Critical illness insurance pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. It can help pay for care or treatment and cover lost income. Typical illnesses covered are heart attack, cancer, stroke and coronary artery by-pass surgery. Other conditions that might be covered include Alzheimer’s disease, blindness, deafness, kidney failure, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and paralysis. Not all contracts provide all the cover you may need, it is therefore important that you don’t shop for a policy purely on price alone. Critical Illness cover will normally be combined with life insurance.