Compare Critical Illness Insurance From The UK's Top Insurance Companies From Only £5

COMPARE your Critical Illness Cover today and SAVE £'s...

Our logo

PROTECTION PROMISE - 100% Conditions Covered

Our Insurance Partners

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay in the loop about all the latest news, exclusive offers, and fantastic discounts. We promise it's spam-free!

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

People often ask us what they will be covered for by their critical illness cover policies. It can be very confusing to try to figure out what you’re covered for and when will it payout if you become ill.

One of the most important things to remember here is that every insurance company is different. Each insurer has different illnesses that they cover and will offer different definitions of those conditions.

This is why it’s very important to make sure that you do your research before you buy a new policy. If you’re buying a policy through an advisor or a broker then you should ask them for a list of what’s covered.

We help thousands of customers every year to find the BEST cover to protect themselves and their family’s against financial hardship if they were to be diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and serious injury.

If you need more help to find the right critical illness policy for you then you can contact our team of EXPERTS for FREE advice on 0800 009 6559 today.

Will my pre-existing medical condition be covered by critical illness cover?

Generally, if you apply for a policy after you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, then that condition will be excluded. This can vary from one insurer to another and can change over time depending on the condition.

You might also find that conditions that are linked to your current illness may be excluded from your cover.

For example: If you have type 2 diabetes then you might be offered cover excluding cardiovascular conditions (e.g. Heart attack and stroke), eye problems or kidney disease.


How many conditions are covered?

  • Standard critical illness cover: 75 conditions
  • Enhanced critical illness cover: Up to 182 conditions

Here are some examples of cover from some of the top insurers in the UK and what to expect when you buy this type of cover.

Legal & General

This cover will payout for a ‘specified’ critical illness (as listed below) if you undergo a medical procedure and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. This must, of course, happen during the term of the cover and while premiums are paid.

Critical illnessDefinition
Aorta graft surgeryrequiring surgical replacement
Aplastic anaemiawith permanent bone marrow failure
Bacterial meningitisresulting in permanent symptoms
Benign brain tumourresulting in either surgical removal or permanent symptoms
Blindnesspermanent and irreversible
Cancerexcluding less advanced cases
Cardiac Arrestwith the insertion of a defibrillator
Cardiomyopathyof specified severity
Comawith associated permanent symptoms
Coronary artery by-pass graftswith surgery to divide the breast bone or thoracotomy
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)resulting in permanent symptoms
Deafnesspermanent and irreversible
Dementia including Alzheimer’s diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
Encephalitisresulting in permanent symptoms
Heart attackof specified severity
Heart valve replacement or repairwith surgery
HIV infectioncaught from a blood transfusion, physical assault or accident at work
Kidney failurerequiring permanent dialysis
Liver failureof advanced stage
Loss of hand or footpermanent physical severance
Loss of speechtotal permanent and irreversible
Major organ transplantfrom another donor
Motor neurone diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
Multiple sclerosiswhere there have been symptoms
Multiple system atrophyresulting in permanent symptoms
Open heart surgerywith median sternotomy
Paralysis of limbtotal and irreversible
Parkinson’s diseaseresulting in permanent symptoms
Primary pulmonary hypertensionof specified severity
Progressive supranuclear palsyresulting in permanent symptoms
Removal of an eyeballdue to injury or disease
Respiratory failureof advanced stage
Spinal strokeresulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
Strokeresulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
Systemic lupus erythematosuswith severe complications
Third-degree burnscovering 20% of the surface area of the body or 20% of the face or head
Traumatic brain injuryresulting in permanent symptoms

For a full list of definitions visit: Legal & General

Exclusions and limits

  • The list of conditions that are covered includes cancer, heart attack, and stroke. However not all situations and occurrences of these conditions will be covered, such as cancer must have spread or reached a specified level
  • Each illness must be verified by a consultant or specialist at a hospital in the UK, who is considered to be qualified in the appropriate area.
  • Full definitions are provided on policy documents and details of how L&G will consider a claim that is made. Your policy terms and conditions will also provide information about what evidence is required at the claims stage

Note: There are several insurance companies that offer very similar levels of cover to Legal & General, such as Zurich and Aviva.

There are also more comprehensive critical illness cover policies which will provide more illnesses and definitions. Some of these more comprehensive policies offer higher levels of cover and also include partial payments (see below).

What is a partial payout or severity-based critical illness cover policy?

Some modern critical illness cover policies offer what is known as ‘partial payout’ which is where different conditions pay different payments. This is mainly based on the severity of the illness and the impact on your lifestyle.

Partial payments can offer some benefits to you depending on what your attitude to risk is and what you want.


  • Conditions: generally these policies will offer a far more comprehensive list of illnesses (up to 182)
  • Multiple claims: if you claim for a lower severity level of illness then you’ll still keep the remaining element of your cover
  • Flexibility: you’ll have numerous options with these types of policies which means that you should be able to adapt the cover to your needs


  • Coverage: some conditions where you would receive 100% payout with some providers will be a lower percentage with this type of cover
  • Confusing: these policies can be confusing and can make it difficult to compare against other similar insurance plans

There are several severity-based policies currently available on the UK insurance market. Here is some information about Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover plan which was the first severity-based partial payment cover introduced to the UK.


One of the most comprehensive plans on the market currently in terms of the number of conditions covered is from Vitality. This policy covers up to 182 serious illnesses based on a severity-based plan which was introduced by Vitality several years ago.

This award-winning critical illness cover policy (known as serious illness cover) is designed to reflect the level of impact that each condition will have on your lifestyle. The serious illness cover plan is directly linked to current medical treatments so it is better suited to your needs.

What’s the difference between serious illness cover and critical illness cover?

Essentially a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan is the same as a standard critical illness cover plan in what it does, and what it’s designed for. The main difference between these policies is the levels of cover that you would have based on the number of conditions covered.

Both of these policies pay a tax-free lump sum when you become seriously or critically ill. These payouts are designed to provide some financial security for you and your family if you can’t work for a period of time due to illness.

The term ‘serious illness’ was introduced by Vitality to differentiate it from the more commonly known ‘critical illness’. This is for the purpose of helping to explain how the plan is designed to protect against a wider range of conditions.

  • Serious illness: a medical condition or illness that may have a variety of levels of severity which can have a range of levels of impact on lifestyle
  • Critical illness: a medical condition or illness which is defined as critical and will have a severe impact on lifestyle

What illnesses are covered by a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan?

Currently, there are 153 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover’ policy and 182 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover Plus’ policy.

For a full list of conditions covered by Vitality visit: Vitality

Need more help to get CRITICAL ILLNESS COVER?

If you need more advice or help to get the best critical illness cover for you then please feel free to contact our iam|INSURED experts on 0800 009 6559

Our advice is absolutely FREE and we offer cover from all of the TOP insurance brands

Related articles:

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay in the loop about all the latest news, exclusive offers, and fantastic discounts. We promise it's spam-free!

Open chat
How can we help?
Scan the code
Welcome to iam|INSURED 👋

Please feel free to connect with us on WhatsApp so we can help you and answer your questions.

Click “Open Chat” to start.