Nobody likes to think about being seriously ill, but unfortunately it does happen. Having the right insurance cover in place could protect your family from money worries at what will already be a difficult time.

So what is Critical Illness Cover?

Critical Illness Cover provides a lump sum upon your diagnosis with a specified critical illness, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Typically Critical Illness Cover policies cover between 25 and 60 different serious illnesses, however the exact number of illnesses covered can vary significantly between policies.

Does it have to be a life threatening illness?

By definition a critical illness will be a serious, however it does not have to be life threatening. In fact Critical Illness Cover was invented by a South African doctor, Dr Marius Barnard, as he noticed that his patients were no longer dying when they were diagnosed with a serious illness because of improvements to medical science. This was great news for the patients, but a consequence was that their families often struggled financially without either the patient’s wage, or a life insurance pay-out. By paying out on diagnosis, Critical Illness Cover aims to ensure that people have money at the time when they need it the most.

Are all illnesses covered?

No. Critical Illness Cover provides a pay-out upon the diagnosis of a specified critical illness, to a specified level of severity. Each policy will cover different illnesses, to differing degrees of severity, so it is important to understand exactly what you will be covered for when you take out your policy.

How much is paid out?

When you take out your policy you can choose how much you would like to be covered for. Critical Illness Cover can be used for any purpose, although common reasons include repaying a mortgage or debt, funding private medical treatment, adapting a property, modifying a vehicle or replacing lost income.

Are children covered?

Although each policy varies, many modern policies provide cover for the policyholder’s children. This can mean that parents have access to funds if their child is diagnosed with a specified critical illness, enabling parents to be able to afford to take unpaid leave from work.

How much does it cost?

Critical Illness Cover can cost less than £10 per month, although the exact premium you pay will depend on a number of factors. These include: your chosen level of cover and term, your health, whether you smoke and your age.

Do I need it?

Could your family cope financially if you or your partner were diagnosed with a critical illness? Only you can answer this question and a lot will depend on your individual circumstances.

This information contained within this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice.