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CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE - Up To 180 Conditions Covered

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Compare Critical illness insurance

Critical Illness Insurance pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness such as Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke or Multiple Sclerosis. You can protect your family from only £5 per month and pay for medical treatment or to help you to return to work.

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.

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"This company went above & beyond to get me cover even though I have MS, I am very happy I managed to get cover, Amazing staff, Dean went above & beyond, I highly rate this company."

by Elizabeth Turner-Long - 9th August 2023

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.

How do I get a critical illness cover quote?

It’s now quicker and easier to get a quote for life insurance and critical illness cover. All you need to do is speak to one of our experts (either online or over the phone).

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)

Our critical illness cover partners include:

  • AIG
  • HSBC
  • Royal London
  • Vitality

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

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 7pm
  • Friday 8am to 5:30pm

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

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.)

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

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

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.

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

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.

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













Learn more – Average cost of critical illness cover UK

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.


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.

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.

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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Is it worth getting critical illness insurance?

The main benefit of critical illness insurance is that it pays out a lump sum if you become seriously ill to help support you and your family financially. The benefit payment can be used to pay your mortgage, rent, and other regular household bills.

Critical illness claims include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Usually, you would be unable to work for at least several months or even years, if you became seriously ill. Critical illness cover allows you to recover properly without having to worry about your finances and making sure that your family don’t suffer.

What are the 36 critical illnesses?

People looking for critical illness insurance are often concerned about whether it will pay out for all illnesses. Obviously critical illness insurance won’t pay out for absolutely everything, but it is specifically designed to pay out for the most common conditions. There are several key conditions on the list and then 36 main critical illnesses that are usually covered.

The following are widely considered the main 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)

Most of the modern critical illness insurance policies will cover somewhere between 40 and 80 different conditions. There are some other policies such as Vitality Serious Illness Cover that offers up to around 180 different conditions.

Is it worth getting critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover is specifically designed to protect you and your family against potentially serious financial difficulty due to diagnosis of a critical condition (e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke, MS etc.). Everyone is different and your attitude towards the risks of serious illness is entirely up to your own personal preference.

Some consumers feel that life insurance and critical illness cover are absolutely essential because they want to protect their family or property. Usually, this might be based on either personal experience or something that has affected a family member or even a friend.

If you’ve seen the impacts of financial loss through a loved one then you might be more inclined to take out critical illness cover. This type of policy is always cheaper for younger people and for those who are in good health, so it’s advisable to try to get some cover in place sooner than later.

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Is critical illness insurance worth it? - iam|INSURED

How much does critical illness cover cost UK?

The cost of critical illness cover is based on the amount of cover that you want and your individual circumstances (e.g. age, health, smoker status etc.). You will also find that the prices and quality of cover will vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another.

Below we have examples of critical illness cover premiums based on age, to show how much premiums can change if you take a policy out when you’re older.

Critical illness cover - £50,000 over 25 years (non-smoker)

Age  Level term critical illness cover (family protection)Decreasing term critical illness cover (mortgage protection)

As you can see from the table above, the cost of critical illness cover changes as you get older, and it’s often far cheaper than people think.

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https://www.iaminsured.co.uk » guides

Average cost of critical illness cover UK - iam|INSURED

Can I get critical illness cover on its own?

The simple answer is ‘YES’ you can absolutely get critical illness cover on its own, and this is becoming more popular as policies become more flexible. This is also known as ‘standalone critical illness cover’ and basically means that you haven’t got life insurance attached to it.

Standalone critical illness cover will only pay out for serious or critical illnesses and won’t pay out on death. Some common reasons why people opt for taking critical illness cover without life insurance are:

  • Already have life insurance either personally or through work
  • Don’t need life insurance (e.g. no children or dependents)
  • Want to take out extra critical illness cover
  • Personal preference

There are many reasons why you might want standalone critical illness cover and ultimately it’s completely your decision.

What does Martin Lewis say about critical illness cover?

Martin Lewis’s advice for critical illness cover on MoneySavingExpert suggests that they don’t particularly believe in this type of cover. While this might seem reasonable to some consumers, if you accept this advice and then have a serious illness yourself, you might not be quite as grateful for his insight.

We understand that Martin Lewis is entitled to his opinion and you should remember that this is the opinion of a financial journalist and not financial advice. Having personally seen hundreds, if not thousands of claims for critical illness, I find it difficult to understand how this opinion can be so broad.

It is up to you to decide which cover is best for you and for your family, so we strongly suggest that you consider all angles before you make your final decision.

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https://www.iaminsured.co.uk » guides

Martin Lewis Critical Illness Cover - iam|INSURED

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