Many of us have experienced or will know someone affected by a critical illness such as cancer or heart diseases. One in three people will develop some type of cancer in their lifetime and according to information there more than 200 types of cancer.
You are four times more likely to suffer a serious illness than die before the age of 65, yet more people have life insurance than critical illness cover, so what is it and why should we consider it?
The Benefits of Critical Illness Cover
A critical illness policy pays out a tax-free lump sum out in the event that you become critically ill. The sum is usually paid out after being diagnosed and it is usually required to survive with the condition for one month to qualify for payment.
Each policy covers a specific range of conditions but most of the major and most common conditions such as cancer and heart attacks are usually covered.
Your lifestyle choices can affect payment and poor health habits can see you face higher insurance premiums. Smokers especially can expect higher critical illness cover premiums. If there is a history of critical illness within the family this is also likely to push up premiums as you may be at greater risk depending on the condition and its prevalence within your family.
Critical illness cover is worth considering if you have substantial financial commitments such as a mortgage or are a parent with dependents. It could also allow you to pursue a less stressful lifestyle while receiving treatment as your illness may put you out of work for a while. The sum could also pay for treats during the darkest days of your recovery or may even cover specialist treatment for your condition.
What to do When Taking Out Critical Illness Cover
When taking out critical illness cover, it pays to start younger when premiums are cheaper and you may not have as much money put aside to cover treatment and recovery. It also pays to shop around and compare deals among insurers. Different companies may offer you different benefits and will have different conditions to payment.
Be sure to read the small print carefully before signing up for cover as conditions of paying out the lump sum will vary between companies depending on the severity and type of cancer as well as how long you may have to live with the condition before payment is made to you.
While nobody wants to entertain the thought of become critically ill, would you be protected if the worst happened?
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Ben Austin is CEO of leading comparison website, Cost.co.uk, allowing consumers to compare deals for health insurance, life insurance, mortgages and more.