Critical illness

After all, most of us take out life assurance to provide for our families if the worst does happen, or to cover a mortgage or other substantial loans.
There are, though, plenty of medical conditions and illnesses that, although not immediately fatal, have a serious impact on both our lifestyles and, crucially, our ability to earn a living.

And that's where critical illness cover comes in. Critical Illness Cover is an insurance plan that pays out a guaranteed cash sum if you're diagnosed as suffering from a specified critical illness, within the term of the plan. The plans usually have no cash-in value at any time.

How it works.
Heart disease, strokes and cancer are the most common causes of death in the UK, but advances in medical science mean that more people survive these serious illnesses every year.
Conditions that were once almost always fatal can now be treated - if not actually cured - and the victim might well live on for decades afterwards.

This is one reason more people are looking at critical illness cover, either alongside or as an alternative to a life assurance policy.
Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed as having one of a number of illnesses, including cancer, strokes and heart disease. And the policy will pay out even if you subsequently make a full recovery.

The cash sum you'd receive from a critical illness plan could help you through the recovery period. You may have to reduce your working hours, need to pay for medical care or have to adapt your house to make your day-to-day life easier. A critical illness plan could help all of this and more.

The payment is not immediate, as almost all policies have a 'survival period'. This is usually 28 days, and the patient has to live beyond that point in order to trigger a payout.

You can normally add critical illness onto another protection policy such as term assurance or whole of life or can have a stand alone policy. A stand alone critical illness policy will usually cover the same range of sicknesses as the critical illness part of a combined policy. The difference with having a stand alone policy is that someone who suffers a critical illness can make a claim, but any life assurance is unaffected. Should they eventually succumb to the illness; their estate will receive a further lump sum.

The disadvantage is that running two policies side by side is expensive. Also, there will be no payment from the critical illness policy if the holder dies suddenly, for example, in an accident.

If you would like a quote for a critical illness policy or to see if the premiums on your existing policy are still competitive, please contact us.

Terminal illness

What happens if you become terminally ill?

A lot of term assurance policies will now also make provision to pay out if you are diagnosed as suffering from a terminal illness and you aren't likely to live more than 12 months. This normally only applies before the last 18 months of the plan term. If the life assurance company does pay out a claim for terminal illness, your plan will end.

If you would like a quote for a new term assurance with terminal illness or to see if the premiums on your existing policy are still competitive, please contact us.