What Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover?

I’ve just taken out a mortgage and think I could do with some insurance to pay the rest of the mortgage if i’m to become ill. I’ve heard of Critical Illness Insurance – what is it and what does it cover?

Question asked by Gemma Boughey

Critical Illness Cover is an insurance which pays out a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of a range of conditions (typically between 30-50 medical conditions depending on the insurer).

These conditions vary from insurer to insurer and are defined in the policy documentation but there are seven core conditions that are covered by most critical illness policies which are cancer, coronary artery bypass, heart attack, kidney failure, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

If you become critically ill with a condition that meets the definition laid out in the insurer’s terms and conditions, then you’ll be able to make a claim and receive a payout to clear your mortgage.

Of course, this is a rather narrow cover in that it only covers critical illnesses and of a severity determined by your policy.

There are many non-critical illnesses that could nonetheless prevent you from working, from a bad back to a mental health condition, which wouldn’t be covered by Critical Illness Insurance.

As such, Drewberry often recommends clients at least consider Income Protection as an option. This policy pays out a monthly income equivalent to a proportion of your income if you’re unable to work for any medical reason, rather than the condition needing to be critical.

Ask your adviser about the difference between Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection today.

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Kathryn Wright
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