Half of UK families couldn’t survive a month on their savings if ill health struck

3rd July 2017

A recent report from Aviva1 shows that 24% of UK families would have no savings to fall back on if ill health were to strike and almost half couldn’t survive financially for a month.

It’s a sad fact of life that a major illness can strike at any time. Figures for the UK show more than 800 people a day receive a diagnosis of cancer and every six minutes someone suffers a heart attack. Only 18% of people surveyed had a protection policy in place that would provide for them financially if this were to happen to them.

Critical illness insurance means that if you were to be diagnosed with a serious medical condition, you would receive a tax-free lump sum payment. At a time like this, no-one would want their loved ones to be burdened with financial worries, so having this type of cover in place can provide valuable reassurance for you and your family.


There are core conditions that most policies cover. These include cancer, coronary artery bypass, heart attack, kidney failure, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury is usually included too. You can take out cover for a set number of years, whilst your family is growing up and your financial commitments are often at their greatest, or for life. There’s a variety of policies on the market covering various medical conditions, so taking expert advice will help ensure you make the right choice and get the cover you need.

Many people buy a policy when they take on a major financial commitment such as a mortgage, buying a combined life and critical illness policy. It certainly pays to start a policy at a young age, rather than leaving it until later in life when the cost of cover starts to rise, as does the risk of developing a critical illness.

1 Aviva, Stretched to the limit, 2017

The information within the article is for information purposes only and does not constitute individual advice.