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Frequently asked questions

  • What is critical illness cover?
  • Where can I buy critical insurance cover?
  • Are all policies the same?
  • Am I eligible for a policy?
  • How long does a critical illness policy last?
  • How much does critical illness cover cost?
  • Comparing prices for life insurance cover

What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover is a type of life insurance policy that offers protection in the event of a serious illness or injury. If a policyholder suffers from a specific illness or injury, a pay-out is made by an insurance provider in the form of a lump-sum, which can be tax-free.

A critical illness can include heart attacks, strokes and non-terminal cancer. It can also cover you if you’ve suffered a physical disability following an injury, such as after a serious accident at work.

Exactly what’s covered by critical illness cover will depend on the specific details of the life insurance that you take out. Learn how this type of serious illness cover is different to terminal illness cover.

Where can I buy critical insurance cover?

There are providers who offer a standalone critical illness policy, but this cover type is typically bought as an add-on to a standard life insurance policy.

You can’t buy critical illness cover as a standalone policy on our site, but you may be able to select it once we’ve offered you a list of quotes. It could just take a couple of clicks.

If you have any doubts or further questions you can call our partner LifeSearch, a specialist adviser for life insurance, on 0800 197 8912 (Mon-Fri: 8am - 8pm, Sat: 9am - 2:30pm).

Are all policies the same?

No. What defines a critical illness varies from provider to provider. This is why it’s really important to know what is and what isn’t covered by your policy. Make sure you establish the details of the claim process too.

It’s likely that your policy will pay out different amounts depending on the type of condition you’re diagnosed with. Again, it’s really important to make sure you’re fully aware of your policy cover in advance.

Am I eligible for a policy?

As long as you’re a UK resident and over 18, then you should be eligible for critical illness cover. As with all life insurance policies, this is subject to other factors including your lifestyle and medical history.

You’ll also need to have a UK bank account so you can pay via direct debit. It’s important to make sure that you can afford the monthly premiums when you take out cover.

How long does a critical illness policy last?

The length of a critical illness policy varies depending on personal circumstances and how long you decide to take out a policy for. You may decide to get a policy that will run for the same length of time as the term of your mortgage. Say, 25 years.

Alternatively, you could calculate the length of cover based on how long your dependents will need financial support from you.

How much does critical illness cover cost?

The amount that your critical illness cover will cost depends on:

  • The amount of cover you’re looking for
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions you have
  • Your current personal circumstances
  • The terms of your policy  

Comparing prices for life insurance cover

It can take less than a minute to add critical illness cover to a life insurance policy quote.
And half of our customers could pay just £6.14** for a regular monthly premium. Find a great deal on your life insurance now.

**50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £6.14 a month based on comparethemarket.com data from February 2018. Based on a £100,000 decreasing term policy over 10 years with guaranteed premiums for a 30 year old non-smoker.    

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