Cover your bills and get peace of mind with critical illness insurance

Save by comparing quotes from the best critical illness insurance companies

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What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance that makes a payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with an illness specified in their policy, or undergoes a specified medical procedure (e.g., heart surgery).

Although some policies may pay out directly to health facilities, most critical illness insurance policies provide a lump sum of money to the policyholder. This money typically does not have any stipulations attached to it, and can be used for anything from covering medical bills to paying for childcare to paying bills in the event of lost income. There is usually a “survival period” that must be reached before the policy will pay out; the survival period is usually 1-2 weeks.

Critical illness insurance can come in the form of a guaranteed issue policy, where the only requirement is a health questionnaire, or a fully underwritten policy where the applicant’s health is taken into account.

What Critical Illness Insurance Protects Against

The conditions covered by a critical illness insurance policy will depend on the specific policy and insurer. However, common conditions that allow a critical illness insurance policy to be used often include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart surgery
  • Major organ transplant

What Critical Illness Insurance Doesn’t Protect Against

Each critical illness insurance provider and policy will have its own guidelines on what conditions are covered. For this reason, applicants should check which medical conditions are named in their desired policy, and which are not, before committing to it.

However, speaking broadly, the lump sum of money paid to the policyholder does not usually have restrictions on how it can be used. This makes it different from, say, health insurance, which only applies to specific medical costs and has many exclusions.

How Much Does Critical Illness Insurance Cost?

Critical illness insurance rates depend on the policy and, potentially, the health of the applicant. Coverage amounts are usually much less than life insurance or long-term disability insurance policies; while the payout can go as high as $1 million, most policies are usually closer to $10,000. If you have a fully underwritten policy or have pre-existing conditions, you will pay a different price than if you purchase a guaranteed issue critical illness insurance policy.

Before buying any insurance policy, always compare plans and prices to make sure you are getting the best deal for the protection you need.

What Are The Best Critical Illness Insurance Companies?

There are many insurance companies that sell critical illness insurance in addition to other insurance products. Some of the biggest insurance companies that sell popular critical illness insurance policies include:

  • Liberty Mutual
  • Assurity
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Aflac
  • AIG
  • MetLife
  • Allstate

Is Critical Illness Insurance Worth It?

If you have a family history of health conditions, it may be worth purchasing a critical illness insurance policy. Paired with a health insurance and long-term disability insurance policy, it can help cover the costs of medical expenses, as well as related costs from being unable to work during recovery, providing you with a full financial safety net.

Even if you don’t have a history of health issues, a critical illness insurance policy can still provide peace of mind against the unknown. It should not take the place of other insurance policies, but is worth considering as a supplemental insurance. Consult a financial advisor or licensed insurance expert for help in deciding if critical illness insurance makes sense as part of your financial protection plan.