Serious illness cover pays a tax-free lump sum in the event you are diagnosed with a number of specified serious illnesses. There are over 40 such illnesses covered on a typical policy.
With a serious illness, it can be difficult to assess the potential impact. How long will you be off work? Will there be any major medical expenses not covered by your medical insurance? Will you need to travel for specialised treatment? Will there be a permanent impact on your earnings?
You can discuss all of these factors with your Financial Broker who will help you choose the most appropriate level of cover for you. Typically this will be loans outstanding, plus a multiple of annual net earnings.
Applying for cover starts with the completion of a medical proposal form. The life insurance company may write to your GP for a report, and in some cases, a medical examination is required. Once you are accepted by the life company, the cover is permanent for the term of the policy regardless of what happens to your health. Your Financial Broker will assist you with the form filling and will ensure the policy is set up correctly.
Things to watch out for:
- This cover is more expensive than life insurance so it’s important to get a Financial Broker to shop around for you.
- To protect your mortgage, choose a policy that reduces in line with your mortgage over time.
- Your cover can be arranged in conjunction with life insurance. It can be done on an “independent” basis, whereby the serious illness is paid and doesn’t affect the life insurance. Or it can be done on an “accelerated” basis, which means the serious illness cover payout will reduce the life insurance by this amount.
- Health requirements to get this cover are significantly higher than life insurance and you can be affected by incidents of serious illness in your immediate family. Discuss your health in detail with your Financial Broker before exploring this cover.