A critical illness can affect anyone at any time. In recent times, even the healthiest of people, such as athletes, can be diagnosed with a serious condition, such as cancer. So where does that leave the average Joe?
Well, for starters, developing a serious illness or disability could leave you and your family out of pocket. Whether it's due to medical care or being unable to work, your finances could be seriously affected. Even if you receive benefits from your employer, it may not be enough.
The main option is buying critical illness insurance. This type of cover can protect you and your family financially should something happen to you. But how does it work, and what exactly does it cover?
Read on to learn all about why critical illness insurance is an important tool...
How does critical illness insurance work?
Critical illness cover is an insurance product designed to provide protection against financial hardship due to a serious medical event. You pay a small premium each month to receive a tax free lump sum payment when you are diagnosed with a critical illness.
In addition to providing a cash benefit, it gives you peace of mind knowing that you're protected financially, even if you can't work. The money can be used to help you and your family with living costs, household bills, mortgage payments and much more.
As well as paying for short-term healthcare needs, critical illness covers long-term care costs. This can include costs for nursing homes, residential care and assisted living facilities.
What is covered under critical illness insurance?
Critical illness insurance covers a range of health issues – some of which are terminal. Conditions vary depending on the provider, but generally include:
How much cover do I need?
The amount of critical illness cover you need really depends on your circumstances. If you have dependents who rely on you for support, then you'll want to ensure they're fully covered. However, if you don't have children or other dependents, then you may only require enough cover to meet your own personal expenses.
You can get a rough idea of how much cover you need by calculating your annual income against various monthly expenses. This will give you an indication of how much cover you and your loved ones will need. It's also worth including any outstanding loans or debts you currently owe.
Why should I buy critical illness insurance?
There are many reasons why people choose to purchase critical illness insurance. Some of these include:
Other things to consider
If you're thinking about getting critical illness insurance, there are some things you'll need to consider:
Do you really need it?
If you have good health coverage through your employer, then you probably don't need critical illness insurance. However, if you're self employed, or have a family history of illness, then this may be a worthwhile purchase.
Will you use it?
It's worth noting that many providers won't let you access the full amount of your claim until after you've been treated. So if you only want a one-time payout, you might be better off saving up for a rainy day instead.
Is it something you feel you need to protect yourself against?
If you're worried about becoming ill in the future, then you may want to think about purchasing critical illness insurance. Although most people who get sick will recover fully, some illnesses can prove fatal. In these cases, having critical illness insurance ensures your family is supported if the worst happens.
Will it help you financially in the long term?
If you do become seriously ill or disabled, you could end up spending a lot of money on expensive treatments. Having critical illness insurance could make a big difference in how much you spend. It can also help you cover any loans or debts you may have, as well as a mortgage.
How much would it cost me?
The price of critical illness insurance varies from provider to provider. Some offer policies at very low premiums, while others charge higher rates. If you're looking for an affordable plan, you may want to shop around. It also depends on your age, current health, medical history, as well as the amount of cover you require.
Where can I buy critical illness cover?
Where can I buy critical illness cover?
You can buy critical illness insurance online or over the phone with most major insurers. Don't limit your search to one insurance though. Instead, it's always worth shopping around to find the best deals. Simply head online to find an insurer to receive the much-needed protection.