Critical illness cover

Critical Illness Cover

  • Extra cover to help your recovery​
  • A range of specified illnesses covered​​
  • UK’s Number One Life Insurance provider  
Find out more

What is Critical Illness Cover?

Critical Illness Cover can be an invaluable way of protecting you and your family against the financial implications you would face if you were diagnosed with a critical illness. It can be added for an extra cost when taking out Life Insurance to protect your loved ones or Decreasing Life Insurance to cover a repayment mortgage.

How does Critical Illness Cover work?

You and loved ones could receive a cash sum if you’re diagnosed with, or undergo a medical procedure for one of the specified critical illnesses that we cover during the length of your policy, and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. It could help with child care costs, household bills or to help maintain your standard of living if you're forced to take time off work to recover.

Before you compare life insurance providers, here's some great reasons to take out cover with us:

  • Children's Critical Illness Cover is included as standard. Terms and conditions apply.
  • No-one covers more families in the UK than us** (based on new life insurance sales).
  • We paid out £255 million in critical illness cover claims in 2023, helping more than 3500 people and their families.
  • Get a quote online in 2 minutes, you could be covered in just 20.
  • Wellbeing Support. We've partnered with RedArc Assured Limited to bring you access to our Wellbeing Support service. Their registered nurses provide a wide range of phone-based wellbeing services, supporting your wellbeing and mental health. Find out more
  • Care Concierge Free access to our team of Care Experts, this confidential and impartial telephone advisory service can help you or loved ones understand and find later life care. Find out more

This page was last reviewed by our team of financial protection experts on 6 November 2023.

Getting a life insurance quote online is quick and easy

Or call us on 0800 316 5591
8:30am to 8pm Monday to Friday
9am to 1pm Saturday

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Critical Illness Cover details

What's covered

  • You'll be covered if you're diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for one of the critical illnesses we cover and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis, before your policy ends.
  • We'll pay out your cover amount in full. Your policy will then come to an end
  • The list of illnesses we cover includes many types of cancer, heart attack and stroke. See the full list of illnesses covered.
  • Children’s Critical Illness Cover is automatically included.
  • You may be able to increase the amount of cover without answering further medical questions. Read more about changing your policy

Additional cover

We also provide additional cover for the following:

  • Carcinoma in situ of the breast – treated by surgery.
  • Low grade prostate cancer – requiring treatment.

Claims paid under additional cover will not reduce your amount of cover or change your premiums. We'll pay out once for each 'Additional Cover'. Terms and conditions apply.

Things you need to know

  • If you die then the cover will end for a single life policy. If you have a joint policy, when the first person dies and makes a valid claim, your Critical Illness Cover policy can continue.
  • We won't pay out if you’re diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for a critical illness that doesn't meet our definition or if death occurs within 14 days of diagnosis of one of the critical illnesses we cover.
  • If some elements of cover are restricted based on the information you give us, we'll tell you what we've excluded in your policy booklet under 'What you are not covered for'.
  • Some types of cancer are not included and you need to have permanent symptoms to make a claim for some illnesses.
  • This is not a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.

Please read the key documents before you apply:

Get a free quote in a few simple steps

Critical Illness Cover explained in 60 seconds

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Who needs Critical Illness Cover?

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A critical illness can affect anyone at any age and can turn lives upside down. In the event of being unable to work due to critical illness, having a back-up plan in place can alleviate some of the financial stress of the situation. Some people may use their savings to supplement their loss of income, others may rely on an employment benefit package, while others may find that some form of critical illness insurance is their best option.

Can I get Critical Illness Cover without life insurance?

You can’t take out Critical Illness Cover only – it needs to be taken out with a Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance policy.

However, you can choose the amount of Critical Illness Cover you need to suit your needs. Your cover doesn't need to match the amount of Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance you take out – it can be less but it cannot be more.

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Am I eligible for Critical Illness Cover?

To be eligible for Critical Illness Cover, you’ll need to be:

  • A UK resident
  • Aged 67 or younger (min 18)
  • Aged under 75 when the policy ends

The minimum term length is two years, and the maximum length of a policy is 50 years.

What is Wellbeing Support?

We know that the pressures of everyday life can sometimes be stressful, and can impact your wellbeing in lots of ways. That's why we've introduced Wellbeing Support Service. So whether you need a reassuring chat, some information, or help getting through a challenging time, they are here to help.

Support and help from a dedicated nurse can range from a reassuring chat, information, advice and guidance, to a clinical assessment and organising additional services.

Support is included as standard from day one of your policy. 

You don’t need to make a claim on your policy to get the help you need - you can get in touch with your nurse directly. 

Take a look at our dedicated Wellbeing Support hub and find out more.

Care Concierge

If you think that you or someone you know might need care, it can be difficult to know where to start looking or what your options are. Care Concierge is a confidential telephone advisory service that can help you understand and find later life care. Our Care Concierge team have extensive knowledge of the care industry and are completely impartial, allowing you to make an informed decision on the care option that is right for you.

Access to experts in later life care

Available to the policyholder, their partner, children and parents.

Tailored 1:1 impartial guidance.

Take a look at our dedicated Care Concierge page to find out more

Why choose Legal & General for your life insurance

Life insurance provider of the year

Award winning cover

**We've been crowned 'Life Insurance Provider of the Year (Direct)' for the 5th time at the 2024 awards.

Number one rosette

The UK's No.1 Life Insurance Provider

*Based on new individual Life Insurance sales in 2023, Term & Health Watch report 2024, Swiss Re.

Defaqto 5 star expert rated image

Expert rated

5 Star Defaqto rated cover, the highest rating possible!

Critical Illness Cover FAQs

You must be a UK resident when you apply to be eligible. The maximum age limit for taking out Critical Illness Cover is 67, and the minimum term length is two years. What’s more, your policy must end before you turn 75, and the maximum length of your policy is 50 years.

Depending on your medical history, some conditions may be excluded from your policy but each application is looked at on an individual basis. You'll be informed of any exclusions during your application process.

For more information, please refer to our

Policy Summary PDF: 222.43KB

Legal & General’s Critical Illness Cover covers a range of specified critical illnesses. This includes various cancers, excluding less advanced cases.

The list of illnesses we cover includes many types of cancer, heart attack and stroke. However, some types of cancer are not included and you need to have permanent symptoms to make a claim for some illnesses.

For more information on Critical Illness Cover, list of the illnesses we cover

You can still apply for Critical Illness Cover after you’ve been diagnosed with a health condition. Each application is considered on an individual basis, but some conditions may be excluded from your Critical Illness Cover (you’ll be informed of any exclusions during the application) and in some circumstances we wouldn't be able to offer cover at all. Read more on our Policy Summary PDF: 222.43KB

The main difference between Critical Illness Cover and Terminal Illness Cover is that Critical Illness Cover is designed to payout if you are diagnosed with one of the specified critical illnesses that we cover. Terminal Illness Cover pays out if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness (when life expectancy is less than 12 months).

What’s more, whether you’re taking out Life Insurance to protect your family’s overall finances, or Decreasing Life Insurance to cover a repayment mortgage, Critical Illness Cover is added at an extra cost. In contrast, Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included with these policies at no extra cost.

Finally, a Terminal Illness Cover payout brings a life insurance policy to an end; in contrast, Critical Illness Cover can pay out separately to your life insurance.

Learn more about the differences between terminal illness cover and critical illness cover.


Yes, we will automatically include Children's Critical Illness Cover when you select Critical Illness Cover. If your child is diagnosed with a critical illness that we cover, we could pay out £25,000 or 50% of your cover amount, whichever is lowest. 

There are additional benefits included too such as Childcare Benefit and Family Accommodation Benefit. Learn more about Children's Critical Illness Cover.

Further eligibility criteria and exclusions apply, so please read the Guide to Critical Illness Cover PDF: for more information, and the Critical Illness Cover Policy Booklet PDF to see what is and isn’t covered.

Your premiums are guaranteed to stay the same unless you make any changes to your policy. Compared to some life insurance providers that offer variable premiums, Legal & General offer fixed premium life insurance policies.


You can call our claims team, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. The telephone number you need is 0808 303 3614. 

You can also use the same telephone number to make a claim under children’s critical illness cover or additional cover for the ‘Carcinoma in situ of the breast’ or 'low grade prostate cancer' definitions.

You can also email or write to us.

When you applied for protection, you told us how long you needed cover to last. Your policy will remain live for this length of time as long as your premiums are up to date.

The easiest way to view and manage your policy is to access My Account where you can log in or register. Or use the Policy Documents Request Form to get a policy summary by email. We can only send to the email address that we currently hold on our records. Find out more about our Privacy Policy.

You could also check your bank statements for payments to other insurance companies.

Yes, but we recommend speaking to your financial adviser before cancelling a policy. 

If you cancel your policy within the first 30 days, we’ll refund any premiums paid. After 30 days, no premiums will be refunded. We’ll require authority from each policy holder(s).

Please call us on 0330 828 3117, we're open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.

Or you can cancel online.

Related information and products

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Additional benefits

Our Critical Illness Cover automatically includes a number of additional benefits, such as Children's Critical Illness Cover.

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Life Insurance

If you're looking for life cover that doesn't decrease over time to help protect your family or  mortgage, take a look at our Life Insurance where the amount of cover stays the same throughout the length of the policy.

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Decreasing Life Insurance

If you're looking for life cover to specifically cover a repayment mortgage, take a look at our Decreasing Life Insurance where the amount of cover reduces roughly in line with the way a repayment mortgage reduces.  

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