Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is using May — National Stroke Awareness Month — to remind consumers of the importance of critical illness insurance.

The National Stroke Association, Centennial, Colo., organized the awareness month to educate consumers about a condition that strikes 780,000 U.S. residents each year.

Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability, and more than 66% of individuals who survive a stroke will have some form of disability, the association reports.

Critical illness insurance, which pays a lump-sum benefit when an insured suffers from a covered illness, can provide quick cash that the family of a patient who suffered from a severe stroke can use to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and other costs, such as extra child care, travel to treatment centers, a short-term loss of income, Guardian says.