Critical illness cover


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Compare Critical Illness Insurance

If you or a loved one were to suddenly become seriously ill with a long-term illness, could you still afford to pay your bills? It’s not a nice question to have to ask yourself, but if you’re unfortunate enough to face this situation, you may be glad you did. Having critical illness cover could make life a little more bearable by taking some of the financial pressures away, leaving you to either focus on getting better, or caring for your sick loved one.

This is a policy you hope you’ll never have to claim on but if you do, you’re going to be really grateful that you had the cover.

Frequently Thought Questions

With such a sensitive subject, it’s not often as widely discussed as perhaps it should be. You wouldn’t be alone in having questions about critical illness cover. That’s why we thought it would be useful to answer a few of those questions that you might have in mind.

What is critical illness insurance?

Often sold as part of a life insurance policy, critical illness cover is designed to cover you if you fall sick with a variety of different conditions or suffer a debilitating injury. The policy pays out a tax free lump sum payment which, whilst you’re unable to work, which could provide you with some financial security.

Critical illness is an all-encompassing term covering conditions such as a heart attack, a stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer which has not been diagnosed as terminal, or a physical disability brought about by an injury. Exactly what is covered will depend on the insurance provider and policy that you decide to take out.

Where do I find cover?

Though you may be able to find providers who will provide a stand-alone critical illness policy, the cover is more usually found as an optional extra within a life insurance policy.

Are all critical illness policies the same?

No. There are a number of types so you’ll need to look at the details and find a policy which best suits your needs. For example, varying illnesses may be covered differently by certain providers - so make sure you check what’s covered. It is also important to know the details of what the claim process is after diagnosis and how payments will relate in those circumstances.

You may very well find that your policy pays out different amounts depending on the type of condition, so it’s important to make sure you are fully aware of your policy cover in advance.

Some policies have optional extras such as ‘child critical Illness cover’, ‘total permanent disability cover’ and ‘total disability cover’, so check the terms carefully if you seek wider coverage.

Am I eligible for a policy?

Typically, as long as you are a UK resident and over 18, you are eligible. You’ll also need to have a UK bank account for direct debits, but these are usually the only criteria.

It is also important to make sure that you can afford the monthly payments.

How long does the policy last?

That depends on your personal circumstance and how long you decide to take out the policy for. You may decide to take a policy that will run for the same length of time as the term of your mortgage e.g 25 years or until your dependents no longer need financial support

How much does the policy pay out?

That depends on how much cover you want to take out – similar to the how long does this policy last question it will depend on your own personal circumstances.

How much does critical illness cover cost?

The amount that you can expect to pay for your critical illness cover is very dependent on the terms of your policy, the amount of cover you are looking for, any existing health conditions that you may have, and your personal circumstances will all play a part in calculating the cost. For example, the price may go up the older you get and may cost more if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Comparing prices for critical illness cover

We can help you here. Just select the Life menu on our site and click ‘start a new quote’. We’ll ask you some questions about you such as your age as well as ask you about the kind of insurance you want to buy. After that, leave it to us, we’ll quickly search across our panel of providers and list them in price order.


Click add ‘Critical Illness’ and refresh the price to show the cost of having critical illness cover included with your life insurance policy. If you want to compare combined - sometimes called ‘Integrated Critical Illness’ - change the amount of cover to 100% of your life cover amount.

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