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How to buy the right critical illness cover

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Overlooking one small detail on your critical insurance policy could seriously impact your claim later on.

Buying critical illness cover can be a minefield.

We offer seven tips to make the process easier.

Don’t just go for the cheapest plan – in most cases you will get what you pay for. Comparison sites may offer you a so-called ‘best buy’ table but they will rarely show you the ‘best for you’ option.

The cheapest plan on the table will most often be the policy stripped down to the essentials, which is why it is so cheap. While this may be right for you, in most instances just a few pounds more will get you a whole host of other benefits that will save you money in the long run.

• That said don’t take out a policy that is beyond your means. If you are on a limited budget it is not necessary to go for a policy that covers every illness going.

• Make sure you shop around. Insurance policies can be tricky, and making a tiny mistake now could be costly later on.

Remember, always look beyond the policy summary so that there are no nasty surprise waiting for you down the line.

Look for a policy that covers you for partial payments and early stages. To highlight how important this is take for example a case where doctors catch a patient’s breast cancer in its early stages. Following an operation, only a small part of the breast was removed to stop the cancer spreading.

The insurer can refuse to pay out because the cancer wasn’t in their words ‘serious’ enough. But the patient will still be out of work and in recovery and will most likely need the money. Avoid a similar situation by making sure the policy covers early stages.

Check the small print of your critical illness policy to see if your premiums are fixed. Fixed premiums mean that the amount you shell out for the cost of cover will stay the same throughout the life of your policy.

This means that you can budget accordingly and will not face premiums rising. Unfortunately, many critical illness policies do not have fixed premiums and they are likely to rise at some point especially as you get older and fall into higher risk brackets for certain health problems. 

• Look out for a policy that also covers your kids. You’ll have peace of mind that your children are also protected should the worst happen. 

• And finally, it is always prudent to see an adviser who knows this industry inside out. Yes, this will cost you a few hundred pounds, but not doing so may prove a false economy if you’re stuck on an ineffective policy.

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