Getting the right cover at the right time


Life, health, and critical illness cover

The right time to get cover

Life can throw many curveballs and if COVID-19 is anything to go by then the unexpected really can happen. This has led to many slowing down and pausing to think about their health. The ways in which overall health, including mental health, can be improved and fitness levels increased have been hot topics. On the back of this, there has been a significant increase of curiosity about protecting health in the future in case the unexpected does happen. You may be curious about protecting your health and how private health insurance can help you and your individual needs, and if it is an option for you. 

It is a common myth that the best time to take a policy out for private health insurance is when you fall sick and experience an injury. But that is simply not the case. Pre-existing conditions are often not covered when you take out a policy and so taking action when you or a family member are injured or ill will typically be too late. Having a policy in place ahead of possible future injury or illness is the ideal time to arrange cover. 

The question is what kind of cover would suit your needs best. A life policy is key to helping with a lump sum to support with financial commitments such as mortgage payments, leaving inheritance, or funeral costs. A health policy helps you gain access to faster, better, and ground-breaking treatment in the event of an injury or illness. A critical policy will cover your financial commitments should an illness lead to being unable to work and as a result a loss of income. This leads to the question of whether taking out multiple policies will best support you. Alternatively, a specific policy could help you protect your future self. Whether that be health or financially wise for you and your family.


Health insurance

Private health insurance as we have mentioned earlier helps you to gain faster and better access to treatment which includes specialist and ground-breaking treatment. It is no surprise that the number of UK residents who are covered by private health insurance has steadily been on the rise since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020; rising from 10.3% in 2019 (pre-pandemic) up to approximately 13% this year.


Private health insurance strives to help you get back to full health after an injury or illness. You may know of family or friends who in the past have experienced or are experiencing long waits for surgery or treatment. Lengthy delays to treatment or surgery mean a longer journey back to full health. It could mean as well more limited options when it comes to your treatment. For example, if you include cancer cover as part of your private health insurance policy you can gain access to ground-breaking treatments; providing you with advanced, more specialist treatment. Being covered for full eventualities or specific optional extras is all down to your preference and your individual needs. Health insurance is about finding the right cover to suit your circumstances and your needs.

What conditions are covered?

You may be thinking about what private health insurance can cover when it comes to various conditions. We have listed below the conditions that are commonly covered:

  • Cancer including palliative care, diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc.
  • Heart disease including aftercare cover
  • Stroke aftercare
  • Sports injuries unless you’re a professional sports person
  • Mental health issues including counselling and psychiatric care
  • Complementary therapies such as physiotherapy and osteopathy
  • Alternative therapies including acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, etc.

Private health insurance can in fact cover a whole range of conditions. It is not often widely known that private health insurance extends to cover mental health therapies. You may not be aware that it can also cover sports injuries and alternative therapies such as acupuncture. In the event of falling ill or suffering an injury, would you want the reassurance of being covered, rather than waiting on NHS lists or paying a large sum out for private treatment outside of insurance.

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How are you covered from the offset?

The way in which you disclose your medical history has a key role to play in how you will be covered when you take out your policy. Essentially, you can disclose your full medical history or you can choose to not disclose your full history. But what kind of cover does each entail, and which one will be the best for you. It all depends essentially on your medical history and individual circumstances which will become clear as we break down the main types of underwriting below.

Moratorium underwriting: Moratorium underwriting doesn’t require you to disclose your medical history. However, for the first two years of your policy, you won’t be covered for anything you’ve had symptoms, treatment, medication, diagnostic tests, or advice on in the five years before your policy start date.

Full medical underwriting: Full medical underwriting (FMU) requires you to provide your complete medical history – and that of all policyholders – when you take out your policy. The information you provide may mean the insurer excludes certain conditions from cover for the lifetime of the policy.

To learn more about types of health insurance cover and useful information around excess, read our blog: Health Insurance Excess.

Read more about private health insurance and how to get covered in our health insurance guide.


Life insurance

A life insurance policy is there to help you with those big life financial commitments such as your mortgage or school/university fees or perhaps leaving behind an inheritance for a loved one. If you have anyone that is financially dependent on you or is set to be in the future then life insurance may just be the cover that you need. Life insurance is commonly known as the policy that pays out in the event of death to support with providing an inheritance and/or funeral costs however it can also be set up over a specific period to support with a significant financial commitment such as university fees.

To learn more about how life insurance can support you and your needs, read our blog: The Meaning of Life Insurance.


It is often less commonly known that life insurance can also support with significant financial commitments during the lifetime of the policy holder. This may include finance to support financial commitments such as university fees or mortgage payments. The two main types of life insurance are term life insurance and whole of life insurance which serve to help in the following ways.

Term life insurance: This is for an agreed term such as 20 years to help with something like paying off your mortgage.

Whole of life: This covers your whole life and does not expire, you continue paying the premiums. This is often to help with funeral costs and to leave an inheritance behind. 

How does the type of cover affect premiums?

When it comes to the level of cover you require such as a specific amount to cover your mortgage then the level of cover can be arranged to meet that requirement. Your individual needs can be met further as you can choose a plan for payment of premiums that suits your circumstances.

Life insurance is not just a solo policy, so it is wise that ahead of taking out a policy to consider if taking out an individual policy or a joint policy suits your circumstances best. The key factors to be aware of for a joint policy are that usually lower premiums are involved but it will only pay out once meaning the other person will be left without cover.

Cover is available to protect policies against inflation which is for financial commitments such as mortgage repayments. We have broken down the different routes for cover when it comes to policy premiums.

Level cover: Level Cover requires the same premium and provides the same lump sum to leave behind, if you die at any time throughout the term.

Decreasing life: This is designed to help with paying off a specific debt. A decreasing term policy works well to protect a repayment mortgage. As the value of the mortgage debt decreases, so do the premiums and the level of cover.

Read more about life insurance and how to get covered in our life insurance guide.


Critical illness

A policy that often goes hand in hand with private health insurance and for good reason is critical illness cover. This is often popular with the self-employed but serves as a great security net for the employed too. Having this cover means you will have financial support in the event that you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. If you have someone who relies you on financially then this option allows for the same standard of living to continue.


There could be a whole array of costs that you would need to pay for and potentially more after suffering an injury or falling ill that may render you unable to work such as:

  • Household bills
  • Rent / mortgage payments
  • Lifestyle commitments
  • Children/dependents living at home
  • Adaptions in living space due to injury/illness

Critical illness cover means you can ultimately maintain the same financial commitments that you need to pay for whilst you are not working. More costs could arise surrounding a critical illness than with death; as you will still need to maintain your lifestyle and maybe in addition to loved ones too. Perhaps you will need to also make alterations to the home. To learn more about critical illness cover and what it can offer you, read our blog: Critical Illness Myths Dispelled. 


How much cover do you need?

Working out the amount of money that will be paid out to you on the diagnosis of an insured critical illness is important. Getting this right ensures that all of your financial commitments including potential additional expenses are covered. This extends to home modifications which can be covered in the event that you are unable to work for a period of time. Essentially, the more cover you require, the more expensive the premiums will be.

Read more about critical illness cover in our guide.


Importance of getting advice

Ensuring your own circumstances and individual needs are met is important when it comes to taking out a policy for life insurance, health insurance, or critical illness cover. As we have explored there are many layers and potential routes when it comes to taking out a policy. That is why speaking to an adviser who can offer you a bespoke comparison service ensures that you find your best policy that has the level of cover that you need.


Expert advice with Usay Compare

Expert advisers at Usay Compare get to know you, what you need and want, and importantly what is available to you in line with your circumstances. They will fully inform you about all of the options available to you and help you navigate finding the right policy which might be life, health insurance, or critical illness cover, or perhaps a combination of the above. Read our blog post, Why Usay Compare?, to learn more about how Usay Compare can help you to find your perfect policy.  

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Beyond our exceptional customer service, we can provide you with the best of the best; knowledgeable, professional, and unbiased advisers. We can help you get the right cover whether it is for health, life, or critical illness cover so that you have full protection in place for the future for yourself and your family. To learn more about how advisers at Usay Compare can support you, check out our blog: How can insurance adviser help you? 

If you would like an expert adviser at Usay Compare to support you to find the best policy then give us a call on 01285 864670, or fill in the Get a Quote form below. You can also arrange for a call to take place at a prearranged time as we are always happy to be flexible and work around you and your schedule.

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