Critical Illness Cover

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

Having Critical Illness cover means that if you suffer from one of the 24 conditions specified in your policy, you will receive a lump sum payment to use however you need.

It can only be purchased alongside Life Insurance.
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If Critical Illness cover is added to your policy we’ll pay the owner of your policy a tax-free lump sum payment if one of the twenty-four conditions covered under the policy is diagnosed.

Cancer diagnoses are the most common reason we pay Critical Illness claims, but you’ll also be covered in the event of a heart attack, stroke and many other conditions.

Please note: If your policy talks about ‘Serious Illness’ not ‘Critical Illness’ then you have a policy that was no longer available after 2018. This covers different conditions. Click here to see what you’re covered for. If you’d like to change your policy to Critical Illness you will need to apply. You can do that here.

The Basics

Getting covered

  • You can apply for Critical Illness at the same time that you apply for life insurance.
  • If you are aged between 18 to 59 years and living in NZ, Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong or Singapore you can apply.
  • All of our policies have a 30 day free look period, so that you can buy with confidence.

Once your policy is in place

  • If you get married, divorced, take out a mortgage or become a parent, you may be able to increase your cover by up to 50% with no medical questions asked. We understand that life changes!
  • You can decrease your Critical Illness cover or remove it from your Life Insurance policy at any time without penalty.
  • Your payments will increase each year as you get older.
  • When you turn 70 your Critical Illness cover will end.

When you need to claim on your policy

  • You will get a cash lump-sum payment, depending on the amount of cover you've selected of up to $625,000.
  • Your Life Insurance will reduce by the amount of the lump-sum payment. Critical Illness Cover is an 'early payment benefit', sometimes called 'accelerated' cover.
  • Your claim will be paid in New Zealand Dollars anywhere in the world, to the person who owns the policy.
  • Your policy will be reinsured by Hannover Life Re, one of the largest reinsurers of life insurance in the world.


How can I pay?

You can pay your Pinnacle Life premiums monthly, six-monthly or yearly. We prefer it if you pay by direct debit, however we also accept internet banking/automatic payment, or credit card. When paying via credit card, a charge of 3.95% is added to your premiums.

We do not accept weekly or fortnightly payments.

How much trauma (critical illness) insurance do I need?

The amount of critical insurance cover you require is up to you. The maximum amount of cover you can have is up to $625,000. For help with understanding what you need, use our online tools to get a quote or more personalised advice check out our online advice tool.

Is trauma (critical illness) insurance worth it?

We think it’s good to be prepared when we don’t know what the future may hold. Trauma insurance takes care of the bigger unknowns by covering most major health conditions. By adding trauma cover alongside life insurance, know that you will be well-taken care of, no matter what.

What are your age limits?

We offer cover to people aged between 18 and 75. Specifically, the age limits are:

For Life Insurance

  • you can apply online if you are aged 20-69
  • or by talking to us if you are 18-75.
  • You can be living in NZ, Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong or Singapore.

For Income Protection

  • you can apply if you are 20-59 and,
  • living and working in NZ.

For Critical Illness (note you can only apply for Critical Illness at the same time that you apply for life insurance)

  • You can apply online if you are age 20-59

For Disability Cover (note you can only apply for Disability Cover at the same time that you apply for life insurance)

  • You can apply online if you are age 20-59

What does trauma (critical illness) insurance cover?

There are 24 conditions covered by trauma insurance. You can find a list here of Pinnacle Life Critical Illness Definitions. Most common conditions are a cancer diagnosis, heart attack, or stroke.

What is trauma (or critical illness) insurance?

Trauma insurance covers you for specific medical conditions. Once diagnosed, you may be eligible to receive a tax-free, lump-sum payment that can be used in any way you like if your ailment is one of the 24 conditions covered by our policy. Help to fund your care or to look after your family members, trauma insurance is there to help you during difficult times. You can only buy it alongside life cover, you can’t buy it as a seperate policy.

Why do I need trauma (critical illness) cover?

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, this cover will pay you a tax-free lump sum. Some people use it to pay bills while they aren’t able to work, to help fund their treatment, or to get some extra help at home. It can help make your life easier while you are dealing with an illness.

Critical Illness covers you the first time you are diagnosed with any one of 24 different conditions.

If you've been with us for a while, you may have an older version of this policy, Serious Illness Cover. Serious Illness Cover protects you the first time you are diagnosed with one of four serious conditions. If you'd rather have Critical Illness cover, you'll need to apply.

Need help working out what life insurance you need?

Use our tool to do your own advice.
No need to talk to anyone (that means you can do it in your pajamas).

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