Lime Insurance Review

6 min Read Published: 20 Jun 2022

Lime insurance reviewLime insurance provides insurance policies that offer specific top-ups to public healthcare including a payout for cancer, speedy diagnostics and mental health support. The idea of mixing and matching specific health insurance benefits that have no excess to pay if you claim can be appealing and Lime's offering is unique in this sense. In this article, we review the health insurance policies available through Lime Insurance and how these work.

Lime overview

Lime insurance launched in 2019 as an online introducer for health insurance products that help to supplement public healthcare. The aim was to provide simple affordable top-ups to provide policyholders with access to specific health insurance options.

Lime insurance is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The company is an online arranger and administrator for three health insurance products that cover specific health circumstances including cancer, mental health and diagnostics.

Lime insurance policies are underwritten and backed by Aviva, Lloyds of London and CVStarr.

Lime policy summary

The three main products available through Lime insurance are Cancer Essentials, Mind-matters and Rapid-Diagnostics. Below are the summary details for each type of policy.

Cancer Essentials policy summary

Type of insurance Cancer Essentials
Main benefits £5,000 lump sum payout on diagnosis of cancer

Access to £100,000 towards recommended cancer drugs that are unavailable through the NHS

Cancer helpline support from trained nurses providing information, guidance and access to a second medical opinion if needed

Policy term Annually renewable contract
Min age at entry 18
Max age at expiry 70
Qualifying rules The policy is not available for persons who have received a cancer diagnosis in the last 10 years

Policyholders must be UK resident

Payment options Monthly by debit or credit card
Policy provider Underwritten by Aviva
Exclusions Non-melanoma skin cancer unless it has spread to lymph nodes or organs

Prostate cancer unless active treatment has been recommended by an NHS specialist

Cancellation 14 day cancellation period from the start of the policy and you can cancel the contract at any time using Lime's online portal

Rapid Diagnostics policy summary

Type of insurance Rapid Diagnostics
Main benefits Access to diagnostic testing within 48 hours of a GP referral

Access to a virtual GP service to make the referral for diagnostic testing

Policy term Annually renewable contract
Policy limitations Diagnostics benefit allowance is capped at - £2,250 in years 1 and 2; £3,000 in years 3 and 4 & £3,750 from year 5 onwards

Diagnostic tests included are MRI or MRI with contrast (1-3 areas), ECG, EECG, CT o CT with contrast (1-3 areas) & ultrasound (1-3 areas)

Min age at entry 18
Max age at expiry 70
Qualifying rules There is a 60 day waiting period from the outset to when you can start making claims.

Policyholders must be UK resident

Payment options Monthly by debit or credit card
Exclusions Emergency service

Covid-19 tests/treatment


Minor health conditions

Diagnostic tests after an initial diagnosis

Sports-related testing for professional sportspeople

Routine and specialist blood screening

Customers with a cardiac pacemaker

Cancellation 14 day cancellation period from the start of the policy and you can cancel the contract at any time using Lime's online portal

Mind-Matters policy summary

Type of insurance Mind-Matters
Main benefits Access to a 24/7 helpdesk for mental health support

Access to a 24/7 helpdesk to assist with matters relating to law, debt, family, physical health and bereavement

Access to a library of resources for self-help

Online cognitive behavioural therapy course

Up to 6 sessions of counselling with the same counsellor when referred by the mental health support helpdesk

25% discount for the first local face-to-face therapy session (only available with the Resolve package)

Policy term Annually renewable contract with no minimum term
Min age at entry 18
Max at expiry 70
Qualifying rules UK citizen or UK domicile

Members can use the service on behalf of family, friends or colleagues including children

Payment options Monthly by debit or credit card
Exclusions Long-term or serious mental health issues which require longer-term more in-depth therapy e.g. Family therapy, gender issues, abuse, addiction such as gambling/alcohol/drugs

More complex issues e.g. complex bereavement/loss, court cases, psychological or physical injuries, trauma (recent or previous)

Individuals already receiving counselling/psychological support from another practitioner

Cancellation 14 day cancellation period from the start of the policy and you can cancel the contract at any time using Lime's online portal

How much does Lime Insurance cost?

Each health insurance policy arranged through Lime Insurance is designed to be low-cost with a view to customers being able to choose the specific policies they need to create a group of health support products based on their needs and concerns.

Monthly premium for Cancer Essentials

Age Cancer Essentials monthly premium for a non-smoker Cancer Essentials monthly premium for a smoker
20 £1.22 £1.69
30 £1.79 £2.48
40 £3.17 £4.40
50 £5.90 £8.18

Monthly premium for Rapid Diagnostics

Age Rapid Diagnostics monthly premium* for a non-smoker Rapid Diagnostics monthly premium* for a smoker
20 £11.00 £19.80
30 £12.30 £23.31
40 £15.61 £28.09
50 £17.07 £30.72

*the monthly premium is subject to your postcode and may vary

Monthly premium for Mind-Matters

Age Monthly premium for Mind-Matters without pre-booked telephone counselling Monthly premiums for Mind-Matters with pre-booked telephone counselling
All ages £3.00 £4.00

Best way to buy Lime insurance

The policies arranged through Lime insurance can be bought directly through Lime via its website. It is easy to use and allows you to purchase the products that you want and create an online account so that you can access each policy through its portal.

There are no call centres and so you will not be able to speak to someone if you require assistance when purchasing online. Lime claims this reduces the costs of the insurance services you buy and customers are welcome to email Lime with any queries and they should receive a response within 48 hours.

Lime insurance alternatives

Although the Lime offering seems unique, the benefits within each type of policy are available with other insurance products available in the market. We take a look at these alternatives below.

Health insurance / Private medical insurance

Lime insurance provides access to some specifically targeted health insurance policies, the benefits of which are usually included within traditional health insurance policies. The key difference is that traditional health insurance is designed to provide you with most of the separate benefits within one policy. There is usually no option to remove the benefits that you feel you don't need in order to reduce the price meaning you may end up paying more than you need to.

Life insurance / Critical illness insurance / Sick pay insurance

In a bid to add value to sickness and life insurance policies, many insurance companies offer access to virtual GP services, mental health support and access to second medical opinions. These are often additional features of a policy that is mainly designed to pay a financial sum to the policyholder in the event of death or illness. Insurance companies often offer these additional features at no extra cost because policyholders are often less likely to make a claim for illness or death as a result of using the services. Both the insurance company and the policyholder benefit from this provision.

You can read more about sick pay insurance in our article, "Which are the best private sick pay schemes?" and you can read more about critical illness insurance in our article, "Critical illness insurance - what is it and is it worth having?"

It is worth mentioning that a number of the benefits offered through Lime insurance's Cancer Essentials, Mind-Matters and Rapid Diagnostics are more comprehensive than those available with other personal insurances and you could gain more value from buying them as opposed to relying on some added features within your life insurance, critical illness or sick pay insurance policy.

Lime insurance for employees

Lime insurance provides Lime OnCall - a product that can be bought by employers looking to provide a health support to employees. It includes a service called 'Fast Answers' which provides access to rapid medical advice. This initial phone service can also direct employees to specific services to meet their health needs including mental health, cancer support, women's health, physio and children's health.

OnCall services will include:

  • Mental health support – provided by Mind-Matters to help improve wellbeing and build day-to-day resilience
  • Physio – access to digital and face-to-face physiotherapy support
  • Women’s health –instant virtual access to a specialist in women’s health
  • Pregnancy – instant virtual access to a specialist in pregnancy health
  • Child health –instant virtual access to a specialist in children’s health
  • Men’s health –instant virtual access to a specialist in men’s health
  • Cancer cash – a lump sum and access to support services following a cancer diagnosis
  • Diagnostic tests – fast access to diagnostic tests
  • Skin health –instant virtual access to a specialist in skin health
  • Surgical support - pre and post operation coaching

Lime insurance summary

Due to the continued strains on the public health service in the UK, more and more people are looking for ways to ensure that they have access to speedy diagnostics, mental health support and drugs not provided by the NHS. Although these services exist within public healthcare, the waiting times can be a source of frustration and recovery times can be longer.

Being able to access diagnostic tests and screenings within a matter of days can reduce stress and anxiety amongst those who would otherwise need to wait weeks or even months to be seen on the NHS. Engaging mental health support 24/7 from the privacy and comfort of your home at a time of your choice can also reduce the chance of things building up and turning into a larger issue to handle. Lastly, cancer is likely to affect one in two people before the age of 65 and a £5,000 payout upon diagnosis could keep the bills going during a difficult period and access to a trained nurse can also be useful. However, critical illness and sick pay insurance can provide more comprehensive benefits in respect of cancers and can pay out a larger sum of money to ease the financial stress caused by time off work and paying everyday bills so it is worth considering these too.