Critical Illness Insurance provides a benefit payment when you are critically ill. The benefit covers specific medical conditions and illnesses as outlined in the policy. The number of covered critical illnesses will vary from one insurance company to another. It is important that you read your insurance policy and understand your insurance coverage.
A critical illness policy with four covered illnesses generally covers major illnesses. For example the diagnosis of cancer, stroke, heart attack or coronary bypass surgery. Some critical illness insurance policies can cover up to 25 illnesses. With these more detailed policies, covered illnesses can include:
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Aortic surgery
• Aplastic anaemia
• Bacterial meningitis
• Benign brain tumour
• Cancer (life-threatening)
• Coronary artery- bypass surgery
• Heart attack
• Heart valve replacement
• Kidney failure
• Loss of independent existence†
• Loss of limbs
• Loss of speech
• Major organ transplant
• Major organ failure on waiting list
• Motor neuron disease
• Multiple sclerosis
• Occupational HIV infection
• Parkinson’s disease
• Severe burns
• Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)
A critical illness is a life-threatening or life-altering condition, which is generally strictly defined. An example would be of blindness. Blindness is a definite diagnosis of the total and irreversible loss of vision in both eyes. There are different levels of blindness as defined by the policy. An example would be the field of vision being less than 20 degrees in both eyes.
In general, the more covered illnesses, the higher the monthly premium. You may wish to consider family medical history when deciding on coverage to suit your needs. For example, a family with a history of kidney disease would want to have coverage that includes kidney disease.
Critical illness insurance generally requires blood tests, medical exams and often family medical history. There are options for simplified issue critical illness insurance. There are also options for guaranteed issue critical illness policies.