Colleen talks up the merits of Serious illness cover.. You are gonna want to read this one..

"Serious or critical illness cover will provide you a tax free lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. But only if you have it..."

It can often be confused with income protection. Serious illness cover will provide a lump sum as opposed to income protection which provides a salary (usually 75% of your wage less social welfare benefit) until you return to work.

Most of us are guilty of taking our health for granted.

While we often believe, it won’t happen to us, the reality is that people throughout Ireland are affected by unexpected illness every day.

With our busy lifestyles, many of us are guilty of procrastinating with things like “I don’t have the time”, or a common misconception that it’s “too expensive”. However, the seriousness of the need for this cover lies in the startling facts.

1 in every 4 people will be diagnosed with a serious illness at some stage of their lives, that’s 1 in every 2 couples will at some point suffer with a serious illness and we don’t have to be elderly for this to happen. In fact, the most common age of claimant’s rages between 40-50, 40% of claims are to people under 50 years of age.


Breast cancer is the number 1 cause of claims in females. 75% of claims paid are for cancer,heart attack,stroke

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We really need to prioritise, our health should be our main concern. No matter how well you may think you look after yourself a serious illness can happen to anyone at any time.

We protect other assets, we insure our car, we take out house insurance and mortgage protection, most likely because we are obliged to, but did you know you are 5 times more likely to suffer a serious illness than you are to die during the term of your mortgage.

We need to wake up to the fact that our health is the biggest and most important asset of all and we need to protect it as far as possible.

Many of us believe serious illness cover can be very expensive but on the other hand we have a great ability to factor in other expensive items like the cost of a new car, or several holidays per year into our budgets. Serious illness cover does not need to be expensive, for example, a 30-year-old male non-smoker could get €100,000 serious illness cover for €25 per month. If you think about how much you currently pay for the life cover on your mortgage multiply that by about 3.5 times and you are in the ballpark as to how much your cover will cost.

An example of the type of illnesses that are covered are cancer, heart attack and stroke.

Looking at 2015 & 2016 claims stats, 75% of female claims were for cancer, (typically breast and ovarian) 85% of male claims were for heart related conditions. In fact, a man is 6 times more likely to claim for a heart related condition than a woman is.

Today, most companies will cover about 40 illnesses, however cancer, heart attack and strokes still make up 75% of all claims.

The average pay out across the industry is approximately €90,000. Statistically, you are more likely to recover and return to work if you have cover and receive a serious illness pay out.

Irish Cancer and Heart Related claim stats 2011 - 2015

Summary of 2016 serious illness claim statistics


Average age of claimant
Youngest claimant (excluding children’s claims)
Average Pay-out
New Ireland 52 27 €69,900
Aviva 46 27 €94,850
Royal London 41 33 €155,000
Zurich 50 27 €82,000
Friends First 48 23 €77,400
Irish Life 52 31 €62,250

Across all 6 companies it was found most females would claim in their early to mid-40’s and male claims were mid / late 40’s, early 50’s.

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