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Terminal Illness and Life Insurance

What is terminal illness cover?

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

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 money.

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

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 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 the policy, which is unlikely to result in death (in the near future).

Example conditions include a stroke or blindness, which although unlikely kill you, would impact your ability to work and provide for your family.

Terminal and critical cover in summary:

Terminal illness cover

Critical illness cover

Remember, if you are a smoker then 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.


Talk to our Reassured consultants on 0808 168 2025 to discuss life insurance policies with terminal illness cover. Then challenge us to make sure you are getting the most competitive quotes. Alternatively Start Your Quote online today – it only takes 2 minutes.