Critical Illness Cover
• Type of benefit paid: Lump sum or regular income
"1 in 2 UK people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime" *
If the worst happens and you’re diagnosed with a critical illness, it’s important to make sure you’re covered against the financial impact it could have on your family. Critical illness insurance will provide a tax free cash sum (under current legislation, tax year 2019/2020) in the event that you are diagnosed with one of a set list of critical illnesses where your diagnosis meet the provider’s definition.
The cash sum can be used however you need to use it. For example, it could be used to clear a mortgage, used to replace a lost income, to pay for private treatment or for whatever else you feel is required. Essentially it is there to make a really difficult time a little bit financially easier. It would allow you to concentrate on what is really important, loved ones, rather than worrying about financial matters.
Critical illness cover can be arranged in a number of ways. It can be for a fixed amount or it can decrease in line with your mortgage balance if you have a repayment mortgage. You can either take it alongside life cover or as a standalone option. You don’t even need to fully cover the mortgage balance if your budget is tight, after all some cover in the event of serious illness is better than none.
Policies vary depending on the provider, so it’s important to understand the differences. For example, the number of illnesses covered, their definitions and the additional benefits that are available. It is not just a question of looking for the cheapest policy, but making sure you have the best level of cover you can get for your budget.
The premiums for these policies can be either fixed and guaranteed from the outset, meaning that they won’t change throughout the life of the policy, or they can be reviewable.
* Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/risk/lifetime-risk – May 2020