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How flexible should children’s critical illness be?

How flexible should children’s critical illness be?

Over recent times there has been much debate on whether protection plans should include everything as standard or whether clients should only pay for the features they can use. Children’s Critical Illness cover is one protection feature that falls into this category with some insurers offering it as standard, some offering it as standard with optional upgrades and others providing it as an optional add on. This week we take a look at which insurers fall into which camp.

Children’s Critical Illness cover has seen dramatic changes over the past two years with almost every insurer improving their proposition. Where your client has (or is planning to have) children it is important to understand the level of cover being provided and whether enhanced cover could be purchased at an additional cost. This can make obtaining illustrative costs more complicated as for some insurers there may be several options and other insurers may not include children’s cover in their standard quote costs.

Below we consider how children’s Critical Illness is offered by the different insurers in the market;

Where an insurer automatically includes children’s critical illness but offers an optional upgrade, the upgrade will enhance the cover provided.

If a client does elect to pay an additional or increased premium for Children’s cover it is important that that this can be removed when the children become ineligible to claim. Thankfully all insurers allow this and will accept verbal instruction from the client to remove the optional upgrade or full children’s cover from the plan.

As such it is important to understand and make the client aware of the age to which their children will be covered. As always regular reviews of the client should be conducted to ensure that the policy remains suitable and that they are not paying for features they are unable to claim on. This will include checking the age of the clients’ children and cross referencing this to the maximum age that children are covered to under their policy. If it is possible to remove childrens cover and therefore reduce premiums this should be done. The maximum age that children are covered to within current plans are highlighted below.

The debate on whether features should be included as standard or as optional add-ons will keep raging. The ability to include or exclude certain features is certainly desirable as why should a client pay for something that they will never use? On the other hand, will we put off clients by presenting them with a long list of costs which highlight the different variations available to them? It is certainly an interesting debate.

Where a client does not have, is not planning to have or has grown up children the ability to not include childrens cover may be desirable as this will ensure that they are not paying for something they cannot claim on. As such Guardian, Royal London and Zurich are strong. Where a client does have children within the qualifying ages both Guardian and LV= currently cover the children to the oldest ages regardless of whether they are in full time education.


  1. dominic russell

    v useful, thanks for these charts, they make things clearer.

    • Yashwant Patel

      Good to have this information in chart and summarised form. Very helpful & time saving.

      Thank you

  2. Duncan Schofield

    Excellent article. It might be useful to have an additional feature on which providers allow you to add children’s protection on as an optional extra whilst the policy is in operation, or if it has to be taken out at inception?


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About The Author

Adam Higgs

Adam leads Protection Guru's detailed protection research and benchmarking of both product and operation features provided by insurers and has a vast knowledge of the protection market. He has been instrumental in building the protection comparison service Quality Analyser and maintaining the data to enable adviser to quickly and easily compare protection products based on qualitative measures. He also works with adviser firms to help in panel reviews and with insurers to help them understand the shape of the market, their strengths and the areas that could be improved in their products. In his spare time and when not spending time with his wife and two children, Adam is a keen Arsenal fan and enjoys hacking his way around a golf course.


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