Serious Illness Protection Cover

At Paul Ryan Pensions we arrange Serious Illness Protection. This type of cover can be taken out to protect you and your family home in the event of an untimely major illness such as heart disease, cancer or any other debilitating disease. If you are lucky enough to have Serious Illness cover a lump sum benefit is payable to you if you find yourself in a situation where you contracted a specified major illness.

Serious Illness Cover is also sometimes called critical illness cover. Please do not hesitate to contact us on or on 01-4546730 for a quotation.  

When you are considering taking out Serious Illness Cover, there are a number of questions that firstly you may need to consider: 

Why do I need Serious Illness Protection?

Serious Illness cover should be strongly considered if you are in the following circumstances:

  • If you find that you have not got any other ill heath protection.
  • If you have a large mortgage, a loan or any other debts that you would still have to pay if you became seriously ill. Can you furnish the repayments if the debt if you don't have any earned income?
  • Maybe you have dependants who rely on your income or unpaid work, such as work you do in the home or in a family business

How can I claim my benefit from a Serious Illness Protection Policy?

Generally you can claim a benefit on your policy once a number of key conditions are met:

  • The illness which you develop most be Specified as one of the illnesses on your policy at the time of your claim
  • The medical diagnosis must confirm that your illness matches the definition of that illness outlined by the insurance company in your policy terms and conditions
  • You must survive for a deferred period after you are diagnosed. This period is usually 7 to 14 days depending on the policy.

What situation may my policy not cover me for Serious Illness Protection?

Under the Terms and Conditions of the policy there is usually a number of situations where your policy may not cover you, The main points are outlined below:

  • If your illness is thought to be caused by drug or alcohol abuse.
  • If your illness is thought to be a self-inflicted injury
  • If your illness is thought to have been caused as a result of a failure to follow medical advice
  • If your illness existed before you applied for insurance
  • If you omit important medical information on the application form
  • If your illness was as a result of a dangerous or criminal activity
  • If you live outside the ‘territorial limits' of the policy for a certain number of months of the year. For example you may have your policy in Ireland but decide to live for 9 months in Colombia. You would need to let Paul Ryan know if you planned to live overseas so that we can ensure that there is not a breach of the territorial limits on the policy.

If I take out Serious Illness what will my policy typically cover?

You must firstly realise that the Serious Illness Protection Policy will not replace your income it will simply pay out a lump sum in relation to the illness covered by the policy. If you get sick and are unable to work, serious illness protection will only pay out if the illness is covered by the policy. The illnesses that would prevent you from working will need to be be covered by your policy. Not all policies will cover the same illnesses, or common illness therefore you will need advice to ensure that your policy will cover a specific illness before you take out your policy. Our team will help advise on this when you are enquiring about the prospect of a Serious Illness Policy.

If I take out Serious Illness Protection will the "exclusions" on the policy be the same for everybody?

Most polices have the same listed "exclusions", however each provider will have different definitions and also in some cases a different set of "exclusions". On top of this the underwriter  may also list additional "exclusions" on or above the general ones for your specific policy. These may be based on your job, lifestyle, family history. This is why it is so important to consult an Qualified Financial Advisor to seek information before embarking on taking out a Serious Illness Policy. We will tell you what policy suits you, we may even recommend that you do not take out a Serious Illness Policy! 

Can children be covered on my Serious Illness Policy?

In most cases your children can be covered for most to all the illnesses listed on YOUR policy. Usually the maximum benefit for a child is 50% of the amount on your policy up a maximum of €15,000.

How much does a Serious Illness Protection Policy cost?

The monthly cost of the insurance depends on many factors, but the most important are:

  • the amount of cover, for example, €50,000
  • who the insurance will cover - it could be single cover for yourself or joint cover for yourself and a partner, or indeed for a business partner or your children.
  • the length of the term of your policy. 

Other factors to considered are as follows:

Your age, gender, whether you smoke, health and family medical history also affect how much you pay for your serious illness insurance. As you get older, serious illness cover is likely to cost more, so don't cancel an existing policy to take out a new one unless you have a good reason. A new policy may also have more exclusions, particularly if your job or health has changed.  

What is Accelerated Serious Illness Cover?

Accelerated Serious Illness Cover means that the policy will pay out if you are diagnosed with one of the listed serious illnesses under your plan or if you die within the term of the policy. It would not pay out twice unless you only receive part of the benefit. Some accelerated serious illness policies let you choose a lower level of cover for the serious illness part of the policy than for the life insurance part. It is always cheaper than stand alone cover as it only makes one payment.

Can the monthly cost increase?

If you can buy stand-alone serious illness cover for a fixed term or you add serious illness cover to a fixed term, then the premium is fixed for the term of the policy.

However, if you choose an index linked policy, the premium usually increases once a year to allow for inflation, unless you ask your insurer to stop index linking.

If you buy serious illness cover as part of a whole of life policy, your premium is not fixed and may increase from time to time.

Buying serious illness cover

You can buy serious illness insurance directly from an insurance company or through a broker. To apply for this cover, you will need to fill in a detailed application form, called a proposal form.

Some insurance companies offer you extra benefits on their policies, but they usually charge you more for these. The typical extra benefits are:

  • personal-accident benefit, which gives you a weekly payment for a limited period if you cannot work due to an accident
  • hospital cash, which is a daily payment you get if you have to stay in hospital for a certain period. It is paid for each day you spend in hospital as a result of an illness or accident 
  • a conversion option, which lets you convert your cover into a new policy when you are older, even if you are in bad health at that stage
  • indexation or inflation protection, which increases your cover each year to allow for inflation. 


Paul Ryan Pension & Financial Consultants Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

© 2023 Paul Ryan PFC Ltd

  • 19 Greenmount House,, Greenmount Office Park Harolds Cross Road, Dublin 6w Ireland
  • Phone: +353 1 4546730
  • Fax:
  • Email: