How children are covered on critical illness plans – everything you need to know
In reading this and the linked articles you will understand:
- How providers compare in the way they offer critical illness plans for children
- How eligibility, age and sum assured limits differ across providers
- Who supports and pays what if children are hospitalised or need treatment overseas
- How child conversion options can be used to help sell critical illness plans to the older children of existing clients
Raising children is one of the greatest joys in life but also one of the biggest responsibilities. Not only do you financially support your children, you also need to give them your time. Nobody wants to think about doing these things in the context of their children having a critical illness, but sadly it can happen. Children’s critical-illness cover removes some of the burden on parents in this situation by helping to meet the family’s financial needs so they can completely focus on the child.
In this week’s Everything you need to know we examine children’s critical illness in detail
When your client decides they need their critical illness plan to cover their children too there are plenty of options available. Where an adviser has seen one insurer’s approach to children’s critical illness cover and is familiar with that, it doesn’t mean they have seen them all. There will be plenty of differences between plans, just as there are differences between the families they cover. Being up to speed on the eligibility criteria of the children’s element of suitable critical-illness plans is therefore important.
Age and sum assured limits
Some insurers automatically include children’s cover within their critical illness plans. So while it is a great way to make CI plans appealing to parents and would-be parents, it also means that childless clients and those with adult children who are too old to qualify end up paying ‘bundled’ costs for something they will not use. In contrast, some providers provide children’s CI cover as an optional extra for those who want it. Others strive for the best of both worlds by offering a standard level of children’s CI to everyone, with an optional upgrade at an additional cost for those who want enhanced benefits.
Whatever a client’s personal circumstances, it is important that advisers understand the level of cover being provided and whether enhanced cover could be bought at an additional cost.
For any parent, witnessing their child suffering in hospital must rank highly among the more stressful times in their entire life. Feelings of helplessness, fear and anxiety will be soaring. The need to focus on the child’s support and care is paramount, leaving little headspace for worrying about financial matters, yet the costs – both direct and indirect – can mount up. But some providers offer child hospitalisation benefit that can offer financial support in difficult times.
In our hour of need, the NHS is always there. It may not be perfect and its problems are well documented, but speak to anyone who has used its services in recent times and the story is usually the same – the treatment and care provided was first class and they cannot thank staff enough.
But if pioneering treatment is available exclusively overseas, it is expensive – prohibitively so in many cases. So, what would clients do if more effective or lifesaving treatment for themselves or their children was only available outside the UK? Would their finances stretch to the cost of travel, accommodation and the treatment itself? Some providers can help clients or their children to get the best medical care from overseas.
Introducing critical illness cover to younger clients
As their clients’ children grow up and start to forge their own path, advisers should be talking to them about their own protection needs, especially at a young age when it is both accessible and affordable. Some insurers help advisers address young people’s protection needs earlier by making child conversion options available on the children’s element of adult critical-illness policies.
Children’s Funeral cover
Organising a funeral for a loved one is stressful at the best of times because you are trying to deal with the practicalities surrounding the loss of that person while the grief is raw. However, arranging a funeral for a child takes this to a different level. Life will be tough enough during the early stages of the grieving process, without other worries weighing on their mind, such as whether they can afford the kind of funeral they want to give their child. This is why some providers of critical-illness insurance provide funeral cover for children as part of the value-added benefits they offer. In this insight we look at which insurers offer this benefit and how much they will pay towards the cost of a child’s funeral.
Watch out for future “Everything you need to know” pieces where each week we will cover a different topic and provide you with the information you need to know to discuss the topics with your clients.
Things to reflect on for CPD:
- Identify your top two learning points from each of the six linked articles. How can you apply your learning to your client conversations for children’s critical illness?
- Reflect with your peers and discuss how you can relate the learning to your own processes for critical illness meetings. How could / should you change your conversations to better explain the options and alternatives? What additional information will you now include from what you have learnt?
- This Protection Guru insight is a collection of critical illness claims stories including a child claim. Watch the videos and identify 3 key best practice learning points from an advisers perspective. What have you learned that you can use to help you and your clients dealing with claims?
- This related Protection Guru article looks at provider’s service level at claim stage. What are the top three learning points from this article. Reflect on how the differing service levels can affect the clients and advisers overall claim experience. What actions can you take to ensure your clients get the best possible service at a difficult time?