Critical illness cover

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What is critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover offers an extra level of protection on top of a standard life insurance policy, so that if you develop one of the illnesses specified, you receive a tax-free lump sum payment to spend how you wish.

You may choose to use a pay-out to cover things like ongoing healthcare/treatment or simply maintaining your family’s standard of living, if you were unable to continue work for instance.

As well as offering cover for you, many insurers also include children’s critical illness cover at no extra cost (pay-outs are usually limited to £10,000 - £25,000).

If you are interested in buying a critical illness policy, simply select to include it when you get a life insurance quote.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote for critical illness cover you'll need to supply some details of your medical history. This helps the insurer to determine whether you are eligible for cover.

When getting a quote, it's important to provide details of previous conditions as with any policy you take out, the insurer could amend/cancel the policy or refuse to pay out a claim if you fail to mention your full medical history.

You'll also need to consider:

  • Which illnesses are covered - each insurer may class illnesses differently (see the section below for more information on the types of illness that are covered)
  • Length of cover - how long your policy will cover you for
  • The level of cover - you choose the amount to be paid in the event of a claim

Which illnesses are covered?

What insurers define as a critical illness can vary, but policies commonly cover heart conditions and some forms of cancer or kidney/liver failure.

Other conditions that could be classed as critical illness include:
  • Major organ transplant
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Deafness
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Bacterial meningitis

This list isn't exhaustive, and not all companies will cover all of these, so it's important to check policy details to see the full list of illnesses covered.

Why compare with can help you find the best cover to suit your circumstances. We compare top UK insurers and show you the best deals all in one place. When you search for life cover with, we can help you:

  • Compare up to 10 trusted UK insurance providers
  • See independent star ratings from Defaqto
  • Get a tailored quote and an indication of how your application will be treated

Your application will be processed by our partner Direct Life & Pension Services Ltd. You’ll be assigned a dedicated and trusted case handler who'll liaise directly with your chosen insurer, keep you updated on the progress of your application and advise you on acceptance.

It takes just 3 minutes to get a quote online, but if you’d prefer to talk to one of our UK-based experts, call us on 0800 652 9754 (Mon – Thurs: 9:30am – 8pm | Fri: 9:30am – 1pm)

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Confused Life is arranged and administered by Direct Life & Pension Services Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office; 2nd Floor Gateway 2, Holgate Park Drive, York, United Kingdom, YO26 4GB. Registered in England and Wales No 2467691. Our service is free and compares a wide range of trusted household names. is an intermediary and receives commission from Direct Life & Pension Services Ltd which is based on a percentage of the total annual premium if you decide to buy through our website. We pride ourselves on impartiality and independence – therefore we don't promote any one insurance provider over another.