Also, the majority of providers offering CIC add-ons for children will pay out for nearly all the serious illness conditions the provider covers for adults. For example, the LV= covers more than 60 conditions.
Peter Hamilton, head of strategic partnerships for Zurich, believes the provision of automatic child cover has been a real benefit for families.
He opines: “Most CI policies include benefits that pay out in the event of a child’s illness and the breadth of this coverage has grown over the years.
“The cover is not separately underwritten, and so is normally automatically incorporated at no extra cost, and provides a very real benefit to parents at a time of huge stress.”
Often, depending on the policy, this comes with automatic access to the support services attached to the policy, such as 24-7 care helplines, virtual GP services and second opinion services.
However, there is the option of buying more to add onto a policy. For example, VitalityLife offers an optional serious illness cover to be added onto any policy.
This allows customers to add an extra £100,000 illness cover for each child named on the plan, without further underwriting.
The serious illness cover policy will also include cover for the death of a child, complications of pregnancy and congenital diseases for newborns.
Most policies will cover illnesses such as childhood leukaemia, which according to Mr Timpson, is the "health event giving rise to the majority of children's illnesses".
While the National Health Service will provide excellent care to the best of their ability and resources, there will be many instances where clients need additional help in meeting expenses, whether that be going private, having additional care, dealing with an ongoing health problem or meeting the costs of travel.
Mr Timpson elaborates: "CLIC Sargent figures found just 6 per cent of parents have received help from the NHS's healthcare travel costs scheme.
"With a maximum household income threshold of just £16,000 to qualify for that scheme, many families earning just above this income threshold, and where a child has cancer, are left struggling without the financial support they need."
According to data from the cancer charity, parents can spend an average of £600 a month in additional expenses during their child's treatment, which means without any form of insurance cover, they are often having to rely on donations, loans and charity grants.
Having cover in place can make a significant difference.
Mr Hamilton adds: “While the sum assured is typically limited up to £25,000, the money can make a material difference to someone’s ability to meet additional expenses, which might include private treatment, accommodation or time off work, all at a traumatic time.”
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