Doctors should be banned from receiving critical illness cover because they are using their insider knowledge to receive a windfall payment, says Universal Provident.

The insurer says most critical illness claims are paid to people in the medical and insurance professions who have not actually suffered any financial loss.

"One morning they wake up, feel a lump and decide to take out a policy – before they have a check up," said managing director John Pardoe.

"This sort of insider dealing puts the price up substantially.

"Excluding this five per cent of the population will have a significant impact on the premiums paid by the rest, which seems to me to be fully justifiable.

"It is not fair that a large proportion of our clients' contributions should subsidise those in the know."