Important changes to Critical and serious illness cover for the Armed Forces, including reservists

17th June 2020

Important changes to Critical and serious illness cover for the Armed Forces, including reservists

On June 13th 2020 one of the Armed Forces favoured life and serious illness insurer’s, Vitality,
announced changes in the way they underwrite and choose to offer cover to those serving for the
British Armed forces, which also includes reservists.

For some time, they and one other insurer have been the only mainstream insurance companies
that have been able to offer comprehensive critical/serious illness cover without operational

The changes

As of now Vitality’s terms will be;

For higher risk categories such as fast jet pilots, helicopter aircrew, bomb disposal etc. Any
Serious Illness that results directly from an accident or injury or wound caused while
undertaking any duties related to your occupation will be excluded

For all other Armed Forces personnel including reservists, there will be a separate theatre of
war exclusion applied to Serious Illness cover (SIC):

Any Serious Illness that results directly from an accident or injury or wound in an active
theatre of operations or an area of hostility, war or conflict will be excluded.

We believe this to be a significant change and feel it is important to make our clients and the
wider forces community aware of this. In addition, we also understand that soon, the last
remaining mainstream insurer to not apply operational exclusions will also be changing the terms
they offer. We have not been advised of any dates at the time of this being published.

This clearly raises a number of points when considering what is the best critical illness cover for
serving Armed Forces personnel. This also highlights the importance of receiving impartial
financial advice from a specialist in dealing with life and illness cover for the British Military.

Our services

At Forces Family Finance our advice and recommendations are not only based on your
occupation, but your personal circumstances as well, creating a tailored package just for you and
your family, including preparing for leaving service life if relevant.

To book in for a completely free of charge review and recommendation service our contact
details here

Key points to consider

This does not apply to life cover or existing policies.

There are still some alternatives that can be given consideration with the right advice sought and

You may wish to act sooner rather than later to secure comprehensive cover, whilst it still exists
on the market.

In addition, PAX is still available for the optional life/critical illness add on, however, there are
limitations of this cover that you should also be aware of. These being;

  • You are only covered for 3 illnesses; cancer, stroke and heart attack – These are also
    with limited definitions.
  • The maximum amount of unit cover (15) is £60,000
  • If you claim on critical illness beforehand this will impact the amount you can then claim
    for on death.

Depending on the circumstances you may be entitled to a pay out from the
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme however this should not be deemed as reliable way of protecting yourself against the financial impact of these events occurring

We make every effort to ensure this information is correct at the time of publishing this blog,
However, cannot be held responsible for any changes in policy or information after this date. The
information provided in this blog does not constitute formal financial advice and we suggest that
you consult directly with an adviser regarding your specific circumstances. If you believe any of
this information to be inaccurate please contact us directly in order for it to be amended.


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