Serious illness can strike at random. It can cause shock, fear, turmoil and potential financial disaster.
Critical illness insurance provides a substantial cash payment if you become seriously ill and will assist in providing financial security if ever you happen to suffer from a major health problem (Stroke, Heart Attack or Cancer).
Each policy will have a list of illnesses that are covered and as soon as you are diagnosed as having had one of the illnesses, a tax free cash sum will be paid out.
The insurance payment will enable you to meet your bills, and possibly even pay off your mortgage, so that you can concentrate on recovering without the stress of finance problems. You undoubtedly will have other regular commitments that you may be unable to pay so an increased amount of critical illness cover may be preferable.
For those who feel they could manage without it, it's important to be aware of the potential cost of long-term illness and the possibility of not being able to go back to work.
Critical Illness Insurance is available from most major insurance companies, some mortgage providers, and a number of specialist health insurance providers. You can buy directly from one of the companies, or through a tied agent, or through an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).
If you buy directly from an insurance company your only option will be their product. You will have greater choice if you buy from a tied agent, but only from the limited range of products that they sell - and you will receive no advice about competitive policies.
Unless you are prepared to investigate the entire Critical Illness Insurance market yourself, the most reliable way to buy your policy is through an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). After discussing your personal circumstances, the IFA will recommend the best insurance solution for you, from all of the products available in the market place.
Remember there are over 130 critical illness policies and products vary from Annually Renewable cover for a limited number of illnesses, to whole of Life policies covering a large range of conditions. So it makes sense to seek professional guidance, with impartial advice from a qualified IFA.
The cost of your monthly premium will depend on factors such as your age, sex, health, occupation, whether you smoke or not, and how much cover you want. Be ready for high costs if a blood relative has had one of the core illnesses: Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Kidney Failure, Coronary Artery By-Pass Surgery and Major Organ Transplant, or a hereditary disease.
By arranging your cover via an IFA, you will either pay a fee or they will receive a commission from the insurance company, which will be fully disclosed to you before proceeding.
If you arrange insurance through a tied agent or buy directly from an insurer, you will be notified how much commission is allocated to the intermediary or sales person.