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Survey shows 4 in 5 young adults would buy critical illness cover

It’s been revealed in the last year that about 73% of young adults in the UK (12.7 million) don’t have critical illness cover. However, a recent survey by life insurance provider Beagle Street has found that 4 in 5 young adults would think about buying it, once the policy had been explained to them.

Critical illness cover is extremely useful in protecting you financially if diagnosed with a serious illness, but many people in the UK have no clue what it is or what it does. Over a third of the young adults surveyed by Beagle Street didn’t know what critical illness cover was and more than half had no idea what it was used for.

While critical illness cover may seem mysterious, the truth is that it can be a financial lifeline for many families in the UK. Critical illness cover can offer vital support with important bills and expenses if a member of the household was to be diagnosed with a serious medical condition. It can be tricky to understand what your best options for cover are though, which is why it can often be helpful to talk to an insurance expert for some guidance.

Note: You can find out more about how Beagle Street life insurance and critical illness cover works in our latest independent Beagle Street review.

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60-Second Summary – Beagle Street Survey: 4 in 5 young adults would buy critical illness cover

A brand-new study by UK insurance provider Beagle Street has shown that 4 in 5 young adults (79%) would consider buying a critical illness insurance policy to protect themselves financially.

  • Beagle Street’s survey reveals that many young adults lack awareness about critical illness cover, with 53% not understanding its purpose before it was explained to them.
  • Top concerns for young adults buying critical illness cover include cost (63%), conditions covered (49%), and access to additional health support (40%).
  • Critical illness cover provides financial support by paying a lump sum if the policyholder is diagnosed with a covered serious illness, helping with medical expenses and lifestyle changes.
  • The easiest way to find out which insurers and policies may work best for you is to do some research and speak to a critical illness cover expert for free support and advice.

Critical illness cover (or critical illness insurance) is a policy designed to protect you if you were diagnosed with a serious or ‘critical’ illness. These policies provide financial support by paying out a cash lump sum, if you are diagnosed with a condition that is covered by your policy.

The aim of this type of policy is to help you and your loved ones to cope with any financial challenges that might occur due to your diagnosis. This includes costs related to medical treatment, recovery and any necessary changes to your lifestyle.

What does a critical illness policy cover?

All UK insurers will have slightly different definitions for which illnesses they will cover and pay out for. There are generally 36 main conditions (e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke) that most insurance providers will pay out for, but what you are covered for will be based on your own policy.

It’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any critical illness policy before you buy, so you know exactly where you stand and what you can claim for.

Note: Many insurers will include a clause in their policies which states that you must survive for a minimum number of days following diagnosis to be able to claim. This isn’t normally a long period of time though (usually 14 days).

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New research from our insurance partner Beagle Street has revealed that 79% of young adults would buy critical illness insurance, once they understood what the policy does. This was based on a recently conducted survey of 2,000 UK residents aged 18 – 40.

The survey also showed that most people under 40 don’t understand what the benefits of critical illness cover are and 29% had never even heard of critical illness cover. 53% of people asked had no understanding of the purpose of critical illness insurance or why they may need it.

The top concerns most people had when buying critical illness cover were the price (63%), number of conditions covered (49%) and access to additional health support (40%).

There are a few factors to consider before buying critical illness cover, and these can help you to work out if the policy feels worth it for you.

Some of the main things to think about are:

  • The cost of the policy: Critical illness cover can be very affordable, but you should consider if the policy is something that you can afford long term. There are a few simple ways to cut down the cost and the easiest way is to get advice from a critical illness cover expert.
  • Amount of cover (£s): How much cover do you realistically need to support yourself and your loved ones if you were seriously unwell? You should use your usual income and outgoings to work out a rough idea of how much cover you might need.
  • Extra benefits: If extra rewards and benefits are important to you, you should check to see what a provider can offer you and if any other providers can offer more for a similar cost.
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While we often think that we are less likely to develop serious illnesses or conditions when we are young, it isn’t impossible. With illnesses like cancer for example, while the risk can be higher for older people thousands of people under age 40 are diagnosed each year.

If this happened to you, most critical illness cover policies will pay out for cancer (in fact it was once known as cancer insurance). Many policies will also pay out for other life changing conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Beagle Street critical illness cover is sold alongside their life insurance policies and is a helpful policy and is usually very fairly priced. However, with a policy like critical illness cover it is usually helpful to do some research and consider all your options before making any decisions. You should look at things like policy features. extra benefits, customer reviews and any industry awards or ratings.

Beagle Street is well rated in the insurance industry with a 5 Star Defaqto rating, which indicates a good level of product quality and extra benefits.

Beagle Street is also a popular choice with thousands of UK consumers who are looking for a budget option for their life insurance and critical illness cover. This can be seen in their reviews from independent review site Trustpilot, where they are currently rated 4.7 out of 5.0 stars (over 4,000 reviews).

Note: These Beagle Street ratings and reviews are accurate as of 22/01/2024 but may change over time. For the latest up to date scores and information, you should check the Trustpilot and Defaqto websites directly.

The simplest and fastest way to find the best critical illness cover quotes is by speaking to a critical illness insurance expert.

An expert will be able to search the whole market to find the best possible prices for the level of cover that you need. If you need free, no obligation quotes and advice, you can call our experts on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE.

You can also get FREE instant online quotes from Beagle Street and other top UK insurers on our online quotes tool by CLICKING HERE.

More critical illness cover guides

Here are more of our TOP critical illness cover guides to help answer your main questions about how critical illness cover works and if it is right for you.

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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)
25£8.78£6.59
30£11.21£8.64
35£15.79£11.56
40£22.87£16.21
45£33.62£23.54

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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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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Martin Lewis Critical Illness Cover - iam|INSURED

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