The critical illness policies firstly launched in the UK was simple compared to those we can find today. During the year 1990 the core set of illnesses had already been defined as cancer, heart attack, stroke, CABG, major organ transplant and kidney failure. Total and Permanent Disability was also included to catch a range of severe illnesses which could change the lifestyle of someone.
Moreover, the number of critical illness covered broadened rapidly. This was due to many other insurance companies stepping in the insurance market hence elevating competition. Therefore, as each company marketed its critical illness policy, it has to make sure that the critical illness policy contained something unique. This uniqueness could have then helped to attract potential customers seeking for critical illness insurance. It was said that the long list of critical illness conditions covered, sometimes 30 or more may no longer be important. With 30 critical illness issues, one could expect loads of conditions to be read. These could have been most of the time poorly understood by the policyholder as confusion may have aroused resulting in loss of benefits.
Critical illness policies exist in two different forms. People could select a basic policy which covered from 6 to 10 critical illness conditions. Meanwhile other customers could choose the comprehensive policy which covered up to 30 illnesses. Additionally, some critical illness insurers had also designed a budget stand alone critical illness policy. This policy covered a few major and some common illnesses such as cancer, heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately this type of critical illness policy never made an impact over the insurance market.
Furthermore, as time passed new critical illnesses were discovered. This then aroused several questions on the severity of each critical illness. People preferred the simplicity of a policy and the way they would benefit from the payout, hassle free. At that point an argument could affirm that less benefits be paid according to a less severe critical illness. This is in fact not just an affirmation. This process is used in the South Africa and has not yet been adopted in the UK.
The variation of critical illness cover in the insurance market among companies did not make it favourable in the IFA market. This pushed IFA towards finding a solution. IFA worked hard until the fruit finally yielded. In 1994, IFA attained standardised definitions for critical illness cover which comprised of the six core critical illness classifications.
Nowadays, many critical illness insurance companies consider seven major diseases in their policy statements. The fine print of the policy may have surely something to reveal. Reading the critical illness policy attentively can be a wise thing to do. Sometimes policies define what they cover and they will not. If you are not sure to understand everything when buying a critical illness cover, you could request the help of a specialised person. With enough education over the subject you could then choose a critical illness cover that may suit you best.