WHAT IS CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE: Definition, Cover & All You Need to Know

critical illness insurance
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According to the American Heart Association, 720,000 people in the United States have a heart attack each year, and a stroke occurs every 40 seconds. On the other hand, the American Cancer Society states that both men and women have a 33 percent chance of developing cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, medical costs account for 66 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States, which is alarming. So knowing someone who has recently had a heart attack or stroke, or having a family member who has a cancer history, places you at great risk in the future. This article helps you minimize those risks as it covers a comprehensive set of information about critical illness insurance cover, Manulife, and its effects on the US and UK population.

Critical Illness Insurance

If you are diagnosed with specific illnesses or disabilities, critical sickness insurance pays you a lump sum of money. Long-term and life-threatening illnesses are frequently covered, such as a heart attack or stroke, the loss of arms or legs, or diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease.

If you’ve been laid off due to illness, having a substantial quantity of money to spend on items like groceries, paying down your mortgage, or medical bills can be really beneficial. You are free to spend the money as you like; you are not obligated to spend it on anything specific.

While you’re sick, you may have additional sources of income, such as state benefits or sick pay from your employment. However, this may not be sufficient to meet all of your requirements. Consider how much money you’d need to live on if you become very ill, and whether you’d need some more cash to supplement your salary.


The premise behind critical illness insurance is that if you’re with a medical emergency or a life-threatening health condition, even with health insurance, you might not be able to afford treatment and rehabilitation. You may also be unable to work and support yourself. A lump-sum benefit payment could provide you with the resources you need to recover.

A critical illness insurance policy, unlike typical health insurance, provides cash for expenses such as out-of-pocket medical fees, mortgage or rent payments, and child care. If you qualify, you pay a monthly premium and receive a maximum lifetime benefit usually a one-time payout.

However, you should think about whether you actually need critical illness insurance in the first place. Common chronic diseases such as diabetes are frequently left out of insurance policies. Your health insurance and disability insurance may be sufficient to cover all of your needs. When the time comes, you could be better off switching to a more comprehensive health plan.

What Types of Conditions Does Critical Illness Insurance UK Cover?

Every policy is unique. However, the more medical issues you include in your policy, the higher your monthly premium will be.

In addition to the five common diagnoses, a more comprehensive policy might include the following:

  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Major organ failure
  • Traumatic head injuries
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Loss of sight

You might be asking if COVID-19 is covered by critical illness insurance. The quick answer is that it is dependent on the situation. Insurers have been modifying policies to address COVID-19, and you may be covered in some circumstances. For example, if you’re on a ventilator for several days, you might be eligible for compensation. COVID-19 is specifically not part of other policies.

Is Critical Illness Insurance Worth it?

Critical illness insurance, like other forms of supplemental insurance, might prove to be financially beneficial in the event that you need to file a claim. If you are able to purchase critical illness coverage via your employer at a very low rate, it may also be worthwhile to do so.

Critical illness insurance might give you peace of mind if you have a health insurance plan with high out-of-pocket payments or if you do not have sufficient savings to pay for unforeseen medical bills.

On the other hand, if you have a medical insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage, if you are financially secure, if you have disability insurance, and if you have strong life insurance in place, a critical disease diagnosis might not be financially catastrophic for you.

What You Need to Know Before You Take Out Critical Illness Insurance

If you file a claim, you’ll need to know how much you’ll get. You will only receive one payout if you file a claim on a critical illness insurance UK policy. Depending on how much you want to insure yourself for, this may be a substantial sum of money. However, if you are unable to work for an extended period of time, or if you never work again, it may not endure. Income protection insurance, on the other hand, might last as long as you need it.

You’ll need to know exactly which illnesses the coverage covers. Make a thorough examination of the insurance policy documents to ensure that you are aware of which ones apply. There are requirements that state that policy documents must be in clear English that is easy to understand so that you can understand the extent of the cover.

Before you can file a claim, you’ll need to know how severely disabled or ill you must be. Some early stages of common malignancies, for example, are unlikely to be among the cover, and you may need to be complete before receiving any compensation.

You’ll need to know whether or not your pre-existing medical conditions are covered. These are ailments that you’ve previously experienced. Insurers will consider your family’s medical history, and some policies will cover pre-existing diseases while others will not. If you have a family medical history that implies you may be subject to conditions if you take out a policy, your insurer should tell you before you sign up.

How Do I Buy Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides the policyholder with a direct lump-sum payout that can be used to meet costs that are not covered by other types of insurance. You can buy it for yourself, you can buy it through your workplace, or you can add it to your existing personal life insurance coverage.

What Does Critical Illness Insurance Provide for Assistance?

Insurance for critical illness can contribute to the payment of medical expenses that result from life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. The benefit from a critical illness policy can cover everything you want it to, including medical expenses that are not covered by healthcare coverage, household bills such as utilities, rent or mortgage payments, grocery bills, or anything else you want it to cover.

Does Critical Illness Payout on Death?

You will be given a one-time payment in the form of a lump sum to help cover the costs of treatment or to assist you in paying your bills. Typically, if you pass away while covered by critical illness insurance, the policy will not pay out. When anything like this happens, life insurance kicks in. The vast majority of the time, life insurance will only pay out if you pass away while the policy is still active.

Does Critical Illness Have Cash Value?

In the event that the insured person is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses covered by the plan, the plan will pay out a lump payment to the insured person. These plans are typically utilized for the purpose of income replacement and provide the benefit of peace of mind. Due to the fact that critical sickness plans do not build up any financial value over time, their primary function is that of providing protection.

What You Must Tell Your Insurer before You Take Out Critical Illness Insurance

You must tell your insurance everything about your medical history and that of your family. Your insurance may refuse to pay out if you leave something out and then try to make a claim later.

If you already have a pre-existing medical condition, look for an insurer that will cover it, even if you may have to pay a higher premium to do so. You have a pre-existing medical condition if you have had one before. Also, you don’t have to tell the person selling you the policy any personal or sensitive information.

How to Buy Critical Illness Insurance in the UK

  • Critical illness insurance coverage can be from the following companies:
  • An impartial financial adviser who can examine all of the policies available and recommend the one that is most appropriate for you. It’s possible that you’ll have to pay for this guidance.

You can use a comparison website to obtain critical illness insurance directly from an insurance company. You probably won’t be able to get insurance online because the provider will need to assess your suitability. However, you will be able to request a quotation online or locate contact information for insurance advisors.

When you take out a mortgage, you may be critical sickness insurance. However, the policy you’re with is likely to be by your mortgage lender as well. There may be a more cost-effective and better-suited coverage available. Before you sign up, see how it stacks up against similar policies.

How Is Critical Illness Insurance Different from Catastrophic Health Insurance?

Although the two categories sound similar, they are not the same. You should have complete health insurance if you have critical sickness insurance. Catastrophic health insurance is a type of low-cost health insurance. It’s only available to those under the age of 30 or those who qualify for a financial hardship exemption because they can’t buy normal health insurance.

You’ll have low monthly premiums but a very high deductible with catastrophic health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. Individuals will have an $8,700 deductible in 2022.

Catastrophic health insurance, like critical illness insurance, covers you in the event of a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or cancer. It will frequently cover the cost of an emergency room visit, but only after the deductible has been met.

Most preventative treatment, such as immunizations, is in full under ACA catastrophic health insurance. However, catastrophic health insurance is not the same as conventional health insurance because of the high deductible and limited eligibility. People with critical illness insurance also have, or should have conventional health insurance.

How Do Pre-existing Conditions Affect Critical Illness Insurance Policies and Claims?

Critical illness insurance policies, on the whole, do not cover pre-existing conditions.

When it comes to conventional health insurance coverage, it’s against the law for health insurers to charge you more or refuse to cover you because of pre-existing diseases. The rules are different for a supplemental policy like critical sickness insurance. For example, if you are in remission from a certain type of cancer, you are unlikely to be it recurs.

If another unrelated health emergency arises, you’ll be covered as long as it’s covered by your coverage.

Another distinction is that you may complete a medical exam before receiving a critical illness insurance offer. This isn’t always the case, though. If your employer offers critical illness insurance while you’re actively working, for example, MetLife doesn’t need you to obtain a medical checkup. Medical tests aren’t for “the most typical coverage amounts,” according to mutual insurance company Assurity.

Manulife Critical Illness Insurance Policies

Maximum Manulife critical illness insurance coverage is $2 million.

They provide compensation for the loss of independence, with the proviso that payments are only monthly rather than in one single sum. For six different conditions, they give partial reimbursements. The payout is normally 25% of the policy up to $50,000, and it is only once during the policy’s lifetime.

The survival period (the amount of time you must stay sick before receiving benefits) is 30 days. Manulife offers 10- and 20-year critical illness insurance plans with coverage up to 65 or 75 years of age, as well as perpetual coverage. Permanent coverage is provided with limited-pay choices such as Pay-to-100 or 15 Pay.

What Is a Reduction Schedule?

There are decreasing schedules with some critical sickness insurance policies. After a specific length of time has passed, the payout is lowered or eliminated. Your age is frequently on a reduction schedule. If you’re over a certain age, you could not partake within the cover for a specific sickness. That is usually around the age of 70 or 75.

Insurance companies are aware that the risk of certain illnesses and ailments increases as you become older. Insurers are in the business to make money, and if they know you’re going to get sick, they’re not going to sell you a product that you’re going to use.

So read your insurance thoroughly and inquire about any exclusions. For example, a stroke may be part of the cover but not a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA, often known as a small stroke, is less serious than a stroke.

You might not mind the exclusions. But you’ll want to know what those exclusions are before you sign up for a critical illness insurance UK policy and expect a large lump-sum payoff the instant you’re with a life-threatening condition.


If you’re concerned about becoming terminally ill and unable to cover the costs of a life-threatening illness, critical illness insurance may be a suitable supplemental coverage to consider. However, you should approach it with caution because it frequently excludes a wide range of common medical disorders.


Does Manulife’s critical illness insurance offer a return of premiums?

Yes, Manulife critical illness insurance offers premium refunds on death, as well as premium refunds on policy expiration or cancellation after 15 years.

How do I apply for Manulife critical illness insurance?

Manulife’s critical illness insurance is available through the top online life insurance broker in Canada.

Is diabetes a critical illness?

No, diabetes isn’t usually listed in the list of critical illness insurance cover are covered.

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