Critical Illness Cover: What's Covered

Critical Illness

When you’ve worked hard to do right by your family, it’s natural to worry about what might happen if you can no longer provide for them. Life insurance can help protect your loved ones should the worst happen. Once you’re covered, you can rest assured they'll be taken care of if you pass away unexpectedly. Our Smart Life Insurance policy will pay out a lump sum benefit to your loved ones if you die of natural causes or are diagnosed with a terminal illness by a medical practitioner, with 12 months or less to live.

But what would happen if you were to become critically ill?

Becoming seriously ill could have a devastating financial impact on your life. Critical Illness cover is a simple way to help protect the life you've built, no matter what life throws your way.

That’s why we offer additional Critical Illness cover, so you can keep the wheels turning if you’re not able to work and keep your heads above water while you get yourself back to health.

What is Critical Illness cover?

Critical Illness cover is an option on our Family Life policy. It pays out a lump sum to you and your family if you fall seriously ill.

By Critical Illness, we mean the handful of life-changing conditions that will make a significant impact on your life and earning potential.

That covers cancer, coronary artery by-pass grafts, heart attack and any stroke that results in permanent symptoms. If you were to suffer one of these illnesses, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to carry on working for quite some time, so you’ll be glad for the extra cover to keep the bills paid.

How does Critical Illness cover work?

You can choose a Critical Illness benefit amount of up to 50% of your selected Smart Life Insurance benefit amount. If you need to make a claim, your family will still receive the Life Insurance benefit if you die, but you can spend the Critical Illness benefit as you choose.

Some people use it to keep the bills paid, others put it towards rehab or recuperation. However, your Life Insurance benefit will be reduced by the amount of your Critical Illness benefit (with a corresponding reduction in your premium).

In effect, you’re cashing in a portion of your Life Insurance benefit amount early.

Here’s an example:

John has a Family Life Insurance policy worth £750,000 with £375,000 of Critical Illness cover. He is suddenly diagnosed with a serious illness and decides to make a Critical Illness claim.

His Critical Illness claim will be deducted from his total Smart Family Life Insurance benefit amount. He claims the 50% maximum meaning he will receive £375,000 to help with medical bills, loss of income, and other financial strains, so that he can focus on recovering and spending time with his loved ones.  

If John passes away within his chosen life insurance policy term, his family can still claim the remainder of his benefit amount (£375,000). This can help them manage major household debts like the mortgage, car repayments or daily living expenses.

Who can get Critical Illness cover?

Our optional Critical Illness cover is available to anyone with a Smart Life Insurance policy. To avail of this cover, you must be a UK resident aged between 18 and 60.

Please be aware that this is an optional extra, meaning you can't get Critical Illness cover by itself.

What is not covered under Critical Illness?

Because the Critical Illness cover is payable while you’re still alive, we do have to be more specific than usual about what is and what is not covered (unlike our Life Insurance cover, for which we don’t require a medical).

For example, some types of cancer are not covered, typically those that are not classed as malignant, as well as prostate cancer, skin cancer and thyroid tumours (with some exceptions).

We also can’t cover any critical illness that is the result of a suicide attempt or self-inflicted injury, or one which occurs during the first three months of the policy.

When does Critical Illness cover end?

Critical illness cover ends when one of the following events occurs - your death (at which point your Life Insurance benefit will be paid), payment of the Critical Illness benefit, cancellation of your payment, or the policy anniversary after you reach 64.

Your optional Critical Illness cover would also end if you cancelled your Smart Insurance Life policy.

None of us knows when our time will come to an end. That’s why we have Life Insurance.

We can never be sure that we won't have to face a critical illness at some point in our lives. Critical Illness cover allows us to prepare for the worst if the time should come. It can give us the peace of mind we need, even when we're physically unwell.

Protect the life you’ve built, the Smart way

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For new Family Life Insurance policy holders only, once a minimum of 6 successful monthly premiums have been paid and the total premiums paid exceed the face value of the gift card. View full terms and conditions. Restrictions apply, see