Buying critical illness cover can be a minefield so we are offering a few tips to make the process easier.
• Don’t just go for the cheapest plan – in most cases you will get what you pay for. Comparison sites may offer you a so-called ‘best buy’ table but they will rarely show you the ‘best for you’ option.
The cheapest plan will often be the policy stripped down to the essentials, which is why it is that price. While it may be right for you, in most instances just a few pounds more will get you a whole host of other benefits that will save you money in the long run.
• Don’t take out a policy that is beyond your means. If you are on a limited budget it is unnecessary to go for a policy that covers every illness going.
• Look for a policy that covers you for partial payments and early stages. To highlight how important this, we will use a case where doctors catch a patient’s breast cancer in its early stages. Following an operation, only a small part of the breast was removed to stop the cancer spreading.
The insurer can refuse to pay out because the cancer wasn’t in their words ‘serious’ enough. But the patient will still be out of work and in for a long recovery and in need of the money. Avoid a similar situation by making sure the policy covers early stages.
• Check the small print of your critical illness policy to see if your premiums are fixed. Fixed premiums mean that the amount you pay for the cost of cover will stay the same throughout the life of your policy.
This means that you can budget accordingly and will not face premiums rising. Unfortunately, many critical illness policies do not have fixed premiums and they are likely to rise at some point, especially as you get older and become a higher risk for certain health problems.
• Look out for a policy that also covers your children. You’ll have peace of mind that your family are also protected should the worst happen.
And finally, it is always prudent to see an adviser who knows this industry inside out. Often, not seeking independent and professional advice can prove an expensive mistake if you’re stuck on an ineffective policy.
Our team of advisers at Platinum are on hand to help.