How to compare and apply for serious illness cover on
Caoimhe Bermingham
Staff Writer

Comparing and applying for serious illness cover can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. On, we have made it easy for you to find the best value policy to suit your needs.

Serious illness cover, also known as specified or critical illness cover is a form of insurance that protects you financially if you were diagnosed with a specified illness during the term of your policy. 

Once you fall ill you will receive a tax-free lump sum from your insurer that you can use to cover the cost of your household bills or medical expenses for example.  

Although it is possible to add serious illness cover onto your life or mortgage protection insurance, this guide will only focus on comparing and applying for serious illness cover as a standalone policy. 

This is the second guide in the five-part serious illness cover Quickstart Guide series. You will find the other guides in the series linked below. 

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Step 1 - Enter your date of birth 

How old you are will help determine the cost of your premium. This is because the older you are the more susceptible to serious illnesses you become and the more likely you are to make a claim. 

Step 2 - Tell us the length of term cover you need 

Here you must select how many years you want your policy to last. You can choose between 10 to 40 years. The length of time you select will affect the price of your premium. 

Your age will also impact the length of cover you can apply for. This is because many insurers will only cover you up to around the age of 65, however, this will depend on the provider. 

For instance, some insurers may only cover you up to your 60th birthday while others will stop providing cover once you hit 75. Be sure to keep this in mind when choosing your policy and provider.

Step 3 - Indicate whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker 

For those of you who have smoked any tobacco products or used nicotine replacement products in the last 12 months, you will need to tell us. 

As a smoker, you will be charged a higher premium than non-smokers, as you are more susceptible to serious diseases and are more likely to be in poor health. 

Being a smoker makes you a higher risk for insurers to provide cover for as you are more likely to make a claim. 

Step 4 - Tell us how much cover you require

The amount of cover you select will be the amount you will be paid out by your insurer if you are diagnosed with a specified serious illness. 

When calculating the amount you require, you should take into consideration:

  • The number of dependents you have
  • Your mortgage repayments
  • Your household bills
  • Any outstanding loans 

Remember your policy should be able to support you financially if you have to stop working due to your illness.

This may result in you choosing a sum of money between one and five times your salary.  

Step 5 - Add an additional person to your policy

Here you will have the option to turn your policy into a dual or joint policy, meaning it will provide cover for you and another individual. 

You will need to tell us the person's age and whether they smoke or not. 

Step 6 - Customise your policy with optional extras

In this section, you can tailor your policy to suit your needs by adding:

Indexation: This optional extra increases the amount of money you are covered for each year so that your pay-out is in line with inflation. Adding indexation will increase the cost of your premium. 

Convertible term cover: This allows you to extend the term of your policy at any point in time. The benefit of this added extra is that you will not have to undergo a medical examination or provide evidence that you are in good health when lengthening your policy. 

Step 7 - Is this policy to replace an existing policy?

If your answer is yes, you will need to select which insurance provider you currently have your existing cover with. 

Step 8 - Review your results

Once you have submitted all the information required above, it is time to press the ‘Compare Serious Illness Cover’ button.

Within seconds, you will be brought to the results page where a completed list of policies is waiting for you to be examined in depth. 

No results are displayed

If the results page does not provide you with any policy options, it means that our insurance providers do not have a policy to suit your needs or requirements. 

If this is the case, you can try readjusting your policy requirements, or contact a member of our team to discuss your options. 

Monthly premium 

Your results will be organised in order of the cost of your monthly premium with the lowest price appearing first. 

This price will include the cost of an additional person or any optional extras you have added to your policy during the application process. 

Filtering your results

You can easily filter and update your results by changing or adjusting:

  • The type of cover you require i.e. single, dual, or joint 
  • The amount of cover you want
  • The term length of your cover
  • Whether to add indexation or convertible term cover to your policy

These filters can be found on the left-hand side of the results page.

Policy features

The benefits and policy features are outlined under each plan on the results page. 

The benefits available on a certain policy may include:

  • Children’s life cover 
  • Serious illness cover
  • Access to a doctor who specialises in your illness
  • Helping hand benefit
  • A reinstatement clause 
  • Monthly income upon death

Step 9 - Select your policy and apply online

Once you have found the right policy to suit your needs, click on the ‘Proceed’ button. 

Fill in your details 

You will then need to provide us with some personal information to move forward with your application such as:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your mobile number
  • Your date of birth 
  • Your gender
  • Your current home address

Your circumstances

This section contains questions about your financial circumstances, you must answer these questions truthfully. This will allow us to gather a complete financial picture of you so we can provide appropriate recommendations and advice for your financial needs. 

This is required by The Central Bank of Ireland. 

We will need to know:

  • Whether you are in good or bad health
  • What your marital status is
  • Your employment status 
  • Your profession and the industry you work in 

If you have added an additional person to your policy, you will need to provide us with this information about them too. 

Step 10 - Submit your application

Before you submit your application, you must indicate whether you would like to be contacted by your new insurer by phone, post, SMS, or email. 

You must also select a preferred callback time so that one of our qualified insurance brokers can ring you to discuss your application. 

Lastly, you must agree to the declarations, and terms and conditions. 

Once all these aspects are completed you can submit your application for serious illness cover. 

What happens next?

After you submit your application, one of our insurance advisors will phone you to confirm your medical history and answer any questions you may have about the policy you’ve applied for.

The call will last approximately 10 minutes.

Our expert advisors will then guide you through the application process and will liaise with your new serious illness insurance provider on your behalf. 

Our team will be with you every step of the way until your policy has been issued. 

Get the best value serious illness cover 

On, we provide a free specified illness comparison service that allows you to easily compare prices and benefits from all of Ireland’s main insurance providers

Whether you want a single, dual, or joint policy, we will help find the best-suited cover for you and provide you with a quote in seconds. 

But we won't stop there, on you can have all your insurance needs met in one place! Simply head over to our insurance page, where you can compare and find the best value mortgage protection, life, home, car, and health insurance.

There are even comparison tools that will help you lower the cost of your energy, broadband, and banking expenses on our site too.

So start your savings journey today on!

Take a look at our other helpful guides

If you found this guide informative, check out the other guides in the series below:

    You can keep up to date with our latest insurance news by reading our blogs and guide pages. 

    Help is on hand

    If you’ve any questions about applying for serious illness cover, contact our team today on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.