Skip links

What actually is Critical Illness cover, and do I need it?

Life insurance and critical illness cover can be confusing if you have never had a policy before and are unsure where to start.

At The Insurance Surgery, we are the UK’s Number 1 Specialist Insurance Broker. We have years of experience in helping to protect people’s families by finding them a policy so they have peace of mind that if anything were to happen, they would be taken care of.

Life Insurance is pretty straight forward depending on the type you take out. You pay a monthly premium then when you pass away, a lump sum is paid out to your family.

Critical Illness Cover offers additional protection to a Life Insurance policy. Sometimes, you may be offered a critical illness policy as an add on when you take out life insurance, or it is possible to take it out on it’s own. It will pay out if you are diagnosed with a serious or critical illness or if you sustain an injury which means you cannot work.

What Is Critical Illness Cover?

Most critical illness cover policies will provide a lump sum cash pay out if you were involved in an accident and suffered an injury, illness or become permanently disabled, although this will depend on any exclusions on the policy.

Many people decide to take out a critical illness cover once they purchase a house and have a mortgage to cover, or if they have children and need to support their family.

If you were unable to work, how would you cover the rent, bills and lifestyle costs?

Being diagnosed with a medical condition or having a life altering accident can be incredibly stressful. There are lots of things you will need to change about your lifestyle, your day to day schedule and your way of living to adapt. The additional stress of financial worries shouldn’t be something that you need to think about.

If you already have a pre-existing medical condition, it can be slightly harder to take out a critical illness policy. We do have a handy guide to some medical conditions and whether you can take out cover here.

If you are typically healthy as it stands, the majority of Critical Illness Cover policies will provide cover against:
  • Most Cancers
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Heart Attack
  • Kidney Or Liver Failure
  • Stroke
  • Major Organ Transplant

It is worth noting that these are subject to certain levels of severity. It will be detailed in your policy, but some providers may not cover all heart attacks for example, it would be based on the severity of it.

Down the line, if you were to suffer from or develop any of these conditions, you should be covered.

Your Critical Illness Cover policy will pay out a Tax-Free lump sum to cover:

  • Hospital Fees / Medical Treatment
  • Adapting Your Home
  • Cost Of Living Expenses
  • Mortgage / Rental Payments

Having this safety net means you don’t have to worry about money and can focus on yourself and your family whilst you get over your illness or accident.

The Insurance Surgery does all the hard work for you and compares the policies to find you the one that suits your lifestyle and budget. You can begin the process by filling in our online quote form for critical illness cover here.

How Much Does Critical Illness Cover Cost?

The cost of Critical Illness Cover will vary from person to person and will depend on several factors including:
  • Age
  • Current Health
  • Your Weight
  • Medical History
  • Family History
  • Smoker Status
  • The Amount Of Cover You Want To Take Out
  • Job

If you wanted to look at reducing the cost of a critical illness policy, you can do a number of things such as reducing your BMI or quitting smoking. Both are easier said than done, but after 12 months you are classed as a ‘non-smoker’ which can significantly reduce your premiums.

What Critical Illness Cover can pay for


Protect your home

If you found yourself out of work, would you be able to afford your rent or mortgage payments?
A critical illness policy provides that backbone of support that you need if something was to prevent you from working. If you are diagnosed with an illness or disability, your lump sum can help with your monthly accommodation costs. It can not only help you keep a roof over your head, but help you keep hold of the home you have built as a family.

Protect your family

Protecting your family will always be the most important thing to you. Adding Critical Illness Cover to your Life Insurance policy means that you can continue to provide for them when you are too ill to work. The tax-free lump sum can be used however you wish.
Having children and a family to provide for can often feel like you need a never-ending stream of money. There is always something to pay for, whether that be activities at the weekend, school trips, new school uniform or the latest toys and gadgets for birthdays and Christmas.

The average cost of raising a child rises every year, and gets more expensive as they get older. 

When taking out life insurance, we calculate the cost of a child based on the following figures:
£5,324.80 per year, if they are aged over 11
£3248 per year, if they are aged 5-10
£2128.36 per year, if they are aged 2-4 £2215.72 per year, if they are 0-2 This is then multiplied by how many years it is until the child is 18, leaving a lump sum to support them through to being an adult.

In a similar vein, it is good to have these figures to hand when thinking about critical illness cover and how much you may need for your children if you were unable to work. Ensuring your children are cared for is your main priority, so make sure your critical illness cover pay out covers everything you need if you had to use it.

Protect your lifestyle

Following on from the average cost of raising a child, you also need to think about yourself and the lifestyle you lead. Some of your current lifestyle may be adapted slightly if you were to become ill or injured, but the baseline of your lifestyle stays the same.

If you enjoy seeing friends and family, eating out, taking holidays and enjoying days out with your partner, it’s important to still be able to continue with the little things in life that keep you happy. Having Critical Illness Cover in place will ensure you continue to live the life you love as best you can if you are unable to work and earn money.

 Adapt your home

If you become ill or have an accident that requires additional help around the house, it can be expensive to get everything in place. You may need to add handrails to help you get around, or relocate the bathroom if an accident means you can no longer get up and downstairs. There is a lot to think about if this was to happen – and it all comes at a cost.

Your critical illness pay out can help you adapt your home with everything you need to live comfortably, without having to take out loans to pay for the work to be done.

 Cover medical fees

The NHS is fantastic, but if you become seriously ill or need additional support, you may find that the medical bills start to rack up. On top of this you have prescriptions and over the counter medication to think about. You may also opt to be seen faster by paying for a private practitioner and a critical illness cover pay out can help pay for this.

  You can learn more about critical illness cover on our dedicated webpage, and through the handy infographic below.

If you’re looking for critical illness cover, fill in our online quote form today and a member of our expert team will call you to discuss your options.

  CriticalIllness Infographic 2 01