Can you get critical illness insurance that covers children?

3 min Read Published: 10 Sep 2023

Children's Critical Illness InsuranceAs much as we might not want to consider our own, much less, our children's risks of being diagnosed with serious illnesses, we can't get away from the statistics. Children's cancer incidence has increased by 24% since the 90's and over 4,000 children under the age of 16 need heart surgery every year. Stories of families fundraising to support a child who has become seriously ill flood our social media timelines and raise our fears of finding ourselves in similar situations.

Children's critical illness insurance should be an important part of any parent or guardian's personal insurance considerations and so we take a look at how the insurance works and reasons why you should consider it as part of your family cover.

What is Children's Critical Illness cover?

Children's critical illness cover pays out a tax-free lump sum of money if a child is diagnosed with an illness covered by the policy. It is often included in or added to a critical illness policy that covers the parent or guardian. Most policies cover a child for the same illnesses that the adult would be covered for and many include child-specific illnesses too. The amounts paid out by insurance companies do vary depending on the diagnosed illness and the sum that you choose to insure. There are policies that will allow your child to continue their own adult cover once they pass the maximum age to which they can be covered under a parent's policy.

How does Children's Critical Illness cover work?

Children's critical illness claims are amongst the top 10 reasons for a claim against a critical illness insurance policy for most insurers and in fact features in the top 5 for some. Nobody wishes to find themselves in a situation where their child is seriously ill but the emotional hardship that this brings can be hugely worsened by the financial hardship that may follow.

Reasons for adding Children's Critical Illness insurance

  • Replace income that you might lose through taking time off work to care for your sick child
  • Pay for private healthcare to treat your sick child
  • Fund the cost of travel and accommodation if your child's treatment has to take place out of area
  • Pay for childcare for your other children while you focus on your sick child
  • Fund the cost of adapting your home to suit the needs of your child during or after treatment

Things to consider when adding Children's Critical Illness insurance to your own critical illness policy

Including a children's critical illness cover with yours can add a lot of value and some insurance companies give you enhanced options in this area that you have to select at outset. If you don't have children but have plans for them, do check that your children can be added to the policy or that they will be automatically included in the future. Also, look out for the age limits for children as well as what is classed as a child. Children born of you or adopted by you are covered by most policies but some go further by also recognising that you may live with a child who depends on you financially but you're not their legal guardian. This might be a useful distinction to look out for if you are in this situation. The options can be difficult to navigate so it is, definitely useful to seek some guidance from a specialist critical illness insurance adviser to make sure you get the best value cover. We explain more about who you should use later in this article.

What illnesses are covered by a Children's Critical Illness insurance?

Below are a sample of illnesses taken from claims statistics showing the highest number of claims against this type of policy.

Children's Illnesses Covered by Critical Illness Insurance
Open Heart Surgery
Total & Permanent Disability
Major Organ Transplant
Bacterial Meningitis

How to arrange Children's Critical Illness Insurance

Children's critical illness insurance is as varied as the adult insurance that it comes with and some insurers provide more comprehensive policies than others. Like anything else, cost has to be balanced with the quality and relevance of the insurance for you and your family. The subtle differences between policies that can have a very important impact in the event of a claim, which may not be immediately apparent if you search online. For this reason, we would recommend that you engage with a specialist adviser to find the best price and policy.

LifeSearch* is a specialist when it comes to critical illness insurance and their advisers will talk through your personal circumstances, needs and budget for the insurance before recommending the best solutions from across the whole market. Getting independent advice is crucial as their specially trained advisers will be able to make a recommendation to fit your unique requirements. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an adviser, simply complete this form*. Additionally, as a Money to the Masses reader, you will also receive up to £100 cashback for arranging your policy with LifeSearch.


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