What is Critical Illness Cover

If you get seriously ill, Critical Illness Cover can lessen the financial strain on you and your family. It’s an option that can be included for an additional fee when you purchase life insurance.

How Does Critical Illness Cover Work

You can get critical illness insurance separately or in conjunction with a life insurance policy (often referred to as integrated protection).


You purchase the insurance at a monthly or yearly price. You can see how much more it will cost you if you purchase it along with your life insurance because the cost is already accounted for in your life insurance premiums.


A detailed list of illnesses that are covered will be provided by your insurance provider. Your insurance will pay out if you are found to have one of these illnesses. You won’t get paid if you get a condition that isn’t on the list.


Some critical illness cover also can cover your kids if they are found to have a serious illness on the list. You could also increase your premium to incorporate family coverage in your insurance.


Critical illness cover pays out its main benefit once, then the policy ends.

Do I Need Critical Illness Cover

No matter who you are or how old you are, a critical illness can strike anyone at any time. Having a backup plan in place can at least assist you to manage the financial side of things while you receive treatment or recover from your illness if it prevents you from working.


Therefore, you might wish to think about critical illness cover if:


  • If you become too ill to work, you won’t have enough funds to afford your mortgage and other routine expenses.
  • You are self-employed or your employer doesn’t provide any long-term illness benefits.
  • State benefits are insufficient to pay your expenses.

Simply make sure you are not already covered by an existing life insurance policy, such as mortgage payment protection cover, before purchasing a critical illness insurance policy.

Children’s Critical Illness Cover

Children’s critical illness cover can be added to many life insurance policies. Here at Life Expert, we work with many providers who offer to add on children’s critical illness cover to your policy for very little of a price difference.


It seriously benefits to add children’s critical illness on to your life insurance policy as should anything happen to your children, the money can be used to maintain your lifestyle if you have to take time off work, pay for hospital or medical treatment, make any amends to your household if needed & more.


If you take out a life insurance policy & have children, it is definitely recommended to take out children’s critical illness cover on top of it to ensure you are fully protected. Children can be covered with some providers up until the age of 23.

How Much Does Critical Illness Cover Cost

Your policy’s price will vary depending on a few variables, such as:


The level of cover you opt for:


You must consider all your outgoings when deciding on the sum assured—the amount you would like to receive in the event of a claim. Add charges such as your mortgage or rent, loan repayments, child care expenses, regular bills, and so on. You’ll have a better sense of the level of cover you should choose once you consider any funds you may have access to as well as whether you’re eligible for employee or state benefits. The cost of the premiums increases with the size of the pay-out you choose.


Your personal details:


  • Your age can affect how much your premiums will cost – the older you are the more expensive it could be.
  • Your health, medical history, smoking status and any pre-existing conditions you have will affect your premiums.
  • Your occupation – riskier jobs could mean getting charged more.

Policy details:


  • The length of your policy – You select the term (how long the policy will run for). It might be until you’ve paid off your mortgage or when your children are likely to leave home and be self-sufficient.
  • The type of policy – Combining critical illness cover with a life insurance policy can work out cheaper.
  • Level or decreasing cover – With level cover, the size of the payout remains the same over the term of the policy. But with decreasing cover, the sum assured falls, often in line with your mortgage or another long-term debt. This makes decreasing cover the cheaper option.

What is Covered in a Critical Illness Policy

Critical illness insurance will pay out if you get one of the specific medical conditions or injuries listed in the policy. It only pays out once, after which the policy ends.


Vitality have a new serious illness product that is out on the market where you can claim up to 3 times on your critical illness policy. We work very closely with Vitality & if you would like to learn more about this, simply get in touch with a member of our friendly team.


The conditions and illnesses covered can vary significantly between different insurers. The most comprehensive policies cover 50 different conditions or more, but others are much more limited.


Examples of critical illnesses that might be covered include:


  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Certain types and stages of cancer
  • Conditions such as multiple sclerosis
  • Major organ transplant
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Traumatic head injury

Most policies will also consider permanent disabilities because of injury or illness.

What is Not Covered in a Critical Illness Policy?

Policies for critical illness insurance do not always cover every ailment.


However, to be eligible for a pay-out, an illness may need to be especially serious or leave you permanently disabled.


For example, some less advanced cancers which haven’t spread or reached a specific severity are likely to be excluded.


You may also only qualify for a payout if you’ve received certain medical treatment for the condition, as specified in the policy.


It is possible to exclude both pre-existing conditions and illnesses that develop because of a pre-existing condition. In addition, self-inflicted injuries and illnesses brought on by drug or alcohol abuse, inherited disorders, transitory illnesses, and dangerous sports-related injuries.


Before choosing if your coverage is right for you, thoroughly review the terms and conditions.

Your Critical Illness Cover Options

You can compare life insurance and buy critical illness cover through us as a standalone policy or as an integrated policy.


Standalone Critical Illness Cover


You can buy critical illness as standalone cover, without life insurance attached to it.


It protects you against the financial impact of being diagnosed with a critical illness, but it won’t pay out if you pass away.


Integrated with Life Insurance


You can buy critical illness cover integrated with life insurance. With an integrated policy, you get a pay-out if you die, have a terminal illness or if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness. In many cases, integrated cover isn’t usually much more expensive than standalone cover.

Alternatives to Critical Illness Cover

There are many alternatives when it comes to critical illness cover. As beneficial having critical illness cover is, there are various different options out there you can have instead.


Income Protection Insurance


If you can’t work because of illness or injury, income protection insurance will pay you a monthly income. The amount you receive will either be a fixed monthly amount or will cover a percentage of your gross annual salary (normally up to about 70%). You can buy long-term or short-term income protection insurance policies.


Payment Protection Insurance


This type of cover covers your monthly repayments on a single debt – like a mortgage, credit card or personal loan – if you have an illness or accident that leaves you unable to work.


Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance


Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance covers the cost of your mortgage payments if you find yourself unable to work due to accident or illness. Most MPPI plans will pay out for a maximum of 12 months, though there are a few that will cover payments for 24 months.

How To Buy Critical Illness Cover

To apply for critical illness cover, you’ll need to tell us:


  • How much life insurance cover you’d like.
  • How much cover you need for critical illness.
  • Your personal details, including your date of birth and occupation.
  • Information about your lifestyle and medical history.

How Can I Save Money on my Critical Illness Cover Premiums


Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle


Give up smoking, exercise regularly, achieve a healthy weight and eat well.


Look at Integrated Policies


Buying cover as an integrated policy with life insurance can keep costs down.


Consider Decreasing Cover


As the amount of cover you have decreases over time, it can be a more affordable option.


Compare Your Options


Whether you’re buying an integrated or standalone critical illness policy, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices to find the right policy for you. Life Expert helps you compare your options from the whole of the market for critical illness cover.


How Long Does a Critical Illness Policy Last?


If you take out critical illness cover as an integrated policy, it will last as long as the term of your life insurance policy. Remember that if you make a critical illness claim on an integrated policy bought, the life insurance sum paid out when you pass away can be reduced. 


When you purchase critical illness insurance as a stand-alone policy, you get to decide how long the policy will be in effect.


Many people choose coverage that lasts at least until their mortgage is fully paid off or their children move out and become independent.


Watch out for any minimum and maximum term lengths specified in the policy.


Do Critical Illness Policies Differ by Providers


Yes, the illnesses covered by different insurers and policies can vary. You may also find that some insurers will pay out for less severe illnesses where others won’t.


Some critical illness policies may make a partial payment (a percentage of your amount of cover, up to a maximum amount) for less serious conditions, including things like low-grade prostate cancer. In these circumstances, your policy usually continues with the full or a reduced amount of cover. 


Some policies also offer ‘enhanced condition’ cover where they’ll pay an additional amount above your level of cover for certain conditions that have a bigger impact on your life. For example, permanent and irreversible blindness, brain injury, loss of or paralysis of a limb following an accident.