When it comes to life insurance, one of the most regularly asked questions is “what is the difference between critical illness and terminal illness?”

It’s a key issue, and one that can impact on what insurance is right for you, and whether or not that policy will payout. Unfortunately, the difference between critical and terminal illness cover isn’t always properly explained. This can lead to people paying for cover that is inadequate for their needs.

So what exactly does each term mean, and what are the key differences between them?

What is the difference between critical illness and terminal illness?

Both critical and terminal illness refer to highly serious medical conditions. If you have received a diagnosis of a serious specified illness, injury or medical episode, then this could be a critical illness. These diagnoses could include kidney failure, cancer or a stroke, for instance.

With a terminal illness, medical professionals believe that your condition could lead to death within the next 12 months. With a critical illness, the patient may live with the condition for a number of years.

Critical Illness cover explained

A critical illness policy could pay out a cash sum if you are diagnosed, or have to undergo a medical procedure, for a specified range of medical conditions. A wide range of conditions will be covered, usually including heart attacks and many kinds of cancer. In critical illness vs terminal illness insurance, although your symptoms have to be permanent for the policy to payout critical illness cover, those symptoms don’t have to necessarily lead to death. This is the key difference in critical illness cover vs terminal, and it can give the policyholder a wider degree of financial protection.

Terminal Illness cover explained

A terminal illness is a medical condition that has no known cure, or one that has progressed to such a degree that the sufferer is unlikely to make a recovery. In the opinion of the medical professionals in charge of your treatment, the illness is likely to lead to death within 12 months. Terminal illness cover gives you and your loved ones financial security as you come to the end of your life and beyond. Most life insurance and decreasing life cover policies will automatically include terminal illness cover.

Is critical and terminal illness cover right for me?

Life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses can affect anyone. Critical illness cover protects you from financial worries should you fall seriously ill, whereas terminal illness cover helps you face the end of life knowing your family will be financially secure.
In addition to the major critical illness definitions covered, many insurance providers now also offer additional payouts for conditions that would be considered serious, rather than critical, such as less advanced cases of cancer.

Contact us today at SIMS Financial Services to find out more about which cover is right for you.

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