What is Critical Illness Cover and do I need it?


Few people would argue with the value of life insurance.

If you have dependents, having life assurance is vital to protect them. But what would happen if critical illness struck and left you unable to provide financially for your family and for yourself?

At Continuum we believe it is a question that you need to ask – and fortunately, we can help you find the answers.

Looking at the figures

Figures from the National Children’s Bureau confirmed in 2016 around one child in 29 loses a parent before they grow up, and most of us choose Life Insurance to provide for our family’s financial security if we could not be there to provide for them. The costs can be moderate if you start your policy early, and most people believe that the peace of mind it provides is worth it.

But more people are hit by a critical illness than premature death.

Many people are better financially prepared for their death than for a breakdown in their health – despite illness being more likely.

Fortunately, medical advances have meant that many critical illnesses can have much better outcomes than were possible in the past. But even when treatment is successful the effects of treatment and lasting debility can make work impossible.

You need to ask yourself how you would cover the mortgage, bills and even put food on the table if you were unable to work, quite apart from dealing with any extra costs from your condition. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

Your employer might be able to provide some help, but most of us might be forced to call on state support, which is likely to be less than generous.

We can help arrange Critical Illness Cover to provide an affordable solution.

How Critical Illness Cover works

Critical Illness Cover is a form of insurance that pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with an illness or medical condition specified within the policy when you first take out the cover. (You need to check the policy documentation for any limitations or excluded conditions as these may differ between providers). You can spend the money how you wish, so you could use it to pay off debts, to adapt your home to your particular needs, or simply to provide for the costs of everyday living while you were not well enough yourself.

But not all policies are the same. Some insurance companies will offer blanket cover for more than 60 medical issues, others may let you specify the conditions that you are worried about. Some will not pay out if your condition is relatively minor. You may find that a mild stroke or heart attack and even some cancers will be excluded because they are easily treatable – although some insurers might make a small payment in the event of a less severe illness.

What will it cost?

Naturally, the cost of Critical Illness Cover will depend on your age and general health, and the younger and healthier you are, the less it can cost.

It is possible to take Critical Illness Cover as a standalone policy – but at Continuum, we often recommend that this type of cover is arranged as part of a complete financial protection plan.

This can include life assurance, as well as Critical Illness Cover, and other policies such as income protection.  Having this kind of integrated protection can be the best way to ensure complete peace of mind and all round protection for your family. An all-round package can cost much less than individual policies, especially if you call on us at Continuum to tailor your cover to your needs, and those of your dependents.

To find out more about the cover you need, contact us at Continuum.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.

Book a free initial consultation

Book an initial consultation with one of our independent financial advisers or call us on 0345 643 0770 if you would like to discuss further.

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