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

Traditional Critical Illness vs. Severity-Based cover: What are the pros and cons?

Severity-based cover may actually be considered a hybrid of the traditional critical illness cover.

Where critical illness cover may seem to be an all-or-nothing affair (you get diagnosed with the covered serious illness, you get 100% of the sum assured), severity-based critical illness insurance will pay a certain percentage based on how severe the illness is. This means that you can expect lower payouts in case you are diagnosed with a less serious case.

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The Advantages of Severity-Based Cover

  • More illnesses included.

    With severity-based cover, the list of covered illnesses is longer. This can cover less severe forms of cancer, which are usually excluded in a standard critical illness policy. Another example would be that you can claim for partial blindness on a severity-based cover but can only claim on your traditional critical illness cover only if you become totally blind. The disadvantage of a traditional critical illness policy is that a person may be severely ill but can’t get the benefits due to the fact that the illness is not a covered illness.

  • Payments can be paid at an early stage of the illness.

    This allows you to have money to prevent the illness from becoming worse. With a severity based cover, you can already get a sum that you can use to treat your illness. For instance, if a lump is detected in your breast and is identified as an early stage cancer, you can already claim and have your breast operated on.

  • Allows for multiple claims.

    With a traditional critical illness policy, you can only claim once, and the cover ceases to be effective. With a severity based policy, you can claim for more than one illness. These can be totally unrelated conditions. If your illness gets worse after you have made a claim on it, you will need to wait for some 24 to 36 months before you can make another claim on the illness. Also, multiple claims on the same illness are limited to a few critical conditions.

  • Allows you to keep the Critical Illness policy even after a claim.

    After claiming for a less severe critical illness, the critical illness cover will still continue.

The good news is, most UK Critical Illness providers are moving towards their own versions of severity-based critical illness policies.

Consider Partial Payments for Cancer

Breast and prostate cancer are two of the most prevalent cancers, but they are considered less severe cancers because they have higher survival rates and are treatable via surgery.

Claim Statistics:
Breast cancer and prostate cancer comprised 21% and 4% of all claims, respectively.

*Sources: Cancer Research UK; Critical Illness Claims report for the first half of 2012 for Scottish Provident.

Common Illnesses that May Be Included in the Severity-Based Cover

  • Breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast, if the claimant undergoes a mastectomy for breast cancer. Other providers include procedures such as lumpectomy, quadrantectomy or segmentectomy.
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Angioplasty, if the claimant undergoes atherectomy, balloon angioplasty, insertion of stents, laser treatment or rotablation.
  • Partial loss of sight
  • Removal of one or more lobes of the lung
  • Severe Crohn’s Disease
  • Severe ulcerative colitis

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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