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What is critical illness cover?

Imagine having the peace of mind knowing that, in the event of a serious illness, you won’t have to worry about the financial burden.

Critical illness cover could pay you a cash lump sum if diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy.

This cash lump sum could hold the power to ease you and your family’s everyday expenses. Allowing you to focus all your energy on your health and wellbeing.
 

Are you eligible for our critical illness cover?

To apply for cover, you must:

  • be a UK resident
  • be 18 years of age or older.

You do not need a medical exam, and you'll get your decision the same day.

 

Video about critical illness cover.

How does critical illness cover work?

With critical illness cover you can:

  • get a cash lump sum if diagnosed with an illness listed in your policy before it ends
  • choose the amount and duration that are right for you
  • cancel at any time, free of charge.

With critical illness cover, you can't:

  • get any money back unless a successful claim is made
  • change your policy after it has started
  • keep your cover if you miss your monthly payments.
  •  

    Critical illness cover might be right for you if: 

    • you’d struggle to keep up with day-to-day costs if you are too ill to work for some time
    • you don’t have savings or workplace benefits that could cover your costs if you are too ill to work
    • you'd like a cash lump sum if you become seriously ill, letting you focus on your health and wellbeing.
  •  

    If you are too ill to work for an extended period, how much would you need to help your loved ones.

    Consider the help you might need to keep up with:

    • Day-to-day costs and bills.
    • Rent or mortgage payments.
    • Costs to make health-related changes to your home.
  •  

    The amount of cover that's right for you depends on a few factors. If you are too ill to work, what kind of support would you and your loved ones need? 

    Choose the amount of cover that's right for you and your loved ones. 

  •  

    It might help to think about life’s milestones, like the number of years until: 

    • your children turn 18
    • you have paid your mortgage in full
    • you reach state pension age.

    We can offer cover from 5 to 40 years, up to age 69. 

What critical illnesses does it cover?

Body image with circles numbered one to five.

The image highlights the illnesses we cover and when you can claim. These headings are only a guide. For full details, refer to the terms and conditions.

 

  •  
    • Stroke
    • Brain tumour
    • Traumatic head Injury
    • Encephalitis
    • Bacterial meningitis
    • Dementia
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
    • Motor neurone disease (MND)
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Atypical Parkinsonism/Parkinson plus syndrome
    • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
    • Devic's disease.
  •  

    • Heart attack
    • Heart surgery:
    • Coronary artery bypass surgery
    • Heart valve replacement or repair
    • Open heart surgery
    • Aorta graft surgery
    • Inserting a defibrillator after cardiac arrest.

     

  •  

    • Kidney failure needing dialysis
    • Transplant:
    • Heart
    • Kidney
    • Liver
    • Lung
    • Bone marrow
    • Pancreas.
  •  

    • Invasive cancer
    • For some less severe, early stage cancers, we will make an early help payment of £5000.00 if you:
    • Undergo surgery for early stage cancer
    • Receive treatment for early stage prostate cancer
    • Develop early stage malignant melanoma

    You can claim for the early help payment more than once for any other unrelated early stage cancer. 

    If you've got more than one Plan and Protect policy, we'll only pay one early help payment across all of your policies.

    Your cover will continue. You can go on to make a full claim for any of the illnesses we cover.

  •  

    • Paralysis of an arm or leg
    • Amputation or severance of hand or foot.

How much does critical illness cover cost?

The cost of critical illness cover can vary depending on several factors such as age, gender, health status, occupation, life style and coverage amount. Premiums start from £5 per month*, but to get a more accurate idea of how much your cover could cost you’ll need to get a quote online.

If you have a history of smoking, this can also increase your life insurance costs as the risk of death is greater. We take your lifestyle factors such as dangerous jobs and hazardous hobbies into consideration.

If you decide to add Life insurance to your critical illness cover policy when you apply, this will be for an extra cost.

*10% of customers paid £5 per month for Halifax Plan and Protect critical illness cover bought online between 01 June 22 and 31 May 23. Price is based on single level critical illness cover excluding life insurance and is subject to underwriting criteria that depends on personal circumstances. Prices are subject to change.”
 

Get covered today

This table below shows what the price might be, based on your age group. It shows how the monthly cost you pay for life insurance can be lower if you take it out sooner.

Age

18-25

26-50

51-59

Example monthly cost of critical illness cover

£9

£16

£23

Age

Example monthly cost of critical illness cover

Age

18-25

Example monthly cost of critical illness cover

£9

Age

26-50

Example monthly cost of critical illness cover

£16

Age

51-59

Example monthly cost of critical illness cover

£23

50% of our customers paid these prices or less for single level Plan & Protect critical illness cover bought online between 31 January 23 and 31 January 24.

Note, the sample size for 18-25 critical illness is 122 and 51-59 critical illness is 170.

Prices are subject to underwriting criteria that depend on personal circumstances and are subject to change.

What can critical illness cover be used for?

You can use critical illness cover in various ways, including:

Medical expenses

Critical illness cover can provide a cash lump sum to explore a wider range of medical treatments and rehabilitation.

Cost of living

If you can't work due to a critical illness, the lump sum pay-out could help cover your daily living expenses. Allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Mortgage/rent payments

The cash lump sum can cover mortgage or rent payments, allowing you to support your home while focusing on your health.

Adapting your home

Some illnesses will mean that you may need to adapt your home, to make it more accessible. Critical illness cover will help fund the changes needed.

Childcare costs

You can use the lump sum from critical illness cover to support with any extra cost of childcare, while you receive treatment for your illness.

Supporting quality of life

Critical illness cover can provide a cash lump sum to support your quality of life during your illness. Such as holidays, hobbies or any other activities that contribute to your overall wellbeing.

What type of critical illness cover do I need?

There are different types of critical illness cover available. We offer level critical illness cover online. Here's how it works.

Image showing level cover.

Level cover - cover and payments stay the same

How does level cover work? 

Level cover means that the cash pay-out stays the same until your policy ends. You'll pay the same amount each month. 

What’s the benefit of level cover? 

With level cover, the amount that gets paid out if you make a claim won’t change. So you and your loved ones will always know how much cover you'll have in case the unexpected happens.

Get your quote now Get your quote now.

What is mortgage protection insurance?

Your home is the heart of your family. But life is unpredictable, and sometimes things happen that we never see coming. 

With this insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your family can stay in their home, even during difficult times. So take care of your family's future and protect the ones you love with mortgage protection insurance.

Find out more about mortgage protection insurance.

Get protected by experts

Our critical illness cover is provided by Scottish Widows. They're a part of Lloyds Banking Group, like us. Scottish Widows are our life insurance experts, and they've been protecting what matters most for over 200 years.

Here are a few reasons why they could be the right choice to protect you and your loved ones:

Get protected by experts

Our critical illness cover is provided by Scottish Widows. They're a part of Lloyds Banking Group, like us. Scottish Widows are our life insurance experts, and they've been protecting what matters most for over 200 years.

Here are a few reasons why they could be the right choice to protect you and your loved ones:

98% of claims paid out

Scottish Widows paid out 98% of claims in 2022. That’s £199m in total.

Support when you need it

Scottish Widows works closely with partners like Macmillan cancer support.

Over 200 years of experience

Scottish Widows has been protecting customers for over 200 years. So you’re in safe hands.

Scottish Widows protection products have no cash-in value at any time. So if the policy ends without a claim, you won't get any money back. If you don't make payments on time, your cover will stop, your policy will end and you'll get nothing back.

 

Need to speak to someone?

Cavendish Online is here to help find the cover that is right for you.

Like us they are part of Lloyds Banking Group. They'll give you guidance on Scottish Widows life insurance and/or critical illness policies.

Trustpilot rate them as 'Excellent' 4.9/5.

They won't charge you for their guidance and you do not need to take the product as a result of speaking to them.

Call: 0800 131 0299

Lines are open Monday to Thursday 10am -7pm, Friday 10am- 6pm.

Or request a call back at a time that suits you.

Request a call back 

Scottish Widows works closely with partners like Macmillan. They help make sure our customers get the right help, at the right time. 

So if you're diagnosed with a critical illness and need to make a claim, they can put you in touch with one of our partners, if that would be helpful. They can provide a bit of extra support, when you need it most.

Did you know?

Our critical illness cover includes an early-stage cancer payment of £5,000. This is on top of the agreed lump sum.

One of our customers Patricia, 47 said:

“I couldn't get an online appointment. I had to go with a private healthcare provider, who did an ultrasound. And that's when I was told I had thyroid cancer. The diagnosis was a real shock.”

“I'm planning to use my claim to pay for my course of treatment privately.”

What is Life insurance?

Life insurance pays out a cash lump sum if you die before your policy ends. It can act like a safety net and could help your loved ones cope financially when you can’t be there.

When you apply for critical illness cover, you can add life insurance. They're separate policies and cover you for different things, but you can buy them together.

Because they are separate, a successful critical illness claim won’t affect your life insurance policy. This will still pay out if you pass away during the policy term.

Learn more about life insurance.

Ready to get a quote

Get a quote and decision in under 10 minutes. Simply sign in to Online Banking or use your Mobile Banking app.  Just look for ‘critical illness’ in the product menu to start.

Get your quote now Get your quote now.

Existing customer support

Do you need help with your existing policy?

If you already have an existing critical illness cover policy and need further support, such as:

  • How to update my details
  • Changing payment date.

Visit our dedicated page for further support.

 

 

Help for existing customers Help for existing customers

Do you need to make a critical illness cover claim?

Scottish Widows will do all they can to make sure they handle your claim as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Visit our dedicated page to find:

  • What you’ll need to make a claim
  • How you can contact us
  • What you will need to send
  • Further help and support.
Make a critical illness claim Make a critical illness cover claim

Your questions answered

  •  

    This kind of cover could pay out a cash lump sum if diagnosed with an illness, covered by your policy before it ends. It's designed to help you and your loved ones meet day-to-day costs. This can let you focus on your own health and wellbeing.

    You’ll choose the size of the cash lump sum that will get paid out when you make a successful claim. You’ll also choose how long you want cover for.

    You’ll pay a fixed amount each month by direct debit, until your policy ends. Your policy doesn’t have a cash-in value. This means that if it ends without a successful claim, then you won’t get the money back.

  •  

    Scottish Widows might not be able to help if you have a pre-existing condition. But if they can't offer you a policy, they'll let you know how to get more help or advice.

  •  

    We want to make sure you get the help you need.

    To get advice about critical illness cover, contact Cavendish Online. They can help find cover that’s right for you and your loved ones.

    Cavendish Online won't charge you for their advice, and you're under no obligation when you speak to them.

    Call Cavendish Online on:

    0800 131 0004

    Lines are open Monday to Thursday 9am - 7pm, Friday 9am - 6pm.

    Cavendish Online is a part of Lloyds Banking Group.

    They'll give you advice on Scottish Widows protection products.

  •  

    Life insurance costs vary according to how much cover you need, your age, and other factors such as your health history.

  •  

    No. Your policy only pays out if you make a successful claim. If your policy ends without a successful claim, then your cover will end, and you won’t get any money back.

    Make sure you pay each month on time, or your cover could stop.