Article by Alberto Martinez
With up to 20% of men and 17% of women experiencing a critical illness before they reach 65 years of age, critical illness insurance is more important than it might seem at first glance. Many people believe that critical illness insurance is an unnecessary expense, but in fact, statistics like these show that it’s more likely that the average person will suffer a critical illness before the age of 65 than they are to die.
Comparing and Understanding Critical Illness Policies
With more than 60 insurance providers offering two hundred different policies, choosing the one that’s right for you can be difficult. More than anything else, getting good critical illness insurance requires very close inspection of your policy. All insurers issue what are called Key Features Documents, which allow you to compare policies fairly easily. Examine these documents closely to determine which provide the best definitions of illnesses covered and value for the money.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this is making sure you’re aware of exactly what your policy does and does not cover. This type of error is the number one reason that critical illness claims get rejected, so understanding the insurance policy options you have is vital when it comes to choosing the one that will suit your needs the best.
Another related factor that’s important to consider is simply the range of illnesses that the policy covers. Choosing the cheapest plan may look good on paper, but the least expensive plan is likely to offer limited cover that simply doesn’t protect you against the illnesses you’re most likely to face. However, choosing one that’s too broad, one that covers exotic diseases you’re unlikely to encounter is pointless for most people, and selecting a policy of this kind will simply mean you’re paying premiums that are unnecessarily high.
Guaranteed and Reviewable Premiums
Buying a policy with a guaranteed rather than a reviewable premium can help keep your insurance costs down. A guaranteed policy means your insurance company promises that they’ll never increase the size of your premium. A reviewable policy is just that-the insurance company can periodically review your policy, and increase your premiums. If your policy is a short term one, choosing a reviewable policy can save you some money. However, while the reviewable policy is cheaper in the short term, the premium cost will be increased over that of an equivalent guaranteed policy within seven to ten years and within another ten years, could be more than twice that of the guaranteed policy.
Other Factors to Consider
Choosing a good policy also means looking out for extra advantages such as automatic coverage for your children. Not all policies offer this, but with child-related critical illness the sixth most common claim, this is a very useful way of protecting your children as well as yourself.
Finally, consider taking out life insurance and critical illness cover together, rather than simply getting one or the other. Purchasing the two together is always more cost-effective than buying separate policies, and it’s also much better value to buy these types of insurance when you’re young and healthy, and are eligible for less expensive premium rates.