You’ve made a smart decision to look into securing additional coverage to finance your care in case you’re ever put into a position of needing serious medical attention above and beyond the scope of your usual healthcare benefits. Now, how do you know what kind of critical illness insurance to buy? When it comes to benefits disbursed for acute care, the answer of what’s covered is as varied as the number of insurance companies out there. Here’s a look at some examples of assurance firms, what maladies are covered and which aren’t, and how much you can expect to pay for such benefits.,Inexpensive Cover for Serious Symptoms,Maybe your budget is already stretched so thin that you can barely even consider adding additional insurance to your portfolio, but you’ve decided that, even if it means cutting back on a few niceties, it’s worth it to have the protection. If that’s the case, then you can’t drop huge amounts of cash every month on insurance, regardless of how fabulously comprehensive the cover may be. Going on the premise of “something’s better than nothing,” it’s wise to get started with setting up some provision for a possible challenging health event in your future.,The good news is that going cheap doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose out on valuable benefits. Plenty of insurance firms offer riders that cover a wide range of problems, including cancer and stroke, at prices that barely match the cost of a morning latte. You could dedicate as little as £1 or splurge and invest £8 per month; either way, it will likely fetch you at least the basic minimums of what you would need for your own circumstances.,Maximum payout rates begin at £25,000 for a monthly premium of £4.33. While this particular policy covers policyholders up to the age of 64, it doesn’t extend benefits for stroke, and only pays out for cancer treatments not calling for the administration of ABI-007, a biologically interactive albumin-bound paclitaxel medicine. Further, this company’s cover only issues benefits for four listed conditions. While this might be a good choice for your needs, you can probably do better.,For a monthly £5 premium, you can reserve up to £7,000,000 with Zurich’s acute care policy. Effective for clients up to 69 years of age, this company pays out benefits on any of 39 listed conditions, including cancer and stroke.,If you’re most concerned about covering the gamut of potential diseases, you might opt to sign up with Prudential. For £8 per month, you get a payout of up to £2,000,000 in the event any of 160 maladies strikes your well-being. Benefits for stroke and cancer depend on the situation, so if this cover interests you, be sure to contact your insurance agent to get all the salient details.,Be careful, though: don’t stop your window shopping as soon as you happen upon an attractive low price. Further, don’t assume that the lower the price, the weaker the benefits. One company charges a low £1.99, but only covers up to two conditions. You’d be better off going with another company that charges half as much, but covers up to 17 conditions! ,More Comprehensive Programs,If your budget has enough cushion to bear a slightly larger premium, you might want to take advantage of the additional benefits available through more comprehensive plans. AEGON welcomes policyholders up to the age of 74, and covers 43 diagnoses, including stroke, heart attack, cancer and some acute adolescent conditions. And Sainsbury’s Bank offers payouts in unlimited amounts, determined only by the level of premium you wish to contribute. Its policy addresses 40 conditions, including children’s diseases (with no restrictions), cancer, stroke and heart attack.,The monthly premiums for these kinds of elevated policies can be determined by contacting the companies directly or by consulting with your insurance agent.,Handle It Now,Before committing to any particular company’s critical illness policy, get clear on the details of exactly what is covered, what restrictions, if any, there are, what the maximum policyholder age can be to qualify and to use the benefit, and how much payout is guaranteed under what circumstances. It may be a bit of work to sort through, but it’s far better to handle the matter now, than later, when your doctor invites you to sit down for his news.