Critical illness insurance is designed to cover your back with a lump-sum payment in the event of you becoming seriously ill or disabled. However, what constitutes a critical illness differs between insurance providers, and policies vary in both price and quality. So before you consider taking out critical illness cover, read on to find out how we can help you get the best and most comprehensive deal for the right price.
Should I get critical illness and life insurance cover together?
This is a question many of our clients ask us. A critical illness policy will offer you an agreed amount of money, usually in a lump sum, to cover things like the treatment costs, bills, and other financial commitments you might struggle to pay if you weren’t working during your recovery from illness. However, many critical illness policies won’t pay out if you pass away within a set period of time from the onset of the illness.
This is where life insurance comes into play. Often, insurance providers will offer critical illness cover during the process of putting your life insurance in place, and many people take on both types of cover together.
With both policies in place, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones will be financially protected in the event of you either encountering a serious health crisis, or passing away.
What counts as a critical illness?
It varies between insurers, but most policies will cover some cancers, alongside heart attacks and strokes, and often include some of the following: Alzheimer’s disease, major transplants, serious head injury and bacterial meningitis. When choosing a policy, be sure to check what is, and isn’t, classed as a critical injury or illness before purchasing.
Notably, most providers will not cover you for conditions that arise from HIV/AIDS. However, it is possible to claim on your policy if you catch HIV from a blood transfusion, through physical assault, or while doing your normal duties.
If I’m critically injured while doing a hazardous activity, will I still be covered by my policy?
No. Hazardous pastimes, such as climbing, motorsports and boxing will not be covered. Also, if your injury is caused by alcohol or drug abuse, failing to follow a doctor’s advice, or is self-inflicted, for example as part of a suicide attempt, your insurer will likely reject your claim.
It’s also important to check what your provider deems an ‘acceptable’ country for the purposes of insurance. Most insurance providers will cover you for things that occur in the UK and Europe, but will have a list of countries where your policy will not pay out if you spend more than a few months a year there.
What type of critical illness cover can I get?
When considering the kind of cover you require, we always advise our clients to look at their financial commitments. For example, if you currently have significant demands on your finances, such as a mortgage, and a young family, you might want to take out a policy that will last until your mortgage ends, or your children reach a certain age.
Once you have decided how long you need the cover to last, you should then decide how much money you would want to receive as a lump sum if you were incapacitated by critical illness. When making this decision, it’s important to factor in how much money you owe on outstanding debts, alongside other large costs, such as education fees.
You can then opt for:
Level cover. You pay the same amount every month until your policy is finished, and the lump sum you receive remains the same.
Increasing cover. Your monthly payments rise over time, to allow the lump sum to increase in line with inflation.
Decreasing cover. Your cover decreases each month, for the duration of the policy, with the idea that as you pay off outstanding loans, such as your mortgage, you won’t need as much money to cover your expenses. These are the least expensive policies to put in place.
If I’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness, can I still get cover?
Insurers will take the time to look at your medical history when you take out cover. So it’s always best to be upfront with them. However, having a serious or pre-existing condition doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get cover, although in some cases, they may decline to insure you.
At Evolve, we are passionate about helping people get the cover they need to support themselves and their families, through whatever life throws at them. Our friendly insurance specialists can guide you through the multitude of options available, and find you a policy that covers all your bases, and provides the right level of cover, at the best price. And where claims need to be made, we will be there to support you through every step of the process. Get in touch to arrange your FREE consultation today.