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 are diagnosed.

Cancer diagnosis 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.

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. If you would like standalone cover (where any Critical Illness payment will not reduce your life insurance), you will need to contact the office on 0800 22 22 23.
  • 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.

What else?

If you don’t apply for Critical Illness at the same time as your Life Insurance, you may have the option of adding Serious Illness cover to your policy later. Serious Illness will cover you for the four main reasons that people claim on their Critical Illness cover. (Critical Illness covers you for 24 different conditions.)

Critical Illness and Serious Illness are also known as Trauma Cover. Every company has a different version of trauma cover, read what’s covered by each of our policies in the links below.

Critical Illness Cover

Serious Illness Cover

What cover might I need?

Thinking about what life stage you’re at might help you get started if you’re stuck wondering what you need. Choose the option that best fits what you want to plan for, we’ll then let you know what other people planning for a similar future have asked for quotes on.


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, cheque (for six monthly or annual premiums only), 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.

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 Funeral Cover

  • you can apply if you are aged 50-75 and,
  • you must live in NZ

For Income Protection

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

Why do I need 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. We also offer Serious Illness Cover which protects you the first time you are diagnosed with one of four serious conditions.

Still unsure?

Still unsure?

We can show you what insurance people planning for a similar future have asked about.

Help me choose
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