How do I apply for critical illness cover?

There are several ways in which you can apply for a critical illness policy. You can buy directly from an insurance provider or you can buy through an insurance salesman or financial adviser. Nowadays, there are many comparison websites that show policies available from various companies and allow you to buy through their websites. However, they do not deal with all companies and it may be cheaper to go to the firm directly.

It is key that you choose a reputable insurance company, for which the Association of British Insurers provides a list of approved insurers that offer critical illness cover.

Confirmation of cover details

Once you have found the policy you want, you will need to complete a form and confirm the information you have provided is correct (this is done by signing the form). It is important that you disclose all the relevant information and answer any questions about your health and lifestyle honestly, as, if you fail to provide truthful information, you may be refused when you come to make a claim. You will be questioned about your age, occupation and general health, as well as your lifestyle; your answers will determine the premium you shell out. If you have an advanced threat of developing a critical illness (for example, if you smoke), your premium is prone to being higher.

You will need to choose the term you want, which is the length of time your policy will last and you can select a fixed term or choose an ongoing policy.

Once you have submitted your application, your insurance company will confirm the term and premium and send you details of the policy. This will include information about what the policy covers and outline any exclusions that apply. There will also be information about how to make a claim.

In some cases, insurance companies will ask for additional information about your health, which may include contacting your doctor and asking for a report on your health.

If your policy changes for any reason your insurance company will drop you a line to explain and confirm the changes and, often, the premium increases in line with inflation.

Advice about choosing a policy

If you need information or advice about choosing critical illness cover, you should see a financial adviser, who can explain the different policies and recommend the best deals based on your individual needs. You can also show them policies you have found and they will help you to choose the best one. 

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