The difference between Critical Illness Cover & Income Protection

11 July 2018

Both Income Protection Benefit and Critical Illness Cover are designed to help protect you financially.  However, they are quite different products. The difference lies in the fact that Critical Illness Cover is designed to pay out a one off cash sum if you're diagnosed with a critical illness that we cover during the length of your policy. Whereas Income Protection Benefit is designed to pay out a monthly benefit if you're off work due to an illness or injury which results in loss of earnings.

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between the two products.

Income Protection versus Critical Illness Cover

Income Protection Benefit

If you’re unable to work due to incapacity caused by illness or injury which results in loss of income, Income Protection Benefit is designed to pay you a regular monthly benefit until you’re able to return to work or until your plan ends, or you retire, or you pass away, whichever happens first. 

As with all insurance policies, limitations and exclusions apply. For example, this plan does not include unemployment cover and will therefore not pay out if you become unemployed. Any monthly benefits should be free from UK Income Tax or National Insurance contributions. The Government may change this tax position at any time, which could affect the monthly benefit your policy pays out.

Read more about Income Protection Benefit from Legal & General.

Critical Illness Cover

Our Critical Illness Cover can be added to our Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance for an extra cost. It could pay out a cash sum if you’re diagnosed with, or undergo a medical procedure for one of the specified critical illness that we cover during the length of your policy, and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. Some of the illnesses we cover include:

  • Cancer (excluding less advanced cases)
  • Heart attacks (of specified severity)
  • Stroke (where symptoms last more than 24 hours) 

For full definitions and when you can claim for these illnesses please refer to our Guide to Critical Illness Cover PDF and Policy Booklet PDF.

Please note that 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. 

Read more about the critical illnesses we cover

Should I choose Income Protection Benefit or Critical Illness Cover?

Your decision to select Income Protection Benefit or Critical Illness Cover may depend on work and lifestyle factors. You may work in a trade where any injury defined as non-critical could nonetheless cause damage to your livelihood, in which case Income Protection may be suited to your needs. On the other hand, Critical Illness Cover may suffice if you prefer a one-off cash sum on diagnosis of covered conditions which could be used towards paying off a mortgage or help with other everyday living expenses.

You may feel you even have a need for both products, if affordable. Our Income Protection Benefit is only available through a Financial Adviser so they will also be able to help you work out the right option for you.

It's also important to remember that with Legal & General, Critical Illness Cover can only be added when taking out Life Insurance or Decreasing Life Insurance and cannot be taken out on it's own.

Get the cover you need today

It can be difficult to decide how to protect yourself and those closest to you, but whether you choose Income Protection Benefit or Critical Illness Cover, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have some financial protection in place. 

Remember that our Income Protection Benefit is available through our Financial Advisers, find out more about Income Protection Benefit.

Find out more about Critical Illness Cover.