Should I have critical illness cover?

by | Thursday 14th Nov 2019 | Mortgage Insights

Patient had critical illness cover

Life is full of surprises and not all of them are pleasant. Though we probably prefer not to think about it, the majority of us will experience some sort of serious illness at some point in our life, and the sad reality is that for some of us the prognosis will be terminal. Although it’s impossible to prevent many diseases and illnesses, the one element of control we do have is the ability to plan for what happens if we suddenly find ourselves receiving the worst kind of news from our doctor. Critical illness cover insurance is an insurance policy that guarantees a lump sum payout on diagnosis of one of 40 or so conditions. Typically, these relate to terminal diagnoses, but there are some policies which allow for a lower payout in the event of diagnosis of a debilitating, but less serious condition.

It’s not surprising to learn that cancer is the disease on which the majority of critical illness policies payout, which is why this type of insurance is also sometimes referred to as ‘cancer cover’

With all insurance policies, there’s always a hope that we won’t need to claim on them, but the peace of mind for you and your family that comes from knowing there’s a plan in place to deal with the potential loss of income or the increased costs that may be associated with providing treatment can be worth its weight in gold.

The lump-sum you’ll receive if you are unlucky enough to receive a diagnosis of a qualifying illness can be used for any purpose and on average it takes around 8 weeks for a claim to be settled, depending on how quickly your doctor is able to provide the required supporting medical evidence your insurer will require.

It doesn’t matter when you claim – as long as the claim is valid and is made within the life of the policy, you’ll receive the same amount of money whether you claim on the first day the policy becomes valid or the last.

There are some things that you need to bear in mind when considering whether to take out critical illness insurance:

Qualifying period

Most insurers will impose a waiting time before your insurance will come into effect. Usually, this period is for 3 months after you agree on the policy, but this can vary from insurer to insurer, and is designed to protect the insurer against someone taking out the policy if they believe they are about to receive a qualifying diagnosis.


It’s important to choose a policy that suits your needs. This may not be the cheapest policy available, but it also need not be the most expensive policy either. The key is to read the small print and familiarise yourself with the qualifying conditions included in the various policies you might be considering and to be aware of the exclusions that apply.

Your medical history

Your insurer will require you to fill out a form which details your medical history. Be sure to comply with the instructions on the form and declare as appropriate your medical history as accurately as possible. If you don’t do this, your insurer may not payout if you need to claim.

We would always recommend you speak to a professional adviser before committing to any financial product. At Oportfolio we make sure we work with you to review your current circumstances and understand your future requirements. That way, we can ensure we recommend the product that’s best suited to you.

Our friendly team is always happy to talk you through your options and discuss the various products that are available and there’s no obligation to buy any product we might recommend, meaning you have nothing to lose by talking to us.

Why not get in touch and see how we can help you to provide a more secure future for you and those you care about?

Want to find out about critical illness cover? Take a look at our short video

Oportfolio Limited is an appointed representative of Primis Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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