Protection against illness or injury cannot be overstated. As we learnt from the COVID, disaster can strike at any time.

One of the main forms of protection is critical illness cover, which you may have come across. But is it better to have it as an add-on to a life insurance policy or as a standalone policy?

Talk to a Critical Illness expert today...

What is Critical Illness Cover?

Critical illness cover is a special type of insurance that provides financial security if you become critically ill or injured. The pay-out is a tax-free lump sum, which gives you the freedom to spend it however you need. This could be helpful if you have to take a break from work or to make up for other lost income from being ill.

It can also help ensure your assets and debts are protected. Allowing your family and/or loved ones to continue paying bills and living expenses while you cannot.

Some illnesses covered include cancer, heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, loss of limb and more. The exact list varies between insurers and policies.

Every critical illness policy must include certain conditions, as defined by the ABI in the Minimum Standards for Critical Illness Cover guide. 

Can you buy Critical Illness Cover on its own?

Yes, it can be bought as both an add-on or a standalone policy. Which option you choose depends on your individual circumstances and the level of cover you need.

As a standalone policy

Advantages of buying critical illness cover as a standalone policy:

  • Since critical illness cover is typically more expensive than life insurance, taking it as a standalone policy. It offers greater flexibility and control, as you can choose the level of cover that best suits your needs and budget.
     

  • You can choose how long the policy will last, so it can protect you for your preferred amount of time (5/10/25+ years, for example).
     

  • If you have life insurance, buying critical illness cover as a separate policy means it won't affect the amount of live cover you are insured for following a critical illness diagnosis.

As an add-on to an life insurance policy

Advantages of buying critical illness cover as an add-on:

  • It may be more affordable than buying a standalone policy. Some insurers even add on life cover to their critical illness plans for no additional cost. 
     

  • Offers convenience, as all your policies will be in one place, making it easier for you to keep track of them.
     

  • There are more plans available with life insurance and critical illness combined, so you have more options available to you.

Unsure of your options?

How much does Critical Illness Cover cost?

Just like life insurance, you are required to pay a monthly premium to your chosen insurer each month. However, there are several factors that affect the cost of these premiums. This includes:

  • The amount of cover you choose. More cover usually means a higher premium.
     

  • Your age. Older people are more likely to make a claim and therefore attract higher premiums.
     

  • Your medical history. Pre-existing conditions may mean you won't be able to get cover at the same price.
     

  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol or engaging in dangerous sports can also increase your premiums.

How is Critical Illness Cover paid out?

The policy pays out a lump sum upon diagnosis of a serious illness, injury or disability that is covered under your policy’s terms & conditions. This payout could provide vital support during an otherwise difficult time, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

The pay-out can also be used to help cover medical costs and other expenses incurred due to being ill. However, once the policy pays out, it usually ends. So if you feel you may need further cover you'll have to take out another policy.

Most critical illness plans also cover you for death, but not always, so be sure to check your terms and conditions. 

Having both life insurance and critical illness cover can be beneficial, because if either event occurs, you and your family and/or loved ones are protected. 

What our customers say

Do I need Critical Illness Cover?

Ultimately, it's up to you whether to take out cover. But if you're looking to protect yourself, your family, and/or loved ones in the event of a serious illness or injury, then it could be a good option.

It's also worth considering that the cost of medical care and treatments can be very expensive. So having financial protection in place can help to provide peace of mind.

Critical illness cover is just one option that may be suitable for your situation. Here are some alternatives that could be better suited:

  • Income protection insurance: pays out an ongoing monthly benefit, if you cannot work due to illness or injury. This can help cover any bills or debts, such as a mortgage.
     

  • Family income benefit: pays out a regular income to your family if you die during the policy period. This can help replace lost income and provide financial security for those left behind.
     

  • Death in service benefit: type of employee benefit which pays out a lump sum if you die while employed. It can be beneficial to those who don't have any other form of life insurance.

  • Private medical insurance: If you're worried about the cost of medical care, having private medical insurance can offer peace of mind. It covers the costs of private treatment and can mean shorter waiting times for appointments.

If critical illness cover sounds like something you need, you can speak to one of our experienced advisers. They can help you compare policies and find the right cover for your circumstances.

Speak to the experts...

Give our advisers a call today.

Our team of friendly and professional advisers are on hand to help with any questions you may have regarding Life Insurance.

The advisers can also make recommendations tailored to your current situation and will research the market on your behalf, ensuring you secure the cover you need and supporting you every step of the way. 


01392 43 61 93(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm)

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