When should I buy critical illness insurance?
7 Feb 2020
If you’re not sure you’d take your chances, it’s time to think about looking for some critical illness cover. Getting seriously sick isn’t a fun thing to spend time thinking about, but you’ll be able to worry about it a lot less if you and your loved ones are financially protected against it.
Do I need critical illness cover?If you’re single, renting a house or living at home, with no children and no major financial obligations - you lucky thing - then you probably don’t desperately need critical illness cover. It's never too early to start thinking about it though. When you do decide to buy a house or start a family, that’s when you’ll begin to need the peace of mind that comes with buying life insurance products. If you fall ill and have to take large amounts of time off of work, or even leave your job altogether, then it’s likely that you’ll struggle to be able to provide for the ones that you love in the way you used to.
Really, anyone who has large financial commitments taking up any amount of their income could definitely benefit from critical illness protection. These commitments include mortgages, car payments, and having children, parents, or a partner to support. If you have dependents relying on your income for school, cars, nursing homes, or your family home, then the money could definitely be a blessing for them if you find yourself sick.
The money isn’t just there to go towards the financial commitments you made before getting ill. Any costs that might be incurred by your actual illness - like trips to specialists or changes needed to your car and house during recovery - can be covered with your critical illness cover.
Essentially, when you come to a time in your life where you’re committing to other people and to some big spends, it’s a good idea to consider how you might struggle if you fell ill, and how critical illness cover could protect you and your loved one’s lives.
How does critical illness cover work?Like many other life insurance products, critical illness cover pays you a lump sum if you’re unlucky enough to get sick during the time you’re covered by your policy. You can decide on the duration of your policy so it suits your situation, although many people choose to pay for cover until their financial obligations are met, until they retire, or their little ones fly the nest.
The pay out from your insurance might not buy a miracle cure, but can go a pretty long way to easing financial pressures on you whilst you’re sick and as you recover, so you can focus on just getting better. Whilst being seriously ill definitely isn’t fun and games, your cover will allow you some peace of mind.
It’s also worth noting that you can buy critical illness cover alongside a life insurance policy, so you’re protected from everything - except actually dying, of course. Let us know if you find a way to protect yourself from that…! Be aware though that you can only claim against this once, so if you were to get seriously sick and claim against your critical illness policy, your family then wouldn’t get a pay out if you were to pass away in an unrelated manner at a later date.
How much cover do you really need?Events such as heart attacks, strokes, traumatic head injuries, major organ transplants, kidney failures, and illnesses like Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, bacterial Meningitis and many types of cancer are commonly covered. You can get different levels of cover and plans that include different illnesses, so make sure you’re taking care to understand what’s on offer to you.
Going straight for the cheapest policy without considering your individual needs is a rookie mistake as you’re likely to find it won’t cover you how you’re hoping it will. It’s definitely possible to get covered the way you want on any budget though, and you might not need fully comprehensive cover.
Watch out for the fine print: are the premiums fixed? Are your family covered? Are there exclusions like minor heart attacks, early stages of cancer, or illnesses brought about by pre-existing conditions? Whilst some of these might not apply to you, here at LifeSearch we can help you make sure your cover, well, covers you. Call us on 0800 316 3166 for friendly, fee-free advice.