Critical Illness Cover

A helping hand for you and your loved ones

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Cover for you and your children

Half of our customers pay £20 a month or less for our Critical Illness Plan, which provides financial support if you get diagnosed with 1 of the 53 illnesses we cover 1.

Children’s cover

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

Lump sum payment

Financial support to help you focus on your health if you’re diagnosed with 1 of 53 conditions we cover

Flexible length of cover

Choose how long you’d like your cover to last – from 5 to 50 years

You can choose between 2 types of cover depending on your circumstances. Use the money from a claim in any way you like, whether it's to pay for treatment or help cover lost income while you recover.

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Critical Illness explained

A lot of us think we’ll never be diagnosed with a critical illness. But in reality, it could happen to anyone. How would you and your family cope financially if you became ill?

Whether it’s paying for treatment, or helping to cover your salary while you get better, our Critical Illness Plan could make a big difference if you’re diagnosed with a life-changing illness. We cover over 50 conditions, including nearly all types of cancer, as well as heart attacks and strokes.

We offer different types of cover: level cover and decreasing cover.

With level cover, what you pay each month stays the same for the whole term of the policy, and so does the cover amount.

If you’d prefer your cover amount to rise with the cost of living, you can choose to protect it against the effects of inflation, which means that what you pay will also increase over time.

Decreasing cover works like a repayment loan with a fixed interest rate. So, the value of your cover decreases gradually, but the amount you pay stays the same.

Our Critical Illness Plan also includes children’s cover – so the whole family can stay protected.

Your cover can last between 5 to 50 years – or up until your 75 years old birthday.

When it comes to how much cover you’ll need, everyone’s different. How much would you need to cover your monthly outgoings? Think about everyday costs, like household bills and childcare.

Or, how would you pay for any unexpected treatment costs, so that you and your family were able to live life as normally as possible? Even a small amount of critical illness cover could allow you to take the time you need to recover, or take a well-deserved holiday.

At Aviva, our cover is designed with you in mind. With flexible cover length, children’s cover and lump sum pay-outs – we’re here when you need us most.

What our Critical Illness cover offers

Our Critical Illness Plan will pay out if you’re diagnosed with or have surgery for an illness that meets our policy definition during the term of the policy and survive for at least 10 days. We only cover the critical illnesses we define in our policy and no others.

What's covered

  • Lump sum payment
    If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness that meets our policy definition and survive for 10 days, we’ll give you a lump sum payment
  • 53 conditions covered
    We cover more than 50 conditions, all outlined in our policy conditions
    View list of 53 conditions (181.9 KB)
  • Flexible length of cover
    You can choose the length of cover you need – from 5 to 50 years – and the cover can last until you’re 75
  • Cover for your child
    If your child has a critical illness (not a 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 2 single ones. And you won't have to answer any new health and lifestyle questions
  • Up to £1 million worth of cover
    We provide a cover limit of up to £1 million to help when you need it
  • Additional Critical Illness benefit
    Each person covered can claim for some additional critical illnesses – and the policy won’t end when we pay a successful claim

What's not covered

Unfortunately, we can’t cover everything and we won’t pay out if:

  • You're diagnosed with a critical illness outside the policy term
    You won’t be covered if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness before you take out the policy or after your policy ends
  • You don’t survive 10 days following diagnosis
    If you pass away within 10 days of being diagnosed, we won’t pay out. If you do want to be protected against that eventuality, you’d need Life Insurance
  • You pass away
    If you pass away, your policy will end and the policy won’t pay out. If you have a joint policy and one person passes away, cover will continue for the other policyholder
  • Not paying your premiums
    If your payments stop, so does your cover. The policy has no cash-in value at any time
  • You’re diagnosed with a critical illness not listed in our policy
    You'll be covered for the 53 conditions in our policy, but not for any others
  • Once the policy pays out, it’ll end
    Once you make a claim on your policy and we make the payment, your policy will end and we won’t pay out again (unless it’s a children’s or additional critical illness claim)

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 need to be:

  • A permanent resident of the UK (this doesn’t include the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar)
  • Aged between 18-64 (for a joint policy, the maximum age applies to the oldest person covered)

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 is designed to help you to pay off a repayment mortgage, or other debts or loans that you pay monthly, if you're diagnosed with a critical illness during the term of your policy. 

What you pay each month remains the same, unless you make changes to your policy.

Decreasing cover usually costs less than level cover. That’s because the value of the loan amount or repayment mortgage you’re paying off gradually decreases over time, and so does the cover. 

Cover and premiums that decrease over time

Ready to get cover?

Get Critical Illness cover on its own or with Life Insurance. If you're interested in taking out both policies, you'll need to apply via our Life insurance page.

How Critical Illness cover can help

Everyone’s circumstances are different, but most people start to think about Critical illness cover to help protect their partner or family financially.

Protecting your salary

When his pal Arnie had a heart attack, Paddy looked into what help he’d need financially if he was in a similar situation. He took out a £350,000 Critical Illness Plan for 7 years to match his salary, so he was covered. Plus, with our increasing cover the amount rose each year to protect against inflation 3.

Added protection alongside life insurance

Josh discovered critical illness cover when he started looking into life insurance. He decided to take out a Critical Illness Plan for £150,000 alongside his life insurance policy so that if he became ill and couldn’t work, he’d be able to pay for extra health-related costs and still maintain his lifestyle 3.

Looking for more cover?

We have a range of options to help protect your family's future. There is no cash-in value at any time.

Life insurance

Cover for your mortgage, children’s university fees, loss of salary and more if you pass away.

Age: 18-89 

Cover: Up to £5,000,000

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

Over 50s life insurance

Affordable over 50s cover that lasts a lifetime.

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

How our claims process works

If your family or loved ones need to make a claim, we’ll make sure the process is as smooth as possible.


Let us know

You can make a claim online or over the phone.

Call us on 0800 015 1142 from the UK or use our online claim form.


Expert review

Our team of experts will review your claim and contact you if they need any more information.

We might also need to contact your GP or consultant for any medical information relating to your claim.


Paying your claim

If agreed, we'll make the claim payment within 5 working days of our decision. 

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Contact us

Still need help? Give us a call.

0800 068 5549

Monday to Friday: 8:00 - 20:00

Saturday: 9:00 - 17:00

Sunday: 10:00 - 16:00

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