Critical illness cover

A helping hand for you and your loved ones

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What is critical illness cover?

It's an insurance policy that helps protect you if you become critically ill during the policy term. It pays out a tax-free lump sum that you can use however you like – whether that’s to help cover health-related costs, monthly expenses, or lost income while you get better.

Your policy could also help you take more control of your health and wellbeing right away. Through Aviva DigiCare+, our smartphone app powered by Square Health, you can access annual health checks, discounts on gym membership and home fitness, advice on nutrition, counselling for mental health and more. So you have the tools and services you need to enjoy life today. Please be aware the benefits of DigiCare+ do not form part of your cover and they could be changed, or removed in the future.

Children’s cover

We’ll pay if your child is diagnosed with or has surgery for a critical illness

Aviva DigiCare+ app

Offers mental health support, advice on nutrition and access to other health and wellbeing benefits

Standalone policy

You can buy life and critical illness cover at the same time. As they’re separate policies, both could pay out

How does critical illness cover work?

You pay monthly premiums for the policy term, from 5 to 50 years, and if you're diagnosed with one of the 53 conditions we cover during that time, we'll pay out. Our policy also includes a children's benefit that covers any children you have at no extra cost.

Do you need critical illness cover?

You can’t know what’s around the corner for your health, but you can make sure you’re prepared financially.

Think about expenses you’d need to cover if you were critically ill and couldn’t work. It might be monthly outgoings like rent payments and general bills, or instalments on a loan or a repayment mortgage. If you don’t have savings to fall back on, getting cover can help take financial worry away while you’re recovering or having treatment.

How much critical illness cover do you need?

It depends on things like what you want to cover, how much you’re looking to pay each month, and for how long. Because our critical illness plan isn’t combined with life insurance, we’re flexible. Over half of our customers pay just £17.50 a month or less for our critical illness cover 1.

Our different types of cover

We offer different types of critical illness cover: level cover and decreasing cover. The type of cover you want may depend on what you want to protect, and how much you’d like to pay each month.

Level cover

With level cover, you choose the cover amount and how long you want the cover to run for. The amount of cover and the amount you pay each month stays the same until your policy ends.

Level cover could be a good option if you’re looking to maintain loved ones’ living standards, and can help to cover things like:

  • Your salary
  • Any additional health and living costs
  • Rent payments
  • Continue to make mortgage payments
  • Children’s school fees or other childcare costs

Protecting your cover from the effects of inflation

You can choose to make your cover amount increase in line with inflation. This ensures that the lump sum won't be worth less in the future because of the rise in the cost of living. With this option, the amount of cover and the amount you pay can both go up each year.

The maximum annual increase is 15% to your premium and 10% to your cover amount 2.

Cover and premiums that remain the same over time

Decreasing cover

This type of cover might be used to help pay off a repayment mortgage, or other debts or loans, if you're diagnosed with a critical illness during the policy term. 

  • It lasts for a specific amount of time, and your monthly premiums are fixed, unless you make a change to your policy
  • It usually costs less than level cover, as the value of the loan or mortgage you're paying off gradually decreases over time, and so does the cover
Cover and premiums that decrease over time

What our critical illness insurance covers

If you already have critical illness cover with us, check what conditions you’re covered for in your policy documents, as it may be different from what’s detailed below.

What's included

  • Lump sum payment
    If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness that meets our policy definition, and survive for 10 days
  • 53 conditions covered
    Outlined in our policy conditions
    See the list of 53 conditions (PDF 202 KB)
  • Flexible length of cover
    From 5 to 50 years – and the cover can last until you’re 75
  • Cover for your child
    If your child has a critical (not terminal) illness, we’ll pay up to £25,000, or 50% of the cover amount (whichever is lower)
  • Joint to a single policy
    If you separate from your partner, you can split your policy into two single policies, and won’t have to answer any new health and lifestyle questions
  • Cover up to £1 million
    To help you when you need it most
  • Additional critical illness benefit
    You can claim for some additional critical illnesses – and the policy won’t end if we pay a successful claim

What's not included

  • If you're diagnosed with a critical illness outside the policy term
    You won’t be covered after your policy ends
  • If you don’t survive 10 days following diagnosis
    We won’t pay out. For this, you need life insurance
  • If you pass away
    Your policy will end and we won’t pay out. If you have a joint policy and one person passes away, cover will continue for the other policyholder
  • If you don't pay your premiums
    Your cover will stop. The policy has no cash-in value at any time
  • If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness not listed in our policy
    You won’t be covered
  • Once the policy pays out, it ends
    We won’t pay out again, unless it’s a children’s or additional critical illness claim

What’s the most common critical illness claim?

Most of the claims we get are for cancer, and we often speak to people claiming for heart attacks, strokes, multiple sclerosis, benign brain tumours and Parkinson’s.

But everyone’s different, and we can’t predict the future. That’s why we cover as many as 53 illnesses, which are listed in the Critical Illness Plan policy summary (PDF 137 KB).

Why choose our critical illness cover?

Our cover’s 5 Star rated by Defaqto – a trusted industry expert.

5 Star Defaqto Critical Illness Direct
  • We’re the largest UK insurer
    With 15 million UK customers
  • We’ve got heritage
    We’ve been protecting our customers for over 300 years
  • You can count on us
    In 2020, we paid out £314m in critical illness claims 3
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    We’re a United Nations Momentum for Change award-winner
  • We can help you stay healthier today
    Our critical illness cover comes with access to health and wellbeing services through the Aviva DigiCare+ smartphone app

Policy documents for critical illness cover

See a full list of what's covered in our policy wording.

Are you eligible for critical illness cover?

To get cover, you must be:

  • A permanent UK resident (excluding the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar), with permission to legally remain in the UK on a permanent basis
  • Aged between 18 and 64. For a joint policy, the maximum age applies to the oldest person covered

Aviva DigiCare+

When you take out a new critical illness cover policy, you can access health and wellbeing services through the Aviva DigiCare+ smartphone app, powered by Square Health – and it won’t cost you extra.

So the tools you need to help you eat better, feel better and keep well are always on hand.

Please be aware that the benefits of the app don't form part of your cover, and they could change, or be removed, in the future. This is a non-contractual benefit Aviva can withdraw at any time. Terms and conditions and the privacy policy for Aviva DigiCare+ can be found within the app. Of course, the main reason for taking out a policy with us is financial protection, you shouldn't take out a policy for Aviva DigiCare+ alone.

Annual health check

Help spot problems early with an at-home blood test that checks for 20 different health markers – including your risk of diabetes and your liver and kidney health – followed by a personalised report and advice on next steps†.

Nutrition support

Get practical advice from nutritionists with access to six consultations each year. These can help you make better choices, with personalised eating plans and tips on how to break less healthy habits†.

Mental health support

Talk to a therapist one-to-one if you’re struggling with issues like anxiety and depression. You can have up to six sessions a year, to get guidance and support that's right for you†.

Second medical opinion

If you have a medical diagnosis and want to ask more questions, have extra reassurance, or explore the possibility of alternative treatment options, a second opinion from a UK-based clinical specialist is on hand†.

Bupa Anytime HealthLine

Get expert health advice from a Bupa nurse for everyday issues, from rashes to muscle pain, with unlimited phone calls 24/7, 365 days a year‡.

Bereavement support

Losing a loved one isn’t easy. So it might help to know there’s help on hand through bereavement counselling and guidance on practical issues like estate administration.

† Provided by Square Health

‡ Provided by Bupa


How Aviva DigiCare+ works

Once your critical illness cover policy with us is active, you can download the app and register your details.

You can then use it to connect you with clinicians, nutritionists, therapists and more – which means taking positive steps towards a healthier lifestyle can be as easy as picking up your phone.

Mobile data charges may apply.

Linda's story

“You always think that nothing will happen to you, but you never know”

How critical illness cover helped Linda when she needed it most

Linda took out critical illness cover with us when she bought her house. Within a few years, she got some bad news completely out of the blue. Here’s how we could help her at this difficult time. 

Ready to get cover?

Get a quote in minutes. And if you want to take out life insurance and critical illness cover together, just apply via our life insurance page.

Looking for more cover?

Here are some other ways to help protect your family’s future.

Life insurance

Pays out a lump sum to help your family pay bills, mortgage repayments, school fees and any other debts, if you die within the policy term.

Age: 18-77 

Cover: Up to £5,000,000

Payment: If you die, or get a terminal illness and aren’t expected to live longer than 12 months

Over 50 life insurance

Affordable over 50 cover that lasts a lifetime (whole of life policy).

Age: 50-80 

Cover: £257 to £32,054 (subject to age and premium)

Payment: When you pass away

Free Parent Life Cover

A year’s worth of life cover for parents of children under 4. Absolutely free.

Age: 18-66 with a child under 4 

Cover: £15,000

Payment: If you pass away

Partnering with Macmillan Cancer Support

two people hugging

Offering specialised cancer support

We’ve partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support to raise awareness of the emotional, medical, and financial support they can provide if you’re living with cancer. Our customer team has the information, tools, and necessary training needed to guide you quickly to the Macmillan support service that’s right for you.

Need to make a claim?

It's easy to make a claim on a life cover policy — and we're here to help, every step of the way.

Already with us?

Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know about your policy, and how to go about making any changes.

View your policy in MyAviva

Use your secure online account to:

  • See your policy documents
  • Get offers and discounts

Manage your policy

This is your dedicated page if you have life cover with us. It’s where you’ll find lots of useful information, including:

  • How to update your personal details
  • How to make changes to your policy 
  • Answers to common questions
  • Ways to get in touch

Contact us

Still need help? Give us a call

0800 068 5549

Monday to Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm

Saturday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday: Closed

For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored and will be saved for a minimum of 5 years. Calls to 0800 numbers from UK landlines and mobiles are free.