What is Critical Illness Cover

What is Critical Illness Cover

What is Critical Illness Cover?

You know the benefits of taking life insurance cover. It helps to provide for your loved ones after your death. But what about when you are alive? We hate to think about it, but if you contracted a serious illness, you might need a bit of extra financial help. That’s where Critical Illness Cover comes in.

  • 359,960 people in the UK received a new cancer diagnosis in 2015 1.
  • Someone in the UK has a stroke every five minutes 2.
  • 1.4 million people in the UK survived heart attacks 3.

Critical Illness Cover is an addition to your life insurance policy that can help you through this difficult time.

How does Critical Illness Cover work?

When you add Critical Illness Cover to your life insurance policy, you can claim up to 50% of your life cover as a lump sum if you:

  • Receive a diagnosis of cancer
  • Have a heart attack
  • Have a stroke

Think about it as an advance. You receive the money when you need it most. Then, your level of coverage reduces. If you die within the remaining length of your term, your loved ones receive the rest of the money.

How Critical Illness Cover can help you

If you suffer from a critical illness, there are many ways which a chunk of extra money could help you.

Replace your income

If you need to take time off work while you recover from your illness, you may need help with living costs. For example, if you are self-employed and you can’t earn any money while you get better.

The money from your Critical Illness Cover can help meet those costs.

Healthcare costs

There may be a situation where you need to pay for parts of your healthcare yourself. For example, you may want to see a private physiotherapist to help with your movement. Your Critical Illness Cover can help here.

Have a good time

Hopefully, your illness is not terminal. However, it is a reminder that life is short. It often takes a scare to remind you that life is for living. You may decide you want to take that dream holiday or treat your children to something special. Your Critical Illness cover can give you the means to do it.

Differences between Critical Illness Cover and other types of cover

When you look into Critical Illness Cover, you may see other, similar-looking types of cover. Here are the differences:

Terminal Illness Cover

Terminal Illness Cover is the part of your life insurance policy that pays out your entire lump sum, to you or your beneficiary, if you receive a diagnosis of a terminal illness. This means your illness has no known cure, or is at the point where you cannot cure it. Your hospital consultant expects it to lead to death within 12 months. When you receive your lump sum, your life insurance policy ends.

Children’s Critical Illness cover

Your Critical Illness Cover also covers your children. This coverage is the same as Critical Illness Cover for adults, except a child’s critical illness claim does not reduce the amount of coverage on your policy.

Should I get Critical Illness Cover?

Serious illness can strike at any time, no matter how healthy you are. But is Critical Illness Cover right for you?

Critical Illness Cover can help you if you don’t have enough money saved up to support your outgoings if you couldn’t work. Think about how you and your family would live if your income disappeared due to illness. If you think you would struggle, look at Critical Illness Cover.

If your employer does not offer you sick pay or other benefits to help you through long-term illness, Critical Illness Cover could help.

Also, if you are single with no children or people relying on your income, Critical Illness Cover could give you a lift. This is because you get it while you are still alive, rather than after you die. You get to spend your money now. It doesn’t to your next of kin, who do not need it anyway!

Critical Illness Cover tips

When searching for quotes on Critical Illness Cover, follow these tips for success.

  • Be honest about your medical history, as well as that of your family. If you have a condition that already exists, you may not be eligible for Critical Illness Cover.
  • Check your terms and conditions about what is and isn’t included in your cover.
  • Find a life insurance policy with Critical Illness Cover that doesn’t have a waiting period, so you get coverage from day one.

Subscribe to Sherpa to Learn More

We hope this article has helped you understand the ins and outs of Critical Illness Cover. To find out more, subscribe to Sherpa today.

1 – “Cancer Statistics for the UK.” Cancer Research UK, 7 May 2019,

2 – “State of the nation” Stroke Association, Jan 2017

3 – “Facts and Figures.” BHF,