Critical Illness Cover
Critical illness cover is one of the most important additional benefits to consider when looking at your life insurance needs. If either yourself or your partner were to become unable to work because of a serious illness then you would want some cover in place to pay bills, mortgage payments and all of your usual monthly outgoings.
Most of us when faced with diagnosis of a serious illness such as Cancer, Heart Attack or Stroke would want financial peace of mind especially during these incredibly stressful periods. Critical illness cover is designed to provide you and your family with a tax free cash lump sum to cover your monthly costs of living while you are unable to work.
Critical illness cover is an extremely versatile life insurance policy that could prove to be invaluable if you or your partner were to become seriously ill.
Compare critical illness cover
There are a number of different ways to buy critical illness cover either on top of or as part of your life insurance cover.
The main point that most people forget or do not get told about is that you can generally tailor the amount of critical illness cover to suit your budget and your needs. It is clear that critical illness cover premiums are higher than life insurance premiums which is mainly because you are far more likely to make a claim on a critical illness cover policy than a life insurance plan.
Critical illness cover premiums are also lower for younger and healthier people so it is always advisable to obtain this type of cover in younger life to keep the cost of cover down. Unfortunately life teaches us that as we age we are more and more likely to be diagnosed with an illness or medical condition, hence the cost of critical illness cover increases.
About critical illness cover
Critical illness cover is a personal protection policy that covers a range of serious illnesses that can vary from one provider or policy to another. Life insurance is more simple than critical illness cover because the ultimate result and reason for claim will almost always be the same. Whereas there are literally thousands of serious illnesses which can ultimately cause a vast range of symptoms and vary dramatically in severity.
It is always best practice to at least consider some sort of levels of critical illness cover even if you can’t afford the full amount that you may want. Affordability can be one of the biggest issues when considering critical cover due to the higher premiums than straight forward life insurance.
Most critical illness cover policies will cover the main serious or critical illnesses such as Cancer which is the most common, Heart Attack and Stroke. The main thing to remember when purchasing or reviewing any critical illness policy is that “cheapest is not always best”.
Other types of personal protection products include:
- Life insurance
- Income protection
- Private medical insurance
- Over 50’s life insurance
- Funeral plans
It is important to carefully consider which types of cover and critical illness cover are most important to you based on your individual circumstances, however your needs will change as your life changes.
Critical illness cover underwriting
As with life insurance, a critical illness cover application will be underwritten at the point of sale to assess risk and to apply the appropriate premium to the individual. The main factors that will be taken in to account when assessing your critical illness cover application are:
- Medical history
- Extreme / Hazardous sports
An underwriter will consider your personal circumstances and medical history to either apply a loading to your critical illness cover premiums, exclude certain pre-existing medical conditions or possibly to decline cover altogether. Underwriting for critical illness cover is more strict than it is for life insurance because of the increased risk and higher instances of claims.
Frequently asked questions
We’ve put together a quick list of the most common questions that we get asked about life insurance to help you before you get started.
- What is critical illness cover?
- How much does critical illness cover cost?
- Can I get critical illness cover?
- How much critical illness cover should I buy?
- Will a critical illness cover policy pay out?
- Is critical illness cover better than income protection?
What is critical illness cover?
Most people consider buying critical illness cover or are at least told about critical illness cover when they apply for life insurance. Critical illness cover is usually bought as an additional benefit on top of a life insurance policy which is also the most cost effective and cheapest way to buy this type of cover.
A critical illness cover policy pays out a tax free cash lump sum if you or your partner are diagnosed with a serious illness which is listed on your policy. Most modern critical illness cover policies are very comprehensive and will pay out for a vast number of conditions in part or in full depending on the severity of that condition.
How much does critical illness cover cost?
Critical illness cover premiums can vary depending on the level of cover you are applying for, the term of your policy and your health. It is true that critical illness cover is generally cheaper for younger people who are a lower risk and healthier in most cases. Some critical illness cover policies can cost more because they offer better levels of cover which basically means that they will cover a longer list of serious illnesses.
There are a number of ways to keep the cost of critical illness cover down to make it more affordable, such as reduce the amount of cover which does not necessarily mean that the amount of cover will be insufficient. You must also consider that critical illness cover is designed to pay out if you are seriously ill and ideally would become well again.
Can I get critical illness cover?
Critical illness cover is generally available for most people and will always be available if you are healthy with no major medical issues. Insurance providers underwriting can vary so some insurers may decline critical illness cover for certain individuals with pre-existing medical conditions whereas others may not.
Your adviser should be able to tell you whether critical illness cover will be available based on your medical history and which insurance providers would be most suitable. If you have been declined critical illness cover in the past then it does not necessarily mean that you can not get this type of cover at all.
How much critical illness cover should I buy?
The level of critical illness cover that is appropriate for you will depend on your income, outgoings and your circumstances (e.g. dependants, mortgages etc.). It is important to consider what circumstances you might need to make a claim on a critical illness cover policy and how much you would need to be financially supported for a period of time.
You do not necessarily need the same amount of critical illness cover as the level of life insurance that you are applying for. You should consider these to be two different types of cover and therefore do not need to be the same amounts.
Will a critical illness cover policy pay out?
Similarly to life insurance, claims statistics for critical illness cover are generally very high (usually over 90%). As long as you disclose everything that you are asked on your critical illness cover applications then you should receive a pay out at claim stage. If you do not disclose all your medical history, occupation details or extreme sports then it may result in a claim not being paid. Some people attempt to make a claim for a serious illness which is not covered on their policy which will also result in a claim being declined.
Is critical illness cover better than income protection?
These are two very different policies and in an ideal world you should consider an amount of critical illness cover and income protection. Critical illness cover is designed to pay out a tax free lump sum if you are unable to work indefinitely or for a long period of time due to a serious illness. Income protection is designed to pay an income for a period of time or for the remaining term of a policy if you are unable to work due to accident or sickness.
Critical illness cover for pre-existing medical conditions
iam|INSURED is also an expert for people with pre-existing medical conditions and critical illness cover to help you to protect your family, home and business if you were to become seriously ill. It can be difficult for people with pre-existing medical conditions to get critical illness cover so it is important to speak to an adviser who understands your needs and can point you in the right direction to get you the best cover at the right price.
Pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover:
Speak to one of our expert advisers who will help to guide you to affordable and the right pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover.
Critical illness cover for hazardous occupations
iam|INSURED helps people with hazardous or dangerous occupations to find the best cover to protect their families, homes and businesses at an affordable price. It is important with critical illness cover and hazardous occupations to make sure that the cover you are offered has everything you need it to and fits your needs.
Hazardous occupations critical illness cover
Call our team of experts and see how we can help you to find the right hazardous occupations critical illness cover to protect your family.
Income protection for extreme sports
iam|INSURED is an expert for people who take part in amateur or professional extreme sports and hazardous hobbies. Some non-specialist insurance companies may not appreciate or understand the best way to process your application for extreme sports income protection so you should speak to an expert.
Extreme sports income protection:
Feel free to contact our team of specialist advisers who will help you to find the right extreme sports income protection.
Talk to an adviser
Our team of highly skilled and vastly experienced advisers will help you to get the right cover to suit your needs at the right price.
Life insurance can be extremely confusing and can appear to be a difficult application process so we’re here to make it easy for you.
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Other types of cover
- Critical illness cover
- Income protection
- Private medical insurance
- Funeral Plans