The adage goes that you should expect the unexpected. Of course, by definition, that's not possible. But what you can do is prepare for what might happen, such as being diagnosed with a serious illness or suffering a serious injury.
Critical illness insurance is designed for just such unexpected and unfortunate scenarios.
Offered either as a personal cover or an employee benefit, it can throw an invaluable financial lifeline to a policyholder, at a time when their income may disrupted or been halted.
Following diagnosis of a range of defined illnesses - including cancer, cardiac complaints and strokes - it pays out a tax-free lump sum to help the insured and their loved ones through a difficult time.
Those sums can be significant. Data published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Group Risk Development (GRiD) shows that in 2019 the average payout across both individual and group critical illness insurance was over £67,500.
With our extensive experience RBIG Financial Services are ideally placed to advise you of a solution appropriate to your circumstances.
We are equipped to do this whether you're looking to protect yourself or, through introduction of group critical illness at your business, your employees.
Unlike life assurance, critical illness is a living benefit, designed to assist the policyholder not just in meeting their day-to-day financial needs, but additional costs such as medical treatments.
All critical illness policies have at their core cover for heart attacks, strokes and cancer. With the NHS reporting half of us will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, it's not surprising that the Big C is the biggest cause of individual critical illness police claims (source ABI/ GRiD).
Many policies will also cover other illness conditions. The availability and level of cover will vary between insurers, but these can include things like:
That list is far from exhaustive. Many policies will cover tens of illness and conditions.
Your insurance options will also vary. They may can include level or decreasing cover. The former provides a fixed sum over a set period of time. These are determined when you take out your policy, giving you the opportunity to calculate the financial hole you may need to fill and for how long, should an insured illness strike.
As the name suggests, with decreasing cover the monthly sum payable reduces over a defined time . Typically cheaper than level cover, it can be useful if, for example, you have a specific concern about settling the remainder of a repayment mortgage or loan.
When taking out critical illness insurance, it vital to understand both the the extent and limitations of cover.
We can help by talking through your particular needs and concerns, before carefully guiding you through the maze of options available to you.
Our expert and confidential service is designed to help you make the best decision for you and your loved ones.
Group schemes follow the model of individual critical illness schemes in providing a tax-free benefit on diagnosis of an insured condition.
Here though, cover is offered to employees through membership of a company scheme. This structure can offer benefits not just to the employee, but the employer.
By signalling you care about the well-being of your staff, provision of a group critical illness scheme could help enhance staff retention. By furbishing your employer brand, it may also help entice the most talented recruits.
Simple and cost-efficient
It can be simple and cost-efficient to introduce. Many schemes do not require submission of medical histories as pre-existing conditions are automatically excluded, so the required paperwork and executive time is minimal. The "bulk buy" nature of group schemes also means the cost per insured will usually be lower than individual critical illness premiums.
In addition its provision can be business tax friendly. Typically group critical illness premiums are classed as a business expense. This means that, if structured correctly, you can claim tax relief. Our highly experienced advisors would be pleased to discuss the most beneficial options available to your business.
Another point for discussion, would be the level of benefit you would wish to offer.
Typically group policies offer a tax-free lump sum to five times an employees' salary, capped at £500,000. However, working with specialist group risk insurers, we can offer much greater flexibility. This gives you greater control over the size of both benefit and premium.
You may also wish to consider including group critical illness insurance within a wider employee benefits package. Such a package might include private medical insurance, group life assurance (death-in-service), income protection, a group pension scheme or other benefits.