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Consumer Guide To Critical Illness Insurance

CIExpert is an independent organisation that creates in depth analysis to assist advisers in choosing the best policy for their clients.

We also seek to provide guidance and education to consumers in understanding the value and choice of Critical Illness Insurance.

We pride ourselves on maintaining an objective view.


Complexity: it is extremely difficult to compare the policies offered which makes it impossible for a consumer to make the correct decision.

In fact, it is so tricky that some advisers are reluctant to give advice. We are dedicated to providing the information and the knowledge to overcome that issue.

Common misconceptions:

Our consumer guide enables an informed dialogue with a specialist independent financial adviser. A plan should never be purchased without independent advice it is far too complex.

Make a decision based on accurate information
All policies similar so choose on cost - Common misconception 2
It will be too expensive for me - Common misconception 1

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Often Critical illness plans are ignored because it is assumed that such comprehensive protection must be too expensive.
In fact, given the much greater flexibility that CIC offers, people are frequently surprised at the level of protection they can obtain for little cost.
Like life assurance the cost of critical illness protection becomes higher the older you are and, naturally, smokers will pay more than non-smokers.
The example shows....
It is actually very affordable for most people
Cost per Month (£)

Critical illness plans have been available in the UK for over 25 years and the one constant is that they keep undergoing change.

There are over 50 conditions or procedures which might be included although no one insurer includes them all.

Conditions are frequently added and occasionally they are removed but it is the precise policy wording which determines whether a claim will be agreed or declined.

No surprise then that consumers and even some advisers do not understand the plans, the wordings, the exclusions and other minutiae that ultimately affect a claim.

FACT: there is a vast gulf between the better and the lesser plans.

These policies never pay out - Common misconception 3

Over the last decade critical illness plans have come under the scrutiny of personal finance journalists alerted by readers whose claims had been rejected. There can be three reasons for a rejected claim:

Ignorance and Misunderstanding - This is where a policyholder believes that he is covered when he is not. For example, claiming for a broken leg.

Non-disclosure - where the policyholder failed at the application stage to fully inform the insurer about his health, occupation or pastimes.

Contractual wording of the claim definition. Cancer is a prime example; early stage cancers known as cancer in situ are generally not covered because they are more easily treated and have yet to spread.

Despite this the overwhelming majority of plans pay shown in the chart here

Claims Approved 2011(%)
#WhyCI #causeofconf

Examples based on £100,000 decreasing mortgage plan over 25 yrs.

Couple 40 Non Smoker
Male 40 Non Smoker
Couple 30 Non Smoker
Male 40 Non Smoker
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