There are many potentially stressful times during our lives, some of which have a tendency to arrive unannounced. While the more obvious examples include:

  • Moving house (particularly the buying and selling part)
  • Starting a new job
  • Starting a new business
  • Dealing with debt
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Retirement

Other things sent to test us in life often come like a bolt from the blue and include dismissal from work, Personal Injury, death of a parent, spouse or sibling, being a victim of a crime and being diagnosed with a Critical Illness. With regards to Critical Illness, comfort can be had in the knowledge that finances can be taken care of, should your health situation take a turn for the worse, thanks to Critical Illness Cover.

Like we say, receiving clinical confirmation that you’ve got a serious illness is more than a body blow for the recipient, yet knowing that from a monetary perspective at least, one possible impact of such news will be reduced because of the contingency measures you have in place should help.

What is Critical Illness Insurance and who might need it?

In its most basic form, Critical Illness Cover provides a tax-free lump sum in the event of the policyholder being diagnosed with a specific Critical Illness or medical condition during the term of the policy.

Essentially it offers a financial safety net should the insured party be struck down with an illness which makes an impact on both their health and wellbeing, as well as their ability to continue their job. Unfortunately very few of us have enough savings to bankroll ourselves during a long-term illness, while any benefits possibly forthcoming from different sources are typically found to be lower than imagined.

As long as the policyholder regularly maintains their premium payments as agreed at the outset of the policy, they should be protected throughout the duration of the said plan. Obviously, once the policy reaches its pre-determined conclusion, time-wise, then all cover ceases. With regards to the passage of time, individual policyholder’s agree to the duration at the beginning of any negotiations with the Critical Illness insurance package provider, but normally timelines take in to account key points in your future; such as your mortgage being paid off and/or when a child has grown up, for example.

In terms of who would benefit most from arranging a Critical Illness Insurance Policy, we’d always suggest it shouldn’t be ruled out by anyone, at any point; as any number of people will benefit from plans made in advance to safeguard personal finances during times of unforeseen trouble life.

For those single, a Critical Illness Policy would ensure peace of mind re mortgage repayments (if and when you’re unable to continue these under your own financial steam as it were), and some form of cover is a requirement of mortgage applications on many occasions.

Couples with children will doubtless wish to protect their family in times of unexpected need, especially if the main provider in a household can no longer maintain their employment due to a sudden-onset health condition which compromises their ability to perform the tasks required to remain employed.

And what if the extent of your medical condition means that you’ re forced to make either structural changes to your home to accommodate a disability, or change your car.  Such a life-changing scenario would require access to funds immediately, and a Critical Illness settlement could certainly make all the difference.

What Illnesses would Critical Illness Insurance cover me against?

Please be aware that many policy entitlements differ from provider to provider (taking into account individual risks, back history, etc) when it comes to Critical Illness insurance packages.

Broadly-speaking, however, it’s demanded that pretty much all Critical Illness insurance policies cover certain conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and some cancers, whilst the majority of reputable ones are designed to pay-out should the insured party become permanently disabled as a direct result of an injury or illness.

On average there are approximately of 50 recognised health-impacting and medical conditions which are acknowledged by the insurance industry (although actual illnesses and definitions covered will vary between insurers as mentioned above), with reference to what’s falls under the banner –of a Critical Illness, and inclusion of the following:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Loss of limbs
  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Some types of cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Major organ transplant
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Bacterial meningitis

NOTE: A Critical Illness and terminal illness are two different things, and effectively a standard life insurance policy should cover any illness where it’s understood that the policyholder is expected to die within 12 months of learning of their diagnosis.

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What doesn’t a Critical illness Plan Cover me against?

It goes without saying that any Critical Illness package WON’T protect against a serious health/ clinical condition that the individual/would-be policyholder had been diagnosed with or suffered from PRIOR to arranging the Critical Illness insurance plan.

Should the insured party disclose any chronic and long-term illnesses then they also risk not being offered the appropriate cover, which is therefore why it’s important to go through the details of a policy with a fine-toothed comb before signing on the dotted line.

Similarly, cancer is viewed as a wide-ranging disease and with this in mind, some types (or stages) are not always covered in Critical Illness packages. That said, if you discuss your needs with our trained advisors you will have the option made available to you where you might choose a combined Critical Illness plan with a general life insurance agreement; yet it’s important to recognise that without this, any payout would not be made if you were to die from your condition.

Anything else I should be aware of?

As we indicated above, in terms of purchasing Critical Illness insurance, you can either buy it outright or add it to a life insurance policy, existing or new.

Critical Illness plans are often billed with/mentioned in the same sentence as the Term Life Insurance packages and are therefore combined.

In this instance, the insured party can often only claim once, if you were to receive a cash settlement after being diagnosed with cancer, the policy is effectively finished at that point. There is usually no Life Insurance pay-out if you die at a later date.

Another aspect which you’ll need to be made aware of is the subject of medical history. For the most part, anyone entertaining the idea of signing up for Critical Illness insurance packages will be required to disclose some details about their medical history in order to get a Critical Illness Insurance quote in the first place.

As you might expect, this then allows the insurance provider an opportunity to assess the risk factor of the individual applicant, and calculate a premium which goes some way to reflect this. Honesty is the key here as if you’re later discovered to have been hiding/falsifying information an insurer is well within their rights to void any future claim.

Don’t delay enquiring about Critical Illness cover if you’re young, as it’s a common misconception that it’s an insurance type which you should only consider when you’re older.

Fair enough, if you’re young, fit and healthy then you’re not going to worry overly about falling ill; and subsequently be under the impression that critical illness cover is a necessity. However such policies work out significantly more competitively priced when you are classed as low-risk, so it in the longer term it makes good sense to opt for such a package. And who better to speak to about the entire subject of critical illness insurance than Quick Quote Life. We’re just a phone call away, and can offer you much deeper insights into the what, when, why, which, how and where when it comes to all things of a critical illness persuasion.

Contact one of our trained advisors now for a free no obligation quotation

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