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The importance of taking critical illness cover along with health insurance

The year 2020 has drastically changed our concept of normal, as we are busy fighting an unprecedented pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak has affected more than 2 lakh people in India alone, till date. So, it’s natural for people to be concerned about their health and wonder if they can afford treatment if they fall sick. But even when the country was relatively untouched by this virus, lifestyle diseases posed a similar, if not same, challenge. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by consuming a balanced diet and following an exercise regime certainly helps to keep many unwanted ailments at bay. But, life can be extremely uncertain. Sometimes, due to hereditary reasons or with age, people tend to get critically ill and the treatment in such cases may run into several lakhs of rupees. Therefore, if you already have a health insurance policy, it's time to add an additional layer of protection via critical illness cover.

What is a Critical Illness Cover and Why is it Important?

As part of your health insurance policy, it is an additional cover that provides a lump sum benefit that pays for the cost of treatment towards specific illnesses, and also, recuperation expenses. Unlike an indemnity plan, in critical illness cover, the payout is defined and fixed i.e., you get that amount regardless of hospital expenses. You can also use it to pay off any debt, if you are left with a surplus amount. It basically offers lump sum payout as per the policy terms and conditions.

The lower premiums and bigger coverage can help you focus on your health without any financial stress. Just like a bigger umbrella can save you from extreme heat or heavy rain, health insurance with critical illness coverage can protect you from a wide range of illnesses under a solitary plan.

The policyholder gets the amount a survival period of 30 days or 15 days days after contracting the illness. However, the cover will lapse once the insurer makes the payment. As a policyholder, you are allowed to buy more than one critical illness policy and each of these policies will pay for the particular set of ailments.

Inclusions and Exclusions

A critical illness plan usually covers ailments like cancer, heart attack, stroke, paralysis, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, organ transplant and a few others. However, the policyholder must know that a critical illness cover does not include sexually transmitted diseases or accidents that happen during an adventure sport or any self-inflicted injuries. The cover also doesn’t reimburse for injuries that are caused due to wars or participation in defense operations. Treatment for obesity and any cosmetic surgery also don’t come under this coverage.

The Many Benefits of Critical Illness Cover

The reasons for getting a critical illness cover are quite obvious. While minor ailments can be cured with medication or minor surgeries, a critical illness may require days of hospitalization and several surgeries. And the expenses will keep rising with each passing day. In such cases, the patient’s ability to earn also suffers. Therefore, you should be aware that your basic health insurance policy may not be equipped enough to cover all your bills during a prolonged illness.

Luckily, critical illness cover offers a much wider coverage under a single plan. It has the following benefits:

  • There is no hassle of checking with the insurance company about the next monetary clearance, as in this case, you will get the sum insured in a single transaction. When you know all your financial concerns will be taken care of, you will have no hesitation in going for the top hospitals. You will get better treatment without losing valuable time.

  • Up to 15 critical illnesses are covered.

  • Also, trusted insurance providers offer different plans according to your need.

  • The additional benefit of having a critical illness cover is that it comes with not only an easy renewal policy, but also with the option of lifetime renewability.

  • Some insurance companies also offer a free look period of 15 days, counting from the date of policy receipt.

The icing on the cake is that you can also get tax exemption under section 80D and save tax up to Rs. 75,000. Subject to change as per tax laws.

How to Get Critical Insurance Cover?

First, you need to have a health insurance policy. The critical illness insurance is an additional layer of protection and it plays an important role to cover the cost overrun, which may, in turn, be a result of low indemnity cover and the high cost of treatment. In simple words, if you are unfortunately diagnosed with any critical illness, you will get the lump-sum payment for treatment through the critical illness cover, from the insurance company. You will also get the reimbursement for the hospitalization expenses incurred, by submitting medical bills to the insurer via your basic health insurance policy.

Critical illness cover is offered by insurance companies and you need to contact your insurance agent to get the details about the plans available. It is suggested that you get one while you are still young as the premiums are low then. Always remember to read the exclusions before you zero in on the policy.


A major illness can not only eat up all your savings, but can also push you into a debt trap. Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead and not rely only on your basic health insurance policy that offers a limited cover. At a reasonable premium, you can get critical illness cover along with your health insurance plan, which will protect you against the financial damage these diseases can cause. Buy HDFC ERGO health insurance with critical illness cover today, to secure your future.

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

*T&C apply. my:health Suraksha HDFHLIP20049V041920, UID No: D2HI715 Critical Illness Insurance: HDFHLIP10002V0109

This blog has been written by Diwaker Asthana Health Insurance industry experience of 20 Years

Diwaker Asthana recommends buying my:health Suraksha Insurance to get the benefit of a wide range of coverage that the plan offers.For some unique benefits like cashless home health care and in-patient treatment for mental illness,he believes this plan will benefit customers in the long run.

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