Critical illness insurance will pay out if you get one of the specific medical conditions or injuries listed in the policy. It only pays out once, after which the policy ends.
The conditions and illnesses covered can vary significantly between different insurers. The most comprehensive policies cover 50 different conditions or more, but others are much more limited.
Examples of critical illnesses that might be covered include:
- heart attack
- certain types and stages of cancer
- conditions such as multiple sclerosis
- major organ transplant
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- multiple sclerosis
- traumatic head injury.
Most policies will also consider permanent disabilities as a result of injury or illness.
Some policies will make a smaller payment for less severe conditions, or if one of your children has one of the specified conditions.
But not all conditions are covered. Common exclusions include:
- non-invasive cancers
- hypertension – abnormally high blood pressure
- injuries such as broken bones.
Most policies will also state how serious the condition must be to qualify for a payout.