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Terminal illness benefit

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is a very upsetting event for anyone and it is understandable to feel distressed or isolated. Having the right support in place for yourself and your family can make a world of difference and be a much-needed lifeline.

Terminal illness benefit can provide you and your family with vital financial support. This cover allows you to focus on making the most of your time with your loved ones without worrying about bills and other expenses.

The pay out from your claim can be used for any purpose you choose. You can support your household in paying for monthly bills, medical expenses, or even treat your family and friends and create precious memories while you still can.

A terminal illness is a medical condition or illness that is not able to be cured and is likely to eventually cause you to pass away.

A person with a terminal illness could live for weeks, months or even years following their diagnosis depending on their condition and its severity.

Examples of terminal illnesses include but are not limited to:

When it comes to life insurance, terminal illness is defined as an illness or condition that means you are expected to live for 12 months or less. This can also be referred to as a life limiting illness.

Terminal illness cover is often included as standard with most life insurance policies. There are many excellent insurance providers and policies offering additional benefits for terminally ill patients.

This form of cover gives you the option of accessing your life insurance pay out early, rather than it being claimed by your loved ones after you have passed away.

This can be useful for many reasons and the funds can act as much needed financial support during an extremely difficult time for you and your family.

Terminal illness benefit can be used to pay for things such as:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Household bills and expenses
  • School fees
  • Paying off debts
  • Medical expenses (treatments, carers etc)
  • Necessary adaptions to your home
  • Funeral costs
  • Treating your loved ones
  • And more…

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Does life insurance cover terminal illness?

YES – if you have a current life insurance policy, you should be covered in the event you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Your policy will pay out in the event that you pass away, and your cover may include additional benefits when terminally ill. Depending on the specifics of your policy, you could have the option to claim on your life insurance early and receive a cash lump sum.

This money could allow you to cover essential bills more easily or even treat your family to nice experiences like a holiday if you wish to.

If you are already terminally ill when applying for life insurance, insurers will not be able to offer you cover. This is why we advise putting life insurance in place as early in life as possible, to ensure your family is well protected in the event of a diagnosis such as this.

Terminal illness benefit is a form of cover that allows you to claim the benefit from your life insurance policy early. You can claim in the event of being diagnosed with a serious illness or condition where your life expectancy is 12 months or less.

Generally, you will have to provide the insurance provider with sufficient medical evidence that you are unlikely to live longer than 12 months to receive your claim.

The exact specifications for this evidence will be included in your policy terms, so it is a good idea to read these thoroughly when you put your policy in place.

How much is terminal illness benefit?

Usually, terminal illness benefit will be included free as a part of a life insurance policy. It is highly unlikely you will be charged more for having this benefit in place.

Can I get terminal illness cover if I have a joint life insurance policy?

It is common for spouses or partners to take out a joint life insurance policy. Believe it or not, it is possible to add terminal illness benefit to a policy with two policyholders.

It is important to note though that this will only pay out for one partner. Once the first partner has claimed and received a pay out, the cover will expire for both.

This means the remaining partner will then need to take out a new life insurance policy, either through the same provider or another.

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It is a common occurrence that there can be some confusion as to what the difference is between critical illness cover and terminal illness benefit.

Terminal illnesses and critical illnesses are not the same thing, and so will be viewed differently by insurance providers.

Critical illness insurance will provide you with a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or medical condition during your policy term. This does not have to be a life limiting condition as with terminal illness cover.

Common reasons for critical illness claims include:

There are pros and cons to each type of cover which we have demonstrated in the below table:

Type of coverProCon
Critical Illness Cover (CIC)– Can claim for serious illnesses that are not life limiting
– Can be bought as a standalone insurance product or alongside life cover
– Can be extremely reasonably priced
– Financial protection if unable to work
– Is an additional product that will incur extra costs.
– The conditions covered can vary depending on the policy and provider.
– You will only be covered for a set period of time
Terminal Illness Benefit– Included automatically with most life insurance policies
– Allows you to claim the full amount of your life insurance cover whilst still living
– Usually included at no extra charge as a part of a life insurance policy
– In most cases, you will need to provide sufficient medical evidence you are unlikely to live longer than 12 months
– Your cover will expire once you have claimed
– Must be bought as part of a life insurance policy, can’t be bought alone

Terminal illness family support

If you are diagnosed with a life limiting illness, this will understandably be a very upsetting time for both yourself and your loved ones. Proper care and support can make a huge difference at such a difficult time.

Your doctor or medical team will likely offer you access to various support resources and materials. There are also excellent charities and groups operating in the UK, working tirelessly to help those near the end of their lives make the most of the time they have left.

Some examples of charities and services offering terminal illness support and resources include:

As insurance specialists and people with our own families, we fully understand the need to protect your loved ones in any way you can.

Life insurance is the best possible way to do this, ensuring your family will not struggle when you are no longer there to support them yourself.

Terminal illness benefit adds an extra level of protection, meaning you will be guaranteed to be more able to pay for any necessary medical expenses, home adaptions or even just standard monthly bills.

Our team can help you put a great life insurance policy in place that has this added cover included free of charge. We can compare hundreds of policies across the UK’s top insurance providers, to find you the best life insurance with terminal illness cover at the most competitive price.

Useful resources

Marie Curie – Living with a terminal illness

Supportline – Terminal illness

Macmillan Cancer Support – End of life

Gov.uk – How the benefit system supports people nearing the end of life

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