Critical Illness – United Kingdom (UK) Protection Insurance 2020

New business premiums in the UK’s standalone critical illness market increased to £21.5m in 2019. Despite the strong growth, critical illness cover continues to represent a small proportion of the protection market. Advised sales are more common than non-advised sales. Together, the advice and restricted advice channels accounted for 83.1% of all standalone critical illness policies sold in 2019. The outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted insurers to tighten their underwriting guidelines, particularly with customer groups who are more vulnerable to the effects of the disease. Meanwhile, delays in onboarding new customers have been commonplace. This will lead the market to temporarily contract before returning to growth. The standalone critical illness market is forecast to reach £26.7m by 2024.

The report provides an in-depth assessment of the standalone critical illness market, looking at current and historical market sizes with regards to changes in contracts and premiums. It examines how critical illness products are distributed and highlights key changes in the competitive landscape, as well as the proposition of the key market players. It provides five-year forecasts of contracts and premiums to 2024 and discusses how the market, distribution, and products offered are likely to change in the future, as well as the reasons for these changes.


– The standalone critical illness market experienced another year of strong growth in 2019, with premiums rising by 9.3% to £21.5m.

– L&G retained its position as the largest provider of critical illness cover. The insurer accounted for more than a quarter of all critical illness contracts sold (standalone and with-rider) in 2018.

– Cancer is the most common reason for claims. COVID-19 has the potential to aggravate this, given the way the virus has strained NHS services.

– The standalone critical illness market is forecast to shrink in 2020 owing to COVID-19. Growth will resume a year later, with the market anticipated to grow to £26.7m in premiums by 2024.

Reasons to buy

– Examine the size of the standalone critical illness market.

– Discover who the leading providers of critical illness insurance are.

– Learn about the short-term and longer-term implications of COVID-19 on the market.

– Understand the influence of other factors on market growth.

Companies mentioned

Legal & General



Royal London

Friends Life


The Exeter





Medical Screening Solutions


Finance and Technology Research Center


Neilson Financial Services

Canada Life


Scottish Widows




Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Background: The Protection Market

Market size


2. The Critical Illness Insurance Market

Market size


3. Market Drivers

Current drivers


Impact of COVID-19

4. Product Launches & Innovation

Case studies

5. Competitive Landscape

Market shares

Company profiles

6. Forecasts



Methodology & Appendix


Discounts available for multiple report purchases.
+44 20 7947 2745

Join our mailing list

Saved reports