What is Critical Illness Cover?
Critical Illness cover provides you with a lump sum, should you be diagnosed with a serious illness or disability that will have an impact on your life.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a serious illness, you should be focusing all your energy on rest and recovery.
You won’t want to be worrying about how you’re going to be able to support your family, or how you are going to fund the changes to your property or life that are required following your illness.
How much Critical Illness Cover do I need?
Critical Illness Insurance is a tricky one to establish exactly how much you need as we must consider a severe disability will mean moderation’s are made to your property, amongst other lifestyle changes which we can’t foresee.
A good insurance broker will arrange a fact find with you where they review areas of your life which will be impacted if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.
Some of the things you should consider when deciding your critical illness requirements are:
- If you have a mortgage, how much is left to pay?
- Do you have any debts?
- How would you family survive if you are serious ill or disabled, and how much would they need?
- Do you have any savings?
We can use the above questions as a starting point to establish what level of cover you need, and then start to consider the potential unforeseen amounts such as medical expenses and care home requirements that would be required.
If you are employed, always check with your company if they have a group scheme in place or offer on critical illness on a voluntary basis.
Group Critical Illness is regularly offered in company benefit plans as a voluntary benefit and this can be cheaper than an individual policy as taking it’s costed on a bulk basis.
When considering taking out critical illness cover, you should always consult with a protection expert to decide what level of cover is required as there are other insurances that you may already have (life insurance etc.) that can combine critical illness that may help save you money with multi-product deals.
How much does Critical Illness Cover Cost?
How much you pay for critical illness insurance will vary from insurer to insurer and we suggest taking prices you see on comparison sites with a pinch of salt.
We never start with the price when considering critical illness cover, as we believe the success rate of making a claim with an insurer is much more important than saving a few pounds a month.
If we look at the factors that insurers consider when reviewing the price this is usually (but not limited to):
- Smoker status
- Pre-existing and family medical conditions
- How much cover is required
- Style of living (hazardous hobbies, lifestyle etc.)
- Term of policy
- Whether premiums are guaranteed or review-able
Each insurer will have their own way of calculating how much the above factors will impact the price.
Smoking is one of the most significant factors to pricing and certain insurers will take a more favourable view than others, but it will always increase your premiums.
It will also need to be disclosed if you have recently given up smoking or vaping as this will still need to be reviewed when deciding the price.
Always remember that if you are planning to take out critical illness insurance directly through an insurer, they could be offering a promotion, and you could be paying more in the long run.
Hooray Health & Protection will never charge you for a review, we are paid directly by the insurer for placing the business with them, so any advice you receive from us is free.
Will insurers pay my Critical Illness Insurance claim?
Critical illness cover is still an evolving market, but we have seen a massive increase in sales over the last ten years which has also seen an increase in claims.
We don’t have the figures for the individual market on it’s own unfortunately, but if we do have the statistics for the whole individual and group market combined in 2017 from the Association of British Insurers.
It’s brilliant to see over 90% of claims across the industry have been paid, but we want to try and increase this number as to be as high as possible. We do understand, and have to take into account, that certain declines for claims will be valid (fraud, false representation, mis-sold etc.).
At Hooray Health & Protection, we will only recommend insurers that have over a 90% claims satisfaction rating to ensure our clients peace of mind when it comes to making a claim:
Which terms and conditions should I look out for?
Understandably, as with all insurances, there are exclusions. The key is making sure you are aware of these before taking out a policy.
Pre-existing and family medical history can be excluded, but every insurer will have their view on the conditions and exclusions.
Hooray Health & Protection tailor the policy to you, to make sure we aren’t placing you with an insurer who will apply exclusions to your personal or family circumstances without highlighting to you first.
One of the most common issues with terms and conditions we hear from our clients discussing previous experiences, is due to heart attacks and cancer, and is usually due to their adviser not fully informing them when taking out the policy.
Cancer and Heart attacks are covered by all critical illness insurers (and are the highest claims on the policy) but what many advisers fail to mention is that some early stages of cancer or a minor heart attack may not be covered under the policy.
Always make sure when taking out a policy, that you disclose full medical history for yourself and your family, such as whether you have ever smoked or anything else that could potentially impact the pricing.
We always advise speaking to an expert as there are many things that one would think make no difference but could impact your claims or price.
Hooray Health & Protection Top Tip: It’s always better to disclose too much than too little as it is better to pay a bit extra and not have any issues with a claim when it’s needed most.
Why use Hooray Health and Protection for Critical Illness Insurance?
If we consider exclusions against pre-existing conditions, medical history requirements and added extras then organising critical Illness cover is not always the easiest thing to do.
It is vital you find an adviser who has experience in the area and always considers other policies you may have and reviews all your protection needs.
At Hooray Health & Protection we have a wealth of experience across the industry and ensure that when it comes to organising Critical Illness insurance, you have every option available explained to you.