World No-Tobacco Day: The ongoing Coronavirus crisis has forced us to rethink how we treat our body and personal finance. The human body and mind are very resilient. And the way people across the world are dealing with the current COVID 19 pandemic is exemplifying this. Millions of individuals are now focusing on building their immunity by exercising daily or doing ‘yoga’. Several others are focusing on their mental health and are reading and consuming material that can keep them positive and upbeat in the current environment. The current crisis also calls for the need to have a re-look at our personal finance and take to insurance seriously. Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder, Turtlemint (an insured-tech company), says COVID-19 pandemic has caught us by surprise. But those who have been taking care of their health or those who are non-smokers are perhaps better prepared to combat this contagion.
The Turtlemint co-founder told FE Online that for probably the first time ever, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that the number of males using tobacco is on the decline, indicating a powerful shift in the global tobacco epidemic. “According to a report released by WHO in December 2019, ‘During nearly the past two decades, overall global tobacco use has fallen, from 1.397 billion in 2000 to 1.337 billion in 2018, or by approximately 60 million people’
“This is a highly positive development underscoring the “health first” approach that people are beginning to adopt. While quitting tobacco is the best thing that you can do to protect your health, the second best thing that you can do is to buy a critical illness or a cancer insurance policy,” he noted.
Why smokers and erstwhile smokers should buy critical illness insurance or cancer policy
Dhirendra Mahyavanshi said that if you are a smoker, then definitely you should commit to quitting this harmful habit. However, you also need to understand that smokers are at a high risk of getting cancer. Thus, in addition to trying to quit, you should also consider buying a critical illness insurance policy or a cancer insurance policy. He shared some very important reasons for which you might like to consider critical illness policy.
- Cancer treatment can become a significant emotional and financial burden on an individual. The cost of treating cancer or various other critical ailments can be very high.
- Additionally, it is also possible that your ailment might require you to reduce your working hours or maybe even take a break from work. This will put you in a very tricky situation where your monthly expenses start increasing while your monthly income might start reducing.
- In such a scenario, a critical illness or cancer insurance policy can come to your rescue.
- Depending on the type of policy, you could receive a lump sum payment on diagnosis and even get covered for treating the ailment. “Thus, the right insurance policy can help alleviate a part of the financial burden of critical illness at the time that you need it the most,” the Turtlemint founder said.
What kind of policy should you opt for?
Dhirendra Mahyavanshi said that comprehensive health insurance (or a floater policy that covers all your family members) can provide insurance cover against a wide range of medical ailments.
“Most health insurance policies that are currently available in the market cover almost all major critical illnesses, including cancer. However, the insurance cover provided by these policies is usually subject to several sub-limits thereby, limiting the payout in the case of different critical ailments and situations,” he said.
“Additionally, these health policies generally cover only inpatient hospitalization and that too at hospitals that are an in India. Ergo, they will seldom cover the entire cost of treatment. When it comes to critical illnesses, you need an insurance policy that specifically covers these illnesses. In this case, you have two options. You can either opt to buy a critical illness insurance policy or a cancer insurance policy,” he added.
According to the Turtlemint founder, a critical illness insurance policy will cover the insured against several critical illnesses like cancer, heart ailments, renal failure etc. The policy will provide the assured a lump sum payment at the time of diagnosis of a critical illness. However, the particular critical illness must be covered by the policy.
You can also opt for a specific cancer insurance policy instead of a critical illness policy. A regular critical illness policy will only provide a lump-sum benefit.
“A cancer insurance policy, on the other hand, covers a number of costs associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment, including hospitalization, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, among others. This is the reason why it is important to buy an insurance policy that can a help an individual with a majority of the costs associated with cancer treatment,” he said.