Critical Illness cover

Critical illness cover is designed to help protect you, and potentially your family, from the financial hardship that a serious illness can cause, during the term of your cover. By paying a tax-free lump sum (or annual benefit with family income benefit) if you suffer or undergo any one of a number of specified illnesses or operations, it can help relieve the financial strain. It can pay for home alterations or specialist equipment, help cover day-to-day expenses, help meet the cost of private treatment, or simply provide an income. More commonly, critical illness cover is used to repay mortgage or other loan commitments in the event you are diagnosed with a specified critical illness or need to undergo a specified operation / procedure.

Most insurers now cover around 35 conditions including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Aorta graft surgery
  • Benign brain tumour
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve replacement or repair
  • HIV infection
  • Loss of hands or feet
  • Major organ transplant
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Paralysis of limbs
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Third degree burns

If it important when you take out your Critical Illness cover that you compare the quality of the cover on offer as this can vary from one insurer to the next. As a general rule of thumb, the insurers that cover more conditions will charge a little more than those that just cover the basic ABI core conditions. Some insurers also include added value services such as free access to rehabilitation services, trained specialist nurses as well as independent doctors to provide second opinions, treatment advice and counselling services.
Did you know?

  • 1 in every 3 men will be diagnosed with a critical illness at some point in their life.
  • 1 in every 5 women will be diagnosed with a critical illness at some point in their life.
  • You are 5 times more likely to suffer from a critical illness, than to die before retirement.
  • In 2009 and 2010 respectively, insurers paid 90.3% and 89.9% of all critical illness claims.
  • There are more than 200 types of cancer, each with different causes, symptoms and treatments.
  • Around 309,500 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2008 in the UK, that’s around 850 people every day.
  • More than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
  • The most common cause of cancer for men aged between 20 & 39 is testicular.
  • Around 125 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in the UK.
  • More than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
  • There are around 124,000 heart attacks in the UK each year.
  • Around 62,000 men and 39,000 women in England suffer a heart attack each year.
  • In England, around 11 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women who were admitted to hospital with a heart attack, die within 30 days.
  • There are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK each year.
  • Around 57,000 men and 68,000 women in England suffer a stroke every year.
  • In the UK, almost 2.6 million people are living with coronary heart disease.
  • Nearly everyone has a friend, relative or colleague who has suffered a heart attack, cancer or a stroke.