Critical illness cover – Part II

This is part II of the article, Critical illness cover – Part I, Please read the first part of the article before continuing with this part.

If you've decided to take CIC:
• It's essential that you give full, honest answers to questions you are asked about both your own and family medical history. Giving incomplete or wrong information could invalidate your policy and any claim you make on it.
• If you are not sure, it is better to mention things. Otherwise the policy may not pay out when you need it.
• Many insurers will allow you to send medical information directly to their Medical Officer, so if you do not want to discuss personal or sensitive information with the sales adviser, ask about this option.
• Bear in mind that the premium the salesperson quotes to you is only an estimate. The insurer will confirm the actual premium, and the terms, after it has considered your medical history.
• Make sure you understand what the policy covers, when it will pay out and when it will not.
• Read the documents given to you and ask questions if you don't understand anything.
• Remember CIC only pays a lump sum. If you want insurance to cover lost income or your mortgage repayments, ask if there are other types of insurance that might be more suitable for your circumstances.
• Most Important point, YOU AND ONLY YOU should decide what is right for you and buy the cover accordingly.

Other important information
I already have CIC but want to change my mortgage and increase the cover. Should I cancel my existing policy and take out a new one?
You might find that by replacing a policy you lose some of the benefits if you have developed any illnesses since you took out the first policy. Pre–existing conditions may not be covered under the new policy. You may be able to get cheaper cover if you switch to another company but the cover might not be as good.
So think very carefully before you replace or switch your policy.
Some policies allow you to increase your cover – particularly after lifestyle changes such as marriage, moving home or having children. Ask your insurance company or financial adviser for information.
If you cannot increase the cover under your existing policy you could consider taking out a new policy just to 'top up' your existing cover.
Can I cancel the policy if I change my mind or I'm not happy with cover it provides?
You can cancel within 30 days of taking out the policy and get your money back – provided you have not made a claim. After that, you can still cancel the policy at any time under most contracts, but you may not be entitled to a refund of the premiums you have paid. Your cancellation rights should also be set out in the keyfacts document.

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