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

Protect Your Family Against Critical Illness Crises - Include Them in Your Cover

Life is full of unexpected surprises. One member of the family may get critically ill and thus adversely affect the finances of the family.

When a family member gets ill:

The following are the costs or expenses a family needs to prepare for when a loved one is diagnosed with a critical illness:

  • Treatment (i.e. hospital bills, doctor’s fees, lab fees, etc.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Treatment related costs (i.e. transport cost to and fro the hospital)
  • Nursing care
  • Housekeeping or childcare expenses
  • Home modifications (to provide adaptive equipment for the critical illness)
  • Loss of income
  • Extended convalescence
  • Travel Expenses

Yes, when a tragedy such as a critical illness strikes the family, its implications will be felt by every member of the family (even those who are not the breadwinner). That is why it is highly recommended to get coverage not just for you, but also for your spouse and children.

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In the UK, you usually have the option to take on a joint policy with your spouse or you can take on a “family cover”. In most cases, the cover will automatically include your spouse and children (of a certain age).

The coverage for children will usually be limited to a certain percentage of the main insured’s face amount. Otherwise, it will be a specific amount specified on the policy.

Getting Critical Illness Cover for Your Spouse/Partner

If you own a joint policy, your legal spouse (or partner by civil union or common-law) can be included in the coverage. In the event of one spouse’s death, the surviving spouse can opt to continue the coverage by paying the portion of the premium that pertains to the surviving spouse.

You can opt for:

  • Joint life first claim.

    This provides a critical illness claim payout when any of the covered spouses is diagnosed with a serious illness. After the payout, the policy ceases to be in effect and there will be no further payments on the policy.

  • Joint life separate cover.

    The covers for the two lives are treated independently, that means that in the event of a claim for one life, the coverage for the other life will still continue.

However, if the critical policy is linked to a spouse’s life insurance policy, upon the death of the main insured, the other spouse’s coverage will also cease.

Some Implications of a Joint Life Cover:

Maximum age limits. When taking out a joint life cover, the maximum age limits apply on the older life. This means that the maximum term of the policy will be based on the age of the older spouse.

What happens to the joint critical illness cover when you separate? You can apply the Separation Option that is made available by some insurance providers. This allows the joint life cover to be split into two – one for each spouse – in the event that the marriage ends up in divorce or the civil union is dissolved. The newly issued cover is provided without the need to submit further medical proof. The details of the new policy (amount of cover, length of the term) will be based on the existing policy.

What happens to the joint critical illness cover when a spouse dies? You can apply the Replacement Option for joint life policies in the event that a spouse dies. With this option, the surviving spouse is issued a new policy. The cover amount, level of benefits and policy term is based on the existing policy. This is usually available only if:

  • The surviving spouse has not reached the maximum age limit for a replacement policy
  • The original policy was issued at standard rates
  • The length of the term of the new policy will still be more than a minimum length of term (i.e. 5 years)

Qualification for Children

Usually, children from 30 days to 18 years of age are automatically included (although there are some companies that begin the automatic coverage only when the child turns three years of age). Once they reach the age of 18, they will no longer be eligible for coverage under your policy. What they need to do will be to purchase their own critical illness policy.

“Children”, under the children’s critical illness cover, includes the following:

  • Children by natural birth
  • Children by legal adoption
  • Children by marriage/stepchildren

However, foster children will not be included since they are considered only temporarily under your care. Please note that there is a maximum limit for the number of children the policy will cover – usually the limit is set at three children.

For more information about protecting your child with critical illness insurance and ensuring funds if your child gets seriously ill, read our article about Children’s Critical Illness.

Some Considerations

What you need to do is to read the fine print.

When getting this kind of policy, it is important to ensure whether only one family member will be paid. There are some policies that will cease coverage once it has paid for the claim of a family member. You should also check whether any claims with regards to a child’s critical illness will not be deducted from your cover.

Please also remember that every company’s coverage of children will differ so it is best to check your policy’s terms and conditions.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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