Critical Illness with Life Insurance

Most people believe they are never going to be affected by a serious illness, but the reality is that critical illnesses are much more common than we tend to believe and can affect anyone at any time. In fact, the number of people being diagnosed with a critical illness at a young age is increasing each year.

Fortunately, critical illness cover is now offered by most insurance providers in the UK to help ease the financial stress caused by conditions such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Why is Critical Illness Cover important?

Critical illness insurance provides financial support in the event that you are diagnosed with what your insurer deems to be a major life changing illness and are therefore unable to work for a lengthy period of time.

A lump sum payment from a critical illness policy would help ease any financial concerns caused by your loss of income. For example, the money could be used to repay your mortgage, cover medical bills and expenses, or make changes to your home to help you cope with your condition.

What illnesses are covered?

The typical types of illnesses and conditions covered by most insurance firms as part of their critical illness policies include:

  • Various types of cancer – advanced cases usually excluded
  • Heart attack and open heart surgery
  • Stroke, Coma, Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Permanent and irreversible blindness and deafness
  • Total and permanent disability caused by an illness, condition or accident
  • Kidney and liver failure
  • Traumatic head injury - resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Meningitis - resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Paralysis
  • Benign Brain Tumour
  • HIV/AIDS (under certain circumstances)
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Third Degree Burns

A full list of critical illnesses that are covered by your life insurance provider will be detailed in the policy document, along with the circumstances in which you can claim (terms and conditions). Remember, each insurance firm will have their own definition of what they class as a ‘critical illness’ and will therefore offer different levels of cover.

What to consider when buying Critical Illness Insurance?

Before agreeing to purchase a critical illness policy, remember to read the policy documents carefully so that you are fully aware of what illnesses and conditions you are covered against.

Every insurer is different and so are their policies. Each will offer different levels of protection with various limitations and exclusions attached. For example, some critical illness providers will only pay out a percentage of your claim dependent upon the illness and many will require a specified survival period (for example 30 days after diagnosis).

It is also important to make sure you always purchase your critical illness cover through a qualified and FSA regulated advisor, as with any form of insurance.