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Serious illness cover

Cover that’s more likely to pay out than any other insurer (Defaqto, 2021). Plus, with a qualifying plan you could get the Apple Watch® Series 6 deal.

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What is serious illness cover?

If you're diagnosed with a serious illness we cover, serious illness cover pays out a lump sum. The payout is tax-free and can cover your expenses while you take time to recover.

How much cover do I need?

Call us on 0161 216 7595 to speak to an adviser, oget a quote.

How does serious illness cover work?

For the duration of your plan, you'll pay monthly premiums. If you're diagnosed with one of the conditions we cover, you'll get a payout. 

Our cover pays out based on the impact that the condition has on your lifestyle. This means you could receive a payout at an earlier stage of your illness, even if it’s not life threatening. We’ll pay out 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 15%, 10% or 5% of your cover depending on the severity of your condition. 

Should your condition get worse, or you suffer with another condition, you can claim again. You can keep doing this until you’ve used up your whole cover amount.

What conditions are covered?

Typical critical illness insurance policies cover 75 conditions (Defaqto, 2021). Our serious illness cover plus covers 182. These include:

✓ All heart attacks
✓ All strokes
✓ More cancers than any other provider
✓ Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
✓ Liver disease
✓ Dementia
✓ Coronary artery by-pass surgery
✓ Kidney failure
✓ Major organ transplant
✓ Multiple sclerosis.

Do I need serious illness cover?

Illness can impact our lives at any time. On average, people are £570 worse off each month due to cancer diagnosis (Macmillan Cancer Support Research, 2017). Insurance cover can reduce the financial impact of this. Consider serious illness cover if:
  • You and your family rely on your income
  • You're a single income household, or are the main breadwinner
  • Government benefits wouldn't cover your outgoings, or you're not eligible.

How is Vitality's cover different to critical illness cover?

Vitality's Critical Illness Cover is rated 5-star by Defaqto

  • More conditions covered

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    It covers all strokes, all heart attacks, and more cancers than any other insurer.

  • More likely to get a payout

    Financial care icon

    You’re more likely to get a payout than any other insurer.

  • Discounts and rewards

    Rewards icon

    Get discounts on Vitality partners and be rewarded for healthy living.

  • You're covered for later life

    older person with walking stick

    We’ll cover you in later life for conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer's.

Casper's story

"This is literally every parents’ worst nightmare"

When Casper was five months old, his parent's world turned upside down. He was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and needed to undergo treatment. Emma, his mother, had taken out serious illness cover for her children two months prior. Because of the payout, Emma could take an extra six months out of work while Casper recovered. Here’s Casper and his family’s story.
Athos’ story

“I looked at myself as bulletproof”

Athos is a keen runner. In fact, he’s run 12 ultramarathons.

But when he developed sore lungs and often became out of breath, his family started to worry. Athos was then diagnosed with a serious heart condition and needed a triple heart bypass.

Through his Vitality serious illness cover, he received a lump sum payout. This helped him and his family’s finances while he recovered.

Here’s his story and how he got his life back.
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How much cover do I need?

Call us on 01619742513 to speak to an adviser.

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Serious illness cover and critical illness cover FAQs

You can choose a cover amount of between £15,000 and £100,000 for your children. If your child gets diagnosed with one of the illnesses we cover, we give you a cash lump sum. Your child is covered from one month old. If they stay in full-time education, we’ll cover them until the plan anniversary after their 23rd birthday. Your cover will include a children's hospital benefit that pays £100 a day if your child goes to hospital.
Life insurance pays a lump sum to your loved ones if you die or develop a terminal illness.

With serious illness cover, if you’re diagnosed with an illness we cover, the payment goes to you.
Most insurers will pay out 100% of the cover amount and then stop your plan. So if you need to claim again, you're not covered. It could be expensive – or impossible – for you to buy the same amount of cover again.

Even after you make a claim, our plans can protect you because we let you claim more than once. You won't get your whole lump sum if you don’t need it. So, if you claim for a condition that’s less severe, we pay out part of the cover amount for that condition. This leaves you the rest to keep protected in the future. 
Vitality’s cover protects you for:
  • Advanced Cancer
  • Advanced Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Advanced Hodgkin’s disease
  • Advanced Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Borderline Ovarian Cancer
  • Cancer excluding less advanced cases
  • Carcinoma in-situ
  • Carcinoma in-situ - treated with surgery to remove the tumour
  • Carcinoma in-situ of the Oesophagus, requiring surgery
  • Desmoid-type fibromatosis
  • Low Grade Prostate Cancer
  • Lumpectomy for Ductal Carcinoma in-situ of the Breast
  • Mastectomy for Carcinoma in-situ of the Breast
  • Moderately Severe Aplastic Anaemia
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Non Melanoma Skin Cancer
  • Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Carcinomas of specified severity
  • Severe Aplastic Anaemia
See all conditions covered
  • You’re more likely to get a payout
  • Peace of mind for you and your family if you become ill
  • Claim more than once
There's no 'one size fits all' for what a good amount of cover is. The amount of serious illness cover you will need depends on many variables. Consider things like:
  • How much you and your family need to get by
  • Mortgage payments
  • Any savings you already have
  • Any ongoing debts
It’s because serious illness cover covers all other conditions in the market (Defaqto 2019).

We also cover early stages of certain conditions. In some cases, you will get a partial payout when you are diagnosed. This means you don't need to wait until you have surgery or develop permanent symptoms to get a payout.
Critical illness cover pays out for a smaller number of conditions, and will end once the plan has paid out in full.

Serious illness cover pays out an amount based on the severity of the condition. It covers a wider number of conditions and can pay out earlier than Critical illness cover.

Take eyesight for example. Critical Illness insurers will typically pay out in full on blindness in both eyes, and the plan will end. Serious illness cover will pay out part of the cover earlier on for blindness in one eye. We'll increase your payout as the condition progresses.

Relevant guides and articles

  • Serious and critical illness cover

    Serious and critical illness cover pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious condition. The condition may not be life threatening, but it still impacts your life.

  • Life insurance for cancer patients

    Read our comprehensive guide to getting life insurance as a cancer survivor and how to make a claim after a diagnosis.

  • Life insurance and beneficiaries

    What is a life insurance beneficiary? Find out everything you need to know about beneficiaries, putting life insurance into a trust, and more, in this guide.


3Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2017 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association. 
4State of the Nation Stroke statistics, February 2018. 
5Cancer Research UK, 2017.