Critical Illness Insurance pays out a tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of certain life-threatening or debilitating (but not fatal) conditions including heart attack, stroke, cancer and major organ transplants.
This list will vary depending on the insurer, as will the exclusions for making a claim.
Critical Illness Insurance often comes as an optional addition to a Life Insurance policy, but can also be purchased on its own.
Policies usually only pay out once, so they don’t necessarily replace your regular income, but you can use the money towards medical treatment, your mortgage or anything else you choose.
Many people buy Critical Illness Insurance when they take on a major commitment, like a mortgage, or start a family. However, since we’d all like to have our financial commitments lightened if we were to suffer a serious illness or injury, the cover is relevant for most of us at any time.
If you already have Critical Illness Insurance you should think carefully before you cancel your existing policy and take out a new one.
For example, if you’ve developed any illnesses since you first took out the policy, you may lose some of the benefits when you replace it. That’s because pre-existing medical conditions may not be covered by the new policy.