Critical illness cover

Facing the unthinkable and preparing for the unexpected

Critical illness cover offers a financial safety net when you and your family need it most. Adding this option to your life insurance policy can alleviate the monetary burden that may arise if you become critically ill.

Though we often believe that critical illnesses won’t affect us, the truth is that anyone can fall victim to such conditions at any age. Investing in critical illness cover could minimise the financial strain on yourself and your loved ones during difficult times.

A helping hand in recovery
In the event of a specified critical illness diagnosis, you may need to take time off work to recover or even be unable to return to work altogether. You might require home adaptations or specialised care, which can be costly. Critical illness cover ensures you can focus on healing without worrying about mounting expenses like mortgage payments, daily bills, or groceries.

Safeguarding your family’s future
It’s disheartening to imagine surviving a severe illness only to be overwhelmed by financial stress. While preparing for the worst is never enjoyable, having a critical illness cover provides peace of mind, knowing you’re ready for whatever life throws your way.

Receiving a tax-free financial boost
Critical illness cover is designed to provide a tax-free lump sum upon the diagnosis of specific life-threatening or debilitating conditions. These may include heart attacks, strokes, certain types of cancer, multiple sclerosis, and more.

Expanding your protection with a comprehensive policy
For broader coverage, consider opting for a comprehensive critical illness policy. These policies can include protection against loss of sight, permanent hearing loss, total and permanent disability preventing you from working, and even limb loss.

Not all conditions are covered, so obtaining professional financial advice is crucial to choosing the right policy for your needs.

By incorporating critical illness coverage into your financial planning, you can safeguard your well-being and provide much-needed security for yourself and your loved ones during life’s most challenging moments.

Much-needed financial support
For singles without dependents, critical illness coverage can be a financial lifeline to pay off mortgages or provide a lump sum in case of severe illness. Couples can also benefit from financial relief during emotionally challenging times.

Coverage specifics and constraints
Each policy outlines the covered illnesses alongside any exclusions and limitations that may vary among insurers. Since critical illness policies typically pay out only once, they should be considered something other than income replacements. Some insurers offer combined life and critical illness policies that payout upon diagnosis of a critical illness or death, whichever comes first.

Considering pre-existing conditions
When replacing an existing critical illness policy, be cautious about losing benefits if you have developed new illnesses since obtaining the initial policy. It’s crucial to consult a professional financial advisor before replacing or switching policies, as pre-existing conditions might not be covered in a new policy.

Adapting to life events
Specific policies permit increasing coverage, especially after significant life events like marriage, relocating, or having children. If your current policy doesn’t allow for increased cover, consider acquiring a new policy to supplement your existing one.

Meeting defined criteria
Policies provide coverage exclusively for conditions explicitly defined in the policy document. To qualify for coverage, your condition must precisely match the policy definition. This stipulation may exclude some conditions, such as specific cancer types deemed not severe enough. Additionally, some conditions might not be covered if diagnosed past a certain age – for example, many policies do not cover Alzheimer’s disease if diagnosed after age 60.

Rethinking the survival period
Typically, critical illness policies do not immediately payout upon diagnosis of a covered condition. Instead, most policies include a ‘survival period,’ meaning the insured must survive for a specified duration after diagnosis before the policy pays out. If the individual passes away within this timeframe, no payout will be provided despite meeting the critical illness definition.

Factors influencing premiums
Various factors influence the cost of critical illness coverage, such as the type of policy selected, the individual’s age, desired payout amount, and smoking habits.

Inclusion of permanent total disability
Most policies incorporate permanent total disability coverage. Insurers may define ‘permanent total disability’ as an inability to work in one’s usual capacity due to illness or as the inability to independently perform at least three ‘Activities of Daily Living’ due to sickness or injury.
Activities of daily living encompass:

Dressing and undressing
Moving between bed and chair

Ensure comprehensive protection
Advancements in medicine have led to increased survival rates for conditions that previously had higher mortality rates. Critical illness coverage can offer financial support to pursue a less demanding lifestyle during recovery or be used for other purposes. Don’t leave your well-being to chance—ensure adequate coverage.