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Why Brits don’t bother with Critical Illness Cover

26th November 2010 Print

New research from has revealed the reasons why so few Brits have taken out Critical Illness Cover, which pays out a lump sum if the policyholder develops an illness or condition covered in the policy.

The comparison site says having some form of protection in place should the worst happen is important, relieving the anguish of money worries at a difficult time. found:

Only 23% of people have critical illness cover;

Of those who have it, less than 1/3 (32%) have ever switched provider;

One in five claim they would manage with employer based payouts or state benefits if they became too ill to work, however:

Statutory sick pay is just £79.15 a week, payable for 28 weeks;

The average household spends £471 per week;

The average Critical illness policy payout is £73,194;

25% claim that it's too expensive and a waste of money while a further 25% admit they don't understand it and have never considered taking it out. 4% say they'll live off savings. Yet:

70% have less than £5,000 in savings;

9% admit to spending money on a ‘posh' tea or coffee every day at work and 26% find money each month for music and dvd downloads ;

Critical Illness Cover is available from just £5 a month;

14% say they're just too young to worry - although the average age for claimants is 44.

Matthew Lloyd, head of life insurance at says "Whilst Critical Illness Cover, which pays out a lump sum in the event the policy holder becomes seriously ill, might not be the right type of insurance policy for everyone, the reasons given for not taking it are worrying. Many people say they will be reliant purely on their employer and the State in the event that something goes wrong, but perhaps haven't understood how little this could be in comparison to the cost of running their household. Others seem to have dismissed it as a waste of money or not even considered it.  With so little savings to fall back on it's important that people consider how they would manage and plan for an illness or they may find themselves worrying about finances when they should be focussing on their health."