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Critical Illness – Why You Really Need Cover that Properly Protects You

Critical illness cover is insurance that will pay out a lump sum to you upon the diagnosis of one of the predetermined critical illnesses your policy covers during the life of your policy term.

This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.

Does your cover actually cover you?

The key phrase in Critical Illness cover is “illnesses your policy covers.” Illnesses typically covered in a policy include

  • cancer
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • sometimes illnesses such as major organ transplants, Parkinson’s disease, deafness, and bacterial meningitis.

Each individual policy will differ, so it’s extremely important to review what is covered and what isn’t before you commit to any plan.

Critical illness could really save the day for anyone who relies on salaried income to pay all their bills and are unable to work due to their condition.

The lump sum a pay out provides you peace of mind for you and your family that you’ll be able to afford to pay your mortgage and other regular payments during the illness.

The money can also be put toward any care you may need or used to ensure your family is taken care of.

Policy changes over the years

According to critical illness comparison firm CI Expert, a few decades ago, there were only about 20 conditions covered under a typical critical illness policy. Nowadays, there are over 170 ailments included. 

Older policies also generally contained stricter terms and conditions. Luckily, in the last few years, things have changed for the better.

For instance, the loss of one limb is enough to trigger a pay out when you previously needed to lose two. And they have relaxed the necessary eye test score required for blindness claims from a Snellen result of 3/60, (or only being able to read a letter from three metres away when someone with normal vision would be able to read the same letter from 60 metres), to 6/60.

It wasn’t all bad though. Some policies actually provided better coverage in certain cases because advancements in medicine now mean higher survival rates for illnesses such as early prostate cancer. As a result, many insurers no longer cover it. Coronary angioplasties, surgeries that widen blocked arteries have also been affected; the procedure perfected so you can now actually leave hospital the same day.

Do the benefits outweigh the cost?

Despite the ever-changing state of policy terms and conditions, insurance companies are not required by law to inform customers of all changes, nor do they need to confirm whether their customers would like to upgrade their policies to sufficiently cover the amendments.

Watch specifically for language surrounding the types and severity of specified illnesses so you don’t get caught out with a mountain of medical bills, as some people have found. That’s why it’s so important to continually review your policy and stay abreast of any news that might affect any future coverage.

Costs for plans will vary based on the level of cover you think you’ll need, individual policy terms, the age you take out the policy, and of course, the state of your health as it currently stands. Pre-existing conditions are not only not covered, but they’ll increase your premiums, too.

To learn more about why a critical illness policy that properly protects you is essential, download our Factsheet, or for help incorporating a policy into your overall financial plan, get in touch with one of the experts here at Dental and Medical Financial Services.

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