Protection Plans: Illness and Disability
Policies that provide financial protection in the event of illness or accident are a much more recent development than life policies. In part, this is the result of advances in medical science: injuries and illnesses that once would have been fatal are now increasingly treatable. One possible outcome is that people may have to live with the financial consequences of impaired earning capacity, sometimes for a few months but sometimes for many years. As new needs for protection have arisen, product providers have introduced a range of policies to meet these needs.
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Critical illness cover provides a lump-sum payment on diagnosis of one of a specified range of life-threatening or debilitating illnesses or medical conditions.
An income protection plan, which is also known as permanent health insurance (PHI), is designed to provide replacement income in the event of an individual being unable to work due to illness, disability or accident. The word ‘permanent’ refers to the fact that the insurer cannot cancel the cover simply on the grounds of poor claims experience.
Accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) policies are a type of general insurance that may be considered as an alternative to, or can possibly work in conjunction with, income protection plans.
Private medical insurance (PMI) is designed to provide cover for the costs of medical expenses. It provides an individual with access to private medical treatment without their being entirely reliant on the National Health Service.