What is Serious Illness Cover?
Possibly someone close to you has suffered an illness and you’ve seen first-hand how this can impact someone financially, maybe you’ve been thinking about how your family would manage to meet immediate additional costs were you in need of emergency care, or you might be simply looking to save money on an existing policy which you hold, either way you’ve come to the right place. We keep it very simple. We quote you the absolute lowest quote we can offer first time with no messing about and I think you’ll be very pleased with both the price and the standard of advice received. We pride ourselves on it.
Serious Illness Cover, sometimes called Specified Illness Cover, is a form of protection cover that pays out a lump sum payment on the diagnoses of the life assured with an illness which is specified in the policy conditions. Some illnesses can have a significant impact on your life. They can stop you from working and your recovery may require assistance and time. That’s where serious illness cover comes in.
Serious illness insurance, also known as Critical Illness Cover, pays out a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses or disabilities included in your policy. It is also known as critical illness cover.
Unfortunately, there are illnesses that can have a significant impact on your life and can stop you from working. Some recoveries from illness will require assistance and time. That’s why serious illness cover is important. Serious illness cover (also known as critical illness cover) provides you with the financial support you will need if diagnosed with a serious illness. Having this financial support at a time of physical and emotional stress ensures you can take time off work, pay for specialist treatment, cover household bills and childcare costs.
Serious illness cover can be purchased as an additional benefit to most life insurance policies.
When you take out a policy which includes Serious Illness Cover, the Illness Cover amount will be paid out upon diagnosis of the insured with one of the Illnesses specified under the policy. You can add Illness cover to a life policy, either on a ‘Standalone Basis’ or on an ‘Accelerated Basis’.
Where a standalone basis is chosen, the life cover and illness cover are independent of each other and where a claim occurs on the illness sum assured the full life cover sum assured will continue to stay in place for the remainder of the policy term. Where an ‘Accelerated Basis’ is chosen, the amount of life cover for the remainder of the term is reduced by the Illness payment in the event of a claim.
This is a cheaper option and can be an ideal solution for a customer who requires both cover types but for whom cost is a major factor. It is important for those who require Serious Illness Cover to have the correct level of cover in place. Saying this, it is also important that you are not paying for cover when you reach a stage in your life that your personal circumstances deem the cover unnecessary. If this is the case, we will be very clear in telling you that this is our belief.
The list of illnesses varies between insurers but typically includes heart attack and stroke, certain types of cancer, coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, motor neuron disease, blindness, major organ transplantation (including being on a waiting list for transplantation), a benign brain tumour and severe burns.
Not all policies will cover the same illnesses therefore it is important to check with your broker for details of the illnesses covered before you take out a policy.
What are the Advantages of Serious Illness Cover in Ireland?
- It covers a wide range of illnesses
- It will pay a tax-free cash lump sum payment to your family if you are unable to work
- It can cover more than one person
- Serious illness cover can help pay for medical treatment and expenses
- It can help with your mortgage, loans or household bills
- An innovative cancer-only option is available under certain serious illness covers
- You can increase your serious illness cover at times when you need it.
- Serious illness cover gives you time to focus on getting better which is what really matters.
You may want to consider serious illness insurance in Ireland if you:
- have no other ill health cover
- are not in paid employment and are therefore unable to buy income protection insurance
- have a mortgage, personal loans and or other debts that you would still have to repay if you became seriously ill and unable to earn an income
- have dependants who rely on you for either your income or for unpaid work such as the work you do in the family home or in a family business
- You must have developed an illness that is covered in your policy at the time of your claim
- A medical diagnosis must confirm that your illness matches the definition of that illness outlined by the insurance company in your policy terms and conditions
- You survive for a period after you are diagnosed – this period may be seven or 14 days, depending on the policy
You will not usually be covered if:
- your illness existed before you applied for insurance and you failed to disclose this in your policy application
- your illness is caused by drug or alcohol abuse, a self-inflicted injury or failure to follow medical advice
- your illness is a result of being involved in dangerous or criminal activities
- you live outside the ‘territorial limits’ of the policy for a certain number of months of the year. The territorial limits may vary from policy to policy but would usually mean all EU countries
As a broker, Quoteleader will search the market for you and compare prices so that you get the cheapest serious illness quote on the market. We quote the cheapest quote first time every time. Simply call the phone number 01 539 44 50 or request a quote on our website
Serious illness cover will cost more than life insurance cover because the risk of getting a serious illness during the policy term is higher than the risk of dying during the same period.
The monthly cost of the insurance depends on many factors, but the most important are:
- The amount of cover, eg €60,000
- Who is getting insured, will it be single cover or joint cover
- The term/length of the policy
- Your age
- Smoking status
- Your health and family medical history
It is important to remember that as you get older, serious illness cover is likely to cost more. Therefore, never cancel an existing policy until you know for sure that a new policy offers the same protection but at a cheaper price.
If you bought a stand-alone serious illness cover for a fixed term or you added serious illness cover to a fixed term life insurance or mortgage protection insurance policy, the premium is fixed for the term of the policy and therefore cannot increase.
However, if you choose an index-linked policy, the premium usually increases once a year to allow for inflation, unless you ask your broker to stop index linking.
If you buy serious illness cover as part of a whole of life policy, your premium is not fixed and may increase from time to time.
Serious Illness cover will not replace your income if you were out of work due to long-term illness. Serious illness insurance will only pay out if the illness is covered by the policy and pays a once-off lump sum, not an ongoing income. Income protection on the other hand will pay monthly sum to help replace your salary income.
Serious Illness or Critical Illness Cover, is offered by all of the main insurers in Ireland. They all cover similar Illness however there are some subtle differences in the cover offered. These differences can be of high importance depending on your specific circumstances. Some insurers offer wider definitions of certain illnesses than others making it easier to have a successful claim on these illnesses. Others will pay a partial payment on certain illness where others won’t. Pricing is not always the most importance factor with this type of cover as it is a much more detailed form of cover, than for example, life cover. The answer to the question, who provides the best critical illness cover in Ireland? is that it depends on your requirements. It is very important to have a discussion with one of our advisors before putting cover in place. Please give us a call on 01 539 44 50 or request a quote and we will be delighted to help.
These are the essentials, but as I always say, you should not go ahead with any policy until speaking with an advisor to ensure it fits your requirements exactly. Feel free to give me a call on 01 539 44 50 for a quick chat . Ken.