Suffering from a Critical Illness is not something any of us want to think about - but if you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a Critical Illness the last thing you want to be worried about is your financial health!
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance is a policy designed to pay a lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life-threatening or debilitating conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, certain types/stages of cancer, multiple sclerosis and loss of limbs.
The illnesses covered will differ from company to company but will be specified in the policy documentation along with any exclusions and limitations. Critical Illness policies usually only pay out once, so are not a replacement for income. You can use the payout to pay for private medical treatment, pay off your mortgage or anything else you you choose to.
When Is a Good Time to Take out Critical Illness Insurance?
Often people obtain Critical Illness Insurance when they take on a major commitment such as a new mortgage or have a life changing event like the birth of a child, get married or secure a promotion at work.
Before you take out cover, here are some things to consider:
• Critical Illness Insurance pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed as suffering from one of the specified illnesses.
• Policy summaries often set out a list of illnesses covered, but this is only a guide and full details will be in the policy document. This will also set out the criteria that have to be met before the insurer will pay a claim, including defining the level of severity of the illness.
• For example, in the case of cancer, not all cancers or stages of cancer are covered. For heart attacks, the Life Insurance Company will need to have medical evidence of the severity of the condition before paying a claim. So make sure you check which illnesses are covered.
• It does not cover simply any sickness that affects your ability to work – it is specific about which illnesses are covered. Please see section on Income Protection for further information on this type of insurance.
• Some Life Insurance Companies exclude all pre-existing conditions but others will decide on the basis of your personal medical history.
• Critical Illness Insurance is different to income protection, so make sure you understand what it does and whether it is right for you.
• Before you take out Critical Illness Insurance, the Insurance Company will supply you with a Key Features document. This will set out the key features and benefits, as well as any significant or unusual exclusions or limitations. If you have any queries about these please ask us and we can explain the cover in more detail. This will help you make an informed decision on whether to take out the cover.
• If the Life Insurance Company imposes any other conditions, because of your own or family medical history, you should be told what they are before you take out the policy.
• Detailed policy terms and conditions will be provided in the policy document the Life Insurance Company will send you after you take out the cover – Please make sure you read it so that you know what you're covered for.
When Applying For Critical Illness
• It is vital that you give full, honest and complete answers to questions you are asked about both your own and family medical history. If you give incomplete or incorrect information this could invalidate your policy and any claim you make on it.
• If you are not sure, it is better to mention things – let the Insurance Company decide if it is important. Otherwise you will not be aware of what the policy may or may not pay out until you make a claim.
• Please be aware that the initial premium we quote you is only an estimate. The Insurance Company will confirm the actual premium, and the terms, after it has considered your medical history.
• Make sure you understand what the policy covers, when it will pay out and when it will not.
• Read the documents you are given and ask questions if you don't understand anything.
Did you Know?
Most Critical Illness Insurance policies include Free Children’s Cover! This means that when you take out the cover, a number of your children or potential children are also covered under the policy. Each company's definitions of child cover differ. Generally the cover is the lower amount of £20,000 or 50% of the sum assured. The policy tends to cover children from 30 days old to 17 years old.
The great news is any claims made on the children's cover is not subtracted from your cover and does not mean that your cover needs to stop!
Life Cover For All LLP (Registered in England under company Reg No OC359631) is an Appointed Representative of
Access Wealth Management, The Beacon, Beaufront Park, Anick Road, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4TU
which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority