Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023

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Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023

Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023Ok, so being completely open from the start it’s not possible to say which critical illness policies are the best. I can explain!

Each insurer in the UK has a slightly different critical illness policy and all of them are great for different people, in different circumstances. Things like your age, smoker status, BMI, medical history, travel, work and hobbies can all play a huge part in which critical illness policy will be right for you.

There are however some critical illness policies that are really standing out right now. They have something extra or a little quirk somewhere that makes you think, hmmm, that looks good. I’m going to take you through these extras that are offered by 5 insurers in the UK, so that you can see the hidden gems that come with these policies.


Guardian Critical Illness Cover

Guardian have a number of unique parts to their critical illness cover that are definitely worth knowing about.

  • Heart attacks – most insurers say they will pay out if you have a heart attack of a specified severity, Guardian don’t do this! Their rules are that if you’ve had a heart attack, you’ve had a heart attack and they will payout your claim for critical illness cover.
  • Terminal Illness benefit – a lot of the time critical illness cover is connected to life insurance. Terminal illness cover is not critical illness cover! It is an extra that comes with life insurance contracts. Well, with Guardian’s life insurance policy they have the best definition of terminal illness cover on the market. They will payout if you are diagnosed with stage 4 incurable cancer, no matter how long your life expectancy is going to be.
  • Automatic waiver of premium – this is an extra that you get with Guardian policies automatically and it basically means that if you are ill and cannot work for 6 months or more, you don’t need to keep paying your premiums and they will still keep the policy active for you. If you do go back to work you start paying your premiums again but you don’t have to make up the ones that they haven’t charged you while you have been in.
  • Policy Updates – usually when you take out a critical illness policy your contract is based upon what the insurer offers on that exact date and it doesn’t change going forward. Guardian are uniquely different in the market as they will offer the improvements that they make to their critical illness contract to new and existing customers.


AIG Critical Illness Cover

AIG have made some huge steps in recent years when it comes to their critical illness contract and have made a change that stands them out from the rest.

  • Any neurological condition – most insurers will list conditions that you can claim on e.g. Parkinsons, Alzheimers etc once your symptoms reach a certain stage. Well AIG have massively opened up their claims set by moving away from listing these conditions and instead saying ‘Any neurological condition’ of a specified severity. They are the only insurer to currently do this within the UK. This opens up claims for conditions such as Huntington’s and Ataxia, that are not normally covered by critical illness policies.
  • Value added benefits – most insurers now offer these and they are essentially extras that you can often access with the insurer even if you’re not making a claim. AIG have the most comprehensive set of benefits that they offer that currently include access to GPs 24/7, second medical opinion services, mental health, exercise and nutrition support. These things are non-contractual and can change at any time.


Zurich Critical Illness Cover

Zurich has a really unique option that not only protects you but also the financial wellbeing of your children.

  • Children’s cover – most insurers offer you the option to include some critical illness cover for your children on your policy. But Zurich give you an option that really makes it stand out as a way to protect your children. By being on your policy your children will have the option to set up their own critical illness cover with Zurich once they are 16, without the need for full medical underwriting.


Scottish Widows Critical Illness Cover

Scottish Widows were one of the first insurers to start stepping away from the crowd and making changes to their contract to really benefit their customers.

  • Carcinoma in situ – for many years insurers have played what we refer to in the advice world as the conditions race. Essentially, who can list the most amount of claimable conditions in their policy. Scottish Widows stepped away from this as instead of listing every carcinoma in situ known to man, they simply say carcinoma in situ. This means that the claim isn’t restricted to certain parts of the body.


VitalityLife Serious Illness Cover

You can probably spot from the title that this is quite different to critical illness cover, but it’s very very similar.

  • Serious Illness Cover – this policy type pays out differently to critical illness cover as a claim can be paid anywhere between 5-100% of the policy sum assured (depending upon the option that you choose). Most insurers are either 100% payout or 25% for some of their partial payout options.
  • Amount of conditions – VitalityLife have the largest amount of claimable conditions on the market that can be from 114 to 174 conditions, depending upon the level of cover that you take.
  • Optimiser – you can choose to arrange your policy through the VitalityLife Optimiser route where you can earn financial rewards and reduced premiums, if you regularly keep fit and record your exercise with the insurer.
  • Multiple Payouts – VitalityLife have recently included the option to potentially get up 3x the sum assured paid out over multiple successful claims.
  • Dementia and FrailCare cover – you are automatically given standard access to these benefits when your serious illness cover ends.

There are many things that could mean the insurers in this blog are right for you, or potentially not the best choice. Many insurers offer fantastic options for critical illness cover and this blog is meant to highlight some of the extra considerations for this insurance that you might not think about.

It is always a good idea to speak with an insurance adviser so that they can make sure that you are getting critical illness cover that is right for you.

All details in this blog are accurate as of March 2023, the policies might change over time and you will need to check the terms and conditions for your critical illness cover on the date that you arrange your policy.

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Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023
Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023
Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023
Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023
Top 5 Critical Illness Policies in the UK 2023