Critical Illness Insurance (Cover)

What is Critical Illness Insurance (Cover)?

Critical Illness Insurance is a policy that pays out a tax free lump sum of money upon diagnosis of a specified critical illness, giving you peace of mind when you need it most.

When you suffer from a critical illness it can seriously affect you emotionally, physically and financially. The last thing that you need is to face not being able to pay your bills or make mortgage payments. The stress of this combined with potentially long waiting lists for medical treatment, can be almost unbearable.

If you suffer from a critical illness, you may find that you have a loss of earnings by being unable to work. If you are unable to carry on working you may be placed on medical retirement, and need to look for alternative employment to suit your new requirements. This may result in you having a reduced income and struggling to pay off your liabilities.

You may need to change your lifestyle to account for the results of the illness. Many people who suffer a critical illness need to make modifications to their homes and buy different aids to make their life easier following any lasting complications.

There are two main types of critical illness Insurance:

  • Level Term Critical Illness Cover: The sum assured is guaranteed and remains unchanged throughout the term of the policy. It is often used to cover Interest Only mortgages/loans and for family protection.
  • Decreasing Critical Illness Cover / Mortgage Critical Illness Cover: The sum assured decreases throughout the term of the policy. It is often used to protect Capital and Interest repayments on a mortgage or loan.

Here we allow you to instantly compare the leading critical illness policies in the UK. You can get an Instant Critical Illness Quote Online or speak to one of our qualified advisor by calling us free on 0808 1782 777.

What Illnesses am I Covered for?

This is completely dependent upon the Insurance Providerís individual policy conditions however most Critical Illness Insurance policies cover at least the following conditions:

'Core' Conditions (most likely to claim on)

  • Cancer
  • Coronary artery by-pass surgery
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Major organ transplant
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Stroke

'Additional' conditions (less likely to claim on)

  • Aorta graft surgery
  • Benign brain tumour
  • Blindness
  • Coma
  • Deafness
  • Heart valve replacement or repair
  • Loss of limbs
  • Loss of speech
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Paralysis/paraplegia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Terminal illness
  • Third degree burns

Please remember that each of the above conditions come with an illness definition specific to the insurance company you choose. Insurance providers can have different criteria for the conditions they will cover. For example, they may place exclusions on lower grading cancers,mini-strokes (TIAs) and loss of a single limb. For more information on the industry standards for Critical Illness Cover please visit the ABI guide:

What Illnesses am I not Covered for?

Again, this is completely dependent upon the Insurance Providerís individual policy conditions. A common misconception is that critical illness insurance will pay out if you are unable to work. This is not true, the policy pays out based on the diagnosis of a specified condition rather than the inability to do your job (this would be Income Protection Insurance). Typical things not covered by critical illness insurance are stress, back pain and broken bones.

How Likely is it that I will be able to make a Successful Claim?

As long as you disclose your full medical history before your policy starts, then making a successful claim on your critical illness cover should be relatively simple. You will need to provide medical evidence to prove that you have been diagnosed with a critical illness that is covered by your policy conditions.

Why am I Being Advised to have Life Insurance too?

Most critical illness cover policies come with a standard clause stating that you must survive the diagnosis of your condition by 14 days in order to make a claim. That is why it is often recommended to include Life Insurance with your critical illness insurance. This way you can be comforted to know that if you were to pass away, your family will receive the benefit regardless of the 14 day time frame. There is often little to no difference in price when comparing standalone critical illness cover with combined life and critical illness cover, which is another reason it is often advised.

What Can I use my Critical Illness Benefit for?

Quite simply, anything that you want! Private medical treatment, home adaptations, mobility aids, a long deserved cruise in the Caribbean, you name it you can do it. Whilst we would not recommend you to do anything frugal with the critical illness benefit you are awarded, it is ultimately your decision as to how the money will better your life in the immediate and lasting future. Once you are awarded your critical illness benefit it is yours to keep and do with as you wish, nobody will be checking what the money has been spent on.

How Much Critical Illness Insurance do I Need?

You can decide how much Critical Illness Insurance you require, or you can contact one of our experienced advisors. It's common for people to cover mortgages and debts with Critical Illness Insurance, however this is not always possible due to cost.

We recommend that if it's too expensive to cover the full amount of your mortgage/loan then you should consider covering a proportion of the liability or around 2-3 times your annual salary. This way at least you know that you have some additional income which can be used for mortgage payments, bills, specialist medical care or to make adaptations to you home if required.

Can I Protect my Children in the Event that they Suffer a Critical Illness?

One of the most terrifying moments in any parent's life is to discover that their child is seriously ill. There are many Insurance Providers who offer childrenís critical illness cover. These are often paid in addition to your own benefit and are normally included without additional charge. This allows you the peace of mind of knowing that should your child be diagnosed with a critical illness, you can receive a benefit to help with their medical costs and/or take time off work to care from them. It should be noted that children's critical illness benefit is usually around 25-50% of your sum assured subject to a maximum of £20,000-£25,000.

Latest Critical Illness Insurance Articles

  • Children's Critical Illness Cover

    published on the 4th June 2015 by Kathryn Knowles

    Critical Illness Cover provides some financial security if you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition: such as heart attack, stroke, Parkinsons disease, etc. This can bring a great peace of mind that costs such as your mortgage liability or private medical treatment can be paid for, so that you and your family can focus on you. But what... read more

  • Critical Illness Insurance - Legal & General

    published on the 20th June 2014 by Kathryn Knowles

    Critical Illness Insurance with Legal & General will pay out a full claim on your policy if you are diagnosed with one of 39 serious medical conditions, or a partial claim payment of the sum assured for 2 illnesses of low severity. With your policy documentation you will receive a Key Features Document that will outline the severity of... read more

Why Choose for Your Critical Illness Insurance

The benefits of using for your Critical Illness Insurance are?

  • Free online quotes
  • Easily tailor and filter your quotes to find the best price and product
  • Apply online for your cover once you find your suitable cover
  • Honest friendly advice from our qualified advisors if required
  • We do not charge for arranging or advising on policies.

provides a comprehensive online facility to compare critical illness policies from the leading insurance companies. These providers include, but are not limited to, Liverpool Victoria, Aviva, Legal & General, Friends Life, Vitaliy Life and Ageas. Our quick and user friendly quote engine allows you to easily change quotes so you can try different benefits, policy length, etc.

In addition to being able to quote online you can contact our offices free of charge on 0808 1782 777 to receive honest and high quality advice from our fully qualified, friendly advisors. We do not 'hard sell' under any circumstance and are more than happy to email or post any information that you require.

Man in bed with doctor