What is Critical illness protection?
Serious or critical illness protection pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specific illness, as defined in the policy, during the term of the policy. critical illness The lump sum can be used as you see fit, for example: to pay your mortgage, short-term debt, living expenses and/or medical expenses whilst you are recovering. Payment of the amount insured is usually solely dependent on a confirmed medical diagnosis. It is not linked in any way to any loss of income or the level of medical expenses incurred. critical illness You should note, however, that payment of benefit will be subject to certain exclusions.
Why do I need Critical Illness protection?
critical illness can strike any of us at any time and the effects can be devastating. Not only could you face sizeable medical expenses on top of your regular bills, you could also be looking at a reduced income because you cannot work. The statistics below illustrate some of the harsh facts of critical illness.
- The claims statistics for one of major Insurance Provider’s show that the average age of customer making a claim for critical illness in 2014 was 54 for men and 51 for women.1
- The most common illnesses claimed are malignant cancer, heart related conditions and stroke (permanent symptoms).1
- One in three people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime.2
- In Ireland an average of 30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year and this number is increasing.3
But the good news is that with medical advances you are now much more likely to survive a critical illness. 42% of men and 50% of women diagnosed with cancer currently survive for five years and longer3. All the more reason to have critical Illness cover to provide financial security for you and your family whilst you recover. 1 Claims statistics are based on a major Life Insurance Company’s claims experience in 2014 (ILA 11540(NP104-15)). 2 Data sourced from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI). 3 Data from Irish Cancer Society.
Types of Cover
Serious illness cover can be taken out on it’s own, known as “stand alone”, or can be built into a policy including life cover.
Stand Alone Critical Illness Cover
As the name suggest Stand Alone Critical Illness Cover is a stand alone policy independent of any other cover you may have. Any claim in respect of the Critical illness cover will not impact upon the level of life cover you have in place.
Accelerated Critical Illness Cover
If a life policy includes Accelerated Critical Illness Cover, some or all of the life cover amount will be paid out early if you are diagnosed with one of the specified medical conditions defined in the policy. The remaining life cover benefit is then reduced by the amount critical illness benefit paid out. Critical illness cover on a Mortgage Protection Policy is an accelerated benefit.
Factors affecting cost
Critical or serious illness cover is more expensive than term life cover. The reason is simple: although we will all die one day, the majority of us will live to a ripe old age. Statistically there is a much greater chance that you will develop a critical illness by the age of 65 rather than die. The cost of your cover is dictated by your age, whether you smoke, the general state of your health, the amount of cover you require and the length of time you require the cover for.
Did you know?
The younger you are when you take out Life or Critical Illness cover the cheaper the premium will be. If you are a smoker your premiums will be significantly more expensive than that of a non-smoker. If you were a previously a smoker and have quit more than a year ago (well done!) you should now review your cover as you could now be entitled to significantly cheaper rates.