Buying a critical illness insurance policy has become a mandatory requirement nowadays. It is mainly due to an increase in medication and treatment cost of critical illnesses & seldom coverage of critical illness by health insurance. If you are also planning to buy critical illness insurance you must be searching for – Which is the Best Critical illness Insurance Policy? How to select the best critical illness insurance? Before getting answers to these questions, let’s take a look at the importance of critical illness Insurance policy.
Why we need critical illness insurance policy?
When it comes to financial planning all of us consider term insurance, life insurance, and health insurance. However, no one gave importance to a critical illness insurance policy. A critical illness insurance cover is equally important.
Let’s try to understand this by example. My friend Suhas was diagnosed with a major heart problem and need to undergo heart valve replacement. He thought that his health insurance policy Apollo Munich Optima Restore of 8 Lakh would take care of the expensive medical treatment and heart valve replacement. However, he was shocked when his health insurance company informed him that he has not taken critical advantage rider and the expense of heart valve replacement will not be covered under his health insurance. There are many people like my friend Suhas who fail to understand the difference between health insurance and critical illness insurance policy.
Health insurance provides health coverage and you can gain benefit in case of hospitalization. You can claim hospitalization expenses by submitting bills. You can also opt for a cashless claim facility. In case of critical illness insurance policy insured can file a claim once he/she is diagnosed with a critical illness as specified in the policy document. The insurance company will pay a lump sum amount. This amount will be useful to withstand with the financial need and obligations in critical illness situation such as bedridden, work loss etc. For the better understanding point wise description in tabular form is given below.
|Parameters||Health Insurance||Critical illness Insurance|
|Meaning||This policy provides complete health coverage including hospitalization expenses.||This policy covers critical illness and pay in lump sum on diagnosis of critical illness.|
|Benefits||The insured can receive Hospitalization expense reimbursement. He/she can also opt for cashless facility.||The insured receives the entire amount at once and can use it for fulfilling financial obligations.|
|Coverage||Complete health cover for the hospitalization.||It covers only critical illnesses specified in the policy document.|
|Waiting period||Waiting period is 30 Days.||Waiting Period is 3 months.|
|Tenure||Health Insurance is taken for 1 year and renewed every year.||One can take policy for longer duration like 15-20 years.|
The critical insurance covers illness such as heart attack, paralysis, stroke, cancer, organ transplant, kidney failure, heart valve replacement, Parkinson’s, brain tumor etc.
The cost of critical illness is skyrocketing. Highly stressful jobs, minimal physical activity, and junk food increases the chance of critical illnesses. So, it is highly recommended to go for critical illness cover.
Also Read – Top 5 Best Health Insurance in India 2019
Best Critical illness Insurance policy – How to Select?
Various Factors to consider while selecting the best critical illness insurance policy are given below.
Stand Alone or Add-on Policy
A critical illness cover can be taken in two ways. One way is to buy a stand-alone policy. It will be a separate policy not linked with your existing health policy. The second way is to buy Add-on policy which is also known as a critical illness rider. It is recommended to purchase stand-alone plan. It gives more flexibility and larger coverage.
Another important factor for consideration is the coverage amount. The coverage amount should be able to meet medication and treatment expense of critical illness. It is recommended to purchase insurance with coverage amount 10 lakh or above.
Critical Illness Cover
You should check a number of critical illnesses covered under the offered plan. Your plan should cover the majority of common disease such as heart attack, paralysis, stroke, cancer, organ transplant, kidney failure, heart valve replacement, Parkinson’s, brain tumor etc.
Renewability and Age
You should check for renewability of plan. There are certain insurance companies which offer a plan with limited insurance renewability up to age 50. You should avoid such plans. The best plan would offer lifelong renewability.
Inclusion and Exclusion
Insurance policy always comes with a catch. You should carefully look at the inclusion and exclusion of the policy. It would help you in selecting a correct policy as per your requirement.
The waiting period is another critical factor of consideration. A few insurance providers have a waiting period of 2-3 years. This means the company will not allow any claim during this period. You should select a policy with a low waiting period.
The survival period is the length of time, the insured, must survive after he/she has been diagnosed with a covered critical illness. Once the survival period is passed, the insurance benefit will be paid. It is advisable to go for a policy with a lower survival period.
Claim Settlement Ratio
A Claim Settlement Ratio is one of the important points for consideration. It shows trustworthiness of insurance company in settling claims. You can get information about claim settlement ratio from IRDA site.
You should also check the claim process. If the claim process is complicated and requires a lot of forms and procedure it is advisable to drop the insurance company from the comparison list.
Best Critical illness Insurance Policy Comparison
After looking at various factors for the selection of Best Critical illness Insurance, here is a comparison table showing the most popular critical insurance policy available in the market.
From the above comparison table we can easily say that Apollo Munich Optima Vital is one of the best critical illness insurance policy which covers maximum critical illnesses. However, survival period of this policy is 30-90 days.
Max Bupa Criticare and Religare Assure is on the second and third place with 20 illness coverage. Bharti Axa SmartHealth and HDFC Ergo Critical illness is on fourth and fifth place but lifetime renewability and insurance coverage amount is less.
How to file a Claim for Critical illness policy?
In general the claim process of critical illness policy is very easy. You need to contact your insurance company and register your claim. Following documents are required for the claim.
- Dully filled claim form
- ID Card
- Medical certificate from a doctor which confirms critical illness
- Discharge summary or test reports (if any)
Once you submit the documents insurance company checks the authenticity of claim and process/reject the claim.
Over to You
Today’s life is full of unpredictability. A medical emergency can knock the door anytime. As we cannot predict the future, it is wise to prepare for an unexpected catastrophe. You should purchase a critical illness cover along with health and life insurance coverage. It will help you in giving complete financial protection to your family. Make sure to compare policy online and select the best plan that will benefit you in the future.