What is critical illness cover?

If you suffer a critical illness, it can often have a significant impact on your life. A heart attack, stroke and some types of cancer mean you may have to reduce your working hours or stop altogether. There might be lifestyle changes you need to make, including modifications to your home. All of this can have a serious effect on your finances. That’s why anyone taking out a life insurance policy should also consider adding critical illness cover for an extra cost.

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, Critical Illness Cover could help with the financial burden on you and your family. It’s an option that can be added for an extra cost when you take out a Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance policy.

Critical Illness Cover could pay out a cash sum if you’re diagnosed with, or undergo a medical procedure for, one of Legal & General’s specified critical illnesses during the length of the policy and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. Find the full list of critical illnesses covered below or you can have a look at the policy booklet. If a valid claim is paid, the policy will end.

Important information

  • Some types of cancer are not included and you need to have permanent symptoms to make a claim for some illnesses.
  • This is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.
  • If you stop paying premiums before the end of your plan, your cover will end 30 days after your missed payment.
  • The policy won’t pay out in some circumstances eg if some elements of cover are restricted based on the information you provide, you’ll be told what’s excluded in your Policy Booklet under ‘What you are not covered for’.
  • If you die then the cover will end for a single life policy. If you have a joint policy, when the first person dies and makes a valid claim, your Critical Illness Cover policy can continue.

Why choose Critical Illness Cover

Critical Illness Cover could pay a cash sum that could be used to help with child-care costs or household bills. It could also be used to help maintain your standard of living if you’re forced to take time off work to recover. As part of Critical Illness Cover, you’ll get: 

  • Protection by one of the UK’s largest life insurance providers, Legal & General
  • Cover for the conditions outlined in the policy booklet
  • Children’s Critical Illness Cover is included at no extra charge and provides some cover for your children. You’ll find out more in the policy summary
  • Accidental Hospitalisation Benefit, which could pay out £5,000 if you’re admitted to hospital and stay for at least 28 days with a physical injury immediately following an accident (terms & conditions apply)

Before you apply

You should know that life insurance isn’t a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made. It's your responsibility to make sure your policy is right for you, so if you need any advice then you should get in touch with a financial advisor. Please read the Policy Booklet and Policy Summary [PDF 113KB] before you apply.

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A complete list of the critical illnesses covered is below. Medical terms have been used to describe the conditions and in some cases your cover will be limited. For example, some types of cancer aren’t covered and to make a claim for some illnesses, you need to have permanent symptoms.

You’ll be covered if your condition results in permanent symptoms or certain types of surgery. For the exact criteria your condition needs to meet for you to make a claim, please read the Guide to Critical Illness Cover.

  • Aorta graft surgery – requiring surgical replacement
  • Aplastic anaemia – with permanent bone marrow failure
  • Bacterial meningitis – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Benign brain tumour – resulting in either surgical removal or permanent symptoms
  • Blindness – permanent and irreversible
  • Cancer – excluding less advanced cases
  • Cardiac arrest – with insertion of a defibrillator
  • Cardiomyopathy – of specified severity
  • Coma – with associated permanent symptoms
  • Coronary artery by-pass graft – with surgery to divide the breastbone or anterolateral thoracotomy
  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Deafness – permanent and irreversible
  • Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Encephalitis – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Heart attack – of specified severity
  • Heart valve replacement or repair – with surgery
  • HIV infection – caught from a blood transfusion, physical assault or accident at work
  • Kidney failure – requiring permanent dialysis
  • Liver failure – of advanced stage
  • Loss of hand or foot – permanent physical severance
  • Loss of speech – total permanent and irreversible
  • Major organ transplant – from another donor
  • Motor neurone disease – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Multiple sclerosis – where there have been symptoms
  • Multiple system atrophy – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Open heart surgery – with median sternotomy
  • Paralysis of limb – total and irreversible
  • Parkinson’s disease – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension – of specified severity
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Removal of an eyeball – due to injury or disease
  • Respiratory failure – of advanced stage
  • Spinal stroke – resulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
  • Stroke – resulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus – with severe complications
  • Third degree burns – covering 20% of the surface area of the body or 20% of the face or head
  • Total and permanent disability – of specified severity
  • Traumatic brain injury – resulting in permanent symptoms

Critical Illness Cover also includes additional cover for carcinoma in situ of the breast and low-grade prostate cancer. If a valid claim is made for these conditions, you'll be paid 25% of your amount of cover up to a maximum of £25,000. This payment is separate from your main plan and won’t affect your chosen cover or the premiums you pay.

Read the Policy Summary to learn more.



Who needs critical illness cover?

A critical illness can affect anyone at any time and could have a devastating impact on your family. If you can’t work while undergoing treatment or recovery, a cash sum could help with the financial stress. A cash sum could supplement loss of income or could also help cover costs such as mortgage repayments, household bills, childcare costs and the daily cost of living.

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