Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance policy that pays out a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of several specified serious illnesses. Having critical illness insurance can provide vital financial support during an already difficult time. This article explores the key benefits of taking out critical illness insurance in Northern Ireland and explains why it is worth considering as part of your financial preparations.
What is Covered Under Critical Illness Insurance NI Policies
Critical illness insurance policies cover a defined list of serious conditions and illnesses. While the exact conditions covered can vary between providers, most policies include all of the following core conditions:
- Cancer – This includes around 100 different types of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia.
- Heart Attack – The policy definition will specify the level of severity required. There is also often separate coverage for strokes.
- Major Organ Transplant – This includes having a transplant of the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, or bone marrow.
- Kidney Failure – Also referred to as end-stage renal failure, requiring permanent dialysis or a transplant.
- Multiple Sclerosis – Where there have been symptoms present on at least two occasions.
On top of this core list, many policies also cover additional conditions such as third-degree burns, loss of sight or speech, Parkinson’s disease, and more. It is important to check the full list of covered critical illnesses before selecting a policy.
The Benefits of Critical Illness Insurance Cover in NI
There are several key reasons why critical illness insurance can be an important component of financial preparation for Northern Ireland residents:
- Receiving a Large Cash Payout When You Need It Most
The most significant benefit of critical illness insurance is receiving a substantial tax-free lump sum at the very time you need extra financial support. Payout amounts often range from £10,000 up to £200,000 or more. This money can then be used to pay for private medical treatments, make adjustments to your home or lifestyle if needed, or simply ease the financial stress during recovery. Having access to such a large cash injection makes battling a critical illness much more manageable.
- Using the Payout However You Choose
A major advantage of critical illness insurance is that there are no restrictions on how you use the money after claiming on your policy. Once the cash sum is in your bank account, you have complete freedom over spending. Whether you need to cover loss of income from taking time off work, pay for childcare support, or fund private therapies and treatments, the choice is yours. This versatility makes the payout much more useful.
- Covering Loss of Earnings for Self-Employed Professionals
If you are self-employed or run your own business, suffering from a critical illness can quickly threaten your livelihood as well as health. However, the payout from critical illness insurance can replace lost income while you recover after a serious diagnosis. This provides a vital financial buffer and allows you to focus on getting back to full health.
- Providing Mortgage and Debt Protection
During illness, continuing to cover mortgage repayments and other financial obligations can be extremely difficult. Critical illness insurance payouts are often large enough to cover 12-24 months of mortgage repayments. Having this protection in place gives valuable peace of mind that your family will keep a roof overhead if faced with loss of income.
- Covering Unexpected Costs Related to Illness
Suffering from serious illness can come with substantial unexpected costs such as paying for childcare, making adjustments to your property, paying for rehabilitation services, or taking taxis to medical appointments. Having up to £200,000 from critical illness insurance means these costs are no longer such a concern at an already stressful time.
- No Need for Medical Checks to Qualify
Unlike other forms of health or life insurance, critical illness insurance does not require any medical checks or reviews of your medical records when applying. This means those with pre-existing health conditions can still obtain cover. The only exceptions are if you have already suffered from or currently show symptoms of one of the policy’s specified critical illnesses.
Is Critical Illness Insurance Worth it?
Taking the time to understand the benefits of critical illness insurance highlights why it can be such a valuable component of financial preparations. For a relatively small monthly or annual premium, critical illness cover provides immense financial reassurance should the worst happen.
While none of us like to think about becoming seriously ill, it remains a very real possibility. Statistics show that incidences of the most common critical conditions continue to rise. However, by putting critical illness insurance in place while you are still healthy, you can have peace of mind that a substantial cash payout will support both yourself and your loved ones through difficult times ahead.
Getting Covered with Critical Illness Insurance in Northern Ireland
If you live in Northern Ireland and want to take out critical illness insurance, there are two main options:
- Speak to an Independent Financial Adviser
Independent advisers offer advice and products from the whole market and can help find the most suitable critical illness cover based on your budget and needs.
- Go Direct to an Insurance Provider
Major UK providers with competitive critical illness insurance products include Aviva, Legal & General, AIG Life, and Vitality Life. You can get quotes online and take policies out directly.
When applying for critical illness insurance, you will choose things like:
- The payout amount e.g. £100,000
- Whether you want guaranteed premiums
- The term length (e.g. 10 or 20 years)
- Whether to cover just yourself or a spouse as well
- Whether to include extra covered conditions
As we have covered, having critical illness insurance enables access to vital financial support and reassurance during the trauma of battling a serious health crisis. Now could be the ideal time to secure your cover by getting a critical illness insurance quote tailored to your Northern Ireland postcode.
Mortgage Advisors Belfast | Crawford Mulholland
503 Lisburn Rd, Belfast BT9 7EZ
028 9066 5544