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What is Hospital Cash Cover?


how does hospital cash cover work

A 50 year old woman suffered a stroke.

At the same time a 39 year old man caught pneumonia.

  • She ended up in hospital for 126 days.
  • He was hospitalised for 98 days.

Luckily they both had hospital cash cover.

When they left hospital, she received a cheque for €20,034 from her insurer.

He got one for €19,404 from his insurer.

That’s the power of hospital cash cover.

How does hospital cash cover work?

  • Hospital Cash Cover pays you a daily amount if you’re in hospital for over 72 hours.
  • It pays for a maximum of 365 days.

Who needs it?

You do – if you don’t have sick pay through work or  would struggle financially if you were in hospital for a long time.

How much can I have?

You can insure yourself  for amounts from €30 per day up to €300 per day depending on the insurer.

How much does it cost?

It varies according to your health, smoking status, age and the amount of cover you would like to buy.


a 40 year old, non smoking female, in good health would pay €22 per month for buying hospital cash cover of €300 per day

Can I insure my children?

If you add hospital cash to your policy, your insurer will provide a portion of the hospital cash to your children free of charge.

Your child must be between the ages of 1 and 18 to qualify.

Each insurer has different rules when it comes to children:

  • Aviva and Royal London don’t offer hospital cash benefit.
  • Friends First will pay €30 per day for each consecutive 24 hour period a child (between the ages of 1 and 18 years old) is required to stay in hospital for a period longer than 72 hours
  • New Ireland will provide €35 per day for each day admitted to hospital after day three.
  • Zurich Life pay 50% of your hospital cash cover benefit (minimum €30, maximum €60)  for each complete period of 24 hours that the child is hospitalised.  Your child must have spent more than 72 consecutive hours in hospital.
  • Irish Life pay 25% of your hospital cash cover benefit. Your child must have spent more than 72 consecutive hours in hospital.  If your child is in hospital for more than 14 days in a row, Irish Life will double the amount of hospital cash benefit payable from the 15th day in hospital.

Are there exclusions?

Yes, the following general exclusions apply:

  • Hospitalisation due to psychiatric, mental or nervous illnesses.
  • Self inflicted injuries – those stemming from alcohol or drug abuse
  • Hospitalisation occurring within the first 2 years of the policy stemming from pre existing conditions. (1 year for Zurich)
  • Hospitalisation due to pregnancy within 9 months of the start date of the policy.

Anything else I need to know?

Although the terms and conditions on offer from each insurer are generally similar, there are subtle differences:

e.g Irish Life hospital cash cover will end at age 60; policies on offer from the other insurers will run until age 65.

As you are at most risk of ending up in hospital as you get older, this is an important difference.

The insurers that offer hospital cash cover are:

  • Irish Life
  • Friends First
  • New Ireland
  • Zurich

Over to you…

Have questions on hospital cash cover?

If you’d like me to make a recommendation on the types of cover you should consider based on where you are in life, please complete this questionnaire and I’ll be right back.

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier.

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