A hefty lump sum is always welcome – and if it arrives following the diagnosis of a serious illness, it can be the vital means of getting through a crisis.

This is why there is a huge interest in “critical illness” insurance. Policyholders pay a monthly sum for cover lasting a set number of years. If they suffer any of a list of major diseases – notably cancer, strokes or heart attacks – the policy pays out.

That is the theory, at least, and it is an attractive enough concept to have led six million people to buy the cover.

Research by Legal and General shows that the average UK household has enough in savings to survive financially for just 18 days before being totally reliant on state benefits, friends or family if the main breadwinner’s income is lost.

It adds that almost two in five households have no savings at all, making them dependent on some form of assistance.

Read the full story via How to claim successfully for critical illness cover – Telegraph.