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Scottish Widows’ critical illness proposition

Adviser Website –
Protection Sales – 0345 030 6577
– Email  
For Life Cover claims – 0800 056 5590 – Email 
For Critical and Terminal Illness Cover claims and for Premium Protection Claims – 0800 056 5589 – Email

See Scottish Widows’ main showcase page here

Protection Guru has worked with Scottish Widows to create a concise objective analysis of their product range.

Scottish Widows’ critical illness proposition in their own words

“We focus on comprehensive cover with simplicity at its heart. We reduced the number of CI definitions to 30 while widening the scope of cover, providing cover where it matters most and focusing on the areas where we can pay more claims.

To make the complex simple, we introduced our unique body concept to help advisers to explain critical illness cover and customers understand what they are covered for.

All our critical illness policies come with TPD and children’s cover included.

We make the underwriting process as easy and as transparent as possible.  Advisers can contact one of our skilled underwriters to discuss applications pre-submission to see if cover can be offered. We also offer a tele-underwriting service to speak directly to clients and gather information from them rather than writing to their GP.

Scottish Widows Care, provided in partnership with RedArc, is available to access at the very start of the policy giving clients and their family immediate practical and emotional support as well as the option of a second medical opinion of their diagnosis. For new customers we also include access to Clinic in a Pocket virtual GP services.

We make the complex simple when it comes to critical illness, with a comprehensive value proposition that doesn’t compromise on quality of cover.”

Simple, Clear & Concise

Click on the image to enlarge

Scottish Widows critical illness covers a broad range of conditions. what is particularly impressive is that, whilst broad in coverage, their definitions are clear and concise and the documentation uses simple graphics to highlight what is covered. The body image used by Scottish Widows demonstrates the broad range of conditions covered which have been categorised into five easy to understand headings. The definitions have been carefully constructed to provide comprehensive cover with similar conditions grouped into single definitions as our independent panel of medical practitioners explain:

“A lot of thought has clearly gone into the format of this policy to allow greater understanding to the lay-person. This has been done through organising wordings into body systems with the addition of a graphical representation. Scottish Widows appear to have found the right balance of combining and simplifying wordings, without losing either coverage or clarity, which is impressive.”

Claims Statistics 2020

In 2020 , Scottish Widows paid more than £206 million in life & critical illness claims helping 10,848 customers and their families. This accounted for 9,272 life claims and 1,576 critical illness claims and provided valuable financial support to these customers at a difficult time in their lives.

For critical illness the average amount paid was £55,182 with the highest payment totalling £502,551.

% of claims paid
Amount paid
People and their families helped

Hover over the hotspots to find out more about the top claimed for conditions for males and females.









Heart Attack






Multiple Sclerosis










Heart Attack






Multiple Sclerosis





Scottish Widows Claims Stories







Care is not just in the claim

All Scottish Widows policies come with extensive Scottish Widows Care, which includes the Clinic in a Pocket virtual GP service and Red Arc. This gives clients and their families access to support, including counselling, second medical opinion and referrals to expert support to help with recovery and bereavement. 


Clinic in a Pocket


Digital GP Services


Specialist Referral


Repeat Prescription

Comprehensive cover

An inclusive approach for children 

Children are covered for all of the conditions the life assured is covered for (with the exception of Total Permanent Disability) up to the age of 22. Unlike many insurers they have also broadened their eligibility criteria to not only include natural, step and adopted children but also children where the life assured is the legal guardian, regardless of whether they are financially dependent or not.

childrens Cover

No one likes to think of their child becoming seriously ill, but having cover in place provides added comfort knowing you will be able to cope with unexpected costs. A lump sum payout can help with additional expenses, for example taking time off work, travel costs or making adaptations to the home.  Scottish Widows  Interactive Mini Body helps customers understand what they are covered for.

Key Benefits

  • Simple definitions that offer broad critical illness coverage with excellent supporting material to help highlight the breadth of cover to clients via easily understandable graphics.
  • Excellent mental health support
  • An inclusive approach to underwriting with a willingness to provide terms where possible to as many clients as possible.

Areas for improvement

  • The amount paid for additional critical illness conditions is not as much as some other insurers
  • Do not offer cover for as many congenital conditions as some other insurers

Protection Guru has worked with Scottish Widows to create a concise objective analysis of their product range. Scottish Widows have had input to the design of this page and contributed to the cost of construction and maintenance, however Protection Guru have maintained editorial control over the content to ensure objectivity.



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