Critical Illness Cover - Insuring the Children

By: Ray Prince

It's not a subject any of us like to dwell upon, but cancer is a fact of modern life.

The good news is that advances in treatment and medication mean that cancer is not the automatic death sentence it once was.

Sometimes an even harder subject to comtemplate is children contracting cancer.

The number of children who survive cancer has doubled over the last 30 years, according to the Cancer Research Campaign. In fact, 7 in 10 now survive the disease compared to 3 in 10 in the 1960s.

Unfortunately, the incidence of childhood cancer has not changed very much over the last 40 years. In 2000 there were around 1,400 new cases diagnosed in Great Britain, with 1/3 of these being leukaemia (source: National Statistics Online).

When buying critical illness cover your priority may not be covering your children, however when you think about the impact that a sick child could have on a parent's personal and professional life, it makes sense to ensure it's included in the policy that you purchase.

The good news is that children's critical illness cover is an additional benefit of almost every policy on the market, and comes at no extra cost.

The claim amount is normally a percentage of the sum assured up to a certain limit (e.g. ?15,000) and applies between the ages of 30 days and 18 years. Claims are assessed against a cut-down version of the adult conditions. Also, a claim under children's critical illness will not affect the parent's cover or cause the policy to come to an end.

Whilst heart attack and cancer are the two major causes of adult claims, they are only ranked 5th and 6th for children's claims (depending on the provider).

What could the money be used towards in the event of a claim under the children's cover?

Well, it could be used for:

- medical treatment

- nursing care

- allow parents time off work

- special trip/holiday

In summary, the fact that children's cover is automatically included in critical illness policies is a fantastic add on. In the unfortunate event of a claim, parents and prospective parents will always appreciate the value of this benefit.

The Financial Tips Bottom Line

If you have critical illness cover, take the time to analyse your existing policy to ensure children's cover is included. You should find this in the policy details. If you're unable to find it simply call the provider and they should be able to provide you with the details.

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