Group critical illness insurance

Our approach to group critical illness gives employees a tax-free sum of money if they fall seriously ill and are diagnosed with a specified condition.

It looks after an employee’s family too − children are covered as standard (up to £25,000) and there’s the option to add cover for a partner.

Really, it’s about relieving money worries as quickly as possible to help people feel confident about their financial futures.  Leaving them to focus on what matters: their recovery.

Our broadest ever cover

You’re recommending a product that has people’s needs at its core − whether it’s money to adapt their home, adjust to a new way of life or to pay for childcare. Our group critical illness covers the equivalent of 50 conditions, and here’s some key things we think you should know about our cover. For the full details, have a read of our technical guide − there’s some pre-existing illness and related medical conditions exclusions to think about.

  • Cover options: there’s one level of comprehensive cover as standard. Your clients can choose to add cover for their employees’ partners and /or add total permanent disability cover. Employers can also pick between a fixed benefit amount or offer a multiple of salary − they can decide when setting up their policy.
  • Grouped conditions: you’ll see conditions you’re familiar with, like heart attack, cancer, stroke and dementia. There’s also eight straightforward headings that cover 27 named illnesses included under eight straightforward headings. Say hello to simplicity and goodbye to long lists of complicated medical terms.
  • Impact, not cause: it’s only fair that all conditions that have the same end result on an employee’s health are treated the same at the point of claim. It doesn’t matter what the illness is called or how rare it is. It’s the focus on specific surgeries or the impact of an illness on daily life that counts.
  • Flexible benefits terms: flex cover is an option for employers of all sizes. There’s no benefit level limits at flexible benefit windows and lifestyle events. Plus our ‘actively at work’ and related medical conditions exclusion wording make it easier to claim.

Our grouped conditions

Our grouped conditions

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Group Effective coverage

Degenerative neurological disorder

Alzheimer's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), dementia, motor neurone disease (MND), Parkinson's disease, Parkinson plus syndromes, progressive supranuclear palsy, plus any other degenerative neurological condition that meets our criteria
Reduced heart function Cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, plus any other cardiac condition that meets our criteria

Surgery to the heart, aorta or pulmonary artery Aorta graft surgery, balloon valvuloplasty, cardiac arrest, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery bypass grafts, heart surgery, heart valve replacement or repair, open heart surgery, pulmonary artery replacement, plus any other condition that results in the specified surgeries
Surgery via the skull Cerebral or spinal arteriovenous malformation or aneurysms, pituitary gland tumours, brain abscess, drug resistant epilepsy, plus any other condition that results in the specified surgery

Award-winning health and wellbeing support

Our group critical illness cover is about so much more than financial protection. At AIG, there’s a team of experts on hand to make sure both your clients’ employees are ready for claims, ready for diagnosis and ready for anything. 

Claims support

Our dedicated team are here to support employees throughout the claims journey. Their focus is on relieving an employee’s money worries and making sure they’re confident about their financial future. Leaving employees to focus on what matters: their recovery and accessing the right support services.

Smart Health

Being diagnosed with a critical illness can be a pretty scary situation. As part of our industry-leading Smart Health service, employees can get a second medical opinion, whether they need support with a complex condition, or want a specialist’s opinion. There’s also access to five other health and wellbeing services too.

Nurse support from RedArc

Facing a new diagnosis isn’t easy, so RedArc are here to make sure employees have a dedicated nurse at the other end of the phone. Whether it’s practical advice or emotional support, they’ll be there for anything people need. The care' s also there for the whole family, helping them cope with the impacts of a critical illness.

Smart Health is provided to AIG Life Limited customers by Teladoc Health. Both Smart Health and RedArc are non-contractual services, which means they don’t form part of the insurance contract with us. If our partnership with Teladoc Health or RedArc ends, these services could be changed or withdrawn in the future.

Need more info?

Here’s the answers to some of the common questions on group critical illness. But our team are always happy to have a chat if there’s something specific you’re looking for − or you can have a read of the technical guide.


(Click on each question to show its answer)

The amount that an employee receives can either be a fixed amount or a multiple of salary − up to £500,000. For workers on zero hours contracts, the maximum fixed amount on offer is £50,000. You can change from the multiple of salary option to the fixed amount option, but you can’t change the offering within either of these categories.

If it’s a flexible benefit scheme, employees choose from a range of fixed amounts or salary multiples on offer.

The employee, child and spouse/partner (if covered) are covered for the below list of illness − our cover matches or exceeds the ABI’s model definitions. And there’s the option to add total permanent disability (TPD) at an additional cost. The full information’s in our technical guide − as ever, there’s some pre-existing illness and related medical conditions exclusions to think about.

Children are covered under the child specific illness of permanent dependence rather than the illness loss of independence.

The following illnesses are grouped, focusing on their impact rather than a named condition:

  • Blindness or removal of an eyeball – permanent and irreversible
  • Brain injury – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Degenerative neurological disorder – of specified severity
  • Loss of use of a limb
  • Lung disease or removal – as specified
  • Reduced heart function – of specified severity
  • Surgery to the heart, aorta or pulmonary artery – as specified
  • Surgery via the skull – as specified

These conditions are also covered:

  • Angioplasty – requiring treatment to multiple coronary vessels
  • Bacterial meningitis – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Benign brain tumour – resulting in permanent symptoms or specified treatment
  • Benign spinal cord tumour – resulting in permanent symptoms or specified treatment
  • Cancer – excluding less advanced cases and including aplastic anaemia
  • Cancer – second and subsequent
  • Coma – of specified severity
  • Deafness – permanent and irreversible
  • Encephalitis – resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Heart attack – of specified severity
  • Kidney failure – requiring permanent dialysis
  • Liver failure – end stage
  • Loss of independence – of specified severity (for adults only)
  • Major organ transplant – from another donor
  • Multiple sclerosis or Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease) – where there have been symptoms
  • (Chronic) Rheumatoid arthritis – of specified severity
  • Stroke – of specified severity
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – of specified severity
  • Terminal illness – where death is expected within 12 months
  • Third degree burns – covering 20% of the body’s surface area or 20% of the face’s surface area.

The following conditions are specific to any children covered:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Edwards’ syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus – treated with the insertion of a shunt
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Patau syndrome
  • Permanent dependence – of specified severity
  • Spina bifida.

For full information about the quote and apply process, visit our ‘Working with us’ 'page'. And there’s a step-by-step guide tailored to the size of the scheme you’re applying for too.

There’s lots of cases where cover can continue when an employee’s off work − including illness, maternity, paternity and adoption leave. If they’re away from work for any other reason, cover ends after three years. There’s slightly different rules for fixed term and zero hours contractors – the full details are in our technical guide.

It’s possible to provide cover for all eligible employees up to a certain limit, without the need to individually assess them. We call that an automatic acceptance limit. Employees are automatically covered subject to a pre-existing or related medical condition exclusion.

Full details are included in the technical guide.

The automatic acceptance limit is reviewed at the end of every rate guarantee period (usually two years) and is dependent on the number of members insured.

Cover can be provided for spouses or partners at an additional cost, up to a maximum amount of £250,000. Their cover is subject to a pre-existing or related medical condition exclusion.

All children are automatically covered up to their 18th birthday (23rd birthday if in full-time education), including stepchildren or legally adopted children. The benefit for each child will be 25% of the employee’s benefit, up to a maximum of £25,000. Children’s cover will be subject to further child-specific exclusions and exclusions on pre-existing insured illnesses and related medical conditions.

Full details are included in the technical guide.

For tax purposes, premiums paid by the employer in respect of employees are treated as a business expense. For employees, they’re treated as a P11D benefit. Any employee with a proprietorial interest in the company aren’t generally eligible for tax relief on premiums paid. HMRC may agree to allow such relief if similar benefits are provided for a substantial number of other employees. Clarification of the tax position in such cases should be sought from your tax advisers.

Equity partners pay for their own premiums and there’s no tax relief on these premiums. The benefit paid to the member (including equity partners) isn’t normally subject to income tax. We’ll always pay them gross of any tax that may be due.

This is our understanding of current legislation – we recommend that your clients take professional legal and tax advice.

Literature and support materials

Group critical illness - technical guide

An overview of the group critical illness policy, including policy aims, how it works, what is covered and how premiums are charged.

Download Updated 19 May 24
Group critical illness - member guide

This document is to help employees understand how their group critical illness cover works.

Download Updated 04 Jul 21
Group critical illness - terms and conditions

This explains how the cover works and the terms and conditions for Group Critical Illness Insurance.

Download Updated 19 May 24
Group critical illness - product summary

This document is an overview of the key features of our group critical illness product.

Download Updated 04 Jul 21
Group critical illness - claims process

Get all the information you need on how we handle group critical illness claims from start to finish.

Download Updated 04 Jul 21
Group critical illness - sales aid

Read our guide to group critical illness, explaining all of the benefits this product offers your clients and their employees.

Download Updated 04 Jul 21