Personal Finance

A comprehensive cancer cover

Rajalakshmi Nirmal | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 21, 2015

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HDFC Life Cancer Care scores over rivals with its unique features

Most of us live in fear of contracting the most dreaded of all maladies — cancer. Taking a health insurance policy that can cover costs of cancer treatment can at least reduce the financial burden. HDFC Life’s Cancer Care policy is a good option to meet this need. The policy gives a maximum sum assured of ₹40 lakh and a minimum of ₹10 lakh. It has an initial waiting period of 180 days. This policy can be bought online too. Given that the cost of cancer treatment even in the initial stages can run into lakhs of rupees, an insurance policy can offer some relief on the financial front.

As with other critical illness policies, the sum assured is given as a lumpsum on diagnosis of the illness and the policy terminates once the benefit amount is paid out. But there are a few new features too in the HDFC Life Cancer Cure plan.

Features

While most critical illness plans do cover cancer, they only cover cancer of specified severity. HDFC Life’s Cancer Care is a comprehensive cancer plan covering both early and late-stage cancer.

If cancer is diagnosed at the early stage, the plan pays 25 per cent of the sum assured and waives off premium payouts for the next three years. Coverage under the policy continues. If the cancer advances into the later stages, the balance sum assured is paid and the policy terminates. The policy has three options — silver, gold and platinum.

The premium waiver after claim for early stage of cancer is available in all three plans. In the gold plan, the additional feature is that for every no-claim year, the sum assured increases by 10 per cent. In the platinum plan, there is an additional benefit — once diagnosed with late-stage cancer, apart from the lumpsum amount of the sum assured, the policyholder or his nominee will get 1 per cent of the sum assured as monthly income for the next five years. The income benefit will continue even as the policy terminates once the sum assured is paid. Note that the premium quoted at the time of buying the policy is fixed only for three years. From the fourth year onwards, the company reserves the right to change it with IRDAI approval. Further, the policy specifies that individuals who have had cancer symptoms in the 48 months preceding policy purchase will not be covered.

Our take

In HDFC Cancer Care the mandatory survival period after diagnosis for cancer is seven days. In other critical illness policies, the survival period is 28-30 days. Since it covers initial stage cancers too at a relatively low premium, it is attractive. A male of 35 years can buy a ₹20-lakh policy for a term of 20 years for an annual premium of ₹4,620.

The premium drops further to ₹3,087 for the gold scheme and then to ₹1,898 for the basic silver policy. But if the policy is for a woman, the premium actually doubles, given the higher cancer risk perceived for women. For a female of 35 years, a ₹20-lakh policy for a term of 20 years with no claim and income benefit will be ₹8,931; the basic version of the policy comes for ₹3,816.

Though the policy doesn’t require medical tests, it requires answering of a detailed questionnaire where a disclosure on the medical history of the individual and his/her family is asked. So, only individuals who are in the pink of health at present can get this policy.

Fair enough, as insurance policies are supposedly only for unexpected risks. Else, the premium may be much higher than what is offered here.

Published on June 21, 2015
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