Critical Illness Insurance – What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of This Cover

Critical illness insurance is designed to pay a one off lump sum, if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness covered during the term of the policy. Most insurance companies will have a list of qualifying illnesses covered by the policy. The types of illnesses covered under a critical illnesses plan will vary from company to company, this means it is important to read what known as the “key facts document” is provided by all the insurance companies, before you apply for your critical illness insurance. With critical illness policies you can choose both the term of the policy and the level of benefit and you can have it as a standalone benefit or as part of a life insurance plan.

Critical Illness Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages
Will protect your family and yourself should you be diagnosed with a qualifying illness. The policy pays a tax free lump sum which you are free to spend how you see fit.

Cons
Not all insurance companies cover the same illnesses within their policy. May not cover a pre-existing condition, especially if not declared at the outset. This type of cover can be expensive.

Critical illness plans can be set up into two ways
Death or Earlier Critical Illness pays on either death or critical illness but not both.

Death AND Critical Illness
This pays on a qualifying illness claim and again on death. Some critical illness plans have the following options: Stand alone Critical Illness: No life cover, only pays out on diagnosis of a qualifying illness. Waiver of Premium: monthly premiums are paid on your behalf for after a set deferment period if you cannot work due to ill health. Survival Period: most policies require you to survive for a period of 14 days to make a claim. Permanent Total Disability: the policy pays out if you are unable to work again. Children: some providers will pay out a set amount of benefit if one of your children suffers a qualifying critical illness.

Critical illness insurance quotes and advice
As with any insurance policy it is important to understand the policy you take out as paying a premium for many years and then finding out that you are not covered for what you thought can severally affect your financial planning. These days there are many life insurance websites that let you compare the premiums and benefits of each provider in the comfort of your own home. Many of these sites will offer discounted premiums as they have lower operating costs and can offer independent financial advice over the phone should you be unclear on any aspect of the policy you are considering.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Income Protection Insurance

Income protection is a type of insurance that is often misunderstood in the UK. As with other types of insurance there are many advantages and disadvantages to having a policy, and here we list a few of them.

First, lets explain a little about income protection. This type of insurance will replace part of your income tax free if you cannot work because of accident, sickness or unemployment. There are many different types of policy, most of which can be adjusted according to your individual circumstances.

Advantages

Income protection can cover up to 70% of your mortgage. This could work out to be significantly more than the government would pay you in benefits.
Some long term policies offer cover until retirement age. This means that if you suffer a long term illness, you will receive your benefits either until you can return to work or until the age of 64.
The money can be used however you please. Most people choose to cover their mortgage, bills and other financial commitments, but it could be used for general lifestyle costs.
The policy can be tied into a particular debt, like a mortgage or credit card repayments.
You can choose cover for accident and sickness only, accident, sickness and unemployment, or unemployment cover only.
Unemployment cover could offer back to work schemes and training to help you find a new job.
Income protection can be designed to kick in only after your sick pay stops, so your premiums are lower.

Disadvantages

Unemployment cover will only pay out for a maximum of 12 months, even if you havent found a new job within this time.
Accident, sickness and unemployment policies usually only offer 12 months of benefits as well. Long term-policies offer better cover, but are sometimes more expensive.
Pre-existing conditions may not be covered on your policy, so it is important to take one out before you need it.
Similarly, you will not be covered for redundancy if you already knew there was a chance it was going to happen. This protects the insurance companies against people taking advantages of the policy.
Smokers will usually pay higher premiums for accident and sickness cover because they are more likely to fall ill.
It is important never to buy a policy without researching the market first to get the best deal; otherwise you could be paying more than you need to.
Now you know the advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide whether income protection is right for you!