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Critical illness cover. What is it? Do you need it? In a nutshell this policy can provide you with a tax-free cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious condition that is covered by the insurer.

Unfortunately this is a policy where cheaper is not always better. You do not have to pay your weight in gold, but you will find that it is dearer in comparison to standard life insurance.

When you are looking for critical illness cover you need to look at how many conditions the insurer offers on their contract. Policies can offer you anywhere from 40 to 170 different conditions, depending upon which insurer you choose to go with.

As well as looking at how many conditions an insurer offers for critical illness cover, it is important to look at the quality of their claim definitions. There is a big difference between a policy that pays out for loss of a hand or foot, and a policy that pays out for loss of hands or feet!

It is also important to make sure that you understand that when you arrange these policies you are agreeing to a contract at the date that your policy starts. If the insurer that you are with improves their critical illness contract at a later date (adds new conditions, improves their definitions of cover) you will not automatically be entitled to these changes under your existing policy.

What about taking care of you if you do fall ill? Some critical illness policies offer after care and second opnion services, with companies such as Best Doctors and Red Arc. These companies offer access to specialist medical professionals that can help give you dedicated advice and support to help you through your diagnosis.

There are many options when it comes to critical illness cover and if you are considering it, it really is worthwhile chatting to someone who knows what they are on about, before you make your final decision.

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