Do you need serious illness cover?

You may want to consider serious illness insurance if you:

  • have no other cover for ill health
  • are not in paid employment, so cannot buy income protection insurance
  • have a mortgage, personal loans or other debts that you would still have to pay if you became seriously ill and possibly unable to earn an income
  • have dependants who rely on your income or unpaid work, such as work you do in the home or in a family business

You can claim the benefit on your policy only if you meet the following three conditions:

  • the illness you develop is one of the illnesses your policy covers at the time of your claim
  • a medical diagnosis confirms that your illness matches the definition of that illness outlined by the insurance company in your policy terms and conditions
  • you survive for a period after you are diagnosed – this period may be seven or 14 days, depending on the policy

There are many situations where you may not be covered by your serious illness policy. You will not usually be covered if:

  • your illness is judged to be caused by drug or alcohol abuse, a self-inflicted injury or failure to follow medical advice
  • your illness existed before you applied for insurance and you failed to say this in your application
  • your illness came about because you were involved in dangerous or criminal activities
  • you live outside the ‘territorial limits’ of the policy for a certain number of months of the year. The territorial limits may vary from policy to policy but would usually mean all EU countries