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Critical Illness Insurance

Protection for you and your family if you’re unable to work

Achieve peace of mind by ensuring you can cover your costs in the event of serious illness.

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A one-off, tax-free payment to replace lost earnings.

A serious illness or injury that prevents you from working is bad enough. The last thing you need is to be worrying about how you’ll support yourself or your family during an already difficult time.

Critical Illness cover can’t stop you from getting ill, but it can help soften the financial blow.

With Critical Illness Insurance, you can overcome the burden of being unable to work through a one-off lump sum payment designed to protect your way of life. It can be used to pay off debts, cover the cost of treatment or ensure you can continue to provide for your family.

Our experts will talk you through the different policies available and make sure you find the cover that works best for you and your lifestyle.

All statements concerning the tax treatment of products and their benefits are based on our understanding of current tax law and HM Revenue and Customs’ practice. Levels and bases of tax relief are subject to change.

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What if illness meant you were unable to work?

How would you pay the bills?

Your income covers a lot of expenses, from rent or mortgage payments to groceries, utility bills and more. Could you cope if it was suddenly taken away? Rather than dent your savings or make sacrifices like downsizing or selling your home, Critical Illness cover provides a safety net in the form of a significant lump sum payment.

Could you afford the treatment?

Illness or injury and lost income are a double blow, potentially introducing costly medical bills when you’re unable to earn. A lump sum payment could help keep you afloat financially and protect your family for the future while also covering the cost of treatment. It can even be used to fund accessibility renovations in your home, such as ramps or specialist medical equipment.

What about your family?

If your loved ones also rely on your income, Critical Illness Insurance ensures they’re not impacted by your illness or injury any more than necessary. The tax-free payment it provides could help you continue to cover domestic bills, childcare costs or school fees.

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How does it work?

If you are diagnosed with a serious illness, a Critical Illness policy will pay out a tax-free, one-off payment (some insurers may offer monthly instalment options also). This can help you pay for your mortgage or rent, and any existing debts you may have or help you to make adjustments to your home, such as a wheelchair ramp if you need it.

What illnesses are covered?

Each insurer has its own list of critical illnesses that they cover. Typically, you’ll be insured for heart attacks, cancer (depending on the type and the stage), strokes and permanent disabilities due to an illness or injury. If you have a specific illness that you want to be covered for, get in touch with a Broadbench adviser who will be able to guide you to the right insurer.

What factors impact the policy’s cost?

There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of your monthly premium including:

  • Your age
  • The level of cover you wish to take out
  • Whether you’re a smoker or have previously smoked
  • Your current health, weight and family’s medical history
  • Your job (some occupations carry higher levels of risk than other professions and therefore may increase the monthly premiums)

What are the benefits of Critical Illness Cover?

Firstly, to keep a roof over your family’s head. With Critical Illness Cover, you can rest assured that you will be able to keep up with mortgage repayments or even pay off the full remaining amount. You’ll receive a tax-free pay-out – If you are diagnosed with a Critical Illness, the money you and your family receive is tax-free. Lastly, it gives you peace of mind – No one knows what the future has in store but with Critical Illness Cover, you will be protected for a number of illnesses. This way you can rest assured that you and your family are financially secure.

You may be able to get small multiple payouts. Most policies will only pay out once, but some insurers will make a small payment if you are diagnosed with a less severe illness. In this case, your policy would continue, and you should be able to make a further claim down the line if you’re diagnosed with a more critical illness.

How is Critical Illness different from Income Protection?

To claim on a Critical Illness policy, you must be diagnosed with a medical condition that meets one of the definitions on the policy. In contrast, to make a claim on an Income Protection policy simply relies upon you being unfit for work, no specific medical condition is needed – therefore the pay-out is to cover you until you’re fit to return to work.

Who do I notify in the event that a policyholder passes away?

You should notify the claims department of your insurer, you will find this contact info on the policy documents or their website.

Why do contractors need Critical Illness?

When you work for yourself, you no longer receive the same benefits as regular employees. These benefits include payment to cover a long period off work due to sickness. The alternative to receiving ‘sick pay’ is to receive state benefits, however, this may not be enough to replace your income.

If you’re eligible, you may be able to receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – which ranges from £70 to just over £100 a week, depending on your circumstances and the seriousness of your illness or disability. Will that be enough to cover your household bills and family’s lifestyle? If not, then you should consider Critical Illness cover.

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