Critical illness cover basics

Want to get to grips with critical illness cover? You're in the right place. Find cover that's right for you and your loved ones with our critical illness cover guides.


What is critical illness cover? 

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy before it ends. 

 

The money could help you and your loved ones meet day-to-day costs and let you focus on your own health and wellbeing.

Woman looking at her phone

Do I need critical illness cover?

Critical illness cover might be right for you if: 

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

How can critical illness cover help?

Think about how much you’d need to help you and your loved ones cope if you were too ill to work for an extended period. 

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.

How much cover do I need?

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

When you choose a policy, you can pick the amount of cover that's right for you and your loved ones, at a monthly cost that you can afford.

How long should I get cover for?

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

  • Your children turn 18 
  • Your mortgage is paid off
  • You reach state pension age.

Scottish Widows can offer cover from 5 to 40 years, up to age 69. If you’d like to find out more, watch this short video.

What does this policy cover?

Scottish Widows’ critical illness cover policy is called ‘Body Cover’.

Body Cover can help support you and your loved ones if you are diagnosed with a range of health conditions. You can find a list of conditions covered here (PDF, 40.2 KB).

How critical illness cover can help

It's important to check that your policy is right for you. Make sure that you and your loved ones will get the support you need in case the unexpected happens.

With critical illness cover you can:

  • Get a cash lump sum if you are 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 you make a claim
  • Change your policy after it has started
  • Keep your cover if you miss your monthly payments.

What kind of critical illness cover is best for me?

There are a few options to think about when you choose a critical illness cover policy. To help work out what kind is right for you, we've compared some common policies.


How do I make a critical illness cover claim? 

We want to make sure it’s as easy as possible to make a claim. Just get in touch with Scottish Widows and they'll help you through the rest. 

There are 3 simple steps to make a claim with Scottish Widows:

Get in touch

Start a claim online or just give Scottish Widows a call. Quick and easy.

Send in your documents

Scottish Widows will let you know what information to send and how.

Get support

You’ll get the support you need quickly, and you’ll be kept up to date at each stage of your claim.

Download our critical illness cover guides

Find out how critical illness cover can help you and your loved ones. These documents tell you how these policies work and what they cover.

Critical illness cover guide

Get a quick summary of all the info on this site, free for you to take away.

Critical illness cover policy summary

Find out more about what this policy covers and how it works.

Critical illness policy terms and conditions

Check the T&Cs to make sure this is the right cover for you.

Ready to get a quote? 

Halifax customers can get a quote through our Mobile Banking app. Get an answer in minutes – quick, easy and no fuss.

Get a quote