When you are thinking of buying certain financial products, insurance can be considered as one of the options. The sheer rising cost of healthcare, especially when it comes to critical illness, should compel you to buy insurance. Inflation affects a wide range of products and services across industries, including healthcare expenses. Therefore, individuals must plan their finances in such a way that there is always an adequate amount in their kitty for critical illness cover. You can easily purchase cover for critical illness with life insurance as well as health insurance plans.
What is a critical illness cover?
Critical illness cover is coverage that provides the insured with a benefit in a lump sum on getting diagnosed with a critical illness covered under the policy, on payment of due premiums. This pays for the cost of treatment and care that goes towards particular illnesses and recovery expenses. Furthermore, if you have a surplus amount left over, you can use it to settle any loans) or meet other expenses.
Once the insurer makes a payment to the insured, the critical illness covers expires. Generally, any amount in a lump sum is paid to the holder of a life insurance policy, after a survival period of a month of contracting any illness. This may vary depending on the product terms and conditions. Moreover, you are permitted to purchase more than a single critical illness cover.
How Critical Illness Cover Works in the Case of Life Insurance
When you buy a life insurance policy, you can easily purchase critical illness cover with it by paying nominal extra premium. This can be done as a rider, or as a cover which is a standalone policy in itself. Let’s look at each of these:
● Critical Illness Riders - In terms of critical illness riders, there are two kinds :
1. Additional Benefit Rider -
Critical Illness Rider is a common term insurance rider that can assist a person in ensuring the financial stability of their family during difficult times. A critical illness rider is an optional coverage that may be added to a base insurance policy for an additional premium. A lump sum amount is granted to the life assured's family under the critical illness rider if the life assured is diagnosed with a designated critical illness during the policy duration as per the policy terms and conditions.
Critical illness riders insure against significant life-threatening diseases that are covered under the rider. This rider gives financial assistance to the family of the life assured at tough times and assists them in meeting the treatment costs of the diagnosed illness. .For instance, let’s assume you have purchased a life insurance policy amounting to Rs. 1 crore along with an add-on critical illness rider amounting to Rs. 40 lakhs. Now, in case you raise a claim for a payout worth Rs. 40 lakhs in your critical illness cover, your base amount of Rs. 1 crore remains unaffected and is not reduced.
2. Accelerated Benefit Rider –
In this case, the sum assured for critical illness is reduced from your policy assured sum and is paid out once a claim is raised. The life insurance policy then continues to hold good with the sum that is reduced. For instance, let us assume that you have a life insurance policy of Rs. 1 crore, with a division such that Rs. 60 lakh is your main policy cover and Rs. 40 lakh is your accelerated cover for critical illness. If you raise a claim for Rs. 40 lakhs, the policy continues to operate with a reduced cover (of Rs. 60 lakh). The premium in such a situation will be lower. In the event of your unfortunate demise without raising any critical illness claim, the insurer will pay your nominee the total Rs. 1 crore amount depending on the policy terms and conditions.
● Standalone plans –
Standalone health insurance plans provide more coverage and charge greater prices. Riders with life insurance are less expensive. If you are looking for coverage for Personal Accident and Critical Illness, you have two options. This coverage is available as a rider on your life insurance policy or as a separate policy from health insurance providers.
A critical illness plan is essential these days, given the rise in the incidence of critical illnesses and the increasing cost involved in their treatment. This ensures a financial safeguard for families whose incomes may be otherwise eroded due to enormous medical expenses.