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Covid-19 and Critical Illness Cover

27th April 2020

Over the past few weeks we have read a number of posts on social media berating the fact that insurance companies aren’t paying out under critical illness plans for Covid-19 (aka Coronavirus) cases.


Whilst it is true that simply having a diagnosis of Covid-19 is not listed as a critical illness (which it isn’t; many people recover with no medical intervention at all) it has highlighted a massive difference in some plans.


Don’t judge a plan by its name…


Whilst many insurers offer plans called “Critical Illness Plans” there is nothing but a very basic definition of what they are.  So we see a HUGE disparity in the cover offered by policies – even though they are all called Critical Illness Plans.


The latest pandemic has highlighted more than ever the need to know what you are buying; meaning professional, expert help is needed to get it right.


For example a number of insurers offer more than one plan, but both are called Critical Illness Cover.  There will be a basic version and an enhanced version – sometimes you can only get the enhanced versions through professional advisers (like us).


So how does this matter when it comes to Coronavirus?


Whilst Covid-19 itself is not a critical illness, if it takes a turn for the worse there’s a high chance you’ll end up in hospital (a number of plans on the market will make a payment for each 24 hour period you have in a UK hospital); in a few more severe cases you will be in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and need mechanical ventilation – and that can result in a full pay out from a Critical Illness plan.


For example Zurich will pay out if you are in a UK ICU on mechanical ventilation for over 10 days  – but only on their Select plan.  Their lower cost basic plans would not result in any claim being paid out.


The Select plan is ONLY available through professional advisers.


And this is just one, topical, example!


What this shows, in one specific example, is that even plans from the same insurer with the same name can in fact give very different levels of benefit.  As we have said before, insurance is something where you very much get what you pay for.


Please don’t take chances with yours and your family’s protection – make sure you are paying for the best plan you can; by speaking to a qualified, professional adviser.  We can talk you through the pro’s and con’s of each option and ensure that your hard earned money is being spent on the most appropriate cover for you and your loved ones.


To chat to one of our team please call 01952 815930 or email us at

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