Critical illness cover – Everything you need to know
11 Apr 2019
There used to be a time when life-threatening diseases like tumours and cancers were regarded as rare. But this is not the case anymore. Today, a diagnosis of cancer has become as common as a common cold. The fast-paced lifestyle of people coupled with stressful work hours and unhealthy eating habits has greatly contributed to the escalation of these illnesses, which makes one wonder whether a basic health insurance policy is truly enough? A diagnosis of a critical illness is not only stressful for the patient and his loved ones but can also drain out one’s savings in a matter of days. It has therefore become imperative for everyone to invest in a critical illness policy. So what is critical illness cover? Here’s all you need to know about it
What is a critical illness policy?
As the name suggests, a critical illness policy is a special type of a health insurance policy which can be encashed when one is diagnosed of a critical or life-threatening illness. Such a policy typically comes with a higher amount of sums assured, ranging into several lakhs and even crores, thus allowing policy holders to undergo treatment without worrying about draining their savings. The insurance provider generally lists out the diseases covered under this policy with the most common ones being cancers, paralysis, tumours, attacks, strokes, etc. Note that the premiums of critical illness policies are generally higher than a regular health insurance policy, but then, so is the sum assured.
What does critical illness cover?
Here are some of the conditions covered under a critical illness policy.
A salaried individual taking out a bike loan must provide the following documents
- Cancers as per specified severity
- First heart attack as per specified severity
- Open heart replacement surgery
- Repair of heart valves
- Comas as per specified severity
- Kidney failure resulting in regular dialysis
- Strokes and subsequent symptoms
- Major organ transplant such as kidney or bone marrow
- Permanent paralysis of the limbs
- Multiple sclerosis and subsequent symptoms
- Bacterial meningitis
- Aplastic Anaemia
- Lung diseases
- Loss of speech
Note that the conditions covered under a critical illness policy depend upon the type of policy you choose and can differ from insurer to insurer.
What is excluded in a critical illness policy?
Now that you know what does critical illness cover include, let’s look at the exclusions of the policy.
- Illnesses caused owing to lifestyle habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, use of tobacco, and intake of drugs.
- Cosmetic surgeries
- HIV and AIDS infections
- Infertility treatment
- Hormone replacement therapies
- Critical conditions arising due to pregnancy or childbirth complications including Caesarean section births
Apart from these conditions, one cannot encash a critical illness policy within the first 90 days of purchasing it.
Reasons to purchase a critical illness policy
Having shed light on what does critical illness insurance cover and what it doesn’t, let’s now look at the top 3 reasons why one must invest in a critical illness policy.
- It provides a sense of security during testing times: Knowing that you would be financially covered upon the diagnosis of a critical illness can provide a sense of security when one is going through stressful times. The insurance policy provides coverage against the various medical bills, hospitalisation costs, biopsies, surgeries, and pre and post hospitalisation cost and so on.
- Critical illnesses cost a lot of money: Treatment for such illnesses can drain away your savings and bills can pile up continuously. A critical illness policy comes with larger amounts of sums assured, allowing you to focus on getting treatment instead of worrying about expenses.
- You can focus on getting the best treatment: When one is diagnosed of a life-threatening disease, one typically wants to seek treatment form the best doctors. The large sums assured give you the flexibility to opt for the best treatment without cutting corners.
Things to consider before investing a critical illness policy
Just knowing what does critical illness cover is not enough. Here are a few points to consider before investing in this policy.
- Consider all the diseases covered and invest in a policy that offers maximum coverage
- Make sure you are aware of diseases not covered under the policy as well
- Ensure you understand the procedure for filing a claim in detail so that there are no surprises while encashing a policy
- Find out if there are any benefits upon renewal or no-claims bonuses
- Consider your age while purchasing a policy. A policy purchased when one is below 30 years of age, comes with lower insurance premiums.