Don’t forget critical illness cover during the pandemic


Don’t forget critical illness cover during the pandemic

More than £700m has been paid in the past year by just three providers

As we remain in the midst of a worldwide pandemic we are regularly reminded of how any one of us can be affected by death or illness at any time.

While we are very aware of how so many people in the world have been affected by Covid–19, the in–depth claims reports published by insurers serve to remind us that the risks of falling ill or passing away from other illnesses are very real too.

In particular, the numbers published around critical illness claims are astounding. Although income protection policies often form the bedrock of protection advice, the value of a critical illness policy shouldn’t be forgotten.

Critical illness policies offer a way of relieving financial pressure when life can seemingly be falling apart. Be that on diagnosis of cancer, an unexpected life changing accident or as a result of one of the many other illnesses covered by policies today.

Marius Barnard created critical illness cover because he recognised that in the midst of a life–changing illness the last thing people needed was additional financial pressure and stress.

They have further developed into plans that not only provide money but a whole array of extra support that can make an incredible difference in the form of counselling, GP and nurse services as well as support to help with our health and wellbeing.


Aviva paid nearly 5,000 critical illness claims in the past year alone, totalling £353m. Cancer diagnoses accounted for 66 per cent of claims made. L&G paid nearly 3,500 claims totalling £224m, with cancer again being the most claimed for area followed by heart–related conditions and stroke. Royal London has also paid £150m in critical illness claims. These numbers amount to a sum in excess of £700m from just three of many providers.

The reports also highlight the claims being made for children’s critical illnesses. L&G paid out £2.1m in 2019, with AIG paying £1.1m. AIG also reported high claims percentages in the newer child specific conditions – 13 per cent of their children’s claims were for diabetes and 6 per cent for Down’s syndrome – demonstrating the benefit of the recent improvements made to children’s cover.

But Scottish Widows conducted research in late 2018 that showed 87 per cent of UK mortgage holders don’t have any critical illness cover at all.

This serves as a very important reminder that alongside income protection and life cover, a very real need is being met by critical illness policies. It also presents an opportunity to advisers to prioritise the protection conversation in an attempt to educate as many customers as possible.

By Lucy Brown 11th August 2020 4:30 pm