There are no perfect timelines to buy a critical illness plan. Experts say it is important to have critical illness cover irrespective of age as diseases don’t inform before coming.
In today’s time diseases like heart ailment, paralysis, or even cancer are not confined to older generations. It is quite common to see people in the age group of 30-35 years, who are prone to such diseases. Experts say, in order to sail through such crises, one should have a critical illness plan along with health insurance policies.
Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance, Insurtech Broking Company, says, “An individual can opt for a critical illness plan with a basic health insurance plan or opt for it as a rider with life insurance plans.” Critical illness plans offer to pay a lump sum in case of any medical emergency because it’s a defined benefit plan.
Having said that, critical illness plans do not replace the hospitalization reimbursement products or policies. Shreeraj Deshpande, COO, Future Generali India Insurance, says, “While hospitalization indemnity products will take care of hospitalization expenses, critical illness protects individuals’ income generation capacity, which can get affected by any critical illness.”
How to choose a health insurance cover for critical illness?
There are multiple numbers of plans available by several insurers because of which it becomes difficult for the policyholders to choose a proper health cover. Before buying any policy, experts say it is better to look at your budget and how much insurance coverage you actually need. Goyal of Probus Insurance says “Once the premium and cover is decided by a policyholder, they should compare the plans with similar benefits and choose the best accordingly.”
Also, look for a product with the maximum critical illnesses covered, or at least the most common critical illnesses should be on the covered list. Another aspect is to look for the waiting period while buying the policy – look for policies that have a less waiting period and higher coverage.
Should you consider a critical illness plan for your parents?
There are no perfect timelines to buy a critical illness plan. Experts say it is important to have critical illness cover irrespective of age as diseases don’t inform before coming. Goyal of Probus Insurance says, “Whenever you buy a health policy, also look to buy critical illness because if you buy when parents are older the policy will be having a waiting period and it can have an adverse impact if there is no proper coverage in the base policy.”
Things to check before opting for a critical illness plan
There are multiple factors to look before buying critical illness plans. First and foremost is to look at all the critical illness coverages in the policy, because such coverages differ from one insurer to another.
Deshpande of Future Generali India Insurance says, “A critical illness works as a financial net against life-threatening chronic illnesses that require treatment over a long period of time. Before purchasing the policy here are three important you should check – the number of diseases covered under the plan, survival period, and the sum assured. Note that, several insurance policies include a survival period clause, according to which the policyholder needs to survive for a specific period after diagnosis to receive the benefits.
Another important aspect not only for critical illness cover but for all the insurance products is to look for exclusions. Goyal of Probus Insurance says, “It is important to understand what is excluded from the policy so that policyholders can make informed decisions.” As a policyholder, also look at the age of coverage and procedure of filing the claims.
Experts say, while purchasing a critical illness plan, it is always better to opt for an individual plan, rather than going for floater plans. It is suggested because standalone policy offers more flexibility in selecting the sum insured and larger cover as compared to the riders offered by the life insurance companies.