Life insurance and critical illness cover: Do I need both?

Cancer patient with daugter

We’re all used to having our purchasing choices upsold – that moment when you go to get the thing you want and are asked by the salesperson if there’s anything more you’d like to go with it – the classic ‘do you want fries with that?’ line.

It’s easy to look at critical illness cover (CIC) as the fries to your life insurance burger - buying life insurance? Do you want critical illness cover with that?

But is it just an upsell or should the answer be an emphatic ‘yes’?

What's the difference between life insurance and critical illness cover?

While they are both sold by the same companies, actually, life insurance and critical illness cover are very different things.

One (the life insurance) is there to provide your loved ones with some financial stability if you die.

The other (critical illness cover) is there to help you if you become too sick or injured to work.

They may seem to deal with the same problem (paying off the mortgage, helping to maintain a quality of life), and they may both deal with it by handing out a large sum of money, but there’s a core difference: with one, you don’t get the money, and with the other, you do!

Critical illness cover only

Generally, life and critical illness cover are thrown together as a package. Separating the two and looking at the critical illness cover without standard life insurance is not something ordinarily done, but can you opt for CIC and leave life insurance behind, and why would you?

Is CIC worth it for the single person?

There’s a reasonable argument made by a lot of single people in their early 20s that life insurance simply isn’t for them. After all, they have no dependants, no partner, and if they die, no one is going to miss them from a financial standpoint.

While life insurance companies do argue that it’s still a good idea to get (and of course they would), it has to be said that life insurance for a person with little financial responsibility might be a little bit unnecessary.

But anyone, even a fit 20-something-year-old, can be suddenly struck by a severe illness or injury, and wouldn’t a substantial financial payout help? Stand-alone critical illness cover suddenly has virtue.

What can CIC help with?

If you do have a family and a commitment to paying a regular mortgage and other bills, the money gained from a critical illness cover payment is going to be there to cover those expenses.

But where CIC shows itself to be substantially more beneficial than life insurance is regarding recovery. With a good critical illness plan, you can use the money to afford top-end medical treatment so that the payment is more than simply paying for you to financially survive through a major illness or injury – it puts you solidly on the path to recovery.

It doesn’t matter if you are single or the sole breadwinner for a family of twelve, having the financial support to get the treatment you need to get better is a substantial benefit, which alone is reason enough to get critical illness cover.

How much critical illness cover do I need?

Most life insurance companies will sell life and critical illness insurance together as a package, probably suggesting a value of ten times your annual salary for life insurance, and three to five times for critical illness cover. It’s a reasonable baseline, but is it enough?

The truth is – how much critical illness cover can you afford?

There is never a time when you don’t wish that you had more money! If you can afford the premiums for CIC that’s ten times your salary, or fifteen, then why not have it? That’s security for a decade and, though we don’t like to speak about it, it can take that long to deal with the physical and psychological impact of a sudden life-changing injury or illness.

What about life insurance?

Here on Bobatoo, we can provide you with a life insurance and/or critical illness quote, and we have many articles regarding the different types of life insurance – which one is more expensive, the differences between types of cover and more. If you would like to know more about the different levels of cover and what life insurance is for, look no further!

You can purchase life insurance with critical illness cover no matter which flavour of life insurance you choose to go for and by doing so, you give yourself a full level of financial security that means your family won’t face hardship no matter what life throws at you.

Just remember that the choice is yours and don’t be forced into a package you don’t need or properly understand – don’t be swayed by the upsell.

Do I need life and critical illness cover?

Both life and CIC are products designed to provide you and your family with security if something terrible should happen – and at price that is affordable. Because both policies scale to fit your salary and lifestyle, the cost of your premiums will be reasonable no matter your income.

If you like to live life on the edge or have no personal desire for that level of financial stability, then the chances are neither life insurance nor critical illness cover is right for you.

But if you don’t want to find yourself or your family struggling, then maybe they’re both worth looking at!

How much is life and critical illness cover?

Both packages look at your age and health to determine the cost. This, tied with your salary to determine a final payout level, comes together to calculate a final premium cost.

For those on a reasonable salary, young and fit, it is possible to get combined life and critical illness insurance from as little as £10 per month.

Higher earners who have let things go a little more might want more substantial cover and will be able to afford premiums to go with that – perhaps £35 to £100 per month. It solely depends on you.

Where can I buy cheap life insurance and critical illness cover?

To get the best prices for your life insurance, you will want to go through a broker. Unlike other types of insurance (like car insurance), many of the main companies don’t like dealing directly with the public and so you will get the best deals and results through a broker.

There are generally two types of broker – those that are also advisors who are registered and can discuss your needs with you to give you the best options that fit your situation, and those who are little more than sales people who can sell you the products but are not licensed to provide an opinion. While the former might be a little more expensive, the advice you get is usually worth having and will help in the long run.

Bobtatoo works with many of the top life insurance providers in the UK and can find you the best deal out there. Simply tap the green button below and you’ll be on your way to receiving top-quality advice along with an affordable life insurance quote to fit your needs and lifestyle!