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Why critical illness cover could be right for you

Many of us have seen the devastating effect that cancer, strokes, heart attacks or other critical illnesses can have on friends or family.

It's important to have support during such challenging times. One effective way to protect your financial wellbeing is through a critical illness policy. This offers a lump sum benefit if an individual is diagnosed with a serious illness. However, people often don't consider taking out such a policy. Here, we aim to point out some of the common misconceptions about critical illness insurance.

Why should I have critical illness insurance?

As in most developed countries, critical illnesses are becoming more commonplace in Malta, but so too are survival rates. Each case represents a personal life experience of struggle, endurance, acceptance, and - increasingly - recovery. While there continues to be much focus on prevention, early detection and cure, there's also more attention being paid to the quality of life of people being treated for a critical illness.

The following statements represent a few of the common misconceptions about critical illness insurance:

Critical illness is a death sentence

Many critical illnesses can now be prevented or effectively managed, thanks to advancements in medical treatments, heightened awareness and prevention campaigns. Some can even be cured. Moreover, the emphasis on rehabilitation and the support of medical experts means that many people with critical illnesses can not only recover but also return to a good quality of life. The journey through a critical illness is indeed challenging, but it’s important to recognise the opportunities for healing, recovery and a positive life beyond the diagnosis.

My family can help me out if I suffer a critical illness

It's natural to rely on family support during difficult times, but you should also think of the potential impact on your loved ones. If your family members need to cover your mortgage, childcare costs, or other expenses, it can significantly affect their financial stability. Having a critical illness policy can ease the burden on your family, allowing them to focus on supporting you emotionally without additional financial stress.

I'm too young for critical illness cover

Critical illnesses can affect people of all ages. Taking out critical illness cover at a younger age can be more cost-effective, and it makes sure you're protected if a health crisis arises unexpectedly.

Critical illness premiums are out of my budget

Critical illness policy premiums are influenced by several factors, such as:

  • The level of cover needed
  • The length of coverage
  • Your individual circumstances

By tailoring your policy to fit your budget, you can find a suitable plan that provides the necessary financial protection without straining your finances. The best way to determine the exact premium for your needs is to obtain a quote from a financial planning advisor or online.

The application process

If you apply for critical illness cover, the insurer will ask you about your health, lifestyle, and what coverage you need. The more accurate details  you give, the better your financial planning adviser can assess your needs and offer the right policy. Depending on your specific circumstances, they may need extra information or medical records. This makes sure any claim is smoother and faster.

Understanding critical illness policies

Critical illness policies are designed to support you and your loved ones in the face of financial challenges due to a critical illness, such as cancer, stroke or heart attack.

The policy will specify the covered critical illnesses and the required severity levels for making a claim. The severity level is determined by predefined medical definitions with some policies also allowing for multiple claims for different stages of illness progression. For instance, the severity levels for certain types of cancers involved might align with the general classification system commonly adopted by an internationally recognised organisation. These cancers could be categorised into various stages of progression, such as stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, or stage 4 cancer. Most policies include the most common critical illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart attack, coronary artery bypass grafting, kidney failure, major organ transplant, coma, paralysis, blindness, and severe burns.

Choosing critical illness cover is a responsible step toward protecting your financial well-being and that of your loved ones. By gaining clarity on misconceptions surrounding critical illness policies, you can make a well-informed decision about the coverage that best suits your needs. Remember to carefully review policy terms and consider seeking advice from financial planning advisors to determine the ideal critical illness policy to your situation. Additionally, when choosing a life insurance policy, you may want to prioritise companies with a high claims pay-out ratio, as this reflects their track record to fulfil obligations to policyholders and promptly pay out claims.

With this invaluable safety net, you can face life's challenges with more peace of mind and secure a protected future for yourself and your family.

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