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Serious Illness Cover

Covers you for nearly four times as many conditions as a typical critical illness policy*

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Five-star rated Serious Illness Cover

Critical illness can strike at any time. One in two people in the UK will develop some form of cancer during their lives1, every seven minutes someone will have a heart attack and every 12 minutes someone will have a stroke2.


Our Serious Illness Cover helps protect you financially if you fall ill with one of the 178 conditions we cover. We’ll pay you out a cash lump sum based on the severity of your condition – meaning that you can focus all your energies on making a full recovery.


Unlike typical critical illness cover, we pay out for the less severe conditions as well as the more critical ones. So if you get ill and need to claim, we’ll give you a percentage of your cover depending on how severe your condition is. This means that if a condition gets caught early on, we’ll pay you out a portion to alleviate the stress, but you’ll also have the rest of your cover should you need to claim again and again.

 Critical illness cover Defaqto rating 5 stars colour 2019

Compared to a typical Critical Illness Policy

Our Serious Illness Cover protects you for far more than typical critical illness cover.
  • You're up to three times more likely to get a payout with us8

  • 116% more likely to get a payout for cancer with us8

  • 34% more likely to get a payout for heart attack with us8

  • 25% more likely to get a payout for a stroke with us8

  • We cover nearly two times as many conditions7

  • We cover all heart attacks and strokes5

  • We cover more cancers than any other insurer5

  • We payout based on how severe your condition is

  • We cover the earlier stages of certain conditions

  • You can claim more than once if you have cover left

Explore our Serious Illness Cover

Frequently Asked Questions

How do severity-based payments work?

We pay out on the severity of your illness or disability meaning that you could receive a payout at an earlier stage or your illness, even if it’s not life threatening. There are seven levels of severity to determine how much money gets paid out when you need to make a claim.

Can I add children to my Serious Illness Cover?

Yes, you can choose a cover amount of between £20,000 and £100,000 for your children. If your child is diagnosed with one of the illnesses we cover, we give you a cash lump sum.

What illnesses are covered?

You can choose between Comprehensive Serious Illness Cover that covers you for 178 conditions or Primary Serious Illness Cover which covers you for 145 conditions. The typical critical illness policy only covers you for around 77 conditions6. Have a look at all the conditions we cover including heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Am I covered for heart attacks or stroke?

We define medical conditions in the same way as the medical profession. So, if your consultant or doctor diagnoses that you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, we pay out. The amount we pay depends on the severity of your condition, which means we can cover all types of heart attack and strokes. 

Dementia and FrailCare Cover - to help you with later life needs

Unlike any other provider our Serious Illness Cover offers a cover which could help you with later life care needs. 

Dementia and FrailCare Cover provide protection for conditions relevant to ageing, including dementia, Alzheimer's, stroke and frailty. It starts when your Serious Illness Cover term ends and is available with Vitality or Wellness Optimisers at no initial additional cost, you just continue to pay your premium when Dementia and FrailCare Cover begins. 

Dementia and FrailCare Cover is capped at £100,000 and applies to a minimum Serious Illness Cover term of 10 years and a maximum age of 60 at entry. 

Serious Illness Booster

Increase the amount of cover we payout beyond 100%.

Get extra help for the long term effects of serious illness.

Find out more

40% off monthly gym fees

Gym discount available at participating Virgin Active, Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing or David Lloyds Clubs. Minimum monthly premiums and terms and conditions apply. 

Having the right footwear is key to enjoy activity to the full and to prevent injury. That's why we also partner with Runners Need to offer 50% off a pair of running shoes. Offer applies to one pair of running shoes every year.


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1 Cancer Research UK, 2015

2 Heart UK, 2016

3 Available with Wellness Optimiser or Vitality Optimiser for an additional fee of £4.50 per month. Available at participating gyms in our Vitality Network. Applies to Flexible Individual Platinum membership at selected David Lloyd Clubs. This offer does not apply to the Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside Health and Racquet club.

Virgin Active joining fees are £50 for all clubs other than Classic Collection clubs, where joining fees are up to £75.

4 Offer applies to one pair of sport shoes every year.

The Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing discount is available at selected clubs. Applies to one month contracts. A joining fee of £30 will apply.
40% off Individual Flexible Platinum membership fees at selected David Lloyd Clubs. A joining fee of £60 will apply.

5 Defaqto verified Competitor Comparisons, Sep 2018

6 Defaqto September 2017.

7 The average number of conditions that typical critical illness policies cover is 48. Source: Defaqto, 2017

8 Hannover Re UK Life Branch February 2017

9 Defaqto verified, April 2018