Critical illness cover is an insurance policy that can help cover your debt repayments and household bills if you fall seriously ill and are prevented from working.
Critical illness insurance typically pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer or kidney failure, for example.
Each provider will have policies that may exclude certain illnesses or conditions, so there is no guarantee over what it will specifically cover until you get a quote from the provider.
Critical illness cover can be bought with life insurance or on its own and can be used to pay off large debts like a mortgage and cover bills while you are prevented from working. Here we explain what critical illness insurance covers and who it’s suitable for.
Critical illness cover pays out a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of a list of life threatening illnesses.
Life insurance pays out a lump sum if you die with the money going to who you nominate, for example your family to help cover bills in your absence.
Read on to learn more before you compare life and critical illness cover.
Critical illness insurance policies pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a life threatening illness, like cancer or kidney failure.
Critical illness policies typically cover heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, heart bypass surgery, cancer, kidney failure, stroke and major transplant surgery. Critical illness insurance policies normally last for a set period or until retirement.
You should read the policy document to see exactly what illnesses it covers as less serious illnesses may not be covered, for example, skin cancer.
Although the initial premium will be more expensive, choose a critical illness policy that has guaranteed premiums, which remain the same for the length of the policy can prove more useful for some.
Critical illness cover with reviewable premiums is cheaper initially, but will generally increase over time. Critical illness insurance policies normally only pay out one lump sum so are not a replacement for an income.
Over 50s life insurance could save you money and better protect your family. Our guide to life insurance for the over 50s can help you decide what you need.
Critical illness insurance is useful cover to have as it pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of a list of life threatening medical conditions.
However, it won’t pay out if you are unable to work because of many illnesses, like a bad back or stress and an income protection policy might be a better bet.
It’s more important to have life insurance than critical illness insurance if you have dependants.
It’s essential that you disclose your medical history fully as failure to do this could leave you without cover or with limited cover.
You should shop around for cover as there is a big difference between the cheapest and most expensive critical illness and life insurance policies.
You need to work out how much money you would need to live on if you were diagnosed with a serious illness and need to make adjustments to your home because of your disability if necessary.
It’s important that you check what insurance you already have in place and decide if critical illness insurance is right for you. As with all insurance read the key facts document to make sure you understand what you are covered for.