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Do I need Serious Illness insurance?

Do I need Serious Illness insurance?

If a serious illness happens to you how will you pay for it? Recovering from a serious illness can be expensive.

Imagine you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer. The doctors say your chances of a cure are good but there will be weeks and months of treatment. The surgery, radiation and hospital stay might be covered by the public health system or your health insurance, but, you will likely have to take time off work. Your partner or spouse may also need to take time off to care for you or your children. Time off work isn’t covered by health insurance, nor are additional alternative treatments or even possibly some of the drugs that you need.

How will you find the money? You could borrow it or raid your savings account, if you have one. You may be able to withdraw it from your KiwiSaver but only if your illness means you are permanently unable to work, or may die. All of these options may derail your plans for retirement. Trauma cover, sometimes known as serious illness or critical illness insurance, can keep your retirement plans on track.

Are you likely to suffer from a serious illness?

Unfortunately, you really are.

  • In NZ, 63 people are told ‘you have cancer’ every day. Luckily many cancers can be cured if they are found and treated in time. It is estimated that in New Zealand, about 1 person in every 3 who gets cancer is cured. (
  • 24 New Zealanders have a stroke every day, and a quarter of these are under 65. Stroke is the major cause of serous adult disability in New Zealand. There are an estimated 60,000 stroke survivors in New Zealand. Many are disabled and need significant daily support.(
  • 1 in 20 adults are living with heart disease, that’s 186,000 people. Its New Zealand’s biggest killer. (

Luckily more effective treatment means many people with serious illnesses, like cancer and heart disease, are living longer than they were 10-20 years ago. The challenge is making sure they have the money to pay for a life worth living.

How does it work?

At Pinnacle Life you choose the cover that suits you. Choose Serious Illness to cover the four most common illnesses, that lead to claims under this type of cover, or Critical Illness which covers a wider range of illnesses.

When you apply online for a life cover policy you may be offered the option to add Serious Illness cover of 25% of your Life Cover Sum Insured. (If it isn’t offered to you just contact us and we’ll arrange a quote for you.)

Unless you’re applying to switch your existing life insurance policy to us with us, you’ll need to contact us to add Critical Illness cover to your existing Pinnacle Life policy. It can be added as an advanced payment benefit or as a standalone cover on your life policy.

When you need to claim on your policy, you will get a cash lump-sum payment of up to $625,000 (depending on the cover amount you’ve selected). If you’ve chosen an advance payment benefit then your level of life cover will reduce by that amount, otherwise your life cover will continue at the same level as before. Your claim will be paid in New Zealand Dollars anywhere in the world, to the person who owns the policy.

If you have health insurance, or cover through your employer, it’s important to understand what the benefits cover, and for how long. It’s a good idea to review benefit amounts, waiting periods and other requirements. Being prepared for the unexpected, and the worst case scenario, is easy to put off. At Pinnacle Life we try to keep it as simple and easy as possible.

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Critical Illness Cover

Adding Critical Illness cover to your Life Insurance policy helps to ease the burden on your family at a difficult time.

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