With the increasing number of cases of cancer, stroke, kidney failure, heart attacks and other similar illnesses, it has become necessary to have a health insurance policy. Even more, health insurance plans by themselves may not be adequate, and you need to improve its coverage. At such times, a critical illness insurance policy is the next best solution to ensure protection for you and your family’s health.
What is a critical illness insurance policy?
A critical illness is a medical insurance
plan that covers diseases of severe intensity. These plans can be either purchased as a standalone plan or an additional rider to your base insurance policy.
How do critical illness insurance plans work?
Unlike a standard health insurance policy, it has a different payout method. These critical illness insurance policies pay a lump sum amount after the diagnosis of the diseases. Critical illness insurance plans do not pay you after you have incurred the expense but instead pay the sum assured in advance. This payment on diagnosis of the disease can be helpful to avail necessary treatment as well as pay for other financial needs
Instead, it pays out a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of the illness. This lump sum payout can be used to avail treatment along with protecting other financial needs. It comes handy to pay for post-treatment or even other financial commitments.
What are the factors to look out for when making a comparison of critical illness insurance in India?
Life-threatening illnesses often wipe out your hard-earned savings. At such times, it is advisable you check for various features of the plans and then purchase a policy that checks all the right boxes.
Here are ten things to look for during critical illness policy comparison -
#1 Sum assured of your critical illness insurance plan.
The sum assured is one of the essential things to consider when buying a critical illness policy
. Depending on the severity of the illness, you must decide on the adequacy of sum assured under your policy. This amount can be useful for your treatment as well as to meet other financial needs like repayment of loans and maintaining your family’s standard of living. In case you are the sole breadwinner, this amount can help you pay for your family’s basic necessities too.
#2 The list of illnesses covered in your critical illness insurance policy.
The coverage under your critical illness cover is important to consider when shortlisting different plans. If you have a family history of a particular illness, make sure that disease is included in your policy coverage. The policy that provides for these ailments will help you get a comfortable financial safety net in times of medical emergencies.
#3 Renewability option for your critical illness insurance plan.
Some health insurance companies have a limited renewability of critical illness cover, i.e. they offer renewability only up to a particular age or number of times. In either case, it will leave you uninsured when you are old, and there is a higher probability of you requiring a critical illness insurance cover. Thus, ensure you look for plans that offer lifelong renewability.
#4 Age of the insured.
Generally, elderly individuals are more prone to health ailments. Hence, selecting a health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage can help them in their retirement days.
#5 Waiting period under your critical illness insurance policy
The waiting period is the duration when your insurance policy does not cover for ailments. While purchasing a critical illness plan, you must check for the waiting period. This way, you will know how much time the insurance cover does not kick in. Also, the waiting period differs from each insurance company, and you should keep an eye on it while shortlisting.
#6 Sub-limits under your policy
While comparing critical illness insurance companies in India, you should check for the sub-limits in your policy. This will help you decide whether the policy coverage is sufficient to treat your illness.
#7 Claim procedure for your critical illness insurance cover
Apart from the above, you should also look at the claim procedure. Ensure the claim settlement procedure is smooth and hassle-free. Too much paperwork can be a deterrent and increase the hassles of getting the claim. Thus, you must familiarise yourself with the claim procedure while purchasing your critical illness insurance.
#8 Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) of the insurance company
Considering the claim settlement ratio (CSR) can be helpful to understand how many claims are honoured by your insurer. The regulatory body, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), publishes the information on claim settlement ratio, which can be helpful in deciding your insurance company.
#9 Survival clause in your critical illness cover
Every critical illness insurance plan has a survival clause in its policy document. This clause determines the payout to the insured only if the insured individual survives for a specified duration after diagnosis of the ailment. A critical illness policy comparison helps decide which plans to purchase, considering the tenure of the survival clause in your policy.
#10 Standalone or additional rider insurance cover
A critical illness plan can be either purchased as a standalone policy or can be opted as an additional rider to your existing health insurance. Standalone policies generally offer a higher sum insured as compared to add-on policy. Also, standalone policies can be continued even if you want to change your insurer for the base policy coverage. This advantage of having separate coverage from your base plan allows flexibility in selecting different insurance companies.
These are some of the vital points to remember when making a critical illness policy comparison. Critical illness plans are one of the types of health insurance in India
that help mitigate financial risk due to severe illnesses. Lastly consider your income, age and personal liabilities that you need to take care when buying a critical illness cover.