Richard T Lishman Critical Illness Cover Reviewed

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Richard T Lishman asks: "What does Critical Illness Cover mean to you?"

No one likes to think about becoming critically ill. However, with the responsibility of running a dental practice and the livelihoods of your staff to consider, it’s a good idea to explore Critical Illness Insurance policies as a safety net. The three main causes for claims on Critical Illness Cover are heart attacks, stroke and cancer.

Worryingly, these three illnesses are becoming more prevalent in the UK, and we might argue that people in high-pressure positions – including dentists – are more at risk. A survey from 2020 found that over half of dentists have said that extreme stress is affecting their practice.

Strokes and heart disease are both caused and exacerbated by stress, and there’s every chance that if a dental professional turns to common, stress-related habits such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption, this might heighten the chance of them developing cancer. Critical Illness Cover will provide added protection for such an eventuality.

Critical Illness Cover is an insurance policy that covers an individual for life, or a set period, against diseases, serious illnesses, and medical conditions. They pay out a single lump sum of money when one of the conditions covered by the policy is diagnosed.

Every Critical Illness Cover policy is different, and, in some cases, there may be caveats regarding how long you need to have had the policy before receiving a pay-out. This must be stated in the policy itself, but it might be in the small print. Many policies require a person to survive for over 28 days following the diagnosis of a serious illness – because such policies are designed to cover living expenses during this time.

These policies are often created in conjunction with a Life Insurance policy to provide two different types of cover. If so, you must be careful. If you claim after developing a critical illness you may lose the life insurance element, meaning no pay-out in the event of your death. Again, this will be stated in the policy, but it’s definitely something to watch out for.

The biggest benefit to taking out Critical Illness Cover is that you will receive a lump sum of money when diagnosed with a serious illness. This can help with things such as paying off your mortgage, or provide you with an income. It’s first and foremost a good idea to use it as a safety net to sort out your finances, pay off any debts and ensure things are in good order.

There are policies out there that cover both you and a partner against such eventualities. These tend to be more cost-efficient, but there is the risk that they only provide a single lump sum, even if both of you should go on to develop critical illnesses.

Choosing the right Critical Illness Cover is about selecting the policy that offers a large enough lump sum to meet your needs. Each illness will have different pay-outs within the same policy. For example, a policy that pays well to cover cancer, may provide a smaller sum if you suffer a stroke. You need to consider your main risks and find that policy that covers them.

If you have a family history of cancer, finding a policy that pays out well in the event of contracting the disease would be sensible. You also need to think about and compare policy costs. Higher premiums can cover more illnesses, but you might also end up paying much more.

You must also consider coronavirus. At the time of writing a lot of policies do not include cover for COVID-19, but this is likely to change depending on how the vaccination programme progresses.

In conclusion, it’s essential to seek advice from independent experts such as our award-winning team at money4dentists. We will always ensure you only receive advice tailored to suit you, your individual situation, means and goals.

For more information, call 0845 345 5060 or 0754DENTIST, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit 

Photos by Sharon McCutcheon and the National Cancer Institute on Unsplash