The illnesses covered by each policy will differ, so it is important to read the full details of the plan you are considering. The following illnesses are typical:
- Blindness – permanent and irreversible;
- Cancer – excluding less advanced cases;
- Coma – resulting in permanent symptoms;
- Deafness – permanent and irreversible;
- Heart Attack – of specified severity;
- Kidney Failure – requiring dialysis;
- Stroke – resulting in permanent symptoms.
Insurers may also exclude some illnesses because you already have them, or are likely to get them because of your health or lifestyle. The premiums are often reviewable, meaning they may change during the term of the policy; although, some providers offer fixed premiums that are guaranteed not to change.
Critical Illness is usually more expensive than standard Life Insurance as typically people are more likely to experience a qualifying illness than to die.
Taking a Critical Illness policy on it’s own without any death benefit is often not the most cost effective method of obtaining cover and it is often the case that a life policy with added critical illness is better value even if you have no need for the death benefit.
It is also possible to vary the amount of both death and critical illness under a policy and therefore a great deal of flexibility is possible.
The premiums for Critical Illness cover are set up in two different ways:
Guaranteed where the premium is set by the underwriters at outset and Reviewable where the premiums is reviewed on a regular basis and can increase or decrease in line with the insurance companies claims experience.
Typically we would recommend guaranteed premiums but these are usually more expensive than the reviewable therefore the end decision is also budget related.
Critical Illness cover is not designed as a replacement for your income. If you are looking for cover to protect your income if you are unable to work then please contact us for advice or see “income protection”.