Do's and Don'ts of Buying Critical Illness Policy in India

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Flipboard
  • Email
  • WhatsApp
Do's and Don'ts of Buying Critical Illness Policy in India (Image: Shutterstock)
Do's and Don'ts of Buying Critical Illness Policy in India (Image: Shutterstock)

New Delhi : It is common knowledge that lifestyle disorders are on the rise due to stressful lives and poor habits. While diabetes was an older adult's condition back in the day, it has slowly crept up to the younger population as well. Many such life-threatening diseases have now become popular amongst people of all age groups. 

While changing your lifestyle habits is one to get your life back on track, you must also consider preparing yourself to deal with eventualities. So when you are looking for a health insurance plan, make sure to keep an eye out for critical illness policy as well. 

In this article, we will understand what it means, and you can get the best critical illness policy for yourself. 

What is Critical Illness Policy?

Critical illness policy is a health cover that pays you a fixed sum when you are diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses listed in your policy. Many people buy it as a standalone policy. However, did you know that one of your term insurance features is the ability to supplement your life insurance policy with a critical illness rider?

You can add these riders to your term insurance policy for a small premium and full benefits of the critical illness policy. 

This insurance acts as a valuable cover against the financial burden that you may face when diagnosed with a severe illness. As you know that hospital bills, doctor's consultation, and medicines can add up quickly, the sum assured obtained from the critical illness policy will help you sail through without digging into your savings. Not only that, but this amount can also be used to pay for any related or unrelated expenses arising due to your disease, unlike health insurance that only pays for hospitalization. 

Do's and Don'ts of Buying a Critical Illness Policy 

The best critical illness policy requires forethought and evaluation of your needs. Just like your regular health insurance plan, you should also thoroughly research your critical illness policy as well. Here are some do's and don'ts that you must keep in mind before investing. 

Do estimate the cover amount correctly

Before you start looking for this policy, you must estimate the amount you would want to be covered for. Keep your regular expenses such as your home loan payments, EMIs and other costs in mind when coming up with a number. The sum assured should be able to cover your medical bills, hospitalization, and any loss of income during your recovery period. However, make sure that the policy fits your budget to keep it sustainable for a long time. 

Don't replace it with your family health insurance 

Critical illness policy is incredibly helpful when you are diagnosed with a life-threatening ailment. However, it doesn't offer enough coverage to make up for your family's health insurance. So keep that in mind when you are buying this plan. 

Do check the survival clause

Health insurance plans do come with a waiting period, and the critical illness policy is no different. However, there is one more condition to it, the survival clause. It means that when you are diagnosed with a critical illness, you must survive for at least 30 days to be eligible for the sum assured. Therefore, you must read through the policy document to find a plan that waives off this clause. 

Don't forget about the inclusions and exclusions

Once you have decided about the policy, you must remember to check the inclusions mentioned in the policy. It is essential to understand what all is covered in your insurance to avoid any nasty surprises when you file for a claim. For example, while your plan may cover cancer but only when it reaches the third stage. Similarly, you must also check what is not included in your policy. 

Learn about the claims process

A claim process is of grave importance when choosing a critical illness policy. Research in advance about all the documents you would require to file for claims and the formalities that you would have to go through. This will help you stay prepared when the time comes and avoid any unnecessary delays or disappointments. While you are at it, you must also check the hospitals covered in the plan as not all are included in the policy. But most importantly, do find out about the settlement history of the insurance provider. 

Don't forget about the extras

Besides getting the primary benefits of the policy, you are also entitled to little extras that you get from the insurance provider for your patronage. Also, it would help to find out about the benefits being offered for claim-free years when you renew your policy. 

While no one wants to be diagnosed by a critical illness, it is essential always to assume the worst and secure your future. So use these pointers to research the best critical illness policy and remember that cost should never be the primary factor in making policy-related decisions.