What insurance covers heart attack?

6 min Read Published: 20 Jun 2022

What insurance covers heart attack?Heart attacks can be covered by a number of different insurance products which can provide help in a number of different ways. In this article, we will explain which insurances cover heart attacks and how they work.

Is heart attack covered under health insurance?

Yes, heart attacks are covered by health insurance policies. Health insurance provides the policyholder with access to private investigations and subsequent medical treatment if it is needed.

In reality, if someone was to suffer severe chest pains, it is likely that you would call the emergency services and end up in an NHS hospital. However, health insurance can provide access to private tests and investigations as well as treatment once the initial episode has taken place.

You'll find useful information to source health insurance in our article, "Which is the best private health insurance provider?"

If you have suffered ill health including a heart condition and wish to buy health insurance, you will want to find the best cover for your existing conditions. It is possible to be covered for pre-existing health conditions and you'll find useful information to guide you in our article, "Best health insurance with pre-existing conditions"

Will life insurance pay out for a heart attack?

Life insurance will usually pay out if death happens as a result of a heart attack. Life insurance rarely excludes death caused by specific illnesses. As long as you answered all the questions you were asked honestly when you applied for your life insurance, your claim should be successful.

If you suffer from a heart attack that doesn't lead to death, you may still be able to make a valid claim.

Terminal illness insurance is usually included with your life insurance. Anyone who has less than 12 months life expectancy is usually able to claim for terminal illness. This is an early death payout and if it is claimed there is no further payout when death actually happens.

Can I get life insurance after a heart attack?

Yes, it is possible to get life insurance after a heart attack. Life insurance for heart disease, heart failure and many other heart conditions is available subject to your specific health information and life insurance companies assess every person individually.

Typically, life insurance is available after a heart attack depending on:

  • The age you were when you had a heart attack
  • Whether you needed one or more stents fitted
  • Which heart vessels were affected
  • The symptoms you continue to suffer from if any
  • How well your symptoms are controlled
  • What medications or treatment you are receiving

Life insurance companies have different guidelines when deciding whether or not to cover a person with life insurance. Some may accept your life insurance application while other companies will decline it and some may provide life insurance but with an increased premium.

It can be extremely helpful to speak with a specialist life insurance adviser* to source the insurance company that is likely to give you the best decision.

You can also find more information in our article, "Best life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions"

If you have life insurance that you bought before you suffered ill health, you are not usually required to make your insurer aware of any change to your health. Your insurance should not be affected as long as you continue to make your payments.

In the UK there are more than 100,000 hospital admissions each year due to heart attacks: that's 280 admissions each day or one every five minutes.

source: The British Heart Foundation - www.bhf.org 

Does critical illness cover heart attack?

Yes, heart attacks are almost always covered by critical illness insurance. As long as you meet the definition detailed within your policy, you will be able to make a valid claim for, what is usually, a lump sum of money.

Critical illness insurance can be combined with life insurance so that the insurance provides a payout on either illness or death. You can also buy it as a standalone insurance policy. It pays out if you are diagnosed with any of the illnesses listed within the terms of the insurance.

You can use your payout in any way that you need. Often people use the money to pay for adaptations to their home, vehicle or lifestyle that may be required after suffering a heart attack. Others may choose to use the money to reduce debts including a mortgage or just bridge a gap in earnings caused by time off work while they recover.

To find out more about critical illness insurance and source the insurance experts that can help you read our article, "Critical illness insurance - what is it and is it worth having?"

Returning to work after heart attack and stents

Taking time off work after a heart attack and any associated treatment is common. The length of time that you will need to take will depend on your recovery and on the type of work that you normally do.

Although your health will be the foremost thing in your mind, you may also need to consider the impact on your earnings.

You'll need to check your employment contract for details of sick pay through your employer. This will vary as some employers will only pay statutory sick pay while others may continue with full pay while you recover.

Self-employed people can find it even tougher and may struggle to find financial help after a heart attack. Taking precautions through personal insurance is a must when you are reliant on generating the income that supports you and your family.

Loss of income through incapacity can be insured using income protection insurance which is also called sick pay insurance.

Financial help after a heart attack

Sick pay insurance provides you with up to 70% of your gross income, tax-free if you are unable to work due to any incapacity that stops you from doing your normal job. The insurance usually requires a doctor to confirm that you are unfit to work to make a claim.

You can structure the insurance based on your personal needs. You can choose how quickly the insurance pays you after you stop working. You'll also choose the period of payment which can be anything from 1 year of incapacity per claim right up to a policy that pays you for as long as you're unable to work, which could be up to retirement age.

Tailoring your sick pay insurance is really important and there are many types of sick pay insurance available. It ensures that the sick pay insurance policy will suit your personal circumstances and will provide the financial support that you need. Speaking with an income protection insurance specialist* can provide the financial service that will help you to search the whole market and receive expert guidance on arranging your policy based on your needs and budget. Additionally, you will qualify for up to £100 cashback if you get a quote and subsequently decide to take out a policy.

Sick pay insurance can help you to continue paying the bills and provides peace of mind so that you can focus on your recovery. The added advantage of sick pay insurance is that you'll continue to be covered even after a claim in case you need to take more time off work in the future.

You can find more information about sick pay insurance in our article, "Which are the best private sick pay schemes?"

Summary of heart attack insurances including the pros and cons

Type of insurance How it works Pros Cons
Health insurance Provides financial funding for any treatment you may require if you suffer a heart attack
  • Access to private treatment can reduce the waiting time for treatments through the NHS
  • Can be expensive
  • Only funds medical costs and not other expenses that may arise because of illness and inability to work
Terminal illness benefit within life insurance Provides an early death payment if the heart attack reduces life expectancy to below 12 months
  • The money received could help to meet ongoing financial commitments
  • Payout could pay towards end of life care
  • Payout could fund bucket list wishes such as a special holiday
  • An early death payment means there is no payment on death
  • Your consultant may not be able to confirm life expectancy to make a claim
Critical illness insurance Pays a tax-free lump sum or income if the insured person is diagnosed as having suffered a heart attack or any other listed illness where the illness meets the definition stipulated within the policy terms
  • You are free to use your claim money as you see fit
  • You may be able to pay for private healthcare to speed up your treatment and recovery
  • You can use your claim money to reduce debts and other financial commitments to make life more financially manageable
  • The claim money can fund any alterations you need to make to your home or vehicle as a result of your illness
  • You are restricted to making a claim for the listed illnesses only but heart attack is a common claim reason as long as you meet the definitions described in your terms of cover
Income protection Provides up to 60% of your gross income, tax-free while you are unable to work due to incapacity.
  • Helps maintain your financial outgoings, reducing stress and allowing time for recovery
  • Your insurance continues after a claim so you can claim again if you have further episodes of ill health that stop you from being able to work
  • Almost any illness that causes incapacity to work is usually covered
  • Doesn't provide a lump sum of money to pay for larger expenses

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. This link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article