Permanent Health Insurance
Also called Income Protection and designed to provide income during periods of long term incapacity. Cover can be arranged on an individual basis or employers can arrange a group policy to benefit their employees.
Benefits are paid monthly and limited to an agreed percentage of annual salary. Any salary continuing to be paid and state benefits are deducted from these payments.
The policy would come into effect following a ‘deferred period’ chosen by the policyholder at inception, usually 4, 13, 26 or 52 weeks. Payments would continue until the individual/employees full return to work, death or expected retirement date. The definition of disability can vary from being totally unable, through sickness or accident, to follow their stated occupation to being totally unable to follow any remunerative occupation whatsoever and care should be taken when choosing a contract and all implications must be fully considered.
As with any policy there are restrictions and exclusions which will be detailed in your policy document. The most common ones would include Pre Existing Conditions, Self Injury, Drugs & Alcohol, Pregnancy and Aids.
Naturally, the policy will also require that the individual is in employment immediately before the onset of the illness. Premiums vary depending on the levels of cover required but factors would include Age, Sex, Occupation, Medical History and Hazardous Pastimes.
Personal Accident/Sickness Insurance
Can provide compensation in the event of disablement or death due to:
- Accident only
- Accident & Specified Illnesses
- Accident & All Sickness (excluding exclusions)
- Accident & Sickness in Specified Circumstances
Many employers buy such policies to both fill the gap on PHI waiting periods and to make sure that accidents are compensated, whether or not the employer is legally liable due to negligence. Personal Accident and Sickness cover is also often included as an additional benefit in other policies such as holiday and travel insurances, motor insurances covering sporting activities.
Policies can be on an individual or group basis with the benefits of lump sums and short term income benefits generally payable for no more than two years.
Benefits are scaled and would depend upon disablement being temporary or permanent and would in most policies be restricted to the total payable under the fatality benefit.
The definition can vary between policies and again great care must be taken when choosing a policy for example one policy may state that the limb must be severed yet another may include the total and permanent loss of use of the limb.
Exclusions would include:
- Pre Existing Medical Conditions
- Drug or Alcohol Abuse
- Self Inflicted Injury
- Hazardous Pursuits
In some cases Age, Claims History and even Medical Evidence may result in exclusions or restrictions in cover provided. Premiums would be calculated upon Age, Sex and Occupation. Policies would normally be written on an annual basis although short term policies can be arranged if required although these policies are generally more expensive.
Medical Expenses Insurance
Designed to cover the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation. Depending on the plan chosen, treatment can be carried out at a number of privately run establishments or be extended to include a number of NHS hospitals.
Benefits would include:
- Hospital charges
- Specialist fees
- Outpatient appointments
- Specialist treatments such as radiotherapy, nursing at home, private ambulance, emergency NHS treatment and cash payments for hospital stays
The premiums would depend upon which level of cover was required and if the policy was extended to include family members. Age, Sex and Health would also be factors for consideration. As with any policy there are restrictions and exclusions and would include Aids, Pre Existing or Chronic Conditions. Most policies can now be extended to include Dental Plans, Counselling Services and Alternative Therapies. Policy excesses or contributions can be arranged to suit your own needs and will often result in a reduction in premium. Employers often fund such policies as a benefit to staff and to make sure that key personnel are not left unable to work through lack of capacity under the NHS.
Critical Illness Insurance
Provides a lump sum on diagnosis of major illness or disease rather than death. Policies initially covered the following diseases:
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart Attack
However, increased competition has meant that most policies now also cover Kidney Failure, Major Organ Transplant, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Total Permanent Disablement, Blindness and/or Deafness, Multiple Sclerosis, Paralysis and Terminal Illnesses in addition to other conditions. Cover can be obtained on a standalone basis or added to a variety of life policies. Cover can be offered up to retirement age or on a ‘whole life’ basis and benefit levels can be arranged as required.
Exclusions would include:
- Self Inflicted Injury/Illness
- Pre Existing Conditions
Premiums would depend upon levels required and factors including Age, Medical History etc. Depending upon your own circumstances you may wish to consider a group policy or ‘Key Person’ policy as it is also known.