Critical Illness cover is a life insurance product that provides the insured with a lump sum payment should they be diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses specified within the insurance policy. The benefit is paid before death on the diagnosis or treatment of a life shortening disease (for example, cancer or heart attack) and this benefit may replace the death benefit on the policy, or it may be paid in addition to. You may be advised therefore, to enact a Critical Illness policy seperately and in addition to a Term Assurance policy, in order that on payment of the Critical Illness lump sum, the Term Assurance is not cancelled and still remains in place throughout the specified term.
It is possible to construct the policy in order that it pays a regular income, however this may be dependent on whether the insured undergoes a surgical operation.
The policy may require the insured to survive a minimum length of time from diagnosis of the illness. This is known as ‘the survival period’ and can vary from one provider to another, however 14 days is the most typical period used.
The contract terms contain specific rules that define when diagnosis of a critical illness is considered valid. It may state that the diagnosis need to be made by a physician who specialises in that condition, or it may require specific tests to confirm the diagnosis.