted that claims paid out under critical illness cover policies reduced fell by 14% in 2019. This is due to the problems that people were experiencing in being able to access medical treatments and diagnosis through the NHS.

Aviva life insurance claims statistics 2020

As one of the UK’s biggest insurance brands, Aviva recorded some of the highest claims figures of all insurers.

According to Aviva up to the end of September 2020, it paid out over £36million to customers from nearly 1,700 individual Covid related claims.

Aviva also reported that there was a worrying reduction in the level of claims from critical illness cover, down by 20% in 2019.

LV= life insurance claims statistics 2020

As a life insurance provider, LV= paid out over £12million in Covid related claims for life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection.

The insurer LV= is most well-known for its award-winning car insurance and income protection cover.

LV= claims figure 2020

Total claims paid out in 2020 for life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protectionTotal: £118million
Life insurance: £72million
Critical illness cover: £28million
Income protection: £14.6million
The overall percentage of claims paid out in 2020 by LV=95%
Top 3 causes of death recorded for life insurance claims in 2020Cancer: 43%
Heart conditions: 17%
Covid-19: 11%
Top 3 causes of death recorded on critical illness cover claims in 2020Cancer: 60%
Heart attack: 10%
Stroke: 8%


The total number of claims paid out in 2020 caused by Covid-19 related problems was £6.5million (figures included 619 death claims and 255 income-related claims).

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – “end inequalities”

Life insurance and Ovarian Cancer… before, during, and after diagnosis

March is ovarian cancer awareness month to help raise awareness for women with this condition. This year is about shining a light on the inequalities that thousands of women face when receiving treatment and care for ovarian cancer.

According to Ovarian Cancer Action, nearly a quarter of women (24%) are in their 70’s when they’re diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

It’s apparent that these women aren’t receiving the same level of care as others.

Currently, ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 4% of all cancers in women and is the 6th most common cancer, with over 7,000 new cases each year.

Here we look at how life insurance can work for women before diagnosis, when diagnosed, and after diagnosis.

We think that it’s important for women to understand how a life insurance policy can help to support them and their families. This should help to explain what life cover can do through, and after a cancer diagnosis.

Life insurance before ovarian cancer

They say that “prevention is better than cure” which is hopefully the way that people look at life cover.

If you’re concerned about what might happen in the future and you want to protect your family, then you should definitely think about getting protected. Life insurance and critical illness cover can be the difference between financial security and financial hardship.

If you were to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the future, then you could be paid out a cash lump sum.

Life insurance will pay out a cash lump sum to your family if you die from ovarian cancer. This payment can be used to pay off your mortgage, clear debts, and pay for the cost of living.

Critical illness cover can also pay out a cash lump sum to you and your family to help support you through serious illnesses, like ovarian cancer. Any diagnosis of a critical illness such as cancer can be incredibly stressful so this can relieve any financial problems.

Life insurance during ovarian cancer

For women who are recently diagnosed or receiving treatment for ovarian cancer, there are limited life cover options.

Most insurance companies won’t accept new applications for life insurance through this stage. Obviously, there are many unknown risks through treatment stages which standard insurers will not consider, unfortunately.

There is however an option for alternative life cover called ‘guaranteed acceptance life cover’. This type of policy will accept you through this period to at least provide some protection.

Guaranteed life insurance provides you with cover against other conditions or situations not linked to cancer. You’ll be protected for things like accidental death, heart attack, and stroke which are still important to have.

These policies can be extremely useful and affordable for you.

Life insurance after ovarian cancer

Once you’ve been treated for ovarian cancer, then you should find that your options will begin to open.

Many women who have been treated for ovarian cancer recover to live a long and healthy life. According to Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance:

  • Following Stage 1 cancer treatments – recurrence rates 10%
  • Following Stage 2 cancer treatments – recurrence rates 30%
  • Following Stage 3 cancer treatments – recurrence rates 70 to 90%
  • Following Stage 4 cancer treatments – recurrence rates 90 to 95%

If you’ve been treated for ovarian cancer and you need to take out life cover, there are plenty of options.

You can also find more information about life insurance after ovarian cancer HERE

Children’s critical illness cover – the facts

Children’s critical illness cover – want it or need it?

The team at iam|INSURED is incredibly proud to be working closely with Teenage Cancer Trust in 2021. This incredible charity provides vital support to cancer patients between the ages of 13 and 24.

We see this as an opportunity to help raise awareness for teenagers and young adults coping with a cancer diagnosis. Also, it is an opportunity for us to help increase awareness around children’s critical illness cover.

Children’s critical illness cover is an amazing product introduced to the protection market several years ago. This benefit provides critical illness cover to children up to the ages of 18 years for some providers and 23 years with others (depending on cover and education).

The reality is that should a family need to claim on a children’s critical illness cover policy, then we should be supporting them as best we can. Parents will dread to think about the possibility of their children becoming critically ill.

This type of benefit should be something that we promote more heavily as an industry, but there are limits to it.

Summary of cover currently available through standard insurance providers:

Provider% of sum assuredMaximum benefitMax. age (not in education)Max. age (in full-time education)Available with Life only
AIG CiC Start50%Up to £35,0002222NO
AIG YourLife PlanN/A£50k group 1 / £25k group 2 conditions2222NO
Aviva50%Up to £25,0002118NO
Aviva Upgraded ChildN/AUp to £25,000 (£50k for child extra care)2222NO
Canada Life50% / 25%£25k full payment

£25k additional payment cond.

GuardianN/A£10,000 to £100,000. Payments between 100% and 25% based on the severity2323YES
Legal & General50%Up to £25,0002222NO
Legal & General CCIx50%Up to £30,0002222NO
LV=50%Up to £25,0002323NO
LV= Enhanced Children’s CI50%Up to £35,0002323NO
Royal London50%Up to £25,0002321NO
Royal London Enhanced Children’s CI50%Up to £50,000

Additional conditions up to £25,000

Scottish Widows50%Up to £30,0002222NO
Vitality PPPN/A£10,000 to £100,000

Payments between 100% and 5% based on the severity

Zurich (Core & Select)50%Up to £25,000

Additional conditions up to £25,000




The reality of this table shows that most of these benefit options are fairly similar, however, there are some major differences.

Age limits are similar for most insurers, however, there are some who are clearly more flexible if your child is no longer in full-time education. Providers offering cover up to higher limits in this instance are AIG, Aviva (upgraded), Guardian, Legal & General, LV=, Royal London, Scottish Widows, and Zurich.

Maximum sum assured levels are fairly consistent across the board with most insurers on the standard cover. Guardian and Vitality both offer the highest levels of cover of up to £100,000, severity based.

Benefit limitations

The biggest limitation that we can see, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions, is that only two insurers offer this benefit with life only. Every provider except for Guardian and Vitality will only allow you to add this benefit if you take out a critical illness cover policy.

Based on our experience in this area of protection, this excludes a significant number of people from taking children’s critical illness cover. We would like to see more insurers allow customers to add this benefit with life-only.

Blog: FCA Financial Lives 2020 survey

More than 50% of UK adults are ‘financially vulnerable’

A recent survey by the Financial Conduct Authority shows that over half of UK adults have been heavily impacted financially by the Covid-19 crisis.

The FCA Financial Lives Survey has revealed that as many as 1 in every 2 adults in the UK is struggling with money.

This report was carried out in 2020 and shows that 52% are now considered to be ‘financially vulnerable’ in some way due to the impacts of Covid. The survey was taken in February 2020 and then another in October 2020, six months from the start of the pandemic.

The impacts of Covid-19

Between the months of March and October 2020 during the peak of the pandemic, the number of adults classed as ‘financially vulnerable’ increased by 3.7 million. This is an increase of 15% since records taken in February, which takes the overall ratio to over 53% of UK adults.

The main cause for the increase was from negative events, such as redundancy or a reduction in working hours and pay.

The overall impact of Covid-19 on adults financial circumstances

ClassificationPercentage impacted
Much worse15%
Slightly worse23%
No change48%
Slightly better11%
Much better4%


Some other areas that were identified showed that 1 in 3 (15.9 million) expected their income to drop in the next 6 months. A further 25% of the population (13.2 million) expected to find it difficult to make ends meet.

A further 5.6 million people were reported to be experiencing food poverty and were likely to use a food bank. Also, 17.9 million were expected to be cutting back on essential goods.

The data also showed that 8.1 million UK adults were likely to take on higher amounts of debt from the pandemic. Conversely, there are 14% of people reported to be financially better off financially.

Payment holidays

The period between March and October 2020 saw 1 in 6 of all UK mortgage holders (3.2 million) take a payment holiday. A further 2.6 million (14%) were considering taking a payment holiday in October.

Categories of people likely to take a payment holiday in October 2020

Adults exceeding debt in February46%
People who lost jobs due to Covid-1937%
Employees forced to reduce hours to look after children or become a carer31%
Employees with reduced hours30%
Contract, temporary, or agency staff26%
Furloughed employees or paid leave26%
Ethnic minorities23%
18 to 34-year-olds22%


Around a fifth, (19%) of adults with credit or loans took a payment holiday (deferral), while half (49%) of people holding high-interest short-term credit (e.g. pay-day loans). A third (32%) stated that they would have struggled if deferment schemes were not available.

Shopping around for financial products

Another impact of Covid-19 is that consumers are far more likely to shop around for financial products. There has been an increase in the number of people switching insurance providers and closer attention paid to policy details.

Number of people who were more likely to shop around for insurance products in the future1 in 3 (33%)

10% of people who have never shopped around before

Number of people who are likely to shop around for financial products, such as savings accounts, ISA’s, current accounts3 in 10 (29%)

13% of people who have never shopped around before

UK adults with insurance or personal protection products who have switched to another provider to reduce the cost1 in 6 (17%)

24% of adults who lost their jobs because of Covid

UK adults with insurance or personal protection who have reviewed their policy because to improve their cover1 in 8 (12%)

8% of people have renewed a policy with changes in terms and conditions


Read the full reportFinancial Lives 2020

Blog: International Epilepsy Day 2021

International Epilepsy Day 2021

Today (Monday 8th February 2021) is International Epilepsy Day to help raise global awareness for people living with epilepsy.

iam|INSURED and epilepsy

We sadly lost a good friend in 2019 to epilepsy at the age of 36 from a head injury suffered during a severe seizure. This is something that is close to our hearts and we are incredibly grateful to the epilepsy charities who supported Paul’s family for many years.

Paul was a promising young golfer, a great friend, and a fantastic person. Epilepsy had a dramatic impact on his life and cost him a promising career in the sport that he loved. People don’t realise the impact that epilepsy can have on a person and their family.

About International Epilepsy Day

International Epilepsy Day has been running for many years and it is a joint initiative that was originally created by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). This is a global event that is held on the second Monday of February to help raise awareness for epilepsy around the world.

The two organisations (IBE & ILAE) are represented in over 120 countries around the world so this is a powerful event. The aim of the day is to help to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on the problems faced by people suffering from epilepsy, their families, and their carers all over the globe.

International Epilepsy Day 2021 (#50millionsteps)

A new campaign was launched ahead of this year’s International Epilepsy Day which was ’50 Million Steps for Epilepsy’. The aim was to step up awareness for epilepsy and in recognition of the 50 million people with epilepsy around the world.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) there is an incredible 50 million people affected by epilepsy.

Causes of epilepsy include:

  • Genetic disposition
  • Head trauma
  • Brain tumour
  • Or unknown causes

Epilepsy can have a dramatic impact on the lifestyle of anyone diagnosed with the disease. The stigma that surrounds epilepsy can also be more difficult to deal with than the condition itself.

International Epilepsy Day 2021 happens on Monday 8th February this year and people are invited to join in counting their steps for epilepsy between Monday 4th January and Monday 8th February.

  • Steps counter
  • Share your steps on social media using the hashtag #50millionsteps

To find out more about this years amazing challenge you can visit which includes resources, guides, posters and social media graphics.

Latest Epilepsy Facts and Figures

    People currently living with epilepsy around the world today50 million according to WHO
    Number of people living with epilepsy in the UK currentlyOver 600,000 according to Epilepsy Society UK
    Number of people diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK every dayApproximately 87 in the UK
    Approximate number of people who will have epilepsy in their lives1 in 50 people will have epilepsy at some point (not all will be lifelong or chronic)
    People with epilepsy who are affected by flashing lights (photosensitive epilepsy)Only 3% of people with epilepsy are affected by flashing lights
    Life expectancy for someone with idiopathic or cryptogenic epilepsy2 years less than national average
    Life expectancy for someone with symptomatic epilepsy10 years less than national average
    Most common conditions linked to suffering from epilepsy (comorbidity)33% of people with epilepsy also suffer from depression and anxiety

    Epilepsy life insurance case study

    Here’s an example of someone with epilepsy that we helped recently to get life cover to protect her two children and partner.

    Rebecca contacted iam|INSURED in October 2020 looking for life insurance to protect her two children (aged 2 and 12 years), and her husband who also has diabetes.

    Age: 35 (born 1986)

    Smoker status: Non-smoker

    Cover amount: £150,000

    Term of cover: 40 years (to age 75)

    Type of cover: Level term (family protection)

    Premium: £26.02

    Medical history

      Age diagnosed with epilepsy7 years of age
      Cause of diagnosisCyst on the brain
      Absent seizuresApprox. 300/year
      Grand mal seizuresNone (last one at age 14)
      MedicationAnti-epilepsy drugs (AED’s)
      Other conditionsAsthma (diagnosed age 21)

    We were delighted to have got Rebecca the amount of cover that she needed to protect her family and keep within her budget.


    What are the 36 critical illnesses?

    What are the 36 critical illnesses?

    Many people who are looking for critical illness cover are concerned about what is covered and how it works. You might have heard in the past that there are 36 critical illnesses that are covered which isn’t always the case, but it’s a good place to start.

    Most critical illness cover policies will include the 36 main conditions as well as several more depending on the insurer and level of the plan.

    The following are widely considered 36 critical illnesses:

      1. Cancer19. Hepatitis (Fulminant Viral)
      2. Heart Attack20. Coronary Artery Disease
      3. Stroke21. Encephalitis
      4. Kidney Failure22. Head Trauma
      5. Multiple Sclerosis23. Medullary Cystic Disease
      6. Parkinson’s Disease24. Brain Surgery
      7. Alzheimer’s Disease25. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
      8. Brain Tumour (Benign)26. Lung Disease (end-stage)
      9. Paralysis (limbs)27. Surgery of the Aorta
      10. Muscular Dystrophy28. Terminal Illness
      11. Third Degree Burns29. Loss of Independence
      12. HIV30. Major Organ Transplant
      13. Cardiomyopathy31. Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
      14. Loss of Speech32. Severe Coronary Artery Disease
      15. Chronic Aplastic Anaemia33. Heart Valve Surgery
      16. Blindness (Permanent)34. Angioplasty
      17. Bacterial Meningitis35. Coma
      18. Liver Failure (end-stage)36. Deafness (Permanent)

    Looking at the current products that are available, almost all will at least cover these and many more. There are two different categories of critical illness cover which are:

    Standard cover: These policies generally cover up to or around 75 critical illness definitions and will pay out 100% of the sum assured at the point of claim

    Enhanced cover: This type of critical illness cover policy will pay out for up to 182 different serious illness definitions. The main difference is that it will pay out 100% for severe conditions and drop down to 10% based on severity or impact on lifestyle

    Related articles:

    If you need more advice or help to get the best critical illness cover for you then please feel free to contact our iam|INSURED experts on 0800 009 6559

    Our advice is absolutely FREE and we offer cover from all of the TOP insurance brands

    Review 2020 in life insurance with iam|INSURED

    Look back at 2020 with iam|INSURED

    Here we take a few moments to reflect on a year that has proven to be the most difficult in over 20 years in the life insurance industry.

    Most of us want to put 2020 well and truly behind us for many different reasons. There are so many stories of suffering and hardship through the past 12 months that it seems difficult to look back.

    We have learned a lot over the past 12 months about how we deal with so many tough situations that we never thought were possible.

    It seems crazy not to use this time to reflect and learn from what has been the worst period in history for many of us.

    What has 2020 taught us?

    Some of the main things that we’ve learned over the past 12 months are how we must adapt more quickly. Here’s how we think that the life insurance industry needs to be better in the future.

    • Underwriting medical conditions: we know that life insurance can be frustrating and especially for people with a pre-existing medical condition. Since we started helping people with medical conditions to get life cover over 20 years ago, things have never been so difficult. The recent pandemic has set life insurance back to the dark ages for many so we need to be able to offer fair priced cover to more people
    • Life insurance premiums: the cost of life cover for many people is either too expensive or too confusing. We need to take some time to consider how we make life insurance more affordable and more obtainable for more people, especially those with more complex needs. Some people are now paying more than they should be because of how little choice there is currently
    • Access to life insurance: there’s very little help available for people with pre-existing medical conditions to be able to buy life cover online. With so much technology available, it seems crazy that someone with a common medical condition like diabetes, can’t get life insurance online
    • Awareness and understanding: we speak to hundreds of people every week about life insurance and still very few are educated about how important life cover is and what it does. The team are constantly asked about what life cover does and what it is for which seems like madness when you think about what might happen to a family with no cover
    • Support for customers: we should be providing better support services for customers to help them through a very difficult time. Some customers with pre-existing medical conditions might not be able to get the same cover again because of new underwriting restrictions

    FAQ’s from customers in 2020

    Our team of experts speaks to people every day and this year we had to answer some very different and difficult questions relating to COVID. We’ve had to learn a lot about some very unusual areas of the life insurance industry over the past 12 months to help our customers to protect their families.

    Does life insurance payout for COVID?

    This is one of the biggest questions that we’ve been asked by customers in the past 12 months which is clearly very new. Most life insurance policies don’t have exclusions apart from suicide for the first 1 or 2 years.

    You should be covered for any claims related to COVID, even if you have a pre-existing condition that might be considered higher risk. There are some medical conditions that have been closely linked to higher risks due to COVID, such as:

    If you have a life insurance policy in place then you’ll be covered for COVID and anything relating to your condition.

    Can we have a payment holiday for my life insurance?

    In some cases, there are schemes available to help policyholders to keep their cover if you’re struggling to make your payments. As with mortgages and loans, this is very new and will potentially continue for a period of time after the pandemic.

    You should contact your insurance provider or your adviser to find out what support is available. iam|INSURED has also in some cases helped customers where possible because we know how difficult it can be to get the same cover again.

    The pandemic has caused many people to suffer financially so we’re aware of the current problems. As a business, we are committed to helping our customers as much as we can through this period and beyond.

    How many life insurance claims have been paid out because of COVID?

    Some people have been quite rightly uncertain about taking out a new life insurance policy during the pandemic. As we now hopefully draw towards the end of the most difficult period for the life insurance industry, we can see how many lives have been changed.

    Many of the top life insurance companies are starting to release figures to show how many COVID related claims have been paid. Some of these figures are available on the internet to show exactly how much money has gone to families who have been affected by the virus.

    Legal & General (L&G) COVID related claims paid between March 1st and December 1st 2020:

    • Total claims paid: £42.8million
    • Claimants: Over 1,000
    • Average age: 68 years old
    • Gender: 71% male

    Clearly showing the importance of life insurance, especially through these incredibly uncertain times.

    What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

    What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

    People often ask us what they will be covered for by their critical illness cover policies. It can be very confusing to try to figure out what you’re covered for and when will it payout if you become ill.

    One of the most important things to remember here is that every insurance company is different. Each insurer has different illnesses that they cover and will offer different definitions of those conditions.

    This is why it’s very important to make sure that you do your research before you buy a new policy. If you’re buying a policy through an advisor or a broker then you should ask them for a list of what’s covered.

    Will my pre-existing medical condition be covered by critical illness cover?

    Generally, if you apply for a policy after you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, then that condition will be excluded. This can vary from one insurer to another and can change over time depending on the condition.

    You might also find that conditions that are linked to your current illness may be excluded from your cover.

    For example: If you have type 2 diabetes then you might be offered cover excluding cardiovascular conditions (e.g. Heart attack and stroke), eye problems or kidney disease.


    How many conditions are covered?

    • Standard critical illness cover: 75 conditions
    • Enhanced critical illness cover: Up to 182 conditions

    Here are some examples of cover from some of the top insurers in the UK and what to expect when you buy this type of cover.

    Legal & General

    This cover will payout for a ‘specified’ critical illness (as listed below) if you undergo a medical procedure and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. This must, of course, happen during the term of the cover and while premiums are paid.

    Critical illnessDefinition
    Aorta graft surgeryrequiring surgical replacement
    Aplastic anaemiawith permanent bone marrow failure
    Bacterial meningitisresulting in permanent symptoms
    Benign brain tumourresulting in either surgical removal or permanent symptoms
    Blindnesspermanent and irreversible
    Cancerexcluding less advanced cases
    Cardiac Arrestwith the insertion of a defibrillator
    Cardiomyopathyof specified severity
    Comawith associated permanent symptoms
    Coronary artery by-pass graftswith surgery to divide the breast bone or thoracotomy
    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)resulting in permanent symptoms
    Deafnesspermanent and irreversible
    Dementia including Alzheimer’s diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
    Encephalitisresulting in permanent symptoms
    Heart attackof specified severity
    Heart valve replacement or repairwith surgery
    HIV infectioncaught from a blood transfusion, physical assault or accident at work
    Kidney failurerequiring permanent dialysis
    Liver failureof advanced stage
    Loss of hand or footpermanent physical severance
    Loss of speechtotal permanent and irreversible
    Major organ transplantfrom another donor
    Motor neurone diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
    Multiple sclerosiswhere there have been symptoms
    Multiple system atrophyresulting in permanent symptoms
    Open heart surgerywith median sternotomy
    Paralysis of limbtotal and irreversible
    Parkinson’s diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
    Primary pulmonary hypertensionof specified severity
    Progressive supranuclear palsyresulting in permanent symptoms
    Removal of an eyeballdue to injury or disease
    Respiratory failureof advanced stage
    Spinal strokeresulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
    Strokeresulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
    Systemic lupus erythematosuswith severe complications
    Third-degree burnscovering 20% of the surface area of the body or 20% of the face or head
    Traumatic brain injuryresulting in permanent symptoms

    For a full list of definitions visit:

    Exclusions and limits

    • The list of conditions that are covered includes cancer, heart attack, and stroke. However not all situations and occurrences of these conditions will be covered, such as cancer must have spread or reached a specified level
    • Each illness must be verified by a consultant or specialist at a hospital in the UK, who is considered to be qualified in the appropriate area.
    • Full definitions are provided on policy documents and details of how L&G will consider a claim that is made. Your policy terms and conditions will also provide information about what evidence is required at claims stage

    Note: There are several insurance companies who offer very similar levels of cover to Legal & General, such as Zurich and Aviva.

    There are also more comprehensive critical illness cover policies which will provide more illnesses and definitions. Some of these more comprehensive policies offer higher levels of cover and also include partial payments (see below).

    What is a partial payout or severity based critical illness cover policy?

    Some modern critical illness cover policies offer what is known as ‘partial payout’ which is where different conditions pay different payments. This is mainly based on the severity of the illness and the impact on your lifestyle.

    Partial payments can offer some benefits to you depending on what your attitude to risk is and what you want.


    • Conditions: generally these policies will offer a far more comprehensive list of illnesses (up to 182)
    • Multiple claims: if you claim for a lower severity level illness then you’ll still keep the remaining element of your cover
    • Flexibility: you’ll have numerous options with these types of policies which means that you should be able to adapt the cover to your needs


    • Coverage: some conditions where you would receive 100% payout with some providers will be a lower percentage with this type of cover
    • Confusing: these policies can be confusing and can make it difficult to compare against other similar insurance plans

    There are several severity based policies currently available on the UK insurance market. Here is some information about Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover plan which was the first severity based partial payment cover introduced to the UK.


    One of the most comprehensive plans on the market currently in terms of the number of conditions covered is from Vitality. This policy covers up to 182 serious illnesses based on a severity based plan which was introduced by Vitality several years ago.

    This award-winning critical illness cover policy (known as serious illness cover) is designed to reflect the level of impact that each condition will have on your lifestyle. The serious illness cover plan is directly linked to current medical treatments so it is better suited to your needs.

    What’s the difference between serious illness cover and critical illness cover?

    Essentially a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan is the same as a standard critical illness cover plan in what it does, and what it’s designed for. The main difference between these policies is the levels of cover that you would have based on the number of conditions covered.

    Both of these policies pay a tax-free lump sum when you become seriously or critically ill. These payouts are designed to provide some financial security for you and your family if you can’t work for a period of time due to illness.

    The term ‘serious illness’ was introduced by Vitality to differentiate from the more commonly known ‘critical illness’. This is for the purpose of helping to explain how the plan is designed to protect against a wider range of conditions.

    • Serious illness: a medical condition or illness that may have a variety of levels of severity which can have a range of levels of impact on lifestyle
    • Critical illness: a medical condition or illness which is defined as critical so will have a severe impact on lifestyle

    What illnesses are covered by a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan?

    Currently, there are 153 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover’ policy and 182 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover Plus’ policy.

    For a full list of conditions covered by Vitality visit:

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    How much does life insurance cost as I get older?

    How much does my age affect the cost of life insurance?

    You might be surprised to know that life insurance premiums can increase considerably as you get older. This doesn’t mean that if you take out a policy that your premiums will go up every year, however in some cases this can happen.

    Life insurance is always cheaper if you take a policy at a younger age, which is purely based on risk. As you get older, your risk of being diagnosed with a medical condition or death increases significantly.

    Hence a 20 to 30-year-old person will be considered to be a lower risk of claim to a 50 to 60-year-old person.

    Why does life insurance increase as you get older?

    There are several reasons why you will pay more for life insurance in later life than when you are younger. People who are older adults are at higher risk of suffering events like heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

    Some older people have already been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition. Common medical conditions that occur in later life include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

    Can I get life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

    Yes – you should be able to get a new life insurance policy with a pre-existing medical condition. Some of the most common medical conditions include:

    There are literally thousands of different medical conditions and variations of conditions so very few people are the same. You should be able to find an insurer who’s right for you and your situation if you speak to an expert.

    How much more does life insurance cost as you get older?

    Often people are surprised by how much life insurance costs, younger people often think it’s more than it is, and older people generally think it’s less than it is.

    If you apply for life cover in your 20’s then you’ll probably be amazed by how cheap cover is. However, if you apply for cover in your 50’s then you might consider it to be quite expensive.

    Here are a few examples to show how much life cover costs based on £100,000 over 20 years for a non-smoker:

    • 25 years of age: £4.63 per month
    • 55 years of age: £28.38 per month

    Here are some examples of £100,000 over 20 years for a smoker:

    • 25 years of age: £5.80 per month
    • 55 years of age: £71.47 per month

    *These examples are based on an average of the TOP 3 insurance providers in the UK on 13.11.2020

    If you have a pre-existing medical condition or a high-risk job then these premiums might be slightly different. Ultimately you can see from the examples above that the cost of cover dramatically increases over a period of time.

    For more information about life insurance, feel free to give iam|INSURED a call on 0800 009 6559