What is critical illness cover?

There are many life threatening illnesses like cancer,heart attack,renal failure etc. The critical insurance cover provides a lump sum coverage against the heavy expenditure that the insured might face under such circumstances. 

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Who needs a critical illness cover?

These days irrespective of age many people are becoming critically ill. Even the young are not safe from these kinds of illness. The lifestyle of people attract illnesses like cancer,heart attack, strokes etc. Illness makes one incapable of any work and leads to financial stress. For all such reasons critical illness policy is needed.

Hospitals rendering services to critically ill patients use speciality equipment and treatments are better but very expensive. The medical cost is too high once someone undergoes any treatment for a longer period. If there is no insurance cover, it becomes almost impossible to sustain the cost of treatment.

Keeping the above points in mind critical illness cover is inevitable for all of us. In addition to this the following need to cover themselves:

1.One is at a much higher risk of developing a critical illness if that runs in the family. Those with a history of critical hereditary illnesses should go for it.

2.People over the age of 40 years are more likely to develop critical illnesses. While they are young they can better manage premium obligations to cover themselves.

3. If there is a single member earning for the entire family, he/she should take the cover in order to protect against all odds. If they have any medical history then they should go for it without fail. 

4.The people who have stressful and pressurising jobs are at higher risk and are susceptible to critical illness.

5. Senior citizens are likely to suffer more from illnesses.

Factors to be considered before buying the CIP:

  • The sum assured is defined and fixed. Details about the sum assured should be taken from the insurance advisor. Usually a lump sum amount is paid out of that limit covering the cost of hospitalisation, doctor’s fees and medication expenses. So it is better to know how it works.
  • It should cover all the expenses before and after hospitalisation, diagnosis expenses, day-care treatment, treatment, cost of donated organs, dialysis etc.
  • The policy should be paid within a stipulated time. For pre existing diseases it is 48 days and for critical illnesses it is 90 days. It is better to know about the waiting period before buying the policy. The CI plan with a low waiting period should be preferred.
  • Some health insurance companies offer CI plans upto a specified age only against some other few others beyond 60 years are not covered. The maximum renewal age should be considered.
  • The plan specifies sub limits. One is the sub limit on hospital room rent and the other is on specific diseases. Disputes might arise if the sub limit part is not read precisely.
  • The exclusion list shows what is not covered by the insurance company. In case the claim is not received, maybe it is because of these conditions.
  • To easily claim the insured amount, the diagnosis reports must be upto date.
  • A part of the lump sum payment can be used as a replacement of income.

The best healthcare insurance can secure against severe situations. Tax exemption upto Rs. 25000 each for self and family including parents is available in total upto Rs.50,000. If parents are senior citizens then the total of Rs.75,000 is allowed. The cover can be bought with life insurance or on a standalone basis.

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Krishna Rath is a SEBI Registered Investment Adviser, and since 2015 has been educating netizens on investments and insurance. Krishna is a fee only SEBI RIA and is Odisha's first SEBI RIA. With background in IT, Krishna is changing the advisory space with new innovations in AdvisoryTech.

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