It is difficult to think about you or a loved one being diagnosed with a critical illness. However, having peace of mind if that were to happen is important. Critical illness insurance can provide you and your family with security over any financial burdens it may cause. 

At Oakworth Financial Planning, we have years of experience and knowledge to give you the advice you need about critical illness cover. We have put together this guide on what critical illness cover is, what types of illnesses different policies will cover and whether you need to take out this kind of insurance.

What is Critical Illness Cover? 

Critical illness cover is a type of life cover policy, that helps protect you in the event of a serious illness or injury. 


Statistically, you’re much more likely to be diagnosed with a critical illness than die during your working life. A non-smoking man aged 40 is 4.1 times more likely to be diagnosed with a critical illness than die before retiring at 65 years old.


Taking out critical illness cover can minimise your financial worries for you and your family if you become critically ill. This is because the insurance provides you with some income, which usually comes as a lump sum. 


The diagnosis must be of a specific illness from a pre-agreed list that the policy covers in order to receive this lump sum. This lump sum is tax-free and can be spent however you wish – whether that is to cover health-related expenses, loss of earnings or making necessary adjustments to your home. 

How does Critical Illness Cover work?

Critical illness cover can be added to your life cover insurance for an extra fee. If you are diagnosed with, or undergo a medical procedure for one of the specified critical illnesses that is on your policy, you will receive the lump sum. 


As long as you keep on track with the policy payments, which could be monthly or annually, then you will be covered if you are critically injured or diagnosed with a specific illness. 


If you choose to get critical illness cover, it is good to know that children’s critical illness cover is automatically included with most policies. 


Be sure to check the wording on your policy, as there may be a deferred period, which means you might not receive the pay out immediately. Oakworth Financial Planning can help you with this, so get in touch today. 

What illnesses are covered by Critical Illness Insurance? 

The types of illnesses that are covered by critical illness insurance depends on what type of policy you decide to go for. 

Generally, the types of critical illnesses that are covered may include:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes 
  • Non-terminal cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson’s 
  • Organ transplants 
  • Severe head injuries

Some critical illness insurance can also cover you if you have suffered a physical disability from an injury. 

What is not covered by Critical Illness Insurance? 

It is important to note that critical illness insurance is not the same as life insurance. When you take out critical illness insurance, the policy will not cover any death that was related to that illness. 

If this is important to you as well, consider taking out life insurance and critical illness cover. 

Who needs Critical Illness Cover?

You cannot know what is around the corner for your health, but you can make sure you are prepared financially. A critical illness can affect anyone at all ages, so it is important to have a back-up plan, to avoid experiencing financial stress. 


Start by considering  the expenses you would need to cover if you became critically ill and could not work. This includes large payments like rent, mortgage repayments or general bills. You may be able to use your savings, or you may have a great employment benefit package. But, if you feel like this would not be enough, critical illness cover may be your best option. 


Ultimately, getting critical illness insurance is your choice. If you do choose to take out cover, it is important to find the right policy that suits you. Policies vary on the number of things you would like to cover or how much you are looking to pay each month. 

How do you qualify for Critical Illness Insurance? 

To be eligible for critical illness cover, you will need to be a UK resident and aged 18 and over. 

Note that your lifestyle and medical history can affect the level of cover you can get and how much you pay for it.


Types of Critical Illness Insurance 

Critical Illness Insurance Only 

A critical illness insurance policy will pay out a lump sum if you were to get a serious illness listed in the cover. This is usually bought with life insurance separately, which means if the policy were to pay out if you were diagnosed with a critical illness, you would still have life cover. 

Having both insurances will provide you with the reassurance that you and your family will be taken care of in the event of a serious illness or death. 

Critical Illness Insurance and Life Cover Combined 

You can get a combined policy that includes life insurance and critical illness cover together. However, this type of policy means you get a lump sum if you get a critical illness or if you die – not both. So, if you claim for critical illness, your life insurance will end. 

How much is Critical Illness Cover? 

The cost of critical illness cover ultimately depends on the type of policy you take out and what kinds of things you would want to be covered. 


There are certain factors that will affect the price of critical illness cover, which are: 

  • The amount of cover you are looking for
  • Age
  • Health and lifestyle 
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions 
  • Current personal circumstances
  • How long you want the policy in place for

So, if you choose to take out critical illness insurance, our team of experts at Oakworth Financial Planning can help you establish the best policy for you that ensures protection for you and your family. 

Get in touch today to arrange a consultation with one of our knowledgeable advisors. 

If you decide that you do not need critical illness cover, we can advise on other financial protection services. 

These include:

  • Income protection insurance, which provides regular payments if you are unable to work due to an injury.
  • Life insurance, which provides financial support to your dependents in the unfortunate case of your death.

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you. Contact us via the below or complete the form and one of our friendly team will be in touch.


Oakworth House, 45 Newgate, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1NB.



0800 018 6020

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