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You know, sometimes in life the worst does happen. Knowing you have insurance on your side can help to manage the risk.

Protection covers a range of different insurance types, the most popular are Life Insurance, Income Protection, Critical Illness and Private Medical Insurance. Each type is designed to cover you when things don’t go according to plan. 

Income protection insurance (sometimes known as permanent health insurance) is a long-term insurance policy designed to help you if you can’t work because you’re ill or injured.

It ensures you continue to receive a regular income until you retire or are able to return to work.

It replaces part of your income - if you can’t work because you become ill or disabled.

It pays out until you can start working again - or until you retire, die or the end of the policy term - whichever is sooner.

There’s often a waiting period before the payments start - you generally set payments to start after your sick pay ends, or after any other insurance stops covering you. The longer you wait, the lower the monthly premiums.

It covers most illnesses that leave you unable to work - either in the short or long term (depending on the type of policy and its definition of incapacity).

You can claim as many times as you need to - while the policy lasts.

Life insurance pays out a tax-free lump sum if you die. It can also provide emotional support for your loved ones. There are various different types of life insurance policies available. 

When you take out life insurance, this usually means that you are covered for a certain amount of time.

When you apply, you choose the ‘term’ of the policy, such as 25 years. If you die within the term chosen, your loved ones could receive a cash sum. However, if you survive the term, the policy will end and no cash sum will be paid out. You may wish to select a policy that will last until your retirement age or until your children are no longer financially dependent.

Life assurance policies offer insurance cover for the whole of your life, rather than a chosen policy length. A life assurance payout is tax-free, and provided the premiums have been paid, a claim can be made upon the death of the insured person. You’ll have the advantage of guaranteed cover for as long as you need it, but the reality is you’ll pay higher premiums for the privilege.

Critical Illness Cover pays out a tax-free payment if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness – as long as it’s one that is covered. The kinds of illnesses that are covered are usually long-term and very serious conditions such as a heart attack or stroke, or loss of arms/legs.

This type of policy is designed to ease the financial pressure that can follow the diagnosis of a serious illness, for example, offering a lump sum that you can use for what you want, like paying medical expenses, mortgage and paying off debt.

You will qualify for the payment if you survive a set period of time as outlined by the terms of the policy. This is typically 14 days, in which a member must survive following the diagnosis of an insured illness or operation in order to make a claim.

Critical illness insurance policies don’t cover every type of illness. And with the illnesses they do cover, you usually have to be extremely ill or totally disabled before you can claim. Pre-existing conditions may also be excluded. This refers to any illness you have either suffered from, or currently have, prior to joining the policy.