Critical illness cover is a kind of insurance that protects you should you get diagnosed with a critical illness. The contract pays out a one off payment of an amount as agreed between you and your insurer if you are diagnosed with a critical illness that your insurance policy covers. The purpose of this is to help you and your loved ones to cope should you become critically ill and unable to provide.

Availability of policies varies depending on your insurer. Some only offer critical illness cover as part of a life insurance policy, while others allow you to take out the cover on its own or as part of an inclusive life insurance policy. It’s always worth checking with your insurer to see exactly what is and isn’t covered in your insurance.

Insurers all have a list of conditions they define as ‘critical illnesses’ and will only pay out if you are diagnosed with one of these conditions. This list varies between insurers so make sure to check what specific conditions the policy you’re either on or looking at taking out contains. Nearly all include heart attack and stroke, and most will also include some types of cancer. There are other conditions that some policies will include, including conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Nearly all insurers will not provide cover for health problems you are aware you suffered prior to taking out the policy. It is also worth noting that unlike standard life insurance, the policy will not pay out when you die.

As with life insurance, the cost of your policy and your monthly payments depends on a number of factors that may affect your health, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Age
  • Whether you smoke, or if you have smoked in the past
  • Overall health (Encompasses current health, your weight, and your family’s medical history)
  • Your job
  • How much cover you wish to take out

You may wish to consider other kinds of insurance that offer similar benefits to critical illness cover and may provide you with more piece of mind. As previously mentioned, standard life insurance provides more cover than critical illness cover, and more often than not also includes critical illness cover as part of its policy – your financial advisor will be able to provide more advise on the kind of insurance best suited to you.

If you’re concerned about your income should a critical illness leave you unable to work, you may find that the £70 to £100 per week that state benefits can provide may not be enough to keep you and your family supported. If that’s the case, then income protection insurance can provide you with regular payments in addition to a one-off lump-sum from your critical illness cover. Short term income protection is also available should you only need cover for a shorter period of time.

As with any financial product, it’s important to consult a qualified independent financial advisor before making a decision. Get in touch with our team today to book an appointment with your local advisor.

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