Rajan Shah’s father had always paid premiums for his health insurance policy. This insurance plan had incorporated the rest of his family’s health insurance as well. As a result, the family had saved significantly in terms of financial resources when they required visits to the doctor, treatments for minor illnesses, and disorders.

However, when Rajan’s mother was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, the insurer took a step back and said Mr. Shah had not opted for a critical illness cover term insurance or even a term insurance with critical illness rider; which would have covered the costs for cancer treatment as well. While the health insurance policy they had would cover the costs for minor illnesses, it would not cover the costs incurred for treatment of critical diseases including cancer and even heart diseases. These had been mentioned in the exclusions mentioned in the fine print within the policy document, but the family had not really gone through it very carefully until the need arose.

Individuals can either opt for term insurance with critical illness rider, or a critical illness policy like the Future Generali Cancer Protect Plan which not only provides a lump sum cover but also has an option for availing income benefit with the lump sum cover. The income benefit amounts to 2% of the Sum Assured with the policy, per month for a period of 60 months on the diagnosis of Major Stage Cancer. If your cancer is diagnosed at the minor stage, your premiums get waived off for the next three years.

What kind of Critical Illness Policy should you opt for?

A critical illness is usually an unanticipated illness that may result in death, and is not covered under regular health insurance plans. You can either opt for illness-specific policies, or term insurance with critical illness riders, which provide coverage for a variety of critical illnesses.

How does a critical illness policy differ from a mediclaim policy?

A mediclaim policy takes care of hospitalisation costs. However, in the case of critical illnesses, where hospitalisation only accounts for 35% of total expenses, a separate critical illness policy is required. Expenditure in case of critical illnesses involve costs incurred through treatment by OPD, patient transportation, lab and imaging services and prescribed medicines, which in the case of cancer, can result in a significant amount. A critical illness rider on term insurance can aid families and save them from dipping into their savings, since these policies provide a lump sum amount at the time of detection. For instance, the Future Generali Cancer Protect Plan provides 25% of the cover amount or Sum Assured instantly when cancer is diagnosed in the minor stage. If the cancer is diagnosed at a major stage, the policyholder receives the entire cover amount or Sum Assured.

How does one select the best Critical Illness policy?

Upon first approaching an insurer, their agents are duty bound to explain the different provisions available to a policyholder in case of illness. Many insurers will provide health insurance, but with several exclusions which are not covered by that specific policy. After the terms and conditions of the critical illness cover term insurance have been discussed and negotiated, insurers provide the policyholder with documents outlining the policy they have opted for.

At this point, the policyholder must carefully read through the entire document, including the fine print which lists the exclusions to the policy. Future Generali Cancer Protect Plan provides policyholders with 15 days, in which they can read through the policy document and return it to the company if they do not agree with the terms and conditions listed within it. The policyholder can cancel the policy, and the amount paid will be refunded by the company.

Critical illnesses can affect anybody at any time, and it is virtually impossible to prevent them. However, it is possible to plan for them by opting for critical illness policies, which are available as critical illness cover term insurance or even as term insurance with critical illness riders. One can safeguard themselves and their family from dipping into financial savings, by choosing a policy like the Future Generali Cancer Protect Plan or Future Generali Heart and Health Insurance Plan which ensures that policyholders get assured benefits starting from the time the illness is diagnosed to treatment.