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When you face uncertainty, any degree of reliability in your life goes a long way.
So, if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness with an outlook of uncertain days ahead, Critical Illness Cover is there to help.
When you are in the position of focusing on your physical recovery as a priority, the last thing you need is to worry about your financial security.
Critical Illness Cover can provide that peace of mind you are looking for.
On diagnosis of a serious medical condition such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, this insurance policy provides a lump-sum payment so that bills, mortgages, and other living expenses can be met, whilst you put your attention to beating your illness.
This might not be something you have thought of previously.
However, perhaps now you have reached a certain point in your life when increased living expenses, mortgage payments, dependents and other responsibilities mean it is prudent to consider making plans for the future.
Serious illness can impede your ability to work, and without a regular income, it could be hard to make ends meet.
Critical Illness cover can take care of that and your loved ones financially, so depending on your life circumstances, could well make sense to look into it.
Even as a healthy individual who is ordinarily outside any risk group for certain illnesses, your family history could be an underlying indicator of certain unknowns.
That being the case, talking to an expert and looking into obtaining a Critical Illness policy will go some way in mitigating the risk of a serious illness disrupting your life more than it has to.
Critical Illness Cover is designed to ease a person’s financial burden if they are diagnosed with a serious illness.
The illnesses covered will always be noted on the policy documentation and will vary from insurer to insurer.
Whilst premiums will be paid on a monthly or annual basis, Critical Illness pays out in one tax-free lump sum.
This will enable you and any dependents you have to benefit and rectify any concerns from a debt or future financial perspective.
The money can be used in any way you see fit: mortgage payments, living costs, a wellness trip abroad, or even put aside for your child’s future.
Whatever it is used for, a Critical illness cover payout will come when you need it most, and go some way to alleviating an area of potential anxiety.
The product offerings will vary from policy to policy, provider to provider, so policy documentation must be carefully checked so that you know what you are covered for.
If you have any queries on what is included or excluded, the key facts document should provide a clear summary.
If it fails to do so, check with the insurance company, or indeed engage with an expert to gain clarification on what you are covered for.
Most policies should cover (depending on your medical history) at least the three “core” illnesses of stroke, cancer and heart attack.
There are also additional illnesses that again, whilst not necessarily uniform in every insurance policy, are more common. This can include the following:
There will also be definitions within the policy wording that particular illnesses have to meet, and a certain level of severity of the condition diagnosed.
For example, your policy might only cover a stroke that resulted in symptoms lasting for at least one day.
You might also find smaller payouts for less advanced illnesses that are not perhaps as serious as they could be.
Of course, the number of conditions covered depends on the insurance provider, and whilst one insurer might provide fifty, another could list eighty.
Do check your policies and compare them so you know that you have the coverage you need.
We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers
Critical Illness policies are very much subject to their policyholder’s circumstances, such as individual lifestyle and medical history.
Similarly, the policyholder can be flexible on the coverage they want.
When applying for Critical Illness, you must choose how much coverage you want in terms of the lump-sum payment in the event of a claim, and how long you want that protection for.
The monetary amount of insurance you buy can be guided by why you’ve purchased this policy in the first place.
If your financial outlays are a young family, a mortgage to pay off and also a large income at risk, then you might want to look at purchasing as much as possible within your budget.
If you have fewer dependents, but just have a more risk-averse nature where you look to secure financial protection where you can, then you might opt for an amount that covers your living expenses only.
Do note that the amount of insurance you buy will determine how much your monthly premiums are – these will be paid over the amount of time you have chosen for your critical illness coverage to be valid.
Your age will determine to a certain extent the cost of your monthly premium.
The younger you are, the lower your premiums will be, and vice versa. Some insurers have a maximum age limit, with some not offering coverage past the age of 70.
There will also be other factors that insurance providers will take into account when you are filling out your application:
Another factor will be the type of cover you elect to purchase. While most policies offer a “level” or fixed monthly payments for the policy duration, there are two further options:
Premiums will vary depending on your life circumstance and personal details.
However, as an example, here are the options and quotes for a 30-year-old, taking out a combined policy with Life Insurance, a common way of purchasing Critical Illness Cover.
|Insurer||Monthly Cost||Online Application||Cover During Application Process||Set-Up Speed||Child Critical Illness Included||Cover for Total and Permanent Disability|
|Aviva||£32.06||No||Yes||Up to 5 Days||Yes||Yes|
|Legal and General||£32.37||Yes||Yes||Up to 5 Days||Yes||No|
|Royal London||£38.92||Yes||Yes||Up to 5 Days||Yes||Yes|
|AIG||£38.53||Yes||Yes||Up to 5 Days||Yes||Yes|
To purchase a critical illness policy, you should be at least over 18 years old.
If you are looking for coverage for the younger members of your family there are policy enhancements many insurers provide.
Most Critical Illness policies offer an option where the children of a policyholder also qualify for a payout should they get diagnosed with a critical illness.
It is important to consult your policy document, insurance provider, or an independent expert to confirm that this coverage is available.
Also, just as there is a minimum age, there will be a maximum age limit for many insurance providers which you must be under when you apply.
This is usually set at 60 years old. However, a potential policyholder’s eligibility criteria can differ depending on the insurer chosen, so if you can’t get the coverage you want the first time, do shop around.
If you have a partner, you might also look not only at a single policy but a joint policy which could be more cost-effective in covering yourself and your significant other.
Government welfare is available to many to help when someone is displaced from their job and income for whatever reason.
However, this state allowance might not be enough to replace your income if you are in a high-earning job or have many financial responsibilities to maintain.
Currently, Universal Credit pays out a maximum of £600 a month, depending on your circumstances.
For many people, especially if they have mortgage payments or other long-term loans, this will not be enough to maintain their lifestyle if they lose their job even in ordinary circumstances.
With the diagnosis of a serious illness, one might be out of a job in the long term or need additional income for private medical care.
Either way, the lump-sum payout will provide a certain degree of financial relief, especially if you don’t have the savings to tide you over.