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Critical illness cover

You can protect yourself and your family with a critical illness cover policy to cover you against serious illness.

Critical illness cover statistics UK

Statistics in the UK suggests that 1 in 5 men and 1 in 4 women will suffer a heart attack or cancer before they retire.

According to a report from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) for 2021, nearly 17,000 critical illness claims were paid, which is an average of 91.3%of claims made. The average claim made under critical illness cover in the UK in 2021 was £67,011.

What is critical illness cover?

Like life insurance, critical illness cover will pay out a cash lump sum (tax-free) to you, if you’re diagnosed with a serious medical issue.

This type of insurance cover will provide you and your family with financial help through difficult periods due to serious illness. Most of us don’t plan for how we might be impacted financially if we couldn’t work due to a major health problem.

How do I get a critical illness cover quote?

It’s now quicker and easier to get a quote online for life insurance and critical illness cover. We now offer CRITICAL ILLNESS COVER ONLINE via our new quote portal.

Follow these simple steps to get your quote:

1. Your age and occupation – let us know your current age and your occupation

2. Cover amount and term – how much critical illness insurance are you looking for and for how many years

3. Partners information – for joint applications we will ask for details about your partner and their health

4. Health and lifestyle – provide us with details about any pre-existing medical conditions and lifestyle related disclosures (e.g. smoking, alcohol, and activities)

You can get an INSTANT QUOTE in minutes…

Our critical illness cover partners include:

  • Aegon
  • AIG
  • Beagle Street
  • Budget
  • Canada Life
  • HSBC
  • Royal London
  • Vitality

You can get a FREE critical illness cover quote in minutes to protect you and your family and we promise to keep our online rates LOW.

Can I have critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover has the same rules as life insurance in the UK, you need to be over the age of 18 yearsand a UK resident.

People are often put off applying for critical illness cover for 3 reasons:

  • They don’t think that they can have it
  • It is too expensive
  • Claims are not paid out

This isn’t generally true and cover is certainly getting more and more accessible with a greater choice than ever before.

Need critical illness cover advice?

If you need more help or further information about getting critical illness cover then you can speak to one of our SUPER FRIENDLY EXPERTS.

For FREE expert help please call 0800 009 6559 TODAY.

Our normal office hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday 8am to 8pm
  • Friday 8am to 3pm
  • Saturday 10am to 2pm

Why should I take out critical illness cover with iam|INSURED?

We’re a team of extremely passionate EXPERTS and very proud of our PERFECT customer service rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars on Feefo.

We also provide critical illness cover to thousands of customers every year to help protect themselves and their families. It’s important that we give you the best cover to fit your needs as well as help to save you money and time.

  • Price Match Promise
  • FREE expert advice
  • No obligation
  • FREE policy Trust service
  • 100% customer rating

Getting critical illness insurance with iam|INSURED is quick and easy, and we also have over 20 years expertise in helping people with:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Dangerous occupations
  • Hazardous activities and extreme sports

Do I need critical illness cover?

While it’s not mandatory to have life insurance or critical illness cover in the UK, it’s certainly something you should be thinking about.

If you were to become seriously ill from a diagnosis of a critical illness then how would you and your family cope financially. A critical illness cover policy can take all of the finanacial worries away in this situation.

If you were diagnosed with a serious medical condition (e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc.) then you can use the money to pay for:

  • Replace lost income or earnings (whilst you’re not able to work)
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • School fees and other childcare costs
  • Medical and healthcare costs
  • Household bills (e.g. utilities, cost of living, etc.)

If you think about the financial impact that a serious illness can have on your household and then consider how this cover can help.

How much critical illness cover do I need?

The most common and best way to calculate how much critical illness cover that you need is simply to think about some of these things.

1. How much money do you earn on a monthly and yearly basis

2. How long would you normally need to be out of work for or have no income if you were seriously ill

3. What do you pay out each month for your household bills and essentials

4. Do you have any savings already that you would be able to use to live off

Most people will normally use a simple calculation which will be two to five years income (after tax) and then consider how much they can afford to pay each month.

Best critical illness cover

The best critical illness cover for you will depend on your own circumstances and what your requirements are. Similarly to life insurance, there are two main types of critical illness cover and both are designed for different things.

Level term critical illness cover (Family Protection)

A level term policy is simply where you would take out an amount of cover (for example: £50,000) for a period of years (e.g. 25 years). That cover would remain at the same level of £50,000 for the whole term of the policy until it ends or you stop paying your premiums.

If you become seriously ill during the term of the cover then you would always be paid out a cash lump sum of the amount you originally agreed.


  • Always stays the same so you can budget for your payout
  • Simple financial protection for your family
  • Best way for you to have peace of mind that your family is protected


  • Can be more expensive than reducing cover premiums
  • Inflation is not considered unless added to cover
  • Once policy has ended then cover will cease

Decreasing critical illness cover (Mortgage Protection)

This is less common for critical illness cover as most people don’t take the full amount to protect their entire mortgage. One of the main reasons for this is that it simply might not be affordable to have full cover for your mortgage.

If you can afford to take full critical illness cover to protect your mortgage, then it is something that can give you peace of mind that your entire mortgage is paid if you become seriously ill.


  • Premiums will be lower than Level Term cover
  • Fully protect your mortgage and your family home
  • You can cover more than one mortgage (multiple properties)


  • Cover amount reduces over the term of cover
  • No additional cover for your family (just mortgage)
  • Needs to be reviewed if you remortgage

What does critical illness cover?

The simple answer is that this type of policy will pay out a cash lump sum (tax-free) if you are diagnosed with a critical or serious illness.

There are a number of different insurance providers currently in the UK that provide critical illness cover. Each insurance provider will offer a different level of protection and different conditions will be included.

Some insurers offer policies that cover up to around 180 different medical conditions that are more comprehensive plans.

Most insurance providers will offer cover that will pay out for a core of around 50 to 70 different medical conditions.

What illnesses does critical illness cover?

The level of protection and number of conditions covered very much depends on the insurer and the plan that you choose.

Some of the main conditions will include:

1. Core cover conditions: Cancers (some insurers will also have cover for different types of cancer), heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and serious injury (e.g. loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, serious burns, etc.)

2. Comprehensive conditions: Cancers (less common and lower grade cancers), organ failures, head injuries (e.g. trauma), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, permanent disability – there are options for up to around 150 conditions

3. Enhanced conditions: Cancers (high level cover options), musculoskeletal conditions, connective tissue disease, endocrine and metabolic diseases – there are options for up to around 180 conditions

4. Not covered: Any pre-existing medical conditions or disease linked to, hereditary illnesses, and temporary diseases are usually excluded

Compare critical illness cover

We offer a quick and easy comparison service that allows you to compare the TOP critical illness cover policies in minutes.

You can compare critical illness cover with or without life insurance as well.

1. About you – tell us about yourself, any medical conditions that you have or had, and the amount of cover that you need.

2. Search the market – we’ll search the TOP insurers and products to find the BEST cover to protect you and your family.

3. Choose your cover – simply select the policy that you want and the amount of cover that you need, then click apply.

How much is critical illness cover?

The amount that you will pay each month for your critical illness cover will vary depending on your age and your needs.

Here are some examples of the cost of critical illness cover for you:


Life insurance only for £200,000 over 20yrs.

Life insurance for £200,000 plus critical illness cover for £50,000













Monthly costs are calculated based on £200,000 of level term life insurance over 20 years on a stand-alone basis, and then with level term critical illness cover added for £50,000 for a non-smoker (Date: 20.05.22).

Difference between critical illness cover and income protection

A critical illness cover policy will pay out a cash lump sum (tax-free) on diagnosis (usually) of a serious medical condition. This means that you can use that money to pay for various things that will help ease financial pressure during periods of serious illness.

This may be while you are in hospital receiving treatment for a serious medical condition or while you are rehabilitating with potentially ongoing treatment. Most people would be unable to work for a long period of time in these cases, and potentially never be able to return to the job they did previously.

An income protection policy will pay out a monthly income to you during periods of sickness or injury. This can be anything that your doctor has signed you off for and will generally be for periods up to one or two years.

Most people will use this type of cover to protect them financially for shorter periods of time and less serious illness.

Life and critical illness cover

It is extremely common and most likely that you will take out a life insurance policy with critical illness cover.

This is simply because critical illness cover is generally viewed as an add-on or additional benefit to life insurance. Historically you would have had to have a life insurance and critical illness cover policy because of how it was treated from a tax perspective.

These days you can get a standalone critical illness cover policy and it can be taken out on a level term or decreasing term basis.

Best life and critical illness cover

As explained above in the section ‘Best critical illness cover’, there are two main types of life insurance and critical illness cover policies.

You simply need to think about which type is best for you and what you need to take the cover for. The simplest way to look at this is do you need the cover to protect a mortgage (your home) or is it to protect your family.

Affordable critical illness cover

One of the best things about critical illness cover is that it is extremely flexible and can be adapted to suit most budgets and situations.

Here are just a few things to consider before you take out critical illness cover:

Buy cover while you’re young – premiums for critical illness cover are always lower for younger and healthier people, so don’t put it off

Healthy lifestyles – people who are active and have healthier lifestyles will generally pay less for critical illness cover

Smoking and drinking – two of the things that can have a significant impact on your premiums are nicotine and alcohol

Find the best deals – you can shop around to find the best critical illness cover deals and compare premiums from different insurers

Medical history – be as open and as honest as you can be about your medical history so you can get an accurate premium

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