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Lots of adults now have critical illness insurance, but what about the children? If you were unfortunate enough for your child to develop a critical illness it is very likely that you would need considerable time off work and probably a great deal of extra help too.
If there are other children in the family, there will no doubt be child care costs to consider whilst you're attending to a very sick child.
Insurance cover for children can start as early as 3 months of age with some insurance companies, although you may have to wait until the child is three before cover starts with others.
Fortunately, with most policies, it's standard practice to include your children, but you need to check on this to make sure.
It is possible that your insurer will not offer this cover at all - National Westminster, Halifax and Nationwide Life being three of these.
If your insurers do cover your children within your policy, they will automatically cover all of them, so once the policy is in force there is no need to inform the insurer of the addition/s to your family.
Similarly when you start your family the child will be automatically included when he or she reaches the specified age.
Assuming you are covered, the way critical illness cover works for your child is that a tax free lump sum will be paid out if your child is diagnosed with a really serious illness.
This will need to be one included in the policy schedule.
There is a proviso that the child survives at least 4 weeks from the date of the illness being diagnosed.
The usual payment is a proportion of the total insured value.
If the insured total value is say £25,000, then Norwich Union, for instance, would pay out half of the insured sum or £10,000, whichever is the lower amount.
They include step-children and make no distinction for adopted children.
Standard Life and Legal and General are more generous, paying out up to 50%, but with a maximum payout of £25,000.
Legal and General are somewhere in between, at £15,000.
There is a difference in the way the insurance operates when it comes to children.
In the case of the main policyholder making a critical illness claim, the policy would pay out and would then be terminated.
It would not be possible to make a second claim.
Should there be a claim for a child, however, the cover will continue and the claim will have no effect on the policy of the main policyholder.
There are lots of advertisements via the internet for Critical Illness Insurance but because of the great variation in criteria it's so easy to get it wrong.
You're not dealing with standard insurance and if you make the decision on cost alone, you may not be getting the cover which is right for you and your family.
If you look at the insurer's websites they will just offer their own policies so you're not receiving comparative quotes.
It's probably unlikely that you'll get and discount from any of the High Street Brokers.
So where do you go? The best answer will be to use a specialist critical illness broker.
They'll offer a comprehensive service, search for, and find the right policy for you and offer a discount too.
You'll find them on the internet if you look for "Critical illness insurance".
It's worth it for your peace of mind.

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