Compare Critical Illness Cover

Let’s compare Critical Illness cover policies and decide which is right for you! 

You know you need it, but, “which Critical Illness insurance provider is best?”, isn’t an easy question to answer. 

What you should be asking is, “what Critical Illness cover is right for me?”. 

Well, let’s take a look.

If you’ve read any of my other articles about Critical Illness cover, you’ll know by now what it is, what it covers, and whether or not you want it or not*.

(*Spoiler alert: you really do want it, trust me.)

But with so many insurers out there it can be difficult to determine which insurer is the best.

In this article I’m going to be having a more in-depth look at the Critical Illness Cover policies of 3 UK insurers that I think are the best around. 

Compare Critical Illness Cover, More than Money

The statistical information within this article is factually correct – whether or not they are the best is simply my professional opinion. 

Remember that before you take out any kind of insurance policy, I always recommend you speak to a financial advisor. 

So, let’s crack on…

What Is Critical Illness Cover? (In A Nutshell)

Critical Illness cover is an increasingly popular type of insurance that is well worth having.

 It will financially protect your family should you become too unwell to work. 

There are many insurers out there offering Critical Illness insurance. 

I believe that the top three are offered by AIG, Legal & General, and Aviva. 

Let’s take a look at why!


AIG is a global insurance company that traces its roots back to 1919 and operates in over 80 countries and jurisdictions. 

It is one of the largest insurers in the UK. 

But as we all know, size does not matter; it’s whether or not you know what you’re doing (right, guys?)

And boy, do AIG know what they’re doing!

How Good Is AIG’s Critical Illness Cover?

Well, AIG split their policies into two parts:

illnesses for which they will give you ‘all’ of your money…

…and illnesses which they will only give you ‘part’ of your money.

They cover 46 different illnesses for which you would get all your money if you were diagnosed:

  • Full Payments 46
  • Partial/Additional Payments 38
  • Total 84
  • Childrens Cover 35k
  • Children Covered Unlimited
  • Kids Specific Illness Covered 10
  • Hospital Benefit No
  • Childrens Funeral Benefit 10K

In order to make a claim on your Critical Illness insurance policy if you were to become critically ill with any of these listed conditions you would have to meet the definition of that illness.

In other words, you’d have to be ‘ill enough’. 

But, AIG also covers a wide range of illnesses that are ‘easier’ to claim for.

These are all known as ‘additional payment conditions.’ 

The maximum amount paid out for these illnesses is the lower of either 50% of your total amount of cover or £35,000.

Anyone covered by their Critical Illness insurance policy can claim for each of these illnesses once…

…without it affecting what AIG will pay on a successful ‘Full’ claim for a Critical Illness in the future.

All sounds good so far doesn’t it? 

But don’t just take my word for it…

What Is AIG’s Defaqto Rating?

Defaqto is a service that compares critical illness cover and gives them a star rating based on their features and benefits.

As you’ve no doubt guessed – 5 stars is the best. 

AIG holds a 5 star defaqto rating for their Critical Illness cover.

They also won Best Critical Illness Provider in the 2019 LifeSearch Awards, as well as Outstanding Insurer of the Year. 

Not too shabby, eh?

And what about those extra benefits that can often make all the difference when it comes to choosing which insurer to go with? 

Come on, you know what I’m talking about…

What else does AIG have to offer?

What Extras Do AIG Include In Their Critical Illness Cover?

AIG have plenty of extras included in their Critical Illness cover.

This is another reason I think they are one of the best around and certainly worth considering.

The benefits of AIG include:

  1. FREE children’s cover – AIG will automatically insure any children you have for specific child related illnesses FREE of charge.
    The maximum pay-out for these conditions is up to £35,000 – handy if you need to take time off work and focus on your child getting better. There’s no limit to how many children are covered.

    However, children’s Critical Illness benefit is only payable once per child.
  2. Child Life Cover – Nobody wants to think about something even worse than illness befalling their children obviously. But, and again – for FREE – if your child were to die during the term of the cover, AIG will pay out £10,000 to cover funeral expenses etc. 
    If your child is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they will pay the child life cover benefit early, allowing you to spend quality time with your family and make some memories.
  3. Pregnancy Cover – under your Critical Illness cover you will also be offered some protection when it comes to pregnancy complications.
    AIG will pay out a sum of £5,000 per pregnancy for a defined complication. If the claim is made due to foetal death in utero, neonatal death or stillbirth, the sum will be paid per foetus or child.
  4. Best Doctors – If you were to be diagnosed with a Critical Illness you will have been given an ‘opinion’ by an NHS Doctor regarding treatment.
    Well, AIG will, as part of their policy, contact the ‘Best’ Doctor from around the world who specializes in that illness to get you a second medical ‘opinion’…For FREE! 
    You will then be sent a report which you can take to the NHS and ask them to follow it instead.
  5. Smart Health – This is a FREE virtual GP app you can access from your phone.
    You simply download their app and are then able to call a GP anytime 24/7. 

    They can help diagnose your condition and even refer you onto a specialist or order medication to your local surgery.

All sounds awesome doesn’t it? 

But I know what you’re probably thinking; awards and ‘extras’ are all very well and good, but what about where it counts? 

How are AIG when it comes to paying out on their incredible Critical Illness insurance policies?

AIG’s Critical Illness Cover Payout Statistics

Recent data published by AIG reveals that 94% of Critical Illness claims were paid out in 2018.

Of those claims not paid out, the vast majority of those were down to ‘non-disclosure’; where a customer hadn’t been 100% truthful on their claim.

Naughty, naughty.

Legal & General

Another insurer worth looking at when you’re comparing Critical Illness Cover policies is Legal & General.

Everyone’s heard of these guys; they’ve been around for nearly 200 years and are the UK’s largest insurance providers. 

So, again, does size matter?…

How Good Is Legal & General’s Cover?

Like a lot of insurance companies over the last few years, Legal and General offer two types of Critical Illness cover.

Their ‘Standard’ cover, which is the one offered on your comparison sites, covering you for 33 different illnesses…

…and their ‘Extra’ cover. 

This is an upgraded option which really does stand out as one of the best plans out there covering you for 79 different illnesses!

However, this option can only be taken out once you have received professional advice. 

It is this ‘Extra’ cover that I want to look at now…

This upgraded option is known as an ‘advice’ only policy, meaning you need to have received advice from a financial advisor first before you can get a quote. 

This option insures you against 18 further ‘Full’ conditions and 28 more ‘Partial Payment’ conditions. 

It also increases the children’s cover from up to 25K to 30K, and insures your children for a further 8 child specific conditions… such as childhood meningitis.

I’ve put together this handy table below to show you the differences between Legal & General’s standard cover and their Extra cover. 

As you can see it really is one of the best policies around.

  • 29/01/2020 L&G (Standard) L&G (Extra)
  • Full Payments 31 49
  • Partial/Additional Payments 22 30
  • Total 33 79
  • Children’s Cover 25k 30k
  • Children Covered 2 children Unlimited
  • Kids Specific Illness Covered 8
  • Hospital Benefit 5k after 28 days in hospital due to an accident 5k after 28 days in hospital due to an accident
  • Children’s Funeral Benefit 5K 5K
  • Table up to date as of 2020

What Is Legal & General’s Defaqto Rating?

Legal & General also has a 5 star defaqto rating for their Critical Illness Extra cover.

In 2017 they were voted ‘Best of the Best’ across all insurance categories at the Revo Gold Awards. 


What Extras Are Included With Legal & General’s Critical Illness Cover?

As you would expect from an insurer winning titles such as ‘Best of the Best’, Legal & General also offer extras on their Critical Illness policies.

In fact, some of them might just sway your decision if you are still sitting on the fence…

  1. Hospitalisation Benefit – If you’re admitted to hospital with physical injuries immediately following an accident and have to stay for a minimum of 28 days, Legal & General will pay you £5,000.
    Claiming on this benefit won’t affect any future Critical Illness claims. Bonus.
  2. Nurse Support Service – This includes six benefits designed to provide the long-term practical advice and emotional support you might need to deal with the effects of:
    • stress. 
    • Depression. 
    • Other mental health problems. 
    • Legal & General Nurse Support Services include the following:
    • Serious illness.
    • Disability or Bereavement support.
    • Second Medical Opinion.
    • Mental health support. 
    • Carer support.
    • Help at Home and Eldercare.
  3. GP24 – Legal & General GP24 Service removes waiting times, giving you access to a GP 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world. 
    This service is available over the phone or via webcam for a face-to-face consultation and only costs £3.25 per month.

    Basically less than a pint of beer!

As with AIG, it’s all well and good having a Critical Illness policy that’s all singing and dancing –  

BUT –  if you had to make a claim on that policy, all the bells and whistles are pointless if they don’t pay out…

Critical Illness Cover Claims Statistics For Legal & General

In 2019 Legal & General paid out 93% of Critical Illness claims, including those paid out on children’s policies. 

As with AIG, those claims NOT paid out were down to customers not disclosing the correct information when it came to making a claim.

So by now you’re probably already torn between those two companies, and it’s easy to see why.

They both offer fantastic Critical Illness insurance policies. 

So, just to make things even more interesting, let me chuck another contender into the ring…


Aviva is another big player in the world of insurance, created by a merger of Norwich Union and CGU plc, and can trace its history back to 1696. 

So we know that they are as big as AIG and Legal & General, but do they have as much to offer in the way of Critical Illness cover? 

In a word; yes…

How Good Is Aviva’s Critical Illness Cover?

Like Legal & General, Aviva offers an ‘Upgraded’ Critical illness policy to go alongside their ‘Standard’ option. 

This increased the number of Illnesses you could claim on from 37 to 88!

However, as with Legal & General’s ‘Extra’ cover, there is a catch – this option can only be taken once and only after you have received professional advice from a qualified Adviser.

But is it worth it?


This option will insure you against 14 further ‘Full’ conditions and 37 more ‘Partial Payment’ conditions in addition to what is covered under Aviva’s ‘General’ cover. 

This upgraded version will also double the children’s cover from up to 25K to 50K.

It also insures children for a further 23 child-specific conditions…such as childhood meningitis.

  • 29/01/2020 AVIVA (Standard) AVIVA (Upgraded)
  • Full Payments 35 35
  • Partial/Additional PaymPartial/Additional Payments ents 22 39
  • Total 37 88
  • Children’s Cover 25k 50k
  • Children Covered Unlimited Unlimited
  • Kids Specific Illness Covered 23
  • Hospital Benefit £100 per night up to £3,000 after 7th day £100 per night up to £3,000 after 7th day
  • Children’s Funeral Benefit 5k 5k
  • Table up to date as of 2020

What Is Aviva’s Defaqto Rating?

Aviva also has a 5 star defaqto rating and were crowned the ‘Best of the Best’ insurers in 2019.

This just goes to show that they are very much a force to be reckoned with in the world of insurance.

What Extras Do Aviva Offer With Their Critical Illness Insurance?

Aviva is no less impressive than AIG or Legal & General when it comes to offering both those free and paid-for extras.

This makes taking out a policy with them even more appealing. 

They offer extras like:

  1. 1.Fracture Cover – For an extra £4 a month this extra does what it says on the tin and pays out if you fracture a bone. 
    The size of the pay-out will depend on the type of fracture (there are 18 specified types – who knew!?).
    However, they do exclude some hobbies and occupations, so call us if you do anything risky!
  2. Global Treatment – For just £4 extra a month, this benefit will cover you and your child for the cost of treatment and travel to the best doctors and medical facilities around the world (outside the UK). 
    The cover will pay out up to £1m per person during a 12 month period.
    It will also cover as many treatments as you need up to the amount of £2m, which includes medical, travel, accommodation expenses.
    AND the costs of any medication which cannot be bought through the NHS.
    This add-on also allows you to bring a companion with you (your partner). 
    They will also have all their travel and accommodation costs paid for.
    I’m sure you’ll agree, Aviva are also offering excellent cover and extras….but do they pay out as well as the others?

Aviva’s Critical Illness Claims Statistics

According to recent figures Aviva pay out on average 93.2% on all Critical Illness claims.

Again, those that aren’t are due to misrepresentation on a customer’s application.

So, if you haven’t quite got it by now – always be honest on your insurance applications people!

And so there you have it.

What I believe to be the very best companies around when it comes to Critical Insurance providers in the UK. 

Of course, there are other providers out there for you to look into.

I would always recommend that, whatever type of insurance you want to purchase, that you seek the advice of an independent financial advisor first.

If you have any insurance related questions, Critical Illness cover or otherwise, please do get in touch. Our advice is free, and one of our qualified advisors would be more than happy to help


I’m the Life & Critical Insurance guy! Having worked throughout London and the South East for years in this industry, seeing many bad habits, I wanted to create a company that put the man on the street first! I wanted to share all my knowledge in a way that was easy, simple and fun to read and I wanted to make sure whenever I or a member of my team speak to a customer, we cut out the ‘industry jargon’ and never pressure or push anyone to take out a policy they don’t want or understand, thus More Than Money was born!

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