Critical Illness cover. What is it and do you need it?

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, it can have a severe impact on your finances as you may need to take time off work for your treatment and recovery. Critical illness cover is an insurance policy that pays out if you get a serious illness, disease or disability. It pays out a lump sum payment when you are diagnosed with one of the specific critical illnesses covered by your policy. This can help pay for your mortgage, rent, debts, or alterations to your home, such as wheelchair access, should you need it.

Critical illness cover is often sold alongside life insurance. As such, the two types of cover are quite similar in the way they work. Not all conditions are covered, and policy will also state how serious the condition must be to trigger a payout. Examples of critical illnesses that might be covered include, strokes although often only if symptoms last for more than 24 hours, heart attacks, certain types and stages of cancer, and some life limiting conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Most policies will also consider permanent disabilities as a result of injury or illness. Critical illness cover only pays out once and then the policy ends.

Planning critical illness cover is quite similar to thinking about life insurance. You need to choose how much cover you want, and how long you want the policy to last. Each insurer offers a limit on how much you can claim, with some offering up to £25,000, and others offering millions. The amount of cover you choose will affect your monthly premiums, which you pay throughout the term of a critical illness policy. You can have cover just for yourself, but some companies offer joint policies which would cover you and your partner or family policies This which cover you, you partner and your children.

You should look into Critical Illness cover if you feel that state benefits might not be enough to replace your income if something goes wrong and you can’t work because of long-term sickness or disability. If you’re eligible, Employment and Support Allowance ranges from around £70 to just over £100 a week at present, depending on your circumstances and the seriousness of your illness or disability. If you don’t have enough savings to tide you over if you become seriously ill or disabled or you don’t have an employee benefits package to cover a longer time off work due to sickness then once again it is worth considering of Critical Illness Cover is for you. As always I am happy to discuss your personal circumstances so please get in touch for some advice.


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