We never expect a serious illness to happen to us. Our focus is usually on our families when it comes to the sensitive issue of considering if we were to die prematurely; rarely giving enough thought and planning into the instance of being diagnosed with a critical illness. This is why many people do not consider critical illness insurance until it is too late.
Being diagnosed with a critical illness can be devastating enough for both you and your loved ones. Without having to take into account the additional issues that may arise. Such as how you will make ends meet should you become unwell enough to give up working. People often don’t realise that becoming critically unwell can be an expensive time. With bills still needing to be paid on time, you may need to consider adapting your home to meet the needs of your health conditions. Along with travelling to the necessary hospital appointments, purchasing items that will make your life living with your illness more comfortable and so on.
What is critical illness insurance?
It is important not to confuse critical illness insurance with income protection insurance, a common mistake that some make! Income protection pays out a regular income, whereas critical illness insurance pays a lump sum upon the diagnosis of a critical illness. It is worth noting that in most policies, the holder must survive for 10-14 days to receive this sum.
What critical illnesses are covered by this policy?
As stated by the ABI (Association of British Insurers) all policies must cover these three core conditions: Cancer, Heart attacks and Strokes.
It is important to be aware that critical illness cover is not limited to these three core conditions and that you could be covered if you were diagnosed with:
- kidney failure
- major organ transplant
- artery bypass
- multiple sclerosis
Most, if not all insurance companies will cover these things.
In addition to this, some critical illness policyholders will receive a payout if they were to become permanently disabled. However, this is often an additional cost for the policy. This is why we always advise talking with a trusted insurance expert to talk through your policy, ensuring you understand it so that you can get the most from it should you ever need to claim.
It is common for critical illness cover to be added onto a life insurance policy where payment is paid on either the diagnoses of a critical illness or death; whichever comes first for the policyholder.
Why should I consider getting critical illness cover?
A critical illness is devastating enough to think about, let alone considering the financial impact it can also cause on you and your loved ones’ lifestyles. If you are diagnosed with a critical illness or long term disability, it’s more than likely you won’t be able to work during this time.
Critical illness cover is a smart way to help you bridge the gaps so you don’t have to worry about financial burdens during your recovery. You may find yourself in a position where it’s essential to make alterations in your home in the instance of becoming disabled, critical illness insurance can help cover some of these costs.
How much will this cost me?
Often the first thing people want to know when taking out a critical illness policy, however, there is no simple one fee fits all due to these facts:
- Current health
- Personal and family medical history
- Any dangerous sport or hobbies
- The amount of cover
How do I apply for critical illness cover?
Like all types of insurance, there is an application process. You will initially be required to fill out an application form that will ask you about yourself and if you or your family have suffered from any serious illness or disabilities. If your family members have, your policy will be rated. This means you pay a higher premium to be covered by certain illnesses or you may be offered a policy with an exclusion.
It may also be required of you to undertake a medical, this is a fairly standard procedure for applicants of a certain age or with pre-existing conditions.
It is imperative that throughout your application process, you must remain honest and provide your insurer with complete information. There is no point in trying to brush a family history of heart attacks or any existing medical conditions you have under the rug when applying for life and critical illness cover. If you do need to claim, your insurer will investigate your medical history in an attempt to unearth any undisclosed information.
Is it worth it?
We understand it can feel like a lot of hassle to think about for something you intend to never use. However, the peace of mind along with the financial support that will come should you ever be in a situation where you need it is priceless.
Critical illness cover is more than likely to provide you with the financial helping hand you need if you don’t have enough money to fall back on if you become unwell unexpectedly. This is a tax-free lump sum that can be spent however you would like – There is no rule in regards to how you use this money. If you need it to help you pay the bills or buy the latest state-of-the-art mobility bed, it’s up to you.