Critical Illness (CI) insurance provides a onetime lump sum cash payment in the event of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and in some policy forms, renal failure, loss of speech or vision and permanent paralysis.
Generally sold as a voluntary worksite benefit, employees elect coverage in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, or more. Premiums are based on age and the amount purchased.
As an example, $15,000 of coverage for a 45 year old would cost about $28/month; for a 55 year old, $42.
With the onset of a critical illness, will you have a loss of income? Does your health insurance have a high deductible and other out of pocket expenses (coinsurance)? What if you need treatment that is considered experimental; i.e., not covered by your plan?
If you have the resources to pay for such expenses, you might not find CI coverage a good value. Without a rainy day fund, it could be a godsend!