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What is Hospital Cash Cover?

how does hospital cash cover work

Worried about your finances if you were hit with a long stay in hospital?

Those pesky out-of-pocket expenses, such as food and parking, can all add up during a hospital stay.

With a daily cash injection, hospital cash cover can be the financial security blanket you need in times of illness.

So, grab a cup of tea, put your feet up, and let’s explore the benefits of this little known form of life insurance.

You never know; it might just save the day.

Welcome to The Ward – What Now?

If you find yourself stuck in hospital for a long period of time and your sick pay is rubbish, will you be in trouble financially as the bills mount up?

Our numero uno solution to cover yourself should this happen is Income Protection Insurance.

But income protection has drawbacks:

You must be unable to work for longer than your deferred period (4-52 weeks) before you can claim.

With the average deferred period being 26 weeks, if you’re in hospital for 25 weeks, you won’t qualify for an income protection claim.

Granted, you’re likely not getting back to work for a long time so you will be able to claim your income protection after week 26.

Income protection isn’t possible for some occupations and some health conditions (e.g MS, Diabetes, HIV, heart issues)

So, if you have an underlying condition that stops you from getting income protection or you’re worried about ending up in the hospital for a short time, what can you do?

Introducing Hospital Cash Cover!

worried about a hospital stay

What is Hospital Cash Cover?

Hospital cash cover is a type of life insurance that provides a daily cash benefit for each day you are in the hospital.

Its main purpose is to help cover the out-of-pocket expenses, such as food and transportation/car parking, that your private health insurance may not cover.

Examples of Real Hospital Cash Claims:

A 50-year-old woman suffered a stroke.

She ended up in the hospital for 126 days.

She claimed a total of  €20,034 from her insurer.

A 39-year-old man caught pneumonia.

He was hospitalised for 98 days.

He received €19,904 from the insurer

That’s the power of hospital cash cover.

How Does Hospital Cash Cover Work?

Hospital Cash Cover pays you daily if you’re in the hospital for over 72 hours.

It pays for a maximum of 365 days.

So, let’s say you buy €200 Hospital Cash Cover, and you are hospitalised for 13 days.

You can claim €2600 from your insurer.

Who Needs It?

Anyone who doesn’t have adequate sick pay through work would struggle financially if confined to a hospital bed for a prolonged period.

What Insurers Offer Hospital Payment Insurance?

Irish Life, New Ireland and Zurich Life

hospital cash cover providers

How Do You Get Hospital Cash Cover?

As it is a form of life insurance, you apply by completing an application form and disclosing any health issues.

If the insurer can accept you for life insurance, they are likely to accept you for Hospital Cash Cover too.

Unfortunately, if the insurer refuses your application for life insurance, they will also refuse hospitalisation insurance.

How Much Can You Buy?

Depending on the insurer, you can buy between €30 and €300 per day.

  • Zurich Life and New Ireland: up to €300 per day
  • Irish Life: €70-€260 per day

How Much Does Hospital Cash Cover Cost?

It varies according to your health, smoking status, age and the amount of Hospital Cover you need


a 40-year-old, non-smoking female, in good health would pay €25 per month for Hospital Cash cover of €300 per day

Can You Insure Your 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 but they all require a minimum of 72 hours in the hospital.

Zurich is the most generous:

Zurich Life pays 50% of the parent’s hospital cash cover benefit (minimum €30, maximum €60)  for each complete period of 24 hours that your child is hospitalised.

Followed by Irish Life:

Irish Life pays 25% of your hospital cash cover benefit. 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 the hospital.

Finally, New Ireland:

New Ireland will provide €35 per day for each day admitted to the hospital.

Are there exclusions?

Yes, the following general exclusions apply:

  • Hospitalisation due to psychiatric, mental or nervous illnesses.
  • Self-inflicted injuries stemming from alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Hospitalisation due to a pre-existing condition that occurs within the first year of the policy
  • Hospitalisation due to pregnancy within 9 months of the policy’s start date.

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.

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

Over to you…

In conclusion, hospital cash cover is a valuable form of life insurance that can provide financial protection during a hospital stay.

Its fixed daily payout can help cover out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by regular health insurance.

This coverage is especially valuable for people who don’t have sick pay through work.

While hospital cash coverage does not replace comprehensive health insurance or income protection,  it will give you breathing space at a difficult time.

And it’s an affordable option.

It is also important to note that hospital cash cover policies typically have exclusions, so it is important to carefully review the policy and understand what is covered and what is not.

We can compare policies from different insurance providers to help you find the one best fits your needs and budget.

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

Thanks for reading,

Nick | Irish Protection Broker of The Year ?

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