Knowledge Centre

Five Things to Know Before Buying Critical Illness Policy

With the uncertain nature of life, the only mantra you can adopt is to stay prepared to fight all the odds including life-threatening diseases. While a standard health insurance policy provides you financial protection at the time of hospitalization, a critical illness cover comes in handy on the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases such as cancer, stroke, kidney failure, paralysis and others. While a health insurance plan is sufficient enough to cover the hospital expenses, it may not really make up for the loss of income and liquidation of savings caused due to a prolonged treatment of the critical illness.  Here is when a critical illness policy can help.

A critical illness policy is a type of health insurance policy that offers you a lump sum amount on diagnosis of various critical illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, etc. covered by your insurer. The number of diseases covered varies from insurer to insurer. With this, there are several other things that you need to be aware of before buying critical illness policy.

Number of diseases covered: Different insurance companies cover a different number of critical illnesses. While illnesses such as cancer, stroke and heart attack are generally covered, conditions such as Alzheimer’s, deafness, etc. are not covered by all the insurance companies. Hence, it is always important you ensure that your critical illness policy covers all the diseases that you are susceptible to. It is also significant to note that few companies make a single payout considering the diagnosis of the Critical Illness listed in the policy, while few companies make multiple payouts based on the stage and seriousness of the illness.

Survival period: Critical illness policy comes with a survival period of up to 30 days or less which means that the policyholder should survive for the said period post the diagnosis of the ailment. This factor also varies from insurer to insurer and may go up to 60 days too.

Waiting period: Waiting period is nothing but the number of days/years for which the policyholder has to receive coverage for the critical illness. Always check on the waiting period as filing any claim before the said period would make you ineligible to receive any coverage.

Pre-existing diseases: While some insurance companies will provide you coverage for pre-existing diseases after a waiting period of 3-4 years, few companies would not cover them at all.

Health insurance and critical illness insurance is different: The main purpose of a critical illness policy is to compensate you and your family on the diagnosis of a critical illness, irrespective of the cost of hospitalization, unlike a health insurance plan. Critical illness rider is offered as an inbuilt cover with health insurance plan and is also offered as an add-on. You can also purchase critical illness cover as a standalone policy.

With the above factors, it is also important you take into account your age, family history, financial condition and claim settlement process of the company to protect you and your family against all the financial contingencies arising out of such life-threatening illnesses.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only.For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.

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