Critical Illness Cover

Get extra protection and financial peace of mind by adding the optional Critical Illness Cover when you take out your Post Office Life Insurance.



Why might you need Critical Illness Cover?

No-one wants to think about getting seriously ill, but life after a diagnosis can often change dramatically – with both a personal and financial cost.

Choosing Critical Illness Cover with your Post Office Life Insurance policy could give you extra peace of mind.

The extra cash sum could help towards your mortgage, rent, childcare costs and living expenses or even pay for medication or changes to your home. Something to fall back on while you concentrate on getting better.

Find out more about Post Office Life Insurance

Why choose our Critical Illness Cover?

When you purchase our Life Insurance you can:

  • Pay a bit more each month for added reassurance
  • Get extra cover equivalent to 25% of your life cover cash sum if you're diagnosed with a critical illness that meets our definition
  • Get cover for cancer – excluding less advanced cases, heart attack – of specified severity and stroke – of specified severity   
  • Get an instant decision and immediate cover available when you purchase Life Insurance

How does Critical Illness Cover work?

If you'd like the Critical Illness Cover, choose to add it when you apply for your Post Office Life Insurance. You won't be able to add it once your policy has started. You won’t be able to reduce or increase the cash sum but you can remove it at any time.



You'll pay more each month, and we'll pay out a cash sum if you're diagnosed with a critical illness that meets our definitions.

Critical Illness Cover will pay an extra cash sum of 25% of the value of your Post Office Life Insurance - a maximum of £125,000. It won't change over your policy term unless you choose Increasing Cover, in which case it grows over time too.

You must be covered by your policy when you claim, be diagnosed with one of the three critical illnesses covered that meet our definition and then survive for at least 10 days after this. If you do claim for a critical illness your Critical Illness Cover will end, but your main life cover policy will continue until the end of the term, with no change to the cash sum so long as you keep making your monthly payments.

Critical and terminal illness: what's the difference?

Terminal Illness Cover comes with your Post Office Life Insurance at no extra cost. If you're diagnosed with a terminal illness that meet our definition we'll pay the life cover cash sum as soon as possible to help make your remaining time easier financially.

The Critical Illness Cover costs extra each month but pays out an extra cash sum if you're diagnosed with one of the three critical illnesses it covers that meets our definitions and you survive for at least 10 days after you are diagnosed. Your life cover cash sum isn't affected.

It's designed to help you financially while dealing with a critical illness, such as paying bills, maintaining your family’s lifestyle or, if needed, adapting your home.


Protect what matters in minutes, like your loved ones and lifestyle.

Some common questions

Which critical illnesses are covered?

Our Critical Illness Cover includes certain types of cancers, heart attacks and strokes. You can find out more information on the severity and type of conditions eligible in the definitions document and the Terms and Conditions.

Can I choose my level of Critical Illness Cover?

No. The Critical Illness Cover amount is set at 25% of the life cover cash sum, up to a maximum of £125,000, when your policy starts.

For example, if you opted for £200,000 Post Office Life Insurance, your Critical Illness Cover would be £50,000.

How much will my policy pay out if I suffer from one of the covered critical illnesses?

It depends on the type of cover you choose.

For Level and Decreasing Cover, the Critical Illness Cover can pay out an extra cash sum equivalent to 25% of the life cover cash sum of your Post Office Life Insurance if you claim during your policy term. It won’t reduce.

For Increasing Cover, your Critical Illness Cover cash sum will increase 3% in line with your Post Office Life Insurance cover amount.

Here's what the Critical Illness Cover cash sum could be for different types of cover at different points in the policy if the life cover cash sum was £100,000 and a claim was made at the start of the year.

Critical Illness Cover payable by year of claim

Beginning of the year  1 5 10
Level Cover



Decreasing Cover
Increasing Cover £25,000 £28,138 £32,619


Will my Post Office Life Insurance cover stop if I claim for Critical Illness Cover?

No. Once we’ve paid a claim for a critical illness your Critical Illness Cover will stop. However, the rest of your policy will continue and future monthly payments will reduce as you won’t be paying for your Critical Illness Cover. As long as you keep paying, your life cover cash sum will stay in place for the duration of your policy.

Will my life cover cash sum go down if I claim for Critical Illness Cover?

No. Your Critical Illness Cover is separate and not deducted from your life cover cash sum. Keep making your monthly payments and you'll still get 100% of your life cover cash sum if you die during the life of your policy.

Can I add Critical Illness Cover later?

No. You can only add the Critical Illness Cover when you first take out your policy. You can remove it later if needed, reducing the amount you pay each month, but you can't increase or reduce the Critical Illness Cover itself, which is fixed at 25% of the life cover cash sum.

You may be able to take out a further Post Office Life Insurance policy, which you could choose to add Critical Illness Cover to. Any new policy will be subject to the Terms and Conditions that are available at the time you apply.

What changes can I make to my Critical Illness Cover?

You can remove Critical Illness Cover from your Post Office Life Insurance but you cannot change the amount of Critical Illness Cover. If you cancel your Post Office Life Insurance, the Critical Illness Cover is also cancelled.

Do I get any medical consultation?

If you take out Post Office Life Insurance, with or without adding Critical Illness Cover, you won’t get a medical consultation.

What about tax?

The cash sum you receive from a Critical Illness Cover is currently tax free.

Things you need to know

Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to the policy wording.

Post Office Life Insurance is provided by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited.

It offers up to £500,000 of life cover for customers who are UK residents aged 18-70 at the start of the policy. The minimum term is 5 years and cover must end before your 81st birthday.

We won’t pay a claim on death if it was as a result of suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury within 12 months of the start date of your policy.

We won’t pay a claim on terminal illness if you don’t meet our definition of terminal illness; or terminal illness is caused by intentional self-inflicted injury within 12 months of the start date of your policy. The full definition of terminal illness can be found in the Terms and Conditions.

The Critical Illness Cover is an additional option to Post Office Life Insurance, and Post Office Life Insurance Terms and Conditions apply. Find out more

Critical Illness Cover can pay an extra cash sum if you are diagnosed, during the term of your policy, with one of the three critical illnesses covered that meets our definition and then survive for at least 10 days after.

If your Post Office Life Insurance policy ends, your Critical Illness Cover ends and you cannot make a claim.

If you’re choosing to add Critical Illness Cover to meet a specific financial commitment, you need to be comfortable that the amount of the extra cash sum will meet your needs. We cannot provide you financial advice, but you can find a financial advisor at

We won’t pay a claim if you don’t keep your payments up to date as you will no longer be covered under the policy. If you don’t tell us something or give us an incorrect answer to our application questions that affects your cover we may reduce the amount we pay for a claim or at worst cancel your cover and not refund your monthly payments. If you’re a UK resident aged between 18 and 70, excluding members of the Armed Forces, Army Reserve (previously known as the TA) or Reservists, you can apply. Please see Terms and Conditions for further details about the restrictions that apply.

^^In the last 13 consecutive annual Awards, Post Office has won at least one of: Best Online Life Insurance Provider, Best Direct Life Insurance Provider or Best Life Insurance Provider. On each occasion, we were shortlisted for our product features and price, before being judged by a panel of readers on the quality of service provided. There was no Awards in 2020.

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