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The power of children's critical illness insurance

09 March 2020

Adding children to an adult’s life and critical illness policy has never been simpler – and the benefits can be huge…

Parent and child

Discussing critical illness with clients is rarely an enjoyable part of the job, but at least it can be fairly straightforward.

You may ask them to consider what life would be like if they were diagnosed with a serious illness.

You may explain that they would probably want to begin by getting the family together to explain what was going on, that they would start spending time in hospital, and that they may also need to take some time off work.

It’s difficult to know, you may say, what the financial impact of all this would be for them and those who depend on them.

Finally, you may suggest that, while it’s hard enough knowing what life would be like if they were diagnosed with a critical illness, it is also extremely difficult to imagine their child falling seriously ill.

Children’s benefit

For a while now, it has been possible to add children to an adult’s life and critical illness policy, for an additional premium.

Though children’s benefit is not new, adding it to an adult policy, from as young as birth, has never been simpler.

Children’s critical illness hasn’t always been considered a key benefit of critical illness policies, but it is proving to be extremely important to some families. In 2018 alone, Zurich paid out more than £600,000 in claims for children, with cancer being the most common cause.

With Zurich, adding children’s benefit to a critical illness policy – whether they’re natural, step or adopted children – means they will be covered for up to £25,000 for the same conditions the adult is covered for, from birth until their 22nd birthday.

On an ‘enhanced’ policy – called Zurich Select – cover extends to further conditions and even to a handful of child-specific conditions, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.

And if your client has enhanced children’s benefit, Zurich will also include a benefit uplift. This doubles the amount Zurich pays out, up to a maximum of £50,000, if your client’s child is diagnosed with cancer (excluding less advanced cases) or if they require overseas treatment for any of the covered conditions.

Finally, from the moment they are 16, the child can also take out a policy of their own – for the same sum assured – free of underwriting.

Children’s CI: A case study

Mr and Mrs Dunn each had life and critical illness plans, both with a sum assured of £296k.

The couple had two children and were expecting a third so, after a conversation with their adviser, it was an easy decision for them to add children’s cover to each of their policies, particularly as both Mr and Mrs Dunn had a family history of serious illness.

When Sam was born, the Dunns were thrilled. Everything seemed fine for the first few weeks, but then Sam developed bronchiolitis, a fairly common respiratory tract infection.

Though things seemed to clear up, Sam later began to have difficulty breathing, and he was taken to A&E. A chest x-ray showed a collapsed lung and enlarged heart, and Sam ultimately underwent surgery.

Mr Dunn notified his and his wife’s insurer of what had happened to Sam, and made a claim under their life and critical illness policies, for children’s critical illness.

Their insurer confirmed Sam’s condition and subsequent treatment met its heart surgery definition and agreed to pay the claim under both policies.

A little over a month later, with Sam having completed his surgery and back at home recovering, the Dunns received a total payout of £50,000.

This is a fictional case study.

Zurich Assurance Ltd, authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England and Wales under company number 02456671. Registered Office: The Grange, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 8XX.