Critical Illness Cover
Contractors can be susceptible to various work-related pressures. It's no surprise, trying to stay compliant and run a business. If you don't moderate your activity, these pressures can take a serious toll on your health.Lifestyle related illnesses have a tendency to leak. If they're not plugged, they can have a profound impact on your business and your finances.
The ideal is not to allow circumstances to get the better of you in the first place. But many contractors are ultimate professionals. They give their all to the client. When they get home, they're minding their business and honing their skills. Sometimes, setbacks happen.
Critical illness insurance is there for those times. It pays out a lump sum if you succumb to a range of serious conditions, which include (but not limited to):
- heart disease;
- multiple sclerosis.
Contractor critical illness cover for the 21st century
Advances in medicine and medical science have changed the insurance landscape. Today, even if you're diagnosed with a serious disease, you are likely to survive for some time.
A cash lump sum helps ease financial worries whilst undergoing treatment and recuperation. The last thing you need when recovering is the stress of unpaid bills.
But cover plans have kept up with scientific advances. It's now easier to protect yourself as a contractor than ever before.
All you need to do is decide how best to protect yourself and your loved ones if you become critically ill.
There are four main criteria you need to consider when buying critical illness cover:
- how many conditions you want covered;
- how much cover you need;
- how long you want the term of the policy to last;
- and if you want to include it as part of your life cover.
Can you afford not to take out cover?
The cost of buying cover is likely to be a major consideration. It may seem expensive compared to life cover at first glance. But this is because you are 2½ times more likely to suffer a critical illness than you are to die before the age of 65.
It's obvious when you say it out loud. But you shouldn't compare apples with oranges. The same goes for life cover and critical illness cover.
This cover can do more than just settle debts or an outstanding mortgage. It will pay out a guaranteed lump sum on diagnosis. Or it can provide an income if provided within a Family Income Benefit policy.
The payments can help you in all manner of ways, ways you may not have considered.
You'll incur living costs you wouldn't whilst you're fit and able-bodied. Medical bills or adjustments to your home to help cope with the illness or recuperation, say. Stuck at home under strict instructions not to work, you'll look to entertainment, too.
Did you know…
You may well think, "It won't happen to me", especially if you're young. I applaud your bravery, but before you put on your Superman (or woman) red underpants, take a look at these facts:
- over 50% of all critical illness claims made in 2007 relate to cancer;
- the most common age of a claimant in 2007 was 45;
- 71% of all serious illness claimants are 50 years old or younger;
- around 8,000 women under 50 get diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK;
- the most common cause of cancer for men aged between 20-39 is testicular cancer.
Critical illness cover can work in tandem with income protection (Permanent Health Insurance). Together, they provide greater security and the peace of mind you need to succeed. You can't beat the reassurance that comes with a more comprehensive cover plan.
With income protection alone you receive a monthly income when you can't work. This income would stop once doctors gave you the clean bill of health.
Critical illness insurance for contractors goes one better. The policy pays out a lump sum that would be yours to keep, regardless of whether you have returned to good health.
Important Notice, re: critical illness covered
Unfortunately, there has been an expected increase in critical illness claims. This is due, in the main, to early screening for prostate/breast cancer.
As such, the re-insurers that underwrite these policies are putting pressure on cover providers. The provision of this type of cover is under constant review as a result.
The current comprehensive lists of illnesses covered is therefore trimmed down. The reason insurers have done so is to make new policies less likely to result in a claim.
These changes and increased costs will only apply to new policies. But regardless of where you took out your cover, we urge you to review your current policy.
Contractors' critical illness cover should do just that: cover you when you're seriously ill. Please check your existing cover now to ensure that you have adequate protection. Unfortunately, this is not an issue that you can afford to set aside for another time.