Critical Illness Cover

Critical Illness Insurance is there to provide you with peace of mind should you ever fall critically ill. Each insurance provider covers a range of core conditions along with a number of additional conditions specific to the insurer.

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Why do I need Critical Illness Cover?


Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a life-changing event. You may have to give up work, go through lengthy and difficult treatment, or radically change your lifestyle.

The last thing you want to be doing at this stressful time is worrying about money. So, give yourself and your family financial security by making sure that a tax-free lump sum will be paid if you become seriously ill.

Critical Illness cover provides this vital financial cushion. 


“Being diagnosed with a serious illness is, sadly, all too common. In the UK, strokes cause around 100 deaths every day while, on average, someone is admitted to hospital after a heart attack every five minutes. And, someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. You might think ‘it won’t happen to me’, but do you have the protection in place if it does?” – Gwilym Pugh, I’m Insured


What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance that will pay out when you may have to give up work, go through lengthy treatment, or drastically adapt your lifestyle if you are affected by any major medical emergencies, including heart attacks, strokes, and cancers. 

Critical illness cover gives you and your dependents financial security, paying out a lump sum if you become seriously ill. This type of policy will pay out when you need it the most, ensuring you don’t have to be concerned about money when you should be focusing on making a full recovery from your illness. 


Which is the best critical illness policy?

When you’re browsing for critical illness insurance and its providers, you should look for a level of policy that will provide the best coverage for you. It’s a wise idea to calculate the amount of money your family would need to maintain the same lifestyle, if you were to develop a serious illness and can no longer work.

This will be valuable if you don’t have enough money saved to fall back on if you unfortunately fall ill, or if your employer cannot offer a package to cover long term sick pay. 

If you’re looking for critical illness cover, I’m Insured will do the hard work for you. We’ll compare critical illness quotes for you to help you find the best deal for your personal needs. All you need to do is tell us a little bit about yourself and the pay-out you think you’d need, and we’ll pull together a list of quotes for you to choose from. 


Is it worth getting critical illness cover?

Whether critical illness cover is worth it will depend on your personal needs, lifestyle, and financial situation. Sometimes your employer can’t provide a benefits package to help you financially if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness that stops you from working. In that case, critical illness cover will help provide peace of mind and alleviate some of the financial strains during an incredibly stressful time. 

Before committing to critical illness cover, you should weigh up whether you need critical illness cover by assessing your financial situation. Consider what you’d do if you have to give up work due to becoming very ill. For example, could you and your loved ones afford to remain in your home if you lost your income?


Peace of mind when you need it most

Insurance isn’t just about financial losses. It’s also about peace of mind. 

What would you do if you have to give up work due to a serious illness? Could your family afford to remain in your home if you lost your income? And could you continue to pay your mortgage, rent or other monthly commitments?

Critical Illness cover pays a tax-free lump sum if you have a serious heart attack or stroke, or you’re diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or a life-threatening cancer. 

It also covers a wide range of other medical conditions, ensuring you don’t have to worry about your finances when you should be concentrating on making a full recovery.


Getting a personalised Critical Illness quote is easy with I'm Insured

Complete one simple form and compare Critical Illness quotes from some of the UK's leading providers
Speak to independent, trusted specialists who will help you get the cover you need
Save money on your premiums. We intentionally take a lower commission than the standard rate, meaning you benefit from lower prices.

Protection against a wide range of conditions

Critical Illness covers a specified list of illnesses and conditions. The conditions covered varies from insurer to insurer, so it’s important that you compare policies carefully to make sure you know what illnesses each of them covers.

You can typically expect a Critical Illness policy to cover:

  • Permanent and irreversible blindness or deafness
  • Many types of cancer
  • Cardiac arrest with insertion of a defibrillator
  • Coma with associated permanent symptoms
  • Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart attack 
  • Kidney failure that requires permanent dialysis
  • Major organ transplant from another donor
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease 
  • Stroke 

Note that each insurer has different definitions of these illnesses. For example, some providers will only pay a claim if you have permanent and lasting symptoms, while some minor and less serious conditions (for example, some less serious cancers or a very minor heart attack) may not be covered. Check your policy documents carefully.

In 2018, insurer Royal London reported that the most common reasons for a Critical Illness claim were cancer (64%), heart attack (11%), stroke (8%) and multiple sclerosis (4%). 


Additional Resources

The pros and cons of Critical Illness insurance

Critical Illness cover is designed to provide financial support if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, so here are the pros and cons associated with it.

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1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer. So, how likely am I to be diagnosed with a critical illness?

With 1 in every 2 people likely to be diagnosed with cancer, we decided to take a look at how likely it is that you'll be diagnosed with a critical illness.

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Children's Critical Illness Cover

Children’s critical illness is the second most claimed condition covered by a critical illness cover policy according to Ageas Protect…

Find out more
Cancer as a pre-exisiting condition

Cancer life insurance is available from some insurance providers, who you can get quotes from through I'm Insured.

Find out more
What does Critical Illness protection actually cover?

Critical Illness cover is the perfect choice if you're needing the safety of financial support if you’re diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Find out more

Critical Illness cover FAQs

Do all Critical Illness Cover policies cover the same things?
No. Each Critical Illness policy is different, and the definitions vary from provider to provider. It’s for this reason that it’s important to compare Critical Illness policies carefully. Get in touch with us if you want to know more.
Can I take out a joint insurance policy with someone else?
Yes. You can normally take out your Critical Illness cover either in your sole name, or in joint names – perhaps with your spouse or partner. • Single life – the policy covers one person. Some couples each take out an individual Critical Illness policy which means that both policies could potentially pay out on diagnosis • Joint life – the policy covers two people but will only pay out once. It will typically pay out when the first person is diagnosed with an illness covered under the policy, and then will end.
Why might a Critical Illness Cover policy not pay out?
• You die. Stand-alone Critical Illness cover policies typically don’t pay out on death. Bear in mind that if you have a combined life insurance and Critical Illness policy, the life insurance element will likely pay out in this instance. • If you stop paying your premiums. • If you’re diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for a Critical Illness that doesn't meet an insurer’s definition – perhaps because it is minor or non-life-threatening. Even some cancers or heart attacks may not be included in your cover if they are mild. • You did not complete underwriting questions honestly. For example, if you omitted any medical information or told the insurer you didn’t smoke when you did, the insurer may refuse a claim.
Can I get cover if I have a pre-existing condition?
Possibly. If you have a condition, or you have previously undergone medical treatment, you should declare full details of this on your application. Some insurers may offer cover, perhaps at a higher premium. Others might exclude your pre-existing conditions from any claim. If you do have a pre-existing condition, we can obtain bespoke quotes for you – get in touch for details.
Is Critical Illness cover the same as terminal illness cover?
No. Critical Illness cover tends to pay out once a life-threatening condition, such as cancer, has been confirmed by a medical professional. Terminal illness cover is normally included with life insurance policies. It means that, if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and you are expected to live for less than 12 months, your life cover may pay out immediately, rather than on your death.
If I don’t make a claim during the term of my Critical Illness policy, will I get anything back?
If you reach the end of the term and you haven’t made a claim, it is very unlikely your policy would have a cash-in value.

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