What to look for in a Specified Illness policy

7th July 2020

So something has happened, maybe a friend has got sick and you’ve seen the financial impact that this can have. Maybe you’ve just become more aware of the financial impact a serious illness would have on your own life. You’ve decided that it’s time to investigate serious illness policies. So where do you start?

Well the best place to start is with your Financial Broker, because you need to be able to find the very best policy to meet your own specific needs. And that might not simply be the cheapest policy available in the market. There are lots of different features and benefits available and you need to be ready to wade through the details of all of the policies to find the right one for you… or else get your Financial Broker to do it for you. They will look at factors such as,

The illnesses covered
Different policies cover different illnesses. You need to ensure that the policy you choose covers the broadest range of illnesses available, or the ones that you feel are the most important to protect against. However it’s not just about the number of illnesses covered. The definitions of illnesses need to be carefully examined as they can vary hugely. Some providers have stricter definitions that result in your illnesses needing to be extremely serious before a claim will be paid. Other providers will pay out earlier in the progression of an illness.

Guaranteed premium or reviewable premium
You might see a policy that is much cheaper than the rest. However there could be a sting in the tail… The cheapest policies are usually reviewable policies in which the provider reserves the right to increase the premium in the future, if claims experience is worse than expected or their own investment returns are lower than expected. Very often it is worth paying a little more from the outset for a guaranteed premium policy, where you have certainty that the cost will stay the same throughout the term of the policy. Examining the details of these is second nature to your Financial Broker who will identify the wheat from the chaff very quickly.

The features of the policy
There are lots of additional features available on specified illness policies. Finding the right ones for you can be a daunting task! So what might you be looking for?

• Permanent total disablement: If this option is available, the policy will pay out if you become permanently and totally disabled, even if the cause is not one of the illnesses specified in the policy.
• Hospital cash: This pays out an amount for each day that you spend in hospital as a result of an accident or illness.
• Indexation: Will your cover remain the same or will it increase every year, maybe in line with inflation?

These are just some of the differences in policies available. To pick your way through the minefield, talk to your Financial Broker.