What is Critical Illness Cover?

Critical Illness Cover is an optional extra that you can choose at outset when taking out Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance. This cover is provided by Legal & General to help protect you in the event that you are diagnosed with, or undergo a medical procedure for one of Legal & General's specified critical illnesses during the length of your policy and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. Children’s Critical Illness Cover is included at no extra charge from 30 days old to their 18th birthday, or 21st birthday if they’re in full-time education (terms and conditions apply). If a valid claim is made, you’ll be paid a cash sum which could be used to help you and your family throughout your treatment and recovery.

Why should I add Critical Illness Cover?

  • You’ll be covered for the conditions outlined in the Guide to Critical Illness Cover [PDF 151KB]
  • Cover for your children – find out more in the policy summary [PDF 113KB]
  • You could use a pay-out to take time off work, get private treatment, pay your mortgage, modify your home and more
  • If you need to make a claim on your policy, you’ll speak to a Samaritans-trained claims officer at Legal & General’s UK call centre and be assigned a designated member of the team to deal with your claim
  • If you’re admitted to hospital with a physical injury immediately following an accident and stay for at least 28 days, your policy will pay out £5000 (conditions apply)

Before you apply

Please be aware that this 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 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 insurance 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 [PDF 151KB].

  • 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 grafts – with surgery to divide the breastbone or anterolateral thoracotomy
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob 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. For more information, please read the Policy Summary [PDF 113KB].

  • Your level of cover will depend on your individual circumstances and the premium you choose to pay
  • This isn’t 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 you don't truthfully give Legal & General all the information they ask for
  • Critical Illness Cover only covers the specified critical illnesses that meet the definition, for example it does not cover all forms of cancer
  • 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.

Please read the Policy Summary [PDF 113KB] for more information.

Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover is provided by Legal & General Assurance Society Limited, Registered Office: One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA (registered in England and Wales no. 166055). Legal & General Assurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Sainsbury's Bank plc, Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no. 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Register no. 184514). Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd is an appointed representative of Sainsbury's Bank plc.

It's your responsibility to make sure the policy meets your needs. If you require advice please contact a financial advisor.

Offer Terms and Conditions

‡ Double Nectar Points offer – 1) Offer available to customers buying a new life insurance, decreasing life insurance or over 50s life insurance policy. 2) You need to tell us your Nectar card number when you apply; and scan or swipe that card, or input your card number, with each Sainsbury’s purchase. 3) Double points begin on your policy’s cover start date. If you tell us your Nectar card number after your cover start date, double points begin on the date you tell us. 4) Double points stop when the policy is cancelled or you stop paying premiums. 5) Each Nectar account can only collect points from one life insurance policy. 6) It’s only the base points you collect at Sainsbury’s that are doubled. Bonus points won’t be doubled, nor will any points from Argos, Habitat, Sainsbury’s Bank (including travel money purchases), Sainsbury’s Energy or any other Sainsbury’s service. 7) By the 10th of each month, you’ll get a bonus point award equal to the total of your qualifying points during the previous month, up to a maximum of 20,000 points. 8) Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd award the points from this offer. No cash alternative is available. 9) We reserve the right to change or cancel this offer without notice.