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Terminal Illness and Life Insurance

What is terminal illness cover?

Whilst life insurance typically pays out to your beneficiaries after you die, most policies now also include a terminal illness element as standard.

Having terminal illness cover can accelerate the pay out process, allowing you to receive funds before you die.

In order for a pay out to be made, the insurer will require a ‘terminal’ diagnosis, from a medical professional in that field.

It is commonly accepted that being diagnosed as having a terminal illness, means the policyholder is expected to die within 12 months. However, if you exceed the 12-month life expectancy you will not be expected to repay the funds.

Although common, it is important to remember that not all policies have terminal illness cover as standard and that exclusions can apply.

Terminal illness cover

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What is the difference between terminal illness and critical illness?

Although often confused, critical illness and terminal illness cover are two different things.

Understanding the differences between these two types of cover is essential to ensure you choose the right life insurance policy.

As mentioned above, a terminal illness pays out a benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and are predicted to die within 12 months. For example, an advanced form of cancer, (stage 4).

Whereas critical illness pays out if you suffer a life-changing condition, covered by your policy, which is unlikely to result in death (in the near future).

Example conditions include a stroke, blindness, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Although unlikely to kill you, these conditions would impact your ability to provide for your family.

Terminal and critical cover in summary:

Terminal illness cover

Critical illness cover

Remember, if you smoke you are at greater risk to a wide range of critical, sometimes terminal conditions, such as lung cancer, mouth cancer, a stroke, heart attack and coronary heart disease.

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