Personal Finance

Should you buy a critical illness cover for yourself and family?

| Updated on January 30, 2021

We are looking for a suitable critical illness policy for our son (39 years) and his wife (32 years). Both have independent term plans for ₹1 crore and ₹50 lakh, respectively. They also have a medical insurance plan with a base plan for sum insured (SI) of ₹3 lakh and top- up plan for ₹15 lakh which also covers their eight-year old daughter. We are now looking for a suitable critical illness policy to cover both the husband and wife for an insurance of ₹50/25 lakh and request you to suggest a policy that is rich in features but does not pinch the pocket.

Meenakshi Guar

Your son and his family are adequately covered for health. Given their young age and a small daughter, a health insurance cover with total SI of ₹18 lakh should suffice. If they want to buy a critical illness (CI) plan as it will provide a lump sum in hand at the very diagnosis of a critical illness, it is suggested that they first think through the purpose of buying the cover. If they fear any particular illness, they should go for disease-specific covers. There are special diabetic covers and also heart and cancer care plans in the market. ICICI Prudential Life’s Heart and Cancer Protect (covers 18 major and minor hearts ailments cancer including carcinoma-in-situ and early-stage cancer) is a good option. On the other hand, if they are looking for a plan that would cover all major critical illnesses, they can choose from a bunch of plans in the market that include products from life and general/health insurers.

Critical illness policies offered by general and health insurers come with life-long renewal option as per guidelines of IRDAI. Life insurers can’t offer life-long renewal ; their CI plans would end after a specific term. That said, note that life-long renewability is valid only till the policyholder is in good health. Once she/he gets diagnosed with a major illness and makes a claim, be it a policy with a life insurer or a general/health insurance company, she/he can’t renew it again. Future Generali Life’s Heart and Health plan (covers 59 critical illnesses) is an option they can consider here. It offers cover of a maximum of ₹50 lakh. Aditya Birla Health’s Activ Secure Critical Illness plan that covers 64 critical illnesses (including angioplasty and pacemaker insertion) can also be considered.

HDFC ERGO’s my: health Women Suraksha, is the only comprehensive women health policy in the market (covers osteoporosis too). Your daughter-in-law can consider this. It offers six different plans. One of them is a comprehensive critical illness cover that will pay for 41 chronic illnesses, including kidney failure, end-stage liver failure, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s along with cancer and heart ailments. The policy is offered with multiple SI options, ranging from ₹1 lakh up to ₹1 crore. The policy allows all women in the family including mother and mother-in-law to be covered under a single plan.

All suggestions mentioned above are comprehensive insurance plans. So, in terms of premium they may not be the cheapest in the market.

Published on January 30, 2021

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