Critical illness cover – is it worth it?

Many people think that taking out life insurance is enough to keep their family’s financial future safe. But standard life insurance doesn’t cover you while you are recovering from a serious illness. That’s where critical illness insurance – also known as serious illness cover, could help.

What is critical illness cover?

Thanks to advances in medical treatment, many serious illnesses such as strokes, heart attacks and even cancer can now be treated successfully. However, recovery can be a long process, and usually means you’ll need to take an extended period off work to get better.

That’s where critical illness cover or serious illness cover can help. With this form of insurance, you’ll receive a lump sum, tax-free cash payout, which you can use in whatever way you wish. For example, you might pay off your mortgage, pay for medical treatment or make alterations to your home if your illness has disabled you. You could even use it to take a holiday to fully recuperate.

Is this kind of insurance worth it?

To help decide whether you need critical illness insurance or serious illness cover, think about out how you would get by financially if you or your partner were unable to work for a while due to a serious illness. You may have some sick leave accrued at work, or savings to fall back on. But once they run out, it could be hard to cover your everyday costs, especially if you have a mortgage or medical expenses to pay.

Before taking out cover, compare the policies offered by different insurance companies as they do vary in how much, and when they’ll pay. Check the illnesses that each insurer’s policy will cover – as well as any exclusions and limits that apply. You should also check if you can choose the amount you’d like to receive, whether you can pay your premiums monthly or fortnightly (as well as annually) and whether you can also insure your partner on the same policy.

It’s also worth finding out whether you can take out critical illness insurance or serious illness cover as an optional extra to your life insurance, as this could save you money on premiums..

Critical illness cover and your children

There is perhaps nothing more stressful than watching your child struggle with a serious illness. On top of the emotional stress, you or your partner may need to take time off work to care for them, which could place your family under financial strain.

Real Insurance offers Real Children’s Insurance, a form of critical illness cover specifically for children, which you can to add to your Real Serious Illness Cover. The payout can help cover any income lost while you are caring for your child or be used to help your child recover.

What’s not covered?

Critical illness cover generally won’t provide a benefit for illnesses not specifically listed on your insurer’s policy. It also won’t cover you if you have a chronic illness such as back pain, or an injury that prevents you from being able to work. For wider cover, income protection insurance may be a better option – providing a regular monthly payment of up to 75% of your Pre-Disability Income.

Find out more about the different insurance options to protect your family if the worst happens and you pass away or become terminally ill.

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