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Do You Need Serious Illness Cover If You Have Health Insurance?

Updated: Oct 17, 2023


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Many people think that Serious Illness Cover and Health Insurance are the same thing. Their main similarity is that they are both insurance policies that cover you if you are sick.


So what is the difference between Serious Illness Cover and Health Insurance?


Health insurance is an agreement in which an insurance company agrees to pay for some or all of your medical expenses in exchange for a monthly premium. It may cover things like the expense of being hospitalised, maternity benefits, scans, surgery, or treatments. The amount and extent of your cover generally relates to the amount you paid for your plan. The more expensive a plan you have, the more that it covers. Most Health Insurance policies have a hospital cover element and a day to day expenses element. You can also go for a slightly cheaper plan that just covers day to day expenses such as GP visits etc.

Making a claim is pretty straightforward. For outpatient treatments, you go into your insurers online portal and submit your receipts. Most policies include an excess and if your claim is approved by the insurer, you pay the excess and you’ll be credited the balance.

If you know you are going into hospital you need to let your insurer know. You let them know the name of the hospital, the consultant you’re under and the procedure code. (You can get this from the consultant’s secretary). You will have to fill out a claims form in the hospital and the insurer will pay the hospital directly.


What is serious illness and how does it differ from Health Insurance?


Serious Illness will pay you out a tax free lump sum if you’ve been diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses or disabilities that your policy covers.

These policies include the more serious types of conditions like cancer, heart attack, stroke etc.

When can you put in a claim on a serious illness policy?


You can put in a claim if


  • The illness is covered on your policy

  • You have been given a medical diagnosis

  • Your claim might be rejected if the illness is self inflicted or if it was a pre existing condition that you didn’t disclose in the original application.


The list of illnesses covered can vary, but normally includes the most severe type of illnesses including cancer strokes, heart attacks and MS. Make sure you understand what’s covered before you take out a Critical Illness policy.


How Much Do Health Insurance And Serious Illness Cost?


Health Insurance can be quite expensive because claims are high. There’s a very good chance that you will put in some sort of claim on it at some stage.

There are huge variances in prices ranging from about €50 a month for a basic plan to over €600 a month for an elaborate plan. The cost of serious illness depends on how much cover you want (this is the amount that will pay out if you get sick), the age and health of the person applying for the policy, and the length/term/years of the policy.

With Zurich, €50,000 serious illness cover over 20 years for a non smoking female age 25 will cost €12 a month.


So do you really need both Serious Illness Cover & Health Insurance?


It totally depends. You might never actually need to put in a claim on your Serious Illness policy, but you could also be unlucky enough to be diagnosed with a serious illness next month.

As with many types of insurance it feels like you are throwing your money away until you need it and then you can’t sing its praises enough.

Serious Illness cover is definitely something to be considered especially if you don’t have health insurance or Income Protection. It’s also worth noting that if you were off work sick with a serious illness you would still have bills/mortgage etc to pay. If you were off work for a considerable term, then this might not be possible.


Considering Income Protection or Serious illness cover?


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Get in touch for quotes today.

01 5138710


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