Critical Illness Cover pays out on the diagnosis of any critical illness defined in your policy, subject to the policy terms and conditions. Usually it pays out a lump sum, useful for paying off your mortgage or paying for specialist medical treatment or for one-off modifications to your home, e.g. a wet-room downstairs or a stair lift or widening doorways for wheelchair access. Working parents usually have some life cover associated with taking on a bigger mortgage, but with the advances in medical science, the chances of us suffering a permanent critical illness increases. The latter may be the more important risk to cover. This is especially so if you are single: better to have the money paid out to you so your quality of life is thereby improved, than to pay your beneficiaries after you are dead!
There are many Insurers offering many different policy wordings. In this cover, understanding the small print is especially vital. The cheapest premium may well not be right for you. That is where the experts at Wexdon come in. Give us a call to discuss your personal situation. We cannot deal with everything on the website, but as an illustration, you want a policy that will pay outmif you cannot follow your own occupation, not “any occupation”. If you are a football star earning £500,000 p.a. whose critical illness means you cannot play football anymore, you do not want the Insurers to decline to pay out because you can still do a job on the minimum wage as a night security guard.
All policies should cover stroke, verified heart attack and terminal cancer. We disregard policies not covering 7 core conditions. Some Insurers cover 30 or more medical conditions. Others will cover fewer conditions and, for example, not pay out for certain types of cancer. Every policy has a delay before you can claim. Increasing this period can be a way of reducing the premium you pay. Similarly, you may be prepared to accept fewer conditions being covered to make the premiums more affordable.
Beware being offered Critical Illness cover packaged with something else, for example a mortgage. “One size fits all” for the typical age range of 17 – 70 is not going to give you the same fit as bespoke selection. In most cases, you will be much better off having the whole market researched by an IFA like Wexdon.
Please also read our section on Income Protection, and make sure you understand how they dovetail together. If the doctors accept you suffer from severe back pain, you will probably qualify for payment under the terms of a good Income Protection Plan, but not under a Critical Illness Policy. Conversely, a minor stroke would probably trigger payment under a Critical Illness Policy, but probably not under Income Protection Insurance. Note also what we say about the need for full, honest disclosure when completing the Proposal Form: it applies equally to Critical Illness Cover.
As medicine advances, more people live longer. For you, that may mean you should not delay taking out Critical Illness Cover. For Insurers, it means more claims. Therefore the market moves quite quickly, so what is available today is not necessarily available weeks later. A Guaranteed Premium (where the premium is fixed) may be significantly cheaper over the life of the Policy, even though to start with the monthly premium is higher. It is well worth taking the time to get the right Policy at the start. Once you take out Critical Illness Cover, you are likely to lose out if you chop and change.
Remember our initial appointment is free of charge – no matter how long it takes. Even if you live in a completely different part of the country, we are pioneering SKYPE conferencing for IFA meetings. All it will cost is a little bit of your time. Give us a try: call us now to book an appointment to start the process. It is your first step to a brighter future for you and your family.