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Critical illness cover is an insurance product that pays certain amount of money if the insured person is diagnosed with critical illness. This cover can be chosen as an additional benefit to a life insurance contract or can be bought as a separate contract. In both cases monthly premiums have to be paid in order for this contract to last. Critical illness cover becomes more and more important because it is estimated that critical illnesses are 5 times more frequent than death.  Most insurance provider allows people to choose from guaranteed and renewable premiums and if they want their critical illness cover to last for a fixed period of time or until death. It is advisable to sign this kind of contract as soon as possible because this way the premiums will be lower.

Situations of critical illnesses

Two main types of critical illnesses can be distinguished. The most common situation is when the insurance provider pays a lump sum of money to the policyholder after the insured person is diagnosed with a critical illness. The money received from the insurance carrier can be used to repay a part of mortgage, replace the income lost due to the illness or use the money to pay for recuperation aids.

However, an alternative to this type of critical illness insurance exists. In this case the insurance company pays the money not directly to the insured but to health providers. In this case all the money goes to treatment of the illness. What is more, some insurance provider, for instance, “AXA”, even have a wide network of highly qualified hospitals that the insured can choose from fro his treatment and know that all the travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Important points to remember while choosing critical illness cover

It is important to stress that the number of critical illnesses covered differ from one insurance carrier to another. Almost all lists of insurance providers include AIDS, blindness, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The average number of illnesses covered by the contract is about 32. However, there are companies like “Pru Protect” that offer their clients a protection for 161 different diseases and illnesses.

Some people make a mistake believing that a terminal illness and critical illness cover is the same thing. A terminal illness is a disease that cannot be cured and is expected to lead to the death of the individual. The definition of critical illness is much broader. For example, a person sufferer from stroke and now is half-paralyzed. A terminal illness cover will not pay the individual compensation whereas a critical illness cover will.

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