Critical Illness Cover
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Critical Illness Cover provides financial protection to you, your family and loved ones in the case of you being diagnosed with a specified Critical Illness.
What is Critical Illness Cover?
Critical Illness Cover provides a cash lump sum of money to you upon the diagnosis of a specified serious medical condition, as defined by the insurance provider’s list of claimable illnesses for your policy. Primarily this cover can remove the stress of financial concerns at a time when you and your loved ones should be focusing upon you.
Diagnosis of a Critical Illness can be emotionally and physically exhausting and the last thing that you want is financial stress on top of everything else. You need to be able to put all of your energy into dealing with your medical prognosis and focus upon adjusting to your new lifestyle requirements.
A Critical Illness claim payout can be used in any way that you like, but is often used for:
- Repayment of a mortgage or loan
- Contribution towards monthly bills and expenses
- Private medical treatment
- Home modifications
Having a Critical Illness does not necessarily mean that you will need to give up work permanently or need a long absence from work. In some situations you can have a Critical Illness and require absolutely no time off from work, however in the majority of cases you will require at least some personal time to undergo treatment for your condition.
You may find that your Critical Illness and/or treatment result in you being placed on medical retirement if your job role requires you to be at a certain level of health. Whilst you are looking for alternative employment the funds from your Critical Illness claim can be used so that you can maintain your current standard of living.
Many people who suffer from a Critical Illness find that they need to alter their lifestyle and modify their home to make their day to day living more comfortable. You can use your Critical Illness payout to make structural changes to your home such as installing a lift or a wet room, and buy aids such as bath seats and ramps to make your life easier.
Critical Illness Cover comes under a few headings: Critical Illness Insurance, Critical Illness Assurance, and the alternative Serious Illness Cover (SIC). Regardless of the name used the basis of these policies are the same:
- You pay a monthly premium to insure your health over a set period of time
- You can choose a Critical Illness Insurance policy that has either a Decreasing, Level or Increasing benefit
- Upon a successful claim you will receive a tax free sum of money
There are so many choices when it comes to Critical Illness Cover that it is worthwhile speaking to an insurance adviser who can advise you on the correct policy for your concerns i.e. the core Critical Illnesses that you would like to be insured for. Critical Illness policies that are currently available on the market can insure you from anywhere between 43 and 161 illnesses.
Each insurance provider offers a Critical Illness policy that generally covers a core set of conditions and then offers a set of additional serious illnesses unique to them. A successful Critical Illness claim will be dependent upon the conditions listed in the policy that you have, and the severity of your diagnosis. The insurance provider will liaise with your GP and/or specialist at the point of claim to determine if your diagnosis meets their criteria for a policy payout.
There are two main types of Critical Illness Insurance available for you:
- Level Term Critical Illness Cover: With this policy the Critical Illness benefit that you choose at the beginning of your policy is guaranteed to remain the same throughout the duration of your policy. Level Term Critical Illness policies are generally used to cover the outstanding liability on Interest Only mortgages and loans, or for general family protection.
- Decreasing / Mortgage Term Critical Illness Cover: With a Decreasing Critical Illness policy the sum assured reduces over the term of the policy. The lower sum assured is aimed to follow the reduction in the liability of Capital Repayment on your mortgage or loan.
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Review by Anthony And Gaynor on 8th January 2016
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