Critical Insurance | Interesting Facts
Critical illness insurance, otherwise known as critical illness cover or a dread disease policy, is an insurance product in which the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses on a predetermined list as part of an insurance policy.
Critical illness insurance was founded by Dr Marius Barnard, a South African cardiac surgeon after being motivated by the financial hardship he saw his patients suffer after he had treated their critical illnesses. Dr Barnard convinced South African insurance companies to introduce a new type of insurance to cover critical illnesses.
Barnard argued that, as a medical doctor, he can repair a man physically, but only insurers can repair a patient’s finances. The first critical illness product was launched on the 6th of October 1983 in South Africa, under the name dread disease insurance.
Since 1983, the cover has been accepted into many insurance markets around the world. Other names of the insurance cover include: trauma insurance, serious illness insurance and living assurance.
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