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Serious Illness Cover

  • Protect yourself from more conditions than any other insurer*
  • Claim more than once
  • Extend your plan to cover later-life conditions, like dementia

*Defaqto verified Serious Illness Cover comparison tool, 2023

We cover more conditions than any other insurer

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What is serious illness cover?

It gives you a tax-free payout if you're affected by a serious illness, like cancer.

Other companies call it critical illness cover. We call it Serious Illness Cover, because not every serious illness is critical.

So we cover more illnesses - not just cancer, but less severe conditions like kidney disease and losing sight in one eye, too. And it covers the widest number of conditions in the market - up to 174 - including some unique to Vitality.1

Get more than Critical illness cover

We protect you for more and keep you covered longer

Protection for more conditions

Up to 174 conditions, including many only we cover, like pulmonary embolism, rheumatoid arthritis (on diagnosis) and  inflammatory bowel disease (without the requirement for surgery)

Claim more than once

Get up to three times your level of cover, so you’re not left uninsured and uninsurable after your first claim

More likely to pay out

Because we also cover less serious conditions - 1 in 13 of Serious Illness Cover claims paid on plans that had already made a claim2

Later life cover

Keep ahead of later life conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s and frailty, included as standard on qualifying plans

Guarantee your cover amount

You could also add on indexation. This makes sure your cover keeps its value, so it's worth the same in the future

Stay active, earn rewards

Get savings and rewards on top brands to help you get healthy

What does your plan include?

We cover more conditions in full than any other insurer.[3]

In your plan

Our standard level Serious Illness Cover gives great cover for a wide range of illnesses.

  • 114 conditions covered
  • Each claim pays out 25% to 100% of your cover amount
  • You can claim again, if you get another illness, up to the 100% cover amount
  • Pays out earlier for less severe illnesses
  • Dementia and FrailCare Cover conversion included as standard

Want to boost your cover?

Cover even more conditions by upgrading to our other serious illness plans.

  • Cover up to 174 conditions
  • Make claims for up to 3 times the cover amount
  • 100% payouts for more conditions than any other insurer1
  • More likely to payout than any other insurer and covers every condition in the market3

You can only upgrade your cover through your financial adviser.

Cover for all ages and life stages

We can help you stay covered in your later life. And look after your children now

Keep ahead of later life conditions

Dementia, Alzheimer’s and frailty, included as standard on qualifying plans

How it works:

  1. Your Serious Illness Cover term ends
  2. Any remaining cover will be converted to Dementia and FrailCare Cover,
  3. Continue to pay your premiums

The good news is, you won’t need to answer any new health questions and can cancel at any time.

As with Serious Illness Cover, how much we pay is based on the severity of your condition.

Find out how we'll support you in later life.

Child Serious Illness Cover

The widest cover for children in the market*

How it works:

  • Standalone option - add up to £100,000 of cover to any adult plan.
  • Multiple claims available - claim more than once for less severe conditions.
  • Covers a wide range of conditions from birth - pays out £5,000 for congenital conditions and children’s funeral contribution.
  • Protect all children - includes all children as standard from birth.
  • Rewards for the whole family - getup to four cinema tickets, per family, per month**. Plus, discounted activity trackers for kids at no extra cost.

You'll need to call our team if you want child serious illness cover added to your plan.

*More conditions covered than any other provider, Defaqto, 2023
**Qualifying plans, minimum premiums and terms and conditions apply.


What conditions are covered?

On average, critical illness insurance policies only cover 75 conditions (Defaqto, 2023). Our serious illness cover covers 114, including:

  • All heart attacks
  • All strokes
  • More cancers than any other insurer (Defaqto, 2023)
  • All neurological diseases
  • Breathing and respiratory diseases
  • Stomach and intestine diseases
  • Kidney diseases
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Eyesight and hearing conditions
  • Endocrine gland diseases
  • Permanent disability.

Keep ahead of later life conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s and frailty, conversion included as standard on qualifying plans.

See all conditions covered

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Need more advice?

Our team are here to help you decide if this is the right cover for you. They'll give you qualified advice and recommendations. No obligation, no charge.

Call us on 0808 271 8355


Request a callback

Serious illness FAQs


  1. Defaqto verified statement, August 2022
  2. Vitality Claims and Benefits Report 2024
  3. Defaqto verified Serious Illness Cover comparison tool, 2023