It’s commonplace to think that nothing major medically will ever happen to me, it’ll always be someone else, so why the need to take out Critical Illness Cover? In addition to this widespread notion, a lot of people assume that they’re fully protected with a standard health insurance policy, however the costs of treating life-threatening illnesses most often surpass the cost of the insurance plan altogether. Critical illness can therefore have such devastating effects on a family.
It’s important to be real and honest when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones – say for example, if one of you were to unfortunately get something life-threatening unexpectedly. In the event of a big health emergency, such as a heart attack, cancer, or stroke etc., Critical Illness Cover could be the only thing standing between you and financial ruin, which could have a plethora of ripple effects.
There are so many reasons why Critical Illness Cover is so important. First and foremost, the cover will pay out a tax-free lump sum pay out which can be used to cover your expenses such as your mortgage, rent, medical bills if you’re unable to work. As you’re in control, you can decide how you’d like to use this cash sum most effectively, from paying off your debts to adapting your house if needs be.
What does a Critical Illness Policy cover?
A Critical Illness policy is a specific type of insurance policy that will pay out a tax-free lump sum if you were to be diagnosed with an illness or medical condition that has been specified in the terms of your chosen policy. Each Critical Illness policy varies and covers different aspects, so it’s crucial to ensure that you know of the ins and outs of what your policy covers and to what extent.
Primarily, a Critical Illness policy will cover you for a significant number of critical illnesses, with the most common being cancer, heart conditions and strokes. If your illness or injury results in a permanent disability, often, you can still be covered under your policy. As you’re in control of what you do with this pay out, you can decide how you’d like to use this lump sum most effectively, from paying off your debts such as your mortgage, rent and medical bills if you’re unable to work, to adapting your house if needs be.
What are the benefits of a Critical Illness Policy?
It’s understandable that the decision whether or not to take out Critical Illness cover is difficult, especially as illnesses are so unpredictable. On the one hand, if you look at your current financial situation and you and your partner can pay for the medical treatments which would be necessary on top of your regular expenses such as a mortgage and day to day expenses without you being at work, then perhaps this policy may not be necessary.
However, for a vast majority of people, this type of policy would be valuable, if you don’t have access to sufficient savings and are without an employee benefits package.
Another way in which a Critical Illness policy will benefit you is if your Employer does not have an Employee Benefits package in place to cover longer time off work due to illness, or a contribution to a Critical Illness Policy. This is because if you were to take ill, and you don’t have enough savings to tide you over, or you and your family reply heavily on your income, then such a policy may be the only viable option to ensure you’re covered.
Which Critical Illness option suits me best?
Like all other types of insurance policies, there are different types of Critical Illness options on the market. Some people prefer to take out a standalone policy on its own, whereas others may choose to take it out alongside life insurance, as it can be cheaper. More often than not, Critical Illness cover can be tailored to suit your individual income, allowing you to take out this policy at a monthly rate which is affordable to you.
Having this type of dual policy in place will provide you with the reassurance that you will be taken care of if you were to take ill to help with any life changing needs, at the same time providing you with peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after if the worst was to happen.
Another option which some people opt for, is for their Critical Illness Policy to be a part of a Mortgage Protection Life Insurance policy. With this combination, you will have enough life insurance and critical illness insurance to cover your mortgage if something were to happen, as often this is often the biggest worry and debt to take into account.
Like all insurance policies, Critical Illness policies are also subject to a host of stipulations. Different policy options cover different illnesses, and there will usually be some which are excluded. It’s also important to find out exactly how severely ill or disabled you need to be to claim, as this may vary from insurer to insurer. In addition, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, there are varying Critical Illness policies which may be prepared to cover them, although at a dearer rate.
Below are some factors which could impact how the cost of your policy will be calculated:
- Age: Generally, the older you are when opening the Policy, the more you’re likely to pay as with age, the risk of getting ill increases.
- Health: If you’re healthy and in good shape, you should be able to pay less.
- Job: If you work in a high-risk vocation, you will be charged more per policy.
- Lifestyle: If you partake in dangerous hobbies or lead an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking and drinking, you could pay more.
Critical Illness cover for Children
As a parent, the last thing you want to think about is your child becoming critically ill, however it’s always worth considering how you’d financially manage these unforeseen circumstances should they did happen. These policies cover terminal illnesses, permanent disability, deaths, access to specialist children’s therapies and funds to cover childcare. Every policy has its own stipulations and it’s important to speak to an expert who can guide you with this very sensitive type of policy and can tailor cover to suit your needs at a minimal cost.
There are usually two choices when considering Critical Illness policies for children: standard or enhanced children’s cover. If you go for the ‘enhanced’ option, your children will be covered for more illnesses and conditions – plus, it’s usually only enhanced cover that protects them in case of child-specific illnesses too.
With all this in mind, Critical Illness insurance can indeed alleviate your financial worries for you and your extended family in the event that you become too ill to work. It provides flexibility in that you can use the money paid out as you wish to cover a wide variety of potential needs tailored to your family.