Specified illness cover is a form of insurance that pays out a tax-free lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness during the term of the policy. Specified illness cover is sometimes referred to as critical illness cover or serious illness cover but they all refer to the same thing.
Specified illness cover can be purchased as standalone cover or combined with life cover or mortgage protection under the one policy.
Standalone specified illness cover means that your cover is kept separate from any other life insurance policies you might have.
Your specified illness policy can also be added to your mortgage protection or life insurance policy. In this instance it can be added as additional cover or accelerated cover and is best explained with an example.
Before getting cover it’s really important to know that not all serious illnesses will be covered by your policy.
With some policies your condition would have to be extremely serious before you could make a claim and in many cases more common illness, such as back injury and treatable cancers, aren’t covered at all.
Your policy’s terms and conditions will outline exactly what’s covered and your insurer will only pay out if you’re diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses or disabilities listed.
Also, you usually won’t be covered if your illness is judged to be caused by drug or alcohol abuse, a self-inflicted injury or a failure to follow medical advice.
If you have a mortgage or other loans that would still need to be paid if you became ill and were unable to work, then you should consider getting cover. Likewise, if you have a family who relies on your income then cover is recommended.
The maximum rate for Disability Allowance from the Department of Social Welfare is currently only €203 a week, meaning relying solely on the State should you get sick won’t be an option for most people.
Before taking out specified illness cover it’s always a good idea to speak with a qualified financial advisor who can conduct a full financial review with you and advise of the appropriate level of cover for your personal circumstances.
There are lots of providers who sell specified illness cover in Ireland such as Aviva, Irish Life, New Ireland, Royal London, and Zurich to name a few.
It depends. If you’re in fairly good health then the answer is usually no.
However if you have a history of illness, are over a certain age, or are applying for a large amount of cover then you may need to undergo a medical examination or complete an over-the-phone medical questionnaire, which will be organised and paid for by the life insurance company.
Your life insurance company may also have a medical questionnaire sent to your doctor for him or her to complete.
Specified illness cover tends to be more expensive than other forms of insurance such as mortgage protection or life insurance as you don’t have to die before a benefit is paid out.
The exact cost of your policy will depend on several things such as the amount of cover you choose, how long you want the policy to run for, your age, and your health status.
Smokers will also pay more for cover than non-smokers, so another good reason to try kick the habit!
You can apply for specified illness cover through bonkers.ie. We deal with all of the main life insurance providers in Ireland meaning we can find you the best quotes available for the cover you need.