A parent’s guide to critical illness insurance for kids

No parent ever wants to think about their child getting sick. We all push it to the back of our minds, hoping it stays in the realm of "never going to happen."

But life has a way of throwing curveballs, and being prepared is crucial. That's where having children's critical illness insurance comes into play - if the unthinkable happens, you've got a backup.

The basics of children's critical illness insurance

Children can get sick, too: Just like adults, children can face serious illnesses, which is why insurance for children exists.

Children's critical illness cover is added to an adult critical illness policy. Like an adult's policy, children's critical illness cover will cover different things, depending on which insurer you choose.

Sometimes, you'll need to pay extra to add children's cover to your policy. However, some top life insurers do include children's cover for free.

What illnesses are included?

In general, the same serious conditions covered for adults are also covered for children. This includes serious illnesses like cancer, major organ failure, loss of eyesight, and more.

Plus, there are also conditions more specific to youngsters that are also included, such as:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Down's Syndrome

What can the payout do?

There are so many ways a small cash injection could help if your child were to become seriously ill, such as:

  • The cash can give you some room to breathe financially. With some money in your back pocket, you can take some time off work if needed, still pay the bills, and keep your family afloat.
  • Making changes to your family home to make life easier for your child following their illness
  • Taking your family away on a dream getaway to take your mind off things
  • Peace of mind - you know you've got some money to fall back on


An industry giant in the insurance world here's all you need to know about Aviva when it comes to children's critical illness insurance:

  • When you buy critical illness cover from Aviva, they also include cover for your kids at no extra cost. If your child gets diagnosed with a covered illness, you can claim this part of your cover.
  • It doesn't stop your insurance if you need to claim because your child is sick.
  • If you sadly had to claim on your child's insurance, you could get 50% of your insurance amount or £25,000, whichever is less.
  • This part of your policy can cover your kids from when they're a month old up to 18 years or 21 if they're still in full-time education.
  • If the worst were to happen, Aviva offers £5,000, which can help with funeral costs.
  • Aviva also offers something called Global Treatment. Both you and your children (up to age 18, or 21 if in full time education) will be covered for overseas treatment. Hospital admission, travel and accommodation is covered for the patient plus a companion.

Sadly, it's used more often than you'd think. In 2022, Aviva gave £5.2 million to families through this benefit, helping 264 families with an average payout of £19,873. The most common reason families needed this benefit was due to cancer.

Legal and General

Legal and General is one of the UK's leading life insurance providers. Here are some of the highlights of how their children's critical illness cover works:

  • If your child gets hurt in an accident and needs to stay in the hospital for 28 days in a row, this insurance will give you £5,000.
  • Legal and General will include natural, legally adopted, and stepchildren; they will also cover any children the policyholder may have in the future will be included in this cover.
  • Your child will be covered from when they are 30 days old to their 18th birthday (or 21st birthday if they are in full-time education).
  • If the worst happens and your child passes away, you can receive £4,000 to help with the funeral costs.
  • If you, the parent, get sick, the insurance can also give you up to £1,000 to help pay for someone to take care of your kids while you get better. This benefit is only available if your children are under five years old.
  • If your child is in the hospital because of a serious illness, this cover can give you £100 for every night they stay there, up to £1,000.

Royal London

Whether you choose the standard or enhanced version, Royal London's children's critical illness policy will cover your kids from when they're babies until they're 22 or 23 if they're in full-time education.

  • The enhanced version can pay up to £50,000. If your child is seriously ill and the doctors say they won't get better, or your child sadly passes away, this plan offers £10,000 to help during those times. Plus, if there are problems during pregnancy, the policy can pay you £5,000 for each affected pregnancy.
  • The standard version of their children's insurance covers fewer illnesses. Still, it offers up to £30,000 if your child is diagnosed with a listed illness. If your child sadly passes away, this policy can pay out £5,000 to help.


Vitality stands out from the crowd when it comes to children’s critical illness cover. Firstly, they call it something different - serious illness cover!

But more importantly, unlike other insurers who offer children's cover as an add-on, Vitality offers children's cover as a separate policy. This means, parents can choose precisely what they need for their child without buying more insurance for themselves than they want or need.

  • With Vitality's children's insurance, you can choose between £25,000 and £100,000 of cover, depending on your budget and needs.
  • The plan also includes extra financial support of £100 per day if the child is hospitalised and a £5,000 funeral contribution if they sadly pass away during the cover term.
  • This children's serious illness insurance can be added to any adult plan, like life insurance or income protection, giving families more freedom to customise their cover based on their needs and budget.

Liverpool Victoria

If you want children's cover with Liverpool Victoria, they offer an excellent package. Here are some of the highlights:

  • If your child gets sick with one of 95 illnesses covered (including ten illnesses specific to children), this insurance can give you some money to help. If it's a really serious condition, like if a major organ fails or they were diagnosed with a severe lung disease, they could give you up to £70,000, depending on the illness.
  • If your child were to sadly be diagnosed with cancer and it's a type covered by this plan, you could get £1,000 to help.
  • This insurance works from when your child is born until they turn 23. When they reach 23, they can get their insurance with Liverpool Victoria without having to re-apply.
  • If, sadly, your child passes away, Liverpool Victoria will help with £5,000 towards the funeral costs. This is in addition to any money paid out if the child is sick with one of the illnesses covered.
  • If the plan covers complications during pregnancy, they can also offer £5,000 to help.
  • One unique thing about LV's child cover is that if you need to make a claim, your child doesn't need to have survived for 14 days after getting sick or having an accident, which many other insurance companies require.


AIG has two different levels of children's cover: core or enhanced.

The main difference between the two is the enhanced version covers more illnesses than the core version.  Plus, the enhanced version can pay up to £50,000. Meanwhile, the core version pays out up to £25,000.

More peace of mind

In a nutshell, if you're a parent, why wouldn't want more peace of mind?

Not only is adding children's cover onto your policy a smart money move but it's also guaranteed to give you the ultimate peace of mind. Children's critical illness cover is a no-brainer if you're a parent.