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Protection for Life: Critical Illness with Life Cover

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Frequently asked questions for Critical Illness with Life Cover

Click on the links below to find the answers to each question.

Why might I need Critical Illness Cover?

With medical advances meaning that many serious illnesses are not proving fatal, they can still have a major impact on your life and on your ability to earn a living.

Critical Illness Cover could help reduce the financial impact of a critical illness by helping with practicalities such as helping to pay off your mortgage and helping to pay any bills, allowing you the time to recover.

How does Critical Illness with Life Cover work?

Each month, you pay an amount for the period you’ve chosen to be covered for. Your monthly payment is known as a premium and the period you’re covered for is known as the term.

The policy will end if we pay out the benefit amount. The benefit amount is the cash sum that you’re covered for. If this amount has not been paid out by the end of the term, the policy will end and you’ll get nothing back. The policy has no cash-in value.

Also, if you don’t pay your premiums in time your cover will stop, your benefit will end, and you’ll get nothing back.

Full details on how Critical Illness Cover with Life Cover works are given in the Policy Provisions.

Can I take Critical Illness with Life Cover out with my partner?

You can choose to apply for benefits to cover your own life – this is a single person plan.

Or, you can apply for benefits with your partner to cover your individual protection needs in one plan with joint ownership – this is a two person plan.

If you take out a two person plan we’ll also ask you to give your consent to share all information relating to your plan, including details of each other’s policies.

How much cover might I need?

It depends on your personal circumstances. Some things you may want to consider are:

  • how much your family would need to support themselves without your salary
  • the size of your mortgage and how long it’s got to run
  • any other outstanding loans or debts you have
  • the amount you want to pay each month.

Can I change the level of cover?

Yes. Once your policy is set up you have the flexibility to apply to change the amount of cover at any time, increase or reduce your term, or add on benefits when it suits you. Some changes will lead to us carrying out further underwriting.

Can I choose when to start my policy?

Yes. When you apply you can:

  • start it as soon as possible
  • choose ‘Not known yet’ (if you are unsure when you would like your policy to start)
  • give a specific date

If you’ve applied for more than one benefit, you can choose different start dates for each one.

Do I get any money back if the policy reaches the end of its term and I haven’t made a claim?

No. The policy has no cash-in value at any time. Also, if you don’t pay your premiums on time your cover will stop, your benefit will end and you’ll get nothing back.

Can I choose who gets the payout if I die?

Yes, you can nominate who you’d like as a beneficiary. You may wish to put your policy in trust for the benefit of anyone you specify.

Find out more about putting your policy in trust.

What will happen to my life cover if I make a critical illness claim on my Critical Illness with Life Cover policy?

  • If you’re diagnosed with a specified critical illness and meet the claims criteria, we'll pay the amount to you if you're the policy owner or to you and your partner if you are joint policy owners.
  • We’ll only pay out once under Critical Illness with Life Cover, so if you claim for a critical illness, the policy will end.

If I have a Critical Illness with Life Cover policy, what happens if I die?

  • If you die , we'll pay out the life cover amount to your chosen trustees if it's in trust. If it’s not we'll pay it to your estate.
  • If you've chosen to apply for a two person plan and have chosen joint ownership, the benefit will be paid to the surviving policy owner.

Why should you include additional trustees if you're putting your policy in a trust?

If no additional trustees are appointed this can cause complications if a claim is made as there may be no surviving trustee to ensure the terms of the trust are carried out. This would cause delays in payments being made to the beneficiaries who will likely need the policy proceeds as soon as possible, to provide them with the financial stability that the protection policy was designed to give.

Where there are no surviving trustees to administer the trust this will mean:

  • If the last surviving trustee left a Will, probate/confirmation would need to be obtained by the executor(s) who can then undertake the role of trustee or alternatively appoint new trustees to administer the trust. The policy proceeds can then be released to the executor/trustees who in turn can distribute funds to any beneficiaries.
  • If there's no Will, a Grant of Representation would need to be obtained and legal personal representatives would need to be appointed who can then undertake the role of trustee or alternatively appoint new trustees to administer the trust. This would be an even longer process and not a good experience for the people affected, which will likely be dependents who will need access to funds in the short term.

Also, if your trust is set up to allow for trust proceeds to be paid to a wide range of beneficiaries at the discretion of the trustee(s) and according to circumstances, at least two trustees would normally be required to allow the policy proceeds to be distributed to the intended beneficiaries. There would be a delay in payment until the trust period expires or a new trustee is appointed.

What would happen if the sole trustee was incapable of acting?

Having no additional trustees can also cause problems if a sole trustee becomes incapable of acting during his or her lifetime (by reason of a mental incapacity). It'll then become impossible to administer the trust without the intervention of the court.

What do I need to do to appoint additional trustees to my protection policy?

It’s easy to appoint additional trustees, you just need to print off and send us the completed Deed of Appointment of additional trustees form to allow the additional trustees to be added and ensure that there are no unnecessary complications if a claim occurs. Remember that your trustee needs to sign the form and it includes details of their duties and responsibilities.

There are notes in the left hand margin explaining what's required to help you complete the form. If you've any queries about how to complete this deed, please contact your Financial Adviser or your legal adviser.

Have we answered all your questions?

We hope you have found this summary of frequently asked questions helpful. If you have any further questions please contact us.