Critical illness cover is a form of insurance whereby you receive a payout if you are diagnosed with one of a number of diseases, medical conditions or serious illnesses.
If this happens, you will want to know that you are financially secure so that you and your family do not have to worry.
You may need to pay for childcare, as well as your mortgage or living costs if you cannot work. The money can also be used to pay for any necessary help you need, for example, altering your home for wheelchair access or for any private, specialist treatment.
In a stressful and worrying time, having financial stability can be a great relief.
Many people do not have enough savings to support themselves during times of illness and benefits can be considerably lower than expected.
Critical illness cover is paid out in a lump sum which can be extremely beneficial. You can divide the money into separate funds and have peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after until you are better.
In terms of purchasing critical illness insurance, you can either buy it outright or add it to a life insurance policy.
What does critical illness cover insure me against?
Policies vary widely in terms of what they cover, so it is important to compare what different companies offer, work out likely risks and understand what each policy protects you against.
We have advisers who can help you with understanding different insurance plans.
All critical illness insurance must cover certain conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and some cancers. Most will also pay out if you are permanently disabled because of an injury or illness, and the majority cover around 50 conditions which can include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, loss of limbs, deafness and blindness.
What doesn’t critical illness cover insure me against?
Policies will not cover any illnesses or conditions you had before you decided to take out critical illness insurance.
Chronic and long-term illnesses may also not be covered, so it is vital to check the details of your policy if you are suffering from one of these.
Cancer is a wide ranging disease and some types or stages of cancer are not covered in critical illness policies. You will have the option to combine a life insurance plan with your critical illness cover, however, without this, a payout would not be made if you were to die from your condition.
What should I consider when looking at critical illness cover policies?
Cost is obviously a factor, however, less expensive policies will not cover as many conditions.
If you are young, fit and healthy, you may not think of critical illness cover as a necessity, but bear in mind that policies are a lot cheaper as you are classed as low-risk.
Policies that offer ABI+ (Association of British Insurers) definitions will use critical illness definitions that exceed those set by the trade regulator for insurance companies.
Some policies also offer additional benefits for an added fee e.g. mastectomy cover or accidental hospitalisation benefit.
It’s important to be aware of everything that your critical illness policy covers and to seek advice on the best plan for you. It may cost more now but, in the event of you not being able to work because of illness, critical illness cover can prove invaluable.
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