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Critical Illness Cover

Help to ease the financial repercussions if diagnosed with a critical illness

Get advice & quotes Call 0800 316 3166

Diagnosis of a critical illness causes a lot of emotional devastation, but there can also be serious financial needs for you and those close to you.

What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover pays out a significant lump sum if you’re ever diagnosed with a life changing illness.   

It’s important to note that different insurers cover different levels / severity of illness. So do check what’s covered and what’s not covered in your policy details.

Heart attack, cancer, stroke, disability – these things will have huge implications for you and those around you.

A cash lump sum won’t change the reality, but it’ll make practical decisions less daunting and let you and your loved ones plan for a life you never planned.

We’ve been protecting individuals, families and businesses since 1998. We’ve protected well over a million lives and have 100 award wins for our service and expertise.

We’re not an insurer, we’re an independent intermediary, which means we work for you – not the insurer.

Our aim is to understand your needs, plans, fears and budget, and bring you critical illness cover options that fit the bill.

We do the heavy-lifting and make recommendations, but you’re in full control.

What’s covered by a critical illness policy?

As a rule, critical illness insurance covers heart attack, some cancers and strokes.  

Depending on the insurer and the weight of the policy, other life-changing conditions, illnesses and disabilities can be covered too: multiple sclerosis, organ failure, disability, limb-loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name few. 

Your policy will specify what’s covered and if in doubt, just ask.

What isn’t covered by a critical illness policy?

A policy will make it clear what conditions / illnesses are covered. If it’s not listed then it’s not covered. If in doubt ask a LifeSearch expert. 

In general terms, you won’t be covered for temporary illnesses or any pre-existing health conditions.   

It’s unlikely you’ll be covered for hereditary diseases (for example muscular dystrophy, sickle cell disease, Huntington’s disease) and dependent on insurers and the level of severity, some types of cancers may not be listed as covered: skin cancer and prostate cancer, for example. 

How much critical illness cover do I need?

The answer is personal to you because it’s a calculation based on how much you earn, your household spending, your outstanding debts (including mortgage) and how much you can afford.

If you have kids, or any financial dependents, it’s an idea to think about them and what financial support they’d need – and for how long – if you were suddenly unable to earn

Why critical illness insurance?

Being diagnosed critically ill can have serious impacts on your work and home life. Almost certainly a serious diagnosis will disrupt your ability to earn and you and your loved ones may face additional costs to cope in a new situation:

Best practice when buying critical illness cover

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LifeSearch From our Adviser Team

Buy young

Rule of thumb, life insurance cover of all kinds is more affordable the younger you are.

Stay healthy

A healthy lifestyle, limited alcohol consumption and regular exercise – these things reflect positively when an insurer assesses your risk.

Don’t smoke

Smoking (including vaping and cigars) is still a major variable in life insurance. Smokers pay much more than non-smokers given the risks associated with lighting up.

Be honest

It’s important to be honest and thorough when applying for life insurance to ensure the accuracy of your cover and premiums, and to weed out potential issues later.

If you fail to disclose a health or lifestyle truth, you risk non-payment come claim time. For you and your loved ones, the news that a claim isn’t going to pay can be truly devastating.

An easy example: if you tell an insurer you don’t smoke when you do, and you claim on your critical illness cover after suffering a heart attack, your medical notes will confirm your smoker status.

Because your policy was risk-assessed as if you were a non-smoker, your critical illness claim will probably be dismissed i.e. not paid.

How much does critical illness cover cost?

The average cost of a Life + Critical Illness policy, over the term of 25 years

Starting Age Cost to cover payout of £75,000
25
£12.89
30
£17.14
35
£24.04
40
£33.56
45 £49.12
50
£94.22
55
£150.95
 60 £231.87

 

*Pricing information obtained 25/7/2022. This data is based on a non-smoker with no medical history.

Critical illness cover can be a standalone product but more often than not it is bought alongside life insurance - to cover all bases and because it’s usually more affordable to bundle.

How much you pay for critical illness cover depends on where you’re at now (age, health, circumstances), and how much cover you want – i.e. how much you want your lump sum payout to be.

Frequently asked questions and tips about critical illness cover

If you’re diagnosed with a disease or condition that’s covered by your policy, just let LifeSearch know and we’ll claim on your behalf.  

We were one of the first UK intermediaries to set up a dedicated in-house claims team, so we’re here to handle the paperwork for you. It’s one less thing for you to do when you’ve got bigger things going on.  

We’ll liaise as much as possible with your doctors and deal directly with the insurers; always aiming for as swift a payout as possible. We’ll let you know if we need additional information or medical notes and keep you updated all along the way.

Usually no. If you pay for your policy yourself (i.e., it’s not part of an employer scheme / benefit) then you won’t pay tax on your lump sum. 

If it is an employee benefit or scheme, you will pay tax.  

How much tax relates to how much of your policy your employer covered. If they paid all your premiums, you’ll be taxed on all of your payout.  

If you have a 50/50 arrangement (you pay half, your employer pays half) you’ll be taxed at source on the bit you didn’t pay – in this case 50%.  

Yes you can and it’ll probably wind up cheaper. But bear in mind, joint cover usually pays once only. So if Partner A gets critically ill, the policy will pay out and Partner B will no longer be protected … unless they take out another policy

Many insurers offer a package of additional benefits and care. Services differ provider to provider but some of the below could be on offer through your insurer; and hugely helpful should you receive a life-changing diagnosis.  

  • Virtual GP services  
  • Health telephone hotline 
  • Counselling services 
  • Health support apps 
  • Private healthcare 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Nurse services 
  • Nutrition consultation 
  • Online fitness classes 
  • Financial planning services

When you speak with a LifeSearch adviser, make sure to ask about the additional services insurers offer. 

Buy critical illness cover through LifeSearch and we’ll back up your insurer’s care package with one of our own: LifeSearch Care.  

LifeSearch Care* fills the gaps with access to specialist health professionals, a personal nurse adviser, practical information and the much-needed emotional support you and your family need. Find out more about LifeSearch Care.

Contrary to popular belief, insurers pay out most of the time. Over 98% of the time, according to the association of British insurers. When claims aren’t paid it’s usually because the policyholder provided inaccurate or dishonest health information.

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LifeSearch Limited is an Appointed Representative of LifeSearch Partners Limited, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Calls may be monitored/recorded.