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The essential guide to Critical Illness Cover for businesses

The Essential Guide To Critical Illness Cover For Businesses

Company Critical Illness Cover is one of the newer employee protection policies currently on the UK market. But it’s quickly become the go-to option for businesses seeking to protect employees should they suffer a career-ending illness or disability.

In this blog post, we reveal exactly how a Group Critical policy works, how it can benefit employee and business alike, and how a quote is worked out.

Need help setting up the perfect blend of employee benefits and health insurance? Our friendly team are here to help. Email [email protected] or click on the bottom right chatbox.


What is Company Critical Illness cover?

Critical Illness Cover provides staff with a tax-free lump sum in the event of them becoming ‘critically ill’ – the definition of which is laid out in the policy (see section below). It ensures employees are better placed to deal with the financial ramifications of suffering a devastating illness, giving them one less thing to worry about as they go about dealing with the physical and psychological effects of the illness or, in some policies, disability. Money can be spent on anything from paying medical bills to shopping for groceries.

The amount that staff receive is usually calculated as a multiple of their salary (either 2 x or 4 x their salary), alternatively you can provide coverage for a specific amount.

Group Critical Illness reassures your employees that a lifechanging illness is not going to leave them in financial straits, and that they will receive the best protection and support possible from their employer.

Most business policies require a minimum of 10 covered employees, so SMEs and start ups are often missing out. However, we work with an insurer who can quote for just three employees!


Which illnesses will staff be covered for?

A Group Critical plan usually includes the following:

  • Coverage for a core group of 10-15 illnesses including cancer, heart attacks, strokes
  • Option to enhance cover by adding up to 30 additional illnesses
  • Option to cover for sudden physical disability, AKA ‘Total Permanent Disability’
  • Automatic cover for employees’ children (we include this in every Business-Critical illness review)

When first delving into Group Critical Illness, it is vital to review different insurance policies. Each insurer has its own terms and conditions with unique combinations of covered conditions and added extras. Working out the best option is tricky!

That’s why employing a broker like Hooray is important. We can quickly gather FREE quotes from across the market and often find deals which you won’t find publicly. Crucially, we don’t have any loyalty to anyone provider – our loyalty is with businesses like yours! Simply use the chatbox on the right to kickstart the conversation.

Below we have outlined the specific conditions covered under a core plan:

  • Arthritis
  • Blindness
  • Third-degree burns
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • HIV
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of hand/foot
  • Kidney failure
  • Major organ transplants
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Deafness
  • Dementia
  • Encephalitis
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke

As you can see a typical plan has lots to offer. But you go further by opting for ‘added value services’ which provide even more protection for your teams. These can include the following:

  • Child cover (usually up to a maximum of £20,000) for up to 8 critical illnesses
  • Employee Assistance Programmes and servicesg., face-to-face/online counselling for emotional stress (usually included in price of the policy)
  • Extra specific health conditions can be included
  • Cancer support services
  • Second medical opinion services


Learn more about what factors influence for Critical Illness Cover quotes.


Working out the cost of Critical Illness Cover for businesses

Quotes will vary from provider and from businesses to business. But let’s give a real-life example… Canada Life’s own data showed the average Group Critical Illness premium to be £2,020.

How do you reach this cost? The factors affecting group critical prices include:

  • Number of employees covered
  • Age of employees covered (assessing the presence of risk)
  • Level of cover (optional inclusions/add-ons)
  • Location of employees
  • Occupation of employees
  • Any long-term absentees
  • Any previous claims history

There are a few other financial issues to consider.

Tax relief & National Insurance

If the policy is taken out by the company, tax relief is given on premiums. However, the employer will be liable for National Insurance contributions on those premiums.

Optional uptake

It is becoming more and more common for Group Critical Illness policies to be offered voluntarily on a flex scheme basis. This means that the employee is paying their premium themselves, but at a discounted rate compared to what they would pay outside of the business.

Hooray can talk you through all the various options in more detail – and provide advice specific to your business. We’ll also advise on how Group Critical compares to other health-related insurance policies, and how you can piece together the best value scheme for your business.

Speak to one of our friendly brokers by calling 01273 222805 or email us at [email protected] for FREE support and quotes.


What can Critical Illness Cover bring to your business?

There are a wide range of benefits both to overall business success and the wellbeing of each employee in your teams. We’ve listed a handful of positive outcomes from investing in Group Critical Illness.

  • Attracts corporation tax relief if funded by the employer)
  • Improves staff retention levels
  • Shows employees they are individually valued
  • Encourages staff to care for the success of the company
  • Attracts talent to your business
  • Provides flexibility to your benefits plan – easily paired with other benefits e.g., Group Income Protection / Group Life Insurance – each aimed at providing comfort and support to employees during difficult times
  • One of the lower cost insurance schemes you can provide for staff
  • Scheme is adaptable – scope of coverage and pay-out amount can be tailored to fit your budget
  • Staff are able to deal with the financial blow of no longer being able to work – helping them support their families and themselves during a difficult time


Get advice and support from hooray

Investing in a Company Critical Illness reassures your people that they’ll have financial support when they need it most. However, understanding the different policies in the market and working out which are going to provide the best value for your business can be tricky!

At Hooray Health & Protection, we’ve helped many SMEs and start-ups pinpoint the right set of benefits for their business. We’re also honest enough to say when we feel a policy does not fit your needs or whether an alternative would provide better value.

If you’re looking for FREE quotes and honest advice surrounding Critical Illness Cover and other employee benefits, then contact our team today on 01273 222805 or email us at [email protected] for no-obligation FREE advice and support.

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