Why cover?
  • affects 1 in 4 women / 1 in 5 men before retirement
  • 94.1% of the critical illness claims are paid
  • protect yourself and your family if you get seriously ill
Why us?
  • get the cover that will pay when you need it
  • save up to 35%, cover from £5 a month
  • free, fast and without obligation quotes
Insurers: Aviva, Legal & General, Liverpool Victoria, Scottish Widows, Vitality, Zurich

Critical Illness Insurance for Those Over 60

If you are in your 60s and you are seriously thinking of getting a critical illness policy, this may not be the best option for you.

Maximum Age Limits of Policies:

Insurer Max age at the start
Max age at the end
Aegon 74 84
Bright Grey 64 69
Scottish Provident 69 85
Zurich 69 75

For one, there are only a few critical illness providers who allow a maximum age limit at the start of the policy greater than 60 years old (see the table on the right). Other providers only accept policy applications of those aged 59 and below.

In addition, the premiums of the critical illness insurance policy will be extremely prohibitive.

Also, there are some critical illnesses that are covered only until the age of 60. That means that these can no longer be added to your cover.

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Some diseases that are usually payable only if contracted before age 60

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease

However, there are some providers who provide an improved definition (ABI+ instead of ABI) that allow claims if the above diseases are diagnosed at whatever age.

How does your age affect total and permanent disability coverage for critical illness cover?

The way Total and Permanent Disability is defined and evaluated will also be different for those of an advanced age.

For instance, in the critical illness cover provided by Aegon, those who are aged 60 and above will be evaluated based on their inability to carry out “Activities of Daily Living”. This means that Total and Permanent Disability is payable if the claimant is unable to perform three of the activities of daily living for a continuous period of six months. (For more information visit our overview article about Aegon's critical illness cover.)

The activities of daily living include:

  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Feeding
  • Toileting
  • Mobility

Buying Critical Illness Insurance at an Early Age

The age of 60 and above is a vulnerable time since one is more prone to incur a critical illness. By this time, it may be too late (and highly impractical) for you to try getting a critical illness policy.

Critical Illness Prevalence in the Elderly

  • Cancer. Cancer incidence for those aged 60 and above is at 56% of all cancer incidences for 2010. The most prevalent cancers are cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, bowel and uterus. (Cancer Research UK)
  • Cerebrovascular disease. Incidence rates of CVD for those aged 64 and above are at 31%.*
  • Coronary heart disease. Incidence rates for those aged 64 and above are at 24%.

*Based on UK Office of National Statistics (data for 2010/2011)

You must also remember that you need to disclose of any illnesses that you have. This may affect the issuance of the policy; it may result in some critical illnesses being excluded or in the policy application being denied.

If you take a look at the illnesses covered, you will notice that a number of these are diseases that are more common when you are 60 years of age or older. With these considerations, it is important that you think about getting critical illness cover before you reach the age of 60 and before you incur a pre-existing condition that could cause the insurance company to deny your application or seriously limit your coverage.

That way, you have peace of mind, knowing that should you incur a critical illness, you can receive a lump sum upon diagnosis.

Some Reasons to Consider Critical Illness Cover

Despite the issues with high premiums and exclusions, you can still consider getting critical illness cover for the following reasons:

  • Modern medical innovations mean a higher survival rate for critical illnesses, even to those over 60 years of age. The medical treatments accompanying survival will incur very high costs. For instance, developing a chronic disease such as cancer (which as 10 times more likely among adults over 60) can mean medical expenses of £40,000 or more.
  • Minimizes the risk of bankruptcy. The high cost of medical treatments can seriously push a senior person into bankruptcy, placing properties and savings at risk.
  • Pensions and retirement benefits may not be enough to cover medical costs.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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