*Price based on a non-smoking 32 year old male insured over 10 years for £85,000 of cover on a level term policy, postcode CF10 1PZ. Prices correct on 14.01.11.
Doctors Critical Illness Insurance
If you’re the major breadwinner or the primary care giver in your family, there is a way you can protect your family’s financial security if you or your spouse become seriously ill – Critical Illness Insurance.
As a doctor you will know better than most how diagnosis of a serious illness can dramatically affect your financial standing and ultimately your lifestyle and that of your family. Treatment and rehabilitation will probably require time spent away from work which could limit your ability to earn money.
Critical Illness Cover pays a lump sum if you suffer from one of the specified major diseases or injuries covered such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer or blindness and the funds can be used at your discretion.
You can use critical illness insurance to help cover:
- Medical expenses, including long-distance or overseas travel to find preferred specialist care;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Pay for necessary modifications such as rails or ramps in your house as a result of the illness or injury;
- Help accumulate wealth for you or your partner’s retirement or savings plan;
- Reduce your debt, such as mortgages or fixed bills and
- Help with lifestyle and employment changes.
The benefits are paid to you when you are diagnosed with – and survive – an eligible condition. Although critical illness insurance has been available for almost 10 years, it has become increasingly popular in recent times. This is due to various reasons, such as the escalating costs associated with quality health care and the fact that medical advancements mean more people are surviving serious illness.
Tips and traps
What to look out for when considering a critical illness policy
- When taking out a policy, ask these key questions: what’s covered; what’s not covered; how much will I be paid after a claim; and what will the insurance premiums cost now and later?
- Consider getting a policy with index-linked premiums and cover so you know the cover will keep up with inflation.
- Consider a non-cancellable policy; otherwise companies may reassess your health or other factors on each renewal, possibly raising your premiums or refusing to continue cover.
- Offset clauses allow most insurers to reduce payouts if you have other income (for example, sick pay from your employer or state benefits). Check the relevant section of the policy for details.
- Check the waiting period (how long before you receive payment, often 30 or 90 days) and the benefit period (for how long payments will be made – typically until your normally expected retirement age).
- Some policies pay out if you’re unable to perform your normal occupation; others only pay if you can’t perform any occupation for which you’re suited by education, training or experience.