Cancer Research UK has stated that every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. Despite this 54% of people in a survey by AIG thought they wouldn’t suffer from cancer, heart disease or a stroke in their lifetime.

AIG are calling this ‘illness denial’ as figures from the British Heart Foundation also show 28% of heart-related deaths in the UK caused by heart disease affect under 75s and NHS data shows strokes are the leading cause of death and disability.

This is worrying news when in the same survey, 77% of people also stated they would face significant financial trouble if they suffered an illness as serious as one of those mentioned within the next six months.

Planning for the future should include putting measures in place to combat difficult times and unforeseen circumstances. Although thinking about the chances of these things happening is far from pleasant, knowing statistics like this can help people introduce lifestyle changes that may help prevent illness. At the same time, it’s worth being prudent and thinking about what you would need, should something happen.

Rather than dwelling on things beyond our control, it’s often better to be practical and put things in place ‘just in case’. Think about how you would pay your bills and maintain the lifestyle you’re used to should you become seriously ill. Unless you’ve managed to store away savings that could be used in these circumstances, taking out a Critical Illness policy could be the solution.

Should you be diagnosed with a specified illness or condition during the policy term, you will receive a tax-free lump sum. This amount can be used in any way you wish. Policies usually pay out once but if you were to be diagnosed with a less severe illness, you could possibly claim for a smaller amount and then continue with cover.

Policy payments are usually in the form of fixed premiums however, some may be reviewable and increase. Sometimes critical illness is sold along with life insurance. With both, it’s worth discussing your particular requirements with our advisers who will be able to best match a suitable policy with your lifestyle and needs.