|Critical Illness Insurance Cover|
What is critical illness cover?Critical illness insurance is a contract written on either an annual basis or over a pre-defined term (ie; 10 years). In its most simplistic form, Critical Illness Insurance will pay out an agreed sum, either as a lump sum or regular income upon diagnosis and survival of a listed critical condition.
What sort of conditions are covered?
Policies vary considerably based upon preference. A basic policy will cover core areas such as Heart Attack, Stroke and Cancer; however more comprehensive options will list an array of conditions covered.
For examples, see our Critical Illness Definitions page for details.
What else might be covered under a Critical Illness policy?
In addition to the listed critical illness conditions, policies will often include (either as standard or as an additional benefit) benefit such as Permanent Total Disability (being permanently disabled as a result of illness or injury).
Often Critical Illness Plans are referred to as TERM ASSURANCE due to way in which they are set up. Equally, benefits are often coupled with Life Cover and sometime Income Protection to create a more robust protection policy.
How does a Critical Illness plan benefit me?
Reasons for purchasing Critical Illness vary dependant upon your needs, it is ideally suited to:
Providing financial assistance upon diagnosis of a serious condition, helping to pay bills, make lifestyle changes and assist with treatment costs.
Couples and Families
Payable on each life or first life, provides valuable financial assistance during a difficult time, pay for Carer and Schooling costs.
Self Employed / Business People
A Critical Illness policy can be used to provide valuable security if in business or self-employed.
Financial benefits are paid tax-free and can prove a life-line until you are able to make alternative arrangements or return to work
Mortgage & Loan Protection
Many lenders insist upon a degree of protection when borrowing money, so that if you are stuck by a serious illness, you are financially able to meet your obligations and thereby protect your assets.
Types of Cover available?
There are a range of types of cover available to either meet your specific needs or your budget. Needless to say, the more expensive policies do provide a greater degree of cover than the basic plans.
You can also elect to add additional benefits such as Permanent Total Disability, Accident Death, Life Cover and even healthcare expenses to build a plan to meet your exact requirements.
Premiums can also be calculated on an annually renewable basis, reviewable every so many years or even guaranteed for the length of a pre-defined term.
Types of Benefit available?
Benefits are payable on a tax free basis as the tax has already been factored into your premium. You can choose to receive benefit as either a lump sum or as a regular income for the life of your term.
What to look out for?
As with many things today, the cheapest option is not always the best one to consider. Think hard about the reasons why you are buying insurance and discuss this with your adviser.
Critical Illness definitions are a hot topic at present, and due to advances in medicine and science, definitions are constantly being reviewed. If you have a specific concern, we recommend raising this with your adviser to ensure your policy remains suitable.
How to buy Critical Illness insurance:
Due to the nature of the policy; you will be asked a number of questions about your health and well being. Any activities you participate in, drinking and smoking habits and height and weight.
You will also be asked about any known problems with immediate family members to determine the risk for the insurer.
If there are any areas of concern, it is common for the underwriters to seek further information from your GP or in some cases; a health screen may be requested to determine your state of health (often associated with larger sums of cover).
If you do not disclose all relevant details as requested, you could invalidate the entire contract, so it is advisable to be thorough at all times during the application process.