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LIFE & CRITICAL ILLNESS | BUSINESS INSURANCE |
INCOME PROTECTION | PRIVATE MEDICAL INSURANCE
Critical illness insurance also known as serious illness cover, is designed to pay out a lump sum on the diagnosis of one of the critical illness conditions included in your policy. You can add critical illness insurance cover onto your life insurance policy if you have life cover in place or take a stand a lone critical illness policy.
This type of plan is designed for those individuals or families who want a tax free lump sum if they are diagnosed with a serious illness. As an example of where this lump sum could be used is to repay a loan, mortgage, or perhaps pay for time off work. The lump sum could even be used to pay for any necessary alterations to your home.
Some insurers will also provide children's critical illness cover as an add on at an extra cost.
Critical illness insurance will give you a one off payment if you get one of the specific medical conditions or injuries listed in the policy. It only pays out once, after which the policy ends.
The conditions and illnesses covered can vary significantly between different insurers. The most comprehensive policies cover 50 different conditions or more, but others are much more limited.
Examples of the types of critical illness that might be covered include:
Most critical illness insurance policies will also consider total permanent disability as a result of injury/ serious accident or illness as well as terminal illness cover.
Some policies will make a smaller payment for less severe conditions, or if one of your children has one of the specified conditions.
But not all conditions are covered. Common exclusions include:
Critical illness policies cover a wide range of illnesses, conditions and situations. So it’s important to compare what different insurers can offer you.
Monthly premiums for critical illness policies will depend on a number of factors including:
If you’re considered at risk of a particular condition – perhaps because of a pre existing medical condition, that illness could be excluded from the policy. Or you might have to pay a higher premium. An insurer will more than likely request medical evidence to assess the risk
The cost will also depend on whether you choose reviewable premiums or a guaranteed premium.
Reviewable premiums are usually reviewed after a certain period of time, usually every five years. At each review point, they’re likely to increase.
Guaranteed premiums remain fixed for as long as you have the policy. These can cost slightly more in the short-term. But many people like the security of knowing what they’ll be paying in future.
Critical illness insurance is typically taken out alongside other types of insurance, such as life insurance or income protection insurance. It’s often combined with a life insurance policy.
The amount of cover you need will depend on:
You can adjust the amount of cover you take out according to your needs and monthly payments.
These policies are a tax-efficient and cost effective alternative – for both you and your employees – to offer a ‘death in service’ benefit that pays your employee’s family a lump sum in the unfortunate event they were to die while employed.
This is a potentially complicated product, and there can be a lot of stress and heartache when a claim isn’t paid out.
The best way to get what you need is to get advice from a specialist broker like London FS.
We will take you through the details of the different cover types available and make sure you choose the right one.
We also have access to specialist insurers for people who have had insurance applications turned down, perhaps because of an existing medical condition.
It’s important to give the insurance company all the information they ask for and complete the application honestly. When you make a claim, the insurer will check your medical history. If you didn’t answer truthfully or accurately in your application, or you didn’t disclose something, your claim might be rejected.
Take your time reading the policy wording. Make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. Be aware that definitions and exclusions (what isn’t covered) can vary between different insurers. If you see something you don’t understand, ask the insurer, an insurance broker or a financial adviser. Your broker should provide and go through the policy documents with you
You have 30 days from buying the policy to change your mind and get a full refund.
It’s always worth looking around for a better deal, particularly while you’re still in good health. You can either switch to another provider or stay with the same one and change policy. Either way, make sure you understand any changes in the new policy details and the conditions they cover. Also, be aware that you might find yourself paying a little more, even with a better deal. This is because you’ll be older than you were when you bought the first policy.
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