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Critical illness insurance

Critical illness cover gives you financial protection against certain illnesses and medical conditions of a specific severity.

Your cover will provide you with a tax-free lump sum cash payment which can be used to help you and your family. For example, it could help you pay off your mortgage, pay for treatment to help you recover or pay your household bills.

The New Guide to Minimum Standards for Critical Illness Cover

The Association of British Insurers published the new Guide to Minimum Standards for Critical Illness Cover on May 22nd 2018 following an extensive consultation and review of the Statement of Best Practice for Critical Illness Cover through 2017/18. The review was one of the most comprehensive to date, and has seen the Guide redesigned to ensure greater clarity and understanding for customers when comparing critical illness products. The ABI has also developed an accompanying consumer guide to provide people with clear information on what critical illness insurance is and the questions they might ask themselves before purchasing this insurance product.

The new Guide to Minimum Standards was put to public consultation in November 2017 with the consultation process concluding in late January 2018. We received a strong response from insurers, advisers, charities and other interested organisations. Respondents to this consultation supported the proposed changes to the Guide, which has seen an enhanced minimum standard definition in several areas, and other changes to definitions reflecting the evolution of medical understanding and treatment for a number of serious illnesses.

The revised version was drafted through the work of the ABI Critical Illness Working Group and the ABI Protection Committee, before being approved by the ABI Board earlier this month.

To view the new Guide to Minimum Standards, please click here. To view the new Consumer Guide, please click here.  

All critical illness policies cover the following illnesses, providing they are of a certain severity:

  • cancer
  • heart attack
  • stroke

Covers varies between insurers and some policies include additional medical conditions, so check the details of your policy with your insurer.

Next steps

If you have a policy, want to buy some cover, or just want more information: