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Guardian: There’s no better protection against the Big Four

By 9th May 2022May 26th, 2023Blog, Protection

Discover more about The Big Four here.

According to an independent panel of doctors, there’s no better protection against the four most claimed for critical illnesses in the UK than a Guardian Critical Illness policy.1

Protection Guru asked a panel of independent medical experts to give providers’ critical illness definitions a score of between 0-100% based on how likely it is that a claim will be paid. They found that only Guardian scored 100% across the four most claimed for conditions.

Cancer, heart attack, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Together, they account for 83% of critical illness claims2, an astonishing figure. It means that virtually 8 in every 10 of your clients who’ve claimed under their critical illness policies have been diagnosed with one of those conditions. That’s why, at Guardian we focus on providing your clients with the best possible protection against the Big Four.


Cancer is of course everyone’s biggest critical illness risk, with 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 expected to be diagnosed with some form of it during their lifetime.3

Which is why we decided we should pay out on all malignant cancers. As you’d expect, we pay out, in full, on definite diagnosis of a malignant cancer with histological confirmation. We also pay out additional amounts for less serious non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as low grade prostate cancer even when surgery or treatment aren’t needed.

That’s why Protection Guru scored our cancer definition 100%.

Heart attack

Some providers’ definitions say they’ll only pay out for a heart attack of specified severity where there is evidence of a rise in enzymes or troponin levels.

Which is why all we ask for is confirmation of a definite diagnosis from a UK Cardiologist of a heart attack.

That’s why Protection Guru scored our heart attack definition 100%.


Most providers only pay out in severe cases, supported by definite evidence of neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms lasting at least 24 hours and death of tissue or haemorrhage on a brain scan.

We have no severity clause, if the client’s neurologist confirms symptoms have lasted for at least 24 hours, we pay out irrelevant of the severity.  

And that’s why Protection Guru scored our stroke definition 100%.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Depending on the type of Multiple Sclerosis, symptoms can come and go. So, there’s no guarantee they’ll be present at point of claim.

That’s why we pay out if a UK Consultant Neurologist confirms there’s been a clinical impairment of motor or sensory function due to MS – even if the symptoms aren’t present when the client makes the claim. Plus, we don’t require evidence of an MRI scan.

That’s why Protection Guru scored our MS definition 100%.

Although we cover a wide variety of conditions, we strongly believe the quality of the cover is more important than the number of conditions covered. And we take pride in being able to say you can’t get better protection against the Big Four. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Children get critically ill too, but we believe children’s cover should be optional so that no one needs to pay for it if they don’t need it. What’s more, at Guardian you can add it to any adult policy, not just a critical illness policy. And parents can choose any amount between £10,000 and £100,000, to a maximum of the amount they’re covered for themselves.

On top of that, we make a unique cover upgrade promise. If our critical illness definitions improve, in most cases we apply the improvements to existing policies completely free of charge. And if we ever introduce changes that don’t automatically upgrade, we’ll offer existing customers the chance to pay to add them. There’s no better protection against the Big Four, but the story doesn’t end there. Discover more about our proposition at


  1. Protection Guru Quality Analyser March 2022.
  2. CI Expert, What Causes Claims July 2021: average of Aegon, Aviva, LV=, Royal London, Scottish Widows 2020 claims stats.