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The Top 6 Questions About Critical Illness Cover, Income Protection & Life Insurance Answered

Whether you’re renting or own your own home, having an insurance policy to cover your salary is a must.

You might already have contents insurance to replace goods if they got damaged or stolen, car insurance in case of an accident, phone insurance, or pet insurance to cover costs if they got poorly.

But, do you have insurance to replace your income if you got ill? Seeing as your salary is what pays the bills, puts a roof over your head, keeps you warm and feeds you, we’d say that’s pretty important!

Beewise FS Ltd work with lots of insurance companies, from well-known names to more specialist firms. And as well as providing buildings, contents and landlords’ insurance, we offer three insurances for your financial security – critical illness cover, income protection and life cover.

Today we’re going to explain the benefits of these important - but often underrated - policies, and first up is life insurance! This is the one most people are familiar with, paying out in the event of death, and there are lots of options depending on the support your family would need.

For instance, life insurance can pay a fixed amount, a sum that would clear your mortgage, a monthly figure to cover your family’s bills, or an ongoing payment for your children until a certain age.

If that sounds like a lot of choices, don’t worry! It’s your local Beewise advisor’s job to recommend a policy that suits your needs as well as fits your budget - get in touch here to find out more.

The two other policies we offer could be seen as even more important than life insurance, as they support you financially if you were unable to work long-term.

We’ll go into them in more detail below, but essentially critical illness insurance pays out in the event you’re diagnosed with a critical illness. Depending on what level of protection you choose, you could be covered for up to 51 serious conditions.

And, income protection is there to cover you in the event of an accident, disability or long-term sickness during your lifetime, paying a monthly salary replacement for as long as you’re unable to work.

The loss of a salary – even just for a few months – would have a huge impact on your household day to day. So, having a policy that pays a lump sum or monthly amount gives financial peace of mind at an already stressful and upsetting time.

While your local Beewise insurance advisor will talk specifics depending on your age, health, income and situation, we’ve shared the answers to our most commonly asked questions about critical illness cover, income protection and life insurance below so you can discover more!

Why is critical illness coverage important?

Because life is unpredictable. Even if you or your family have never had ill health, 1 in 2 people will develop cancer during their lifetime¹, and 83% of people with cancer in the UK are financially impacted due to their diagnosis².

Also, critical illness insurance isn’t just for cancer – it can cover a heart attack, stroke, lung disease, deafness, loss of sight and multiple sclerosis to name a few.

Enhanced critical illness cover – a more comprehensive policy – can also pay out for heart failure, Crohn’s disease, less common cancers, pregnancy complications and more. Plus you have the option to add children – and child-specific critical illnesses – to the policy.

So, cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to critical illness cover! But, your Beewise protection expert can make sure you’re getting the most suitable level of cover for your needs and budget, or review any existing cover you’ve got.

Your critical illness policy could replace your salary for as long as needs be, and fund expenses you might not have considered. Extra childcare, petrol for trips to the hospital and adapting your home to your needs are all additional costs that can come with a diagnosis.

And, while more people are surviving critical illnesses in recent years due to advances in treatments, it can be difficult to focus on getting better if you’re worried about bills, keeping a roof over your head, or leaning on family for financial support.

Plus, lots of providers offer added extras to protection policies that you can use right now, such as access to a telephone healthline 24/7, counselling support, and even discounts to gyms!

While you can’t control the future, you can put plans in place in case the worst happens. Get in touch to find out what monthly payments could start from for your financial peace of mind!

What does income protection insurance cover?

Income protection is there to support you in the case of long-term sickness, or if you were unable to work due to an accident or disability.

It provides a monthly income in the event of an illness that isn’t critical but is severe enough to stop you from going to work, whether that’s for a few months, a few years, or until you retire.

And, another great benefit of income protection is you can claim as many times as you need, giving you sick pay throughout your whole working life for one fixed monthly payment.

75% of long-term work absence is caused by non-critical illnesses, with the average claim time being just over 2 years⁴. And, many of us have minimal sick pay entitlement through work, or none if you’re self employed.

With Statutory Sick Pay just £99.35 per week for a maximum 28 weeks – less than 6 months – can you afford not to have protection in place? Sources show 40% of households couldn’t last a month without income⁴.

As with critical illness cover and life insurance, there are different policies available to fit your budget. Your Beewise advisor can chat through the right option for your insurance needs, whether that’s a maximum monthly payout, or enough to cover essential bills.

Income protection can also come with lots of added extras, including physio and rehabilitation benefits, plus payouts for bone fractures or time spent in hospital.

Critical illness vs Income protection – which is best?

Some people may see one as more of a priority, especially if someone close to you has been affected by a critical illness, or been able to work long-term due to an accident or injury.

But, critical illness cover and income protection have two different aims, so are equally important!

There are also different statistics around whether you’re more likely to be impacted by a critical illness or long-term accident or sickness, but opting for one and hoping you don’t need the other isn’t an approach we recommend!

The sensible option is to have both protection policies in place, even if you opt for a slightly lower payout to fit them within budget. That way, you’ve got financial peace of mind for any scenario.

Is life insurance more important than critical illness cover or income protection?

Lots of people initially prioritise life insurance, as they want to take care of their family should the worst happen to them.

It’s definitely a comfort to know the burden of a mortgage would be cleared in the event of your death, or that your family would be taken care of with a lump sum of money, or regular monthly payment.

But, being unable to work long-term due to an accident or illness is much more likely. And the strain on a family of one person being unable to contribute – whether financially or looking after children – can have a lot more impact.

In fact, life insurance policies generally have lower monthly premiums than critical illness cover and income protection as they’re less likely to be claimed on.

That doesn’t make life insurance any less important, but when protecting your family’s financial needs it’s vital to take care of all areas.

Do I need to have life insurance for a mortgage?

The short answer is no, the sensible answer is yes!

Legally you don’t need life insurance in place for a mortgage, but for the monthly payments it’s well worth it to give your family peace of mind.

Whether you live with a partner or have children too, setting up life insurance to clear your mortgage means that should the worst happen, those left behind don’t have to worry about money.

Without it, your partner wouldn’t just have to fund the monthly mortgage payments solo, they’d have to consider whether they could afford to remortgage on their own too.

And if they were to sell the house and move into rented accommodation – not what anyone would want in that situation – they’d still need to afford monthly rental payments.

Some people also ask whether to just cover the highest salary earner, but we recommend life insurance for everyone on the mortgage. Stay-at-home parents have just as much value – think about the cost of full time childcare and running a home!

How much do critical illness cover, income protection and life insurance cost?

That’s what your Beewise advisor calculates! With so many different policy choices, including level of cover, payout and benefits required, we’ll talk through your budget and your ideal cover options first.

We’ll then go through the most suitable monthly premiums, choosing from a variety of leading companies, and decide on the right options for your needs together.

As critical illness cover, income protection and life insurance costs can also depend on other factors – such as family history, lifestyle and medical history – we’ll take you through the relevant application process, giving an exact price tailored to you.

That way, you’re getting cover to suit your budget with the confidence that if you do claim, you’ll get the financial support you need. You might be surprised at what a few extra pounds a month can buy, so contact your local Beewise specialist today to find out!

Get in touch for expert advice, a free comparison service across the UK’s leading insurance providers, and critical illness cover, income protection and life insurance tailored to your needs!

Or, give us a call on 01934 204841. With evening and weekend appointments available, we’re here to make mortgages and protection stress-free and easy.

² Macmillan/Truth Survey, February 2020

³ British Heart Foundation, UK Factsheet, January 2022

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