What is Critical illness?

Critical Illness Cover is designed to pay out if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness or become permanently disabled. This payment can be set up as a lump sum or monthly income. You can also decide how long you would like the policy to be in place.

Most policies cover 50+ critical illnesses. This includes the most common reasons for claims such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes and multiple sclerosis. These account for 89% of claims on critical illness policies and are referred to as ’the big 4’. Critical illness contracts also have partial payments. These cover less serious illnesses that may still require time off work to rehabilitate.

What does a critical illness policy cover?

The illnesses covered on a policy will vary between providers. This is where is it important to speak to a specialist advisor who can talk you through policies in more depth. There are some budget companies who will often come up on a google search, these will offer a very basic level of cover to match the price. The association of British Insurers (ABI) set out a minimum standard for critical illness cover which is for cancer, heart attack and stroke. Willow Brook Mortgages focus on insurers who offer comprehensive policies, with most providers covering over 50 illnesses.

How many critical illnesses are covered?

Critical illness policies vary between providers on the number of illnesses covered and the definitions of cover. We work with providers that cover over 50 illnesses to ensure that the money you are paying out for your policy is protecting you as comprehensively as possible.

Additional policy benefits to consider:

  • Waiver of premium – This cover your premiums if you’re too ill or injured to work. Insurers waive your premiums if you’re incapacitated for longer than 26 weeks. Waiver of Premium will end when you reach the end of your policy term or return to work whichever is sooner.
Outline of a family with two children, a pink stethoscope and a small red heart about them
  • Additional support – something that can be overlooked. It offers a personal touch to a policy. Whether it is a reassuring call from a nurse, a second medical opinion, bereavement counselling or hospitalisation Benefit. Having someone to speak to can lighten the emotional and financial burden.
  • Total Permanent Disability – If you have an illness or injury that results in a permanent disability, Total Permanent Disability will pay out the sum assured. You’ll usually have to be incapacitated for at least 26 weeks before the insurer can establish whether the incapacity is permanent for most insurers.
  • Children cover – unfortunately this is the 5th most claimed element of any critical illness contract. While it is something you never want to think about, it can offer peace of mind to know this is in place. Your children are covered from birth to the age of 22 with some insurers. If your child was to become critically ill, they would be covered just like the policy holder for a proportion of the sum assured.

What are the top 3 critical illness?

The big 3 illnesses are Cancer, Heart attack and stroke. The Association of British Insurers believe that this makes up 80% of critical illness claims.

When should I take out critical illness cover?

The cost of critical illness cover is impacted by your age so the younger you take out cover the lower the monthly premium will be. We look at guaranteed premiums which means that once your premium is secured for your cover, it will stay the same for the life of the policy

How much critical illness cover to take?

The amount of cover you take will depend on various factors. The cost of the cover is the main factor for a lot of people and ensuring that you your cover fits in with your monthly expenditure.

The ideal amount of cover is your mortgage balance so that if you get a critical illness you can pay your mortgage off. Some people will look at paying off part of their mortgage and using the additional money for private medical treatment, other monthly expenses or nice holiday to unwind. Essentially the money is paid out for you to use as you wish.

Critical illness cover is really important for everyone even if you don’t have a mortgage. If you get a critical illness it is very likely that you will need time off work and if this extends beyond your company sick pay, most people can’t survive on stat sick pay. A lump sum will ensure you can survive financially and could also give you the option to pay for private treatment options.

Can I have 2 critical illness policies?

Yes you can take out as many policies as you would like to. The benefit of splitting your cover between different providers is that they will often cover different illnesses and hold different definitions for illnesses so it can provide you with a broader level of cover.

How long does a critical illness claim take?

Insurance providers understand that if you are looking to make a claim on a policy, you are potentially going through a difficult time and so you do not need any added stress. Our providers have worked over the last 5 years to reduce down the paperwork required and the time it takes for a claim. Insurers have a claims department who are experienced in the process to get things moving from your first contact. Most claims are paid within 2 working days of the final paperwork being received and insurers aim to do this within 2-4 weeks of the claim first being made.

“As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply”