What is critical illness cover?
This kind of insurance is not a cheerful thing to think about, but it could be one of the most important policies that you buy. We’re all living longer which is a good thing, but it could mean it’s more likely that you suffer a serious illness. That’s why a lot of people take out critical illness cover, because it pays a tax free lump sum if they are diagnosed with an illness like cancer, a stroke or heart attack.
The payment could help you pay off your mortgage, so there would be less pressure on you or your family to work, or it could pay for treatment, adapting your home to help you recover or help with living costs but you could choose to use it for something more fun. Some people spend it on a day to remember, or a family treat.
Different providers offer different amounts of cover and include a variety of medical conditions, so you need to have a proper look at the details before you buy.
Choose the options to suit you
When you buy a policy, you can choose how long you want it to last – usually from 5 or 10 years up to whole of life insurance. You can also usually choose how much you would like to receive as the lump sum – but of course the bigger that figure, the higher the premium.
Critical Illness insurance is often sold alongside a life insurance policy and it can be cheaper to buy it as a package. You’ll probably find that there are more quotes, as some providers don’t sell critical illness policies on their own. Click here to compare life insurance quotes and add on Critical illness.
When you add critical illness to a life insurance policy you often have two options. Combining critical illness replicates your life insurance and will mean just one pay out - so if you receive funds on being diagnosed for an illness there is no further pay-out when you die. The other option allows you to add a separate amount of critical illness up to the value of the life amount. This way, if you have a pay out for a critical illness, your life protection stays in place. This is worth checking when you look at the details of any policy. However, this type of policy would end once it pays out, so the remaining person would need a new life insurance or critical illness cover.
Different providers offer different cover
Providers often vary the number of illnesses you are covered for under a critical illness policy, so you should check these when you look at the details. Some have optional extras such as Child Critical Illness cover, Total Permanent Disability and Total Disability. Some will cover additional illnesses but with a reduced pay out. Terminal Illness cover is often included within a life insurance policy and could mean an early pay out if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
If you choose decreasing life cover and add critical illness insurance, the critical illness cover will remain level with some providers and decrease with others. This is something worth checking when you look at the details of any policy.
The cost of life insurance cover with critical illness can be higher the older you are, and the more medical conditions you might have. So it could be a good idea to get a policy sooner rather than later, to keep the premium low. Very often, once you’ve bought your policy the price stays the same.
It’s quite important to point out that you do have to keep paying the premium every month if you want your life and critical illness policy to pay out. The policy is not a savings plan that will give you money back at the end. The only way the policy pays out is on diagnosis of a critical illness.
If you already have a life and critical illness policy, it might still be worth shopping around to compare prices. There are some providers that have stripped some of the cost out of traditional insurance by not making customers have a medical, for example. So there could be options for you to get the same level of cover for a lower premium.
How do I compare prices?
So you must be wondering about the best way to compare life and critical illness insurance quotes. We can help you there. Just select the Life menu on our site and click ‘start a new quote’. We’ll ask you some questions about yourself, your age and the kind of insurance you want to buy, and we’ll search across our panel of providers and list them out in price order.
Clicking add Critical Illness and refresh the price to show the cost of having some Critical Illness cover along with your life policy. If you want to compare combined, sometimes called integrated Critical Illness, change the amount of cover to 100% of your life cover amount. It’s easy to find cheap life insurance and critical illness cover – but you should also make sure it’s the best life insurance for you. So read all the policy information before you buy.