The ever-increasing cost of hospitalisation, especially the exorbitant ICU charges at the time of critical illness, makes it extremely important to take appropriate cover through health insurance. Apart from general health insurance products, demand for critical health illness insurance policies are on rise as the instances of critical illnesses like cardiac problems, cancer etc are becoming very common. This is because, in today\u2019s time, with the constantly evolving lifestyle and our hectic routine we get little time to take care of ourselves. But, it is never too late to make that move and secure our future. A comprehensive critical health illness insurance policy ensures that you can achieve quality medical treatment anywhere, at any point in time. Therefore, timely planning will ensure you are prepared for any unforeseen event. A majority of Indians continue to bear their medical expenses out of their pocket and at times even end up mortgaging their assets due to shortage of funds. This is where a critical illness insurance plan plays a very significant role. Critical health illness insurance plans protect the insured against various critical illness and procedures such as first heart attack, stroke resulting in permanent symptoms, cancer of specific severity etc. Additionally, while a critical illness insurance plan secures an individual financially, there are multiple benefits and advantages of having a comprehensive critical illness cover. According Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing and Digital Officer, Aviva Life Insurance, some of the key benefits of critical illness insurance plans are: Protection against medical uncertainties of life A comprehensive critical illness cover secures an individual and allows them to defy the uncertainties of life. This allows a peace of mind to focus on your recovery rather than worrying about heavy expenses. Upon diagnosis of any of the critical illness from the predetermined list of your policy, you are entitled to receive a lump sum amount. This amount may be used to meet your illness-related treatment costs, daily expenses, and any other financial obligations, because your insurance is there to take care of your pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses, ambulance expenses, OPD treatment or your daily checkups. Be financially independent Why depend on someone else during your time of emergency? Just a little bit of planning would ensure you a peace of mind and let you lead a financially independent life. While employers provide a nominal health cover to all their employees today, neither are they tailor-made to suit your requirements, nor do they provide adequate coverage. Hence, a comprehensive critical illness cover would ensure you are sufficiently insured and prepared for any unforeseen events. Save income tax under Section 80D The quantum of tax benefit depends on the age of the individual who is medically insured. On the premium paid for self, spouse, children and parents, the maximum deduction that can be availed is Rs 25,000 a year, provided the age of the individual is not above 60. For individuals above 60 years of age, the limit is Rs 50,000. If the premium paid by an individual is towards health policy for his or her parent who is a senior citizen of age 60 or more, he or she may avail additional deductions up to Rs 50,000. A taxpayer may therefore maximise tax benefit under section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Make financial planning effective According to a majority of financial advisors, buying a good critical illness insurance plan is one of the first steps towards an effective financial planning. The financial security and independence allows you the peace of mind to plan your finances better. Additionally, the taxes you save can be further invested elsewhere, such as, for your child\u2019s education or extra-curricular classes, or a small investment for your business or saving for your child\u2019s marriage. Get bonus for no claims No-claim bonus refers to the bonus amount that gets accumulated to the sum insured amount for every claim-free year. No-claim bonus (NCB) typically comes in two forms \u2013 discount on premium amount or cumulative benefit in form of higher sum insured. A comprehensive critical illness cover allows you the much needed peace of mind. With all the benefits a comprehensive critical illness cover has to offer, take a pledge to secure yourself and your future with a critical illness insurance plan, because everyone, everywhere deserves a good and healthy life through timely treatment.