How to find the best critical illness cover

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Reticle illness insurance can make a huge difference in your quality of life if you become diagnosed with a serious illness, especially if it means you were no longer able to earn a living or take care of your home and family. Is.

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This form of cover sits well with life insurance. With both types of policy, the pay-out can be used to pay off debts and cover living expenses, either of the policyholder or his or her dependents. In fact, if you go shopping for life insurance, you may find that critical illness protection is automatically included in your policy, or can be made up for at an additional premium.

unpleasant truth

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But like life insurance, critical illness cover requires us to face an unpleasant reality – in this case, the real risk of contracting a major medical problem that is nothing short of life-changing.

But the fact that serious diseases such as cancer, heart problems and respiratory diseases afflict so many people is a compelling reason to examine such a policy. And if you think life insurance is a no-brainer for anyone with dependents, the same logic applies to critical illness cover.

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In fact, according to Pacific Life Ray, a person aged 40 who doesn’t smoke has a 3% chance of dying before age 65—but a 14% chance of getting serious illness. And as medical practice improves, we are increasingly avoiding previously fatal conditions, even if it means we are away from work for extended periods.

Here’s a quick explanation of how this type of insurance works:

  • Critical illness insurance pays a tax-free lump sum amount if you are diagnosed with any of the conditions listed in the policy
  • The money can be used for any number of purposes, such as personal medical treatment, meeting household expenses, making changes to your home or even paying for vacation.
  • Policies last between two and 50 years
  • You can buy cover for an individual or jointly for a couple – usually a joint policy arrangement that pays for the first time a couple contracts a critical illness.
  • Some policies automatically provide cover for any of your children, although the pay-out may be lower than that of adults on the policy
  • The premium remains the same throughout the term of the policy, but the prices increase as you get older when you buy
  • Once you receive payment, a critical illness policy ends. You can claim only once
  • If you have added critical illness cover to a life insurance policy, you can claim both if necessary, although death within a short period of time after diagnosis of the disease can mean only life insurance payments can be made.

What are ‘serious’ diseases?

Each critical illness policy has its own definitions and details of the cover provided, so check carefully. The most comprehensive policies will cover conditions such as:

  • cancer
  • the strokes
  • heart attack
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • traumatic head injuries
  • kidney failure
  • Organ transplant.

Your policy may also cover you if you are seriously disabled by an injury or illness.

Is there anything to see?

Not all policies cover all types of cancer, especially some early-stage cancers.

COVID-19 is excluded from the critical illness cover as most people recover quickly. That said, you may qualify for a pay-out if you are in intensive care as part of your treatment.

If you are considered to be at particularly high risk of a particular disease – for example, you may have a family history of heart disease or a particular cancer – you will face higher premiums, or you may be offered such a policy. May cover the disease that does not.

Apart from critical illness insurance, there is also a type of cover known as terminal illness insurance. It pays if medical professionals diagnose you with a condition with a life expectancy of less than 12 months. Critical illness policies usually do not pay on diagnosis of a terminal illness, but life insurance policies often include terminal illness cover at no additional cost.

Why do I need a critical illness cover?

If a serious illness strikes and you are forced to work for long periods or even permanently, you will quickly feel the impact on your household finances.

If you are not earning, having a serious illness will also have a financial impact, as you may need to pay for more support at home on top of facing additional living costs.

Your options, apart from having critical illness insurance, would also be to use savings to raise cash, borrow or sell assets – neither of which would be an attractive or realistic long-term option.

Your employer may or may not be generous in providing sick pay. But eventually – often within six months – employers are transferred to statutory sick pay (SSP). Currently, it is worth less than £100 per week.

If you are self-employed, of course, you will only get the salary that you pay yourself. And you will not be eligible for SSP.

What affects the cost of cover?

The cost of critical illness cover depends on several factors, including:

  • amount of cover – The higher the potential payout, the more you will pay.
  • Ages As you get older, your risk of getting serious disease increases
  • lifestyle – Smoking and alcohol consumption can increase the cost of the cover.
  • health and medical history – You will have to pay more if you are considered unwell or in a high risk category
  • profession Some jobs are risky because of the potential for accidents.

As an example, a healthy 40-year-old non-smoker would expect to pay £25 – £30 per month for a cover of £50,000, and £50 – £55 per month for a cover of £100,000. Can do.

The older you are, the more expensive the cover becomes due to the higher risk of falling seriously ill. The same 40-year-old who wants £75,000 or more of cover may end up paying around £40 a month, but will face premiums of £80 or more if they take out the policy after 10 years.

Critical illness insurance is more expensive than life insurance because, as mentioned earlier, you are almost four times more likely to become seriously ill than if you died before age 65.


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