What is critical illness cover?
Critical illness cover is an insurance contract. In exchange for regular premiums, the contract offers to pay an agreed lump sum of money if any of the lives covered are diagnosed with a specified critical illness. With critical illness cover in place, it could help you and your loved ones cope financially if you became critically ill. Most critical illness policies do not have a cash in value at any time. Find out more.
It’s easy to think ‘I’d cope, that’ll never happen to me’. But any of us could become ill and a critical illness policy may help to give some financial security at a difficult time.
Some insurers only offer critical illness cover when bought with a life insurance policy. But at Aviva, we recognise you may want the flexibility to buy a separate critical illness policy. With Aviva you can do both - buy critical illness cover on its own or with a life insurance policy.
Aviva's Critical Illness Plan
Our Critical Illness Plan pays out if you are diagnosed with a critical 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.
These conditions include some cancers, heart attack and stroke.
This policy does not have a cash-in value and does not pay out on death. If you stop paying your premiums then your cover will end.
- Pays out an additional lump sum if you are diagnosed with an illness that meets one of our additional critical illness definitions. This won’t affect what we will pay out on a successful claim for critical illness in the future; we still pay the full cover amount.
- Includes children’s benefit which pays out an additional lump sum if any of your children are diagnosed with a children’s critical illness we cover or die during the policy term.
Please make sure you understand what’s covered, what’s not, and the restrictions in our Guide to critical illness cover (PDF 1,285KB). There is important information in this guide so please take the time to read this. You may find this difficult to read if you are on a mobile device so please switch to a larger screen to read this information.
Types of cover
Our Critical Illness Plan has two different types of cover to choose from.
Help to protect your family
As time goes by, it’s expected that the cost of living will go up. By choosing increasing cover you can help protect against the future effects of inflation.
Your cover and premiums will increase every year in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The increase automatically happens on an annual basis. You can choose not to accept the increase if you want your cover and premiums to remain the same. Cover and premiums will remain the same if there is no increase in the CPI.
Help to protect your mortgage
The cover amount decreases each month broadly in line with a repayment loan, such as a mortgage, using a fixed interest rate. The premiums are calculated when you take out the policy and remain the same over the length of the policy term.
Why buy separate critical illness cover?
Aviva sell critical illness cover as a separate policy so it could run alongside any life insurance policy you may already have in place.
Another reason may be that your employer has provided life cover as part of your employment package, but you’d like the peace of mind that comes with having a critical illness policy in place as well.
It’s up to you to decide which policy is right for your circumstances. However to help you decide compare our policies and see how Aviva's life and critical illness cover products may be able to provide some financial security for you and your loved ones.
In 2014 we paid out over £160 million in critical illness claims, helping over 2,200 people when they needed us most.
Want to know more about our critical illness cover? Watch our video
It’s easy to think ‘I’d cope, that’ll never happen to me’. But any of us could become ill and a critical illness policy may help to give you some financial security at a difficult time.
Aren’t critical illness cover and life insurance the same thing? Actually, the two products are different, and pay out in different circumstances. With Aviva you have the option to buy critical illness cover on its own or in addition to a life insurance policy.
Our Life Insurance Plan pays out a lump sum if you die during the term of policy and could help provide some financial security for your family if you’re not around.
Our Critical Illness Plan pays out a lump sum should you be diagnosed with an illness specified in the policy to help you with the cost of everyday life. Over 85% of the claims we pay out to our customers each year are for the top four conditions; cancer, heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis.
You can find out more information about our Critical Illness Plan on our website.
You may think that you don't need critical illness insurance, or you have a good reason for not taking it out, so let’s have a look at the things you might be thinking:
It’ll never happen to me; most people believe that critical illness will never happen to them, but most of us know someone either directly or through friends and family that has been affected.
I’m too young; no one wants to think they’ll be struck down with a critical illness, but it can affect anyone, at any age.
Policies don’t cover many illnesses; Aviva covers a broad range of conditions. A full list of the conditions included is available on our website.
It’s too expensive; critical illness cover doesn’t have to be unaffordable. You can choose the amount of cover to fit your budget.
In the end it’s up to you to decide how much cover you need, and for how long.
If you should ever need to make a claim, the money you may receive could help make life easier for you and your family, which will mean you can just concentrate on getting better.
So if you feel that critical illness cover could give you and your family a little extra peace of mind, get in touch today for a quote.
What can you use the money for?
If you make an eligible claim, the money you receive can help make life easier and let you concentrate on getting better.
A critical illness policy could help pay your mortgage or rent and cover the bills.
If you have children, then critical illness cover could help you provide for your family while you’re focusing on a recovery.
And if you’ve had one of the critical illnesses defined in the policy, then the money could mean it’s easier to make changes to your home, or car, or simply take a well-deserved break for a while.
Our support doesn’t end once an application is accepted. We never forget that you want some peace of mind should the worst happen. That’s why we have a team with an exceptional record of paying out claims, and we pay particular attention to making sure we handle everything smoothly and sensitively. We make it as quick and hassle-free as possible to make a claim by phone, post or online. In the following video, Aviva customer and mother of two, Jane Swann, talks about how having critical illness cover has impacted her life.
Featuring Aviva customer Jane Swann and her children, Emma and Jack
Filmed in July 2011
Two and a half years ago, me and my husband separated. So I was remortgaging the house into my name, so I got a new quote for life and critical illness cover.
It was £45 a month, which I thought was a bit of a big chunk out of my monthly income, but, trying to think sensibly – two kids under the age of 12 – I thought it was the most sensible idea to take the policy out.
August last year, I took ill and I was rushed into hospital. After a couple of scans they said that I had a growth on my ovary. But they did seem to think that it was benign.
Came home, went back two weeks later for my results, and was given the devastating news that it was cancer. It was the most shocking news – I’ve ever, ever had. Devastating.
My mum and dad was with me, I couldn’t look at my mum and dad in the face, and then… and then I was asked a question by the Macmillan nurses about… about my kids … they wanted to know how old they was, and I just burst into tears again, kept thinking, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to tell the kids?’ … it… it …. it was just devastating. That day, I just went home and I… I cried, I cried like I’ve never cried before and I cried for the whole of the day.
And all of a sudden it dawned on me, I’ve got critical illness cover with my mortgage. So I phoned Aviva, went through all the details with them, they said they would get someone to give me call me back and because of the nature of the cancer, they wanted to know if I would prefer to speak to a woman, which I said I would.
So they said that they’d call me back at 1 o’ clock that day. Bang on one o’clock, they rang me. I spoke to a really nice girl. Asked me a few questions, asked for my consultant’s details and they said that the next stage now would be for them to write to my consultant.
They always told me when they was going to ring me, and they always did call me, well, y’know, when they said that they would. They were absolutely fantastic. And it took six weeks for it all to go through from start to finish.
I got all the money, and decided – right, I’ve got all this money now, I want to go and blow it all, but decided: big lump sum off the mortgage, bought myself a brand new car, I’m taking the kids on holiday – we’re having a family holiday this year. We haven’t had one for a couple of years now, so we’re going to have a great family holiday … and I’m looking forward to it very much with the kids.
I’ve spoken to quite a few people, since this has happened to me, and I’m amazed at the amount of people that don’t have critical illness cover.
You just don’t know what’s round the corner. I’ve got no family history, and when it … when it did happen to me, it was the biggest shock.
Emotional support at the right time
When you make an eligible claim on your Aviva Critical Illness Plan, we’ll give you free access to RedArc. This nurse led service helps to bridge the gap between the treatment offered by mainstream health services and the more emotional support or practical advice you may need to help you recover.
To find out more about RedArc please read our RedArc brochure (PDF 610KB)
This service is subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time.
It’s easy to apply for critical illness online
For more information, a quote, or a helping hand with your application, just give us a call.
Please note our call handlers will be not able to provide you with financial advice.
Call us on 0800 068 4232. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 10am - 4pm. Calls may be recorded and monitored for our joint protection.