Critical Illness Insurance


Critical Illness is a relatively new insurance product, first introduced in South Africa in 1983.  With this type of insurance, the Insurer will make a lump sum cash payment in the event a policyholder is diagnosed with one of the illnesses insured under the policy.  The illnesses covered under the policy can vary depending on the type of policy and/or Insurer, though many of the claim definitions have been standardized.  The policy may also have a survival period of a certain number of days before a claim will be paid out.  The lump sum cash payment can be used at the policyholders discretion, including covering the costs of medical treatment, taking family on a vacation, or covering final expenses.

Some of the most common conditions that are covered by a Critical Illness insurance policy include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Blindness/Deafness
  • Kidney Failure
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Paralysis of a Limb
  • Terminal Illness

There are two different types of Critical Illness policies, Term CI and Permanent CI.  With Term CI, the policy is in force for a specified period of time (usually 10 years), and then can be renewed for an increased premium.  With Permanent CI the policy remains in force and will not expire, unless the policyholder defaults on their payment of policy premiums.  There are also several optional coverages that can be added to a Critical Illness policy, including:

  • Return of Premium (ROP): If no claim is made, the policyholder can request a return of premium after meeting a minimum required time period.
  • Return of Premium on Death (ROPD): A return of premium is made to the Estate on death of the insured.
  • Second Event: If there is a second Critical Illness, a payment of 50% of the policy benefit amount will be paid.
  • Waiver of Premium: Policy premiums are waived in the event of a disability.

If you have any questions regarding Critical Illness insurance, or if you would like to learn more and obtain a quote, please do not hesitate to contact our Financial Advisor, Lloyd Keating.


Thank you,

The Costen & Associates Team