Owing to sedentary lifestyle, most people these days (even the younger generation) are at a risk of catching some critical and life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney ailments, cardiac blockage etc. While most of us are aware about the importance of health insurance, with the rise of lifestyle-disabling diseases, having just a general health insurance policy may not be enough. This is where a critical illness insurance comes into play.

A critical illness can spell mental stress, emotional trauma, and financial disaster in a family. More so if the breadwinner of the family himself/herself gets afflicted to a critical ailment. To combat such a situation, it is crucial to buy a critical illness insurance policy. It acts as a financial cushion and helps you overcome the medical exigencies incurred during the treatment of a dreadful disease. The amount received from this policy enables you to settle the hefty medical bills and also take care of daily expenses.

How is a critical illness insurance different from a health insurance?

A basic health insurance policy reimburses the hospitalisation costs. Contrary to this, a critical illness plan pays a tax-free lump-sum cash disbursal in case the insured person is contracted with one of the critical illnesses specified in the policy. The sum assured is payable on the diagnosis of the critical medical condition, irrespective of the actual medical expenses incurred.

A critical illness policy, being a fixed benefit plan, works over and above the standard indemnity-based health insurance plan. You can claim the benefits of a health insurance plan and a critical illness insurance plan simultaneously. A claim under a critical illness policy is disbursed once the insured survives the survival period specified in the policy.

One of the prominent features of a critical illness plan is the waiting period of 30 days, unlike 60-90 days for a health insurance policy. Moreover, a critical illness plan is renewable for life. However, the policy gets terminated once you have made a claim and used the entire sum assured.

Ailments covered under critical illness insurance

Most of the critical illness insurance policies cover at least 10 lifestyle-disabling and life-threatening diseases. Many insurance providers walk the extra mile to cover up to 20 critical ailments. Following is a list of the most prominent critical ailments that are covered under most insurance policies:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart attack (Myocardial infarction)
  3. Stroke
  4. Major organ transplantation
  5. Coronary artery bypass surgery
  6. Heart valve replacement
  7. Alzheimer’s disease
  8. Multiple Sclerosis
  9. Kidney failure (end stage renal disease requiring dialysis)
  • Paralysis
  • End stage Liver disease
  • Aorta graft surgery
  • Third degree burns
  • Coma Quadriplegia
  • Total blindness

However, even the best critical illness health insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. Also, any critical ailment diagnosed within the first 90 days and death within 30 days following the diagnosis of critical ailment is generally not covered.

Who can benefit from critical illness insurance?

Although critical illness insurance can be availed by any individual, the following categories of people can benefit the most from a critical illness policy:

  1. Breadwinners

If something unpleasant happens to the only earning member of a family, the family goes through severe financial crisis. Thus, the primary breadwinners are the ideal candidates who should buy critical illness policy.

  1. Individuals above the age of 40

Due to declining physical immunity and stressful working environments, individuals above 40 years of age get exposed to untoward health conditions. So, they must avail critical illness insurance.

  1. Individuals with a family history of critical illness

If a certain critical illness runs in your family, you might develop it with growing age as well. Thus, it is better to be safe than sorry and buy a critical illness policy to cover yourself.

You may also check out Bajaj Finserv Pocket Insurance that offers affordable insurance plans for a number of serious ailments such as dengue, tuberculosis, meningococcal meningitis, water borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera, infection etc. These policies are available at a minimal one-time premium and cater to your specific insurance needs.

You can also avail the kideny stones care plan that provides coverage up to Rs. 50,000 at just Rs. 499 per annum. This insurance policy covers expenditure related to doctor’s fees, medication, diagnostic tests, pre-hospitalisation and hospitalisation and can act as an added benefit to your critical illness policy.