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

If I die without claiming for any critical illness, what will happen to my critical illness insurance?

Depending on the terms and conditions of your policy, here’s what may happen:

  • You are diagnosed with a critical illness but don’t survive the waiting period. In most policies, there are waiting periods after you are diagnosed with a covered illness. This is usually 14 days or 30 days after the diagnosis. If you survive the waiting period and die after this time, your designated beneficiaries (or your estate, if no beneficiaries are named) will receive the full benefit for the critical illness cover. Now, if you die within the waiting period (i.e. you suffer from a massive stroke and die on the spot), what will be paid to your beneficiaries would be the refund of all the premiums that you have paid. This is when your policy has a return of premium feature.

  • You are diagnosed with a critical illness and survive the waiting period. You or your heirs will receive the full sum insured.

  • Your claim is for a “terminal illness” but this is diagnosed within the last few months of the policy. Terminal illness is payable only if it is diagnosed a specific set of months prior to the end of the policy term. The possible payout will involve a premium refund.

  • You pass away but are not eligible to claim for critical illness benefits. For instance, your death is caused by an accident or by an illness that is not covered by the policy. Again, if your policy has a return of premium feature, your beneficiaries will receive all the premiums paid while the policy is in force.

  • Accidental Death Benefit

    This refers to death within 72 hours following an accidental bodily injury resulting solely and independently from the accident and not related to any pre-existing illness, disease or physical disorder. This excludes suicide, self-inflicted injuries, participation in criminal activities and in dangerous pastimes.

  • If your death is due to an accident. If you have an accidental death benefit, your family can claim a specified amount upon your death. Some providers include a short term accidental death benefit that becomes effective while the policy application is being processed. This usually lasts for up to 60 days from the time the policy application is received by the provider for evaluation.

  • Your policy is no longer in force. You get critically ill and die, but your policy has already ceased to be in force or you cancelled the policy after a specified period (usually 30 days). When this is the case, the insurance company may deny the claim, on the grounds that your policy was no longer in force when the diagnosis was made.

Please note that the purpose of critical illness insurance is to protect you and your family and provide for your treatment, as well as the other needs of the family. If you are concerned about dying and how this can financially impact your family, then it is wise to consider life insurance coverage.

Admittedly, a life insurance policy should be the first policy you should get. Then, to further bolster your insurance protection, you can get a critical illness policy.

You can also consider getting a combined life and critical illness policy – that will pay the sum assured in the event of a critical illness diagnosis or death. Learn more in the article: Combined life and critical illness insurance: Is this a better deal?

What happens to some aspect of your policy upon your death?

  • If you have a paying waiver of premium benefit: The premium benefits will stop.
  • If you have a joint life cover with a replacement cover option: It your policy is a joint life first event policy and your claim for critical illness is paid, your spouse can apply for a new critical illness policy with the same Sum Insured amount and with the time remaining in the original policy. The advantage is that the application will not require any additional medical evidence from the surviving spouse.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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