If you’re a parent, the last thing you’ll want to think about is your child being critically ill in the future. But it’s worth considering how you’d manage financially, if it did happen.

While the children’s benefit we include in our critical illness cover can’t, unfortunately, prevent serious illness from happening, it can help give you the reassurance that if it did, you’d get a financial helping hand.

Here’s how our children’s benefit works, and how it’s built into our critical illness cover.

What’s critical illness cover?

It’s a type of insurance that pays out a lump sum if you get a serious illness that’s defined by the policy, within the policy term. Depending on the definition, the payment might be on diagnosis, when the condition is of a specific severity, or when you have treatment or surgery.

You pay monthly premiums for a set amount of time and, after a successful claim, get a payout to help you cope financially, while you focus on your treatment. The policy only pays the full cover amount once and ends after that, and it has no cash‐in value at any time.

Critical illness policies don't cover every condition or injury, so always check what is and isn’t covered in the policy documents before you buy. We cover 53 conditions, which you’ll find in our policy conditions (PDF 203 KB).

What’s critical illness children’s benefit?

If you’re thinking of taking out critical illness cover with us, you might be interested to know you automatically get children’s critical illness benefit included as standard.

You don’t have to add it on, or pay extra, and it isn’t a standalone insurance policy. Even if you don’t have children when you take out the policy, if your family grows within the term of the policy, and your child becomes critically ill with a condition that’s covered, and survives for at least 10 days, you can make a claim.

How our children’s benefit works

If you need to make a claim for your child under this benefit, it’s considered a partial claim. This means your policy won’t end after a successful claim, and the full cover amount could still be paid out in the future.

You can only use this benefit once for each child you have, but after a successful claim for one child, the cover will still continue for your other children, provided you continue paying premiums. You can make a claim if it’s your child by birth, if they’re legally adopted, or if they’re your stepchild.

What’s the payout amount?

We pay a percentage of your full cover amount. So, after a successful claim, you get either 50% of your full cover amount or £25,000, whichever is lower.

What’s the age range?

Children are covered from 30 days old to 18 years, or 21 years if they’re in full‐time education.

What else is covered?

If the worst does happen, and a child passes away within the policy term, we have a separate benefit that’s also included as standard. We pay out £5,000, which could be used for funeral costs, and we also offer to talk to the funeral director, to help take the strain away.

It’s not nice to think about, but it’s worth being aware that it’s part of our cover.

Why you might need children’s benefit

It’s for the same good reason you might want any type of critical illness cover – to know that, on a successful claim, you’d get a tax‐free lump sum to help you through a difficult time.

The money might be put towards things like:

  • Travel expenses to get treatment in hospital
  • Adapting your home with equipment to aid recovery
  • Childcare costs
  • Helping make up for any lost income, if you have to stop working
  • Taking your child and family on days out while they recover

It’s a contribution towards your family’s finances that you can use however you need.

How often is children’s benefit claimed?

Sadly, it might be more often than you imagine. In 2020 alone, we paid out a record £5.5million for our critical illness cover children's benefit 1.

But that's 258 families who had financial help when they needed it most, with an average payout of £21,331.

What are the most common claims?

In 2020, nearly half (44.9%) of children's benefit claims we received were for cancer, particularly blood cancers.

Though cancer in children is rare, in the UK one child in 500 will develop some form of cancer by the age of 14

years. Around 1,900 new cases are diagnosed every year in the UK in children aged 14 years or under 2.

Other conditions we receive children’s benefit claims for include:

  • Benign brain tumours
  • Strokes
  • Heart surgery
  • Intensive care benefit

But we never forget that there’s a child, and a parent, behind each claim.

Jennie, a mortgage adviser, took out our critical illness cover in 2014. When her newborn was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at just eight weeks, after a routine check‐up, she called us to make a claim – and received her payment within weeks.

Her child’s now a happy, healthy toddler, but for Jennie, it highlighted that, “If you have children, or might have children in the future, you want to know they’re covered. No one knows what’s around the corner.

What happens when you make a claim for children’s benefit?

If you need to make a claim for children’s benefit, we’ll make sure we handle it with care, and as quickly as we’re able. We know that when a child’s seriously ill it impacts the whole family. Our claims team will get to know a bit about you and your family and send a gift – maybe a restaurant voucher for you and your partner, or a toy or arts and craft supplies, to keep their siblings occupied.

If the claim is for cancer, we’ll fast track the process and you won’t have to fill in long forms. We call the cancer nurse or specialist, to ease the strain and let you focus on what’s important.

Looking for critical illness cover?

Take a look at what’s covered in more detail, and find out how to apply.

Life articles

Take a look at our latest news and guides.