Taking a closer look at the what is included and the differences between the two.
Which Is the Right Policy For Me?
There are a number of different insurance policies available in the UK which can safeguard your financial well-being, but which is right for you? In this article we compare and explore what critical illness insurance and income protection insurance provide in terms of their benefits and the risks that they mitigate.
What is Critical Illness Insurance?
Critical Illness Insurance provide a tax-free lump sum payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with a serious medical condition which is listed in the policy. The pay out is designed to help policyholders deal with the financial burden of their illness and can be used to pay for things like medical bills or a mortgage if they are unable to work.
Why Buy Critical Illness Insurance?
People may choose to buy Critical Illness Insurance for the following reasons:
- To cover financial commitments such as mortgages repayments, loans or to look after dependants.
- To pay for medical treatment or rehabilitation costs.
- To cover lifestyle adjustments or other expenses related to the critical illness.
- To provide peace of mind for their financial situation if they are unable to work.
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What Medical Conditions Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover?
Each Critical Illness Insurance provider will cover a range of medical conditions; however, they may differ from provider to provider, so it is important that you review your policy on set up and when making a claim. Some conditions which are most commonly covered by all providers include:
- Cancer: typically, different types and stages of cancer such as lung, breast or leukaemia.
- Heart conditions: heart attacks, coronary artery bypass surgery, or heart valve replacement.
- Stroke: ischemic or haemorrhagic strokes are usually covered.
- Organ Failure: failure of vital organs such as the heart, lungs or pancreas, may be covered
- Multiple Sclerosis: a chronic autoimmune disease which affects the central nervous system is often covered..
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Not all medical conditions are covered by Critical Illness Insurance and exclusions may apply to any pre-existing or hereditary conditions.
A policy may also specify that you survive for a certain period of time after the diagnosis of a medical condition before the policy pays out. Terminal illness which is defined as life expectancy less than 12 months usually needs to be covered by a Life Insurance policy rather than Critical Illness Insurance.
It is vital that you fully review the policy terms when setting up a policy to ensure you understand what conditions are covered and to what extent and if any limitations or exclusions apply.
When working out how much cover you need, you should consider things like:
- The amount you earn each month.
- Your monthly commitments and essentials.
- Potential extra costs due to a change in lifestyle.
- The amount outstanding on your mortgage.
- The amount you can afford to pay each month for the cover itself.
If you are not sure on the amount of cover you need, our experts can guide your through the process on how to work it out.
There are a number of factors that will affect the cost of the cover such as:
- Your Age – the younger you are when you start a policy, the lower the monthly premium will be.
- Your Occupation – the type of work you do, and any work-related risks may affect the premium.
- Your Lifestyle – things like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase premiums.
- Your Medical History – if you have a clear medical history and not had any health issues your premiums are likely to be lower.
As of 31st May 2023, the monthly premium for a 40 year old non-smoking male office worker is around £65.00 for £150,000 of cover. (Source: Ipipeline Broker Quoting System)
Different providers have age limits on when you can start a Critical Illness policy. As part of the application process you will be required to provide your medical history and in some cases cover can be refused.
The Case for Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance is a great tool to provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones. The lump sum payment can alleviate any financial stress caused by a diagnosis of a serious illness and providing you have the right amount of cover, you will have the freedom and flexibility to maintain your financial stability..
The Case for Income Protection Insurance
Income Protection Insurance is a reliable way to provide security to you and you family if you are unable to work. If you employer does not provide any financial support if you are away from work long term, or if you self employed and would not receive an income if you couldn’t work, then you should consider an Income Protection Policy.
Critical Illness Insurance vs. Income Protection Insurance: Conclusion
The type of policy that is right for you depends on your specific financial needs in the event of either a serious illness or being unable to work.
An Income Protection policy is more likely to be claimed on as we are all more likely to become unwell and unable to work rather than having a serious illness as there are more non-serious illnesses that would prohibit us from working but would not class as a Critical Illness claim.
If you need the security of a lump sum payment rather than a regular monthly income the Critical Illness insurance is more likely to be right for you.
Speak to one of our experts who will happily guide you through the process of working out your financial commitments and needs should you become unwell.
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