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Secure Your Future with Critical Illness Insurance

Protect yourself and your loved ones from the financial burden of a serious illness. Get peace of mind with critical illness insurance.

 Critical Illness Insurance

Home / Life Insurance / Types of Life Insurance Plans / Critical Illness Insurance

With the current lifestyle, there has been a significant increase in critical illnesses. This is coupled with an excessive rise in the cost of pharmacy bills and treatment facilities, making it even more challenging to tackle such unforeseen events. Financial stability is one of the most basic approaches that can be beneficial in such circumstances. In this article, learn about the benefits, coverage, and costs of this type of insurance policy.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?
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Critical illness Insurance is a plan which aims to provide a lump sum amount to the policyholder in case of a diagnosis of a critical illness. The illnesses are predefined in the policy. It is one of the most beneficial ways to cover high medical emergency costs. It provides extra coverage for illnesses like cancer, heart attacks, or strokes.

What are the features of Critical Illness Insurance?
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The main features of Critical Illness Insurance are as follows.

Who needs Critical Illness Insurance?
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Critical Illness Insurance is most beneficial to the following.

Sole earners
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 If you are the family's primary bread earner, consider opting in for the Critical Illness Insurance plan. This might not just be helpful to you while you are out of the workforce but also for your dependents.

Family history of critical illness
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Genetics and heredity play a crucial role in understanding the probability of future generations developing a medical condition. If a senior member of the family has a history of diseases like cancer, coronary heart disease etc., you must opt for a critical illness cover.

People above 40 years of age
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The vulnerability of developing a critical illness increases after age 40. Therefore, opting for a Critical Illness Insurance plan at this age can be a prudent choice.

Main benefits of Critical Illness Insurance
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Here are the main benefits of buying Critical Illness Insurance.

List of illnesses covered under Critical Illness Insurance
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Some of the most common critical illnesses listed under Critical Illness plans are as follows.

How is a Critical Illness Plan different from a normal health insurance plan?
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The basic differences between a Critical Insurance Plan and a health insurance plan are given below.


Critical Illness Insurance 

Health Insurance


Annually but terminated immediately after payout.

Annually. It may remain active even after the claim is settled depending upon the terms and conditions of the insurer.

Payout structure

The amount paid is fixed and may not depend on the expenses incurred by the policyholder.

The amount is paid to meet the actual treatment costs and it is subject to the maximum insured amount.

Waiting period

Usually up to 90 days of purchase depending upon the terms and conditions of the company.

Usually up to 30 days of purchase as stated by the insurer


Individual only as per policy terms

Individual or family policy


Above 40 years of age as beyond this age, vulnerability to develop a critical illness increases.

Everyone needs a Health Insurance plan as it provides large financial coverages for most medical treatments.

Existing illness

Not covered

Usually covered up to 4 years. May vary according to the rules of an insurance company.

How to buy Critical Illness Insurance?
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The purchase can be made by consulting an insurance advisor as required. You can reach online and offline channels to buy a Critical Illness Policy. Here are the possible options.

  1. Rider along with a Health or Life Insurance Plan

  2. Standalone Critical Illness Insurance Plan

Choosing one of the options above is based on personal preferences. The addition of critical illness protection as an add-on/rider to a newly purchased/renewed policy is limited to the benefit of the maximum sum insured.

Documents required to file a claim
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A must-have document to file a claim covered by Critical Illness Insurance is a diagnostic report of the illness. The insurance carrier must be contacted, and the claim needs to be registered if the policyholder wants to avail the benefits of the policy. Here is a list of documents that you may need to file a claim under your Critical Illness Plan.

Upon the verification of the documents, the benefit will be disbursed, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.

Note: The required documents may vary as per the rules of the insurer.

Costs of Critical Illness Insurance in India
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Critical Illness Insurance costs depend on age, health condition, coverage amount, policy tenure, and the insurance provider. The premium for this policy is generally higher than regular health insurance policies due to the high risk associated with critical illnesses. However, the cost of the policy can be reduced by choosing a lower sum assured, opting for a shorter policy tenure, and comparing the premiums offered by different insurance providers.

Points to remember before buying a Critical Illness cover
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Thorough research and comparisons must be made to address your preferences best. The most important points to remember before buying a Critical Illness Plan are as follows.

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Take a look at the list of illnesses covered under your policy. Also, nuances such as when the coverage would commence, at what stage or degree of the terminal illness, etc., are advised to be noted carefully.

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Being aware of the limitations or boundaries of your policy is equally significant.

Policy benefits
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It is important that you make a note of the additional benefits. For example, how long is the claim-free period during renewals.

Filing claims
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As the pay-out of the Critical Illness Policy is designed differently, one needs to be diligent with the complete process of filing the claim to pay out and knowing the required documents, etc.

Age limit
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Noting the maximum age until the policy covers you is important. Some insurers might request regular health check-ups to keep a track of your health status. Avoid missing these appointments.

Survival period
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It is the period which the patient must survive, from the date of diagnosis up to the specified time, to benefit from the policy coverage. So, the shorter the period, the greater the chances of using the coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Here are some common questions about Critical Illness Insurance.


Are pre-existing illnesses covered under this policy?

No, pre-existing conditions are not covered under Critical Illness Insurance.

Do I have to undergo a compulsory health check-up?

Yes, most insurance companies ask buyers to undergo a medical health check-up as a prerequisite.

What is the maximum sum that can be insured under this policy?

Most insurers provide a sum of up to rupees 50 lakhs. Kindly read the policy document carefully for detailed information.

Can I claim this policy for multiple medical conditions?

No, Critical Illness Insurance cover can be availed for one illness only.

If I have claimed the policy once, can I renew it?

No, if claimed once, the policy is terminated and cannot be renewed. You must buy a new policy.

Does Critical Illness Insurance cover all illnesses?

Most critical Illnesses are covered by Critical illness Insurance Plans. Exclusions under this category vary from one insurer to another. Kindly read the policy document for more information.

Do Critical Illness Insurance Plans have higher premiums than health insurance plans?

No, different insurers provide different benefits and come with varying prices. The best way to find a suitable policy is to compare the plans with other providers.

Is the amount disbursed immediately after the diagnosis of the illness?

The time taken to disburse the amount post-diagnosis is usually short and can be up to 90 days. This may vary from one insurance company to another.

Can I transfer my Critical Illness cover from one insurance company to another?

Yes, according to the rule passed by IRDAI - Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India in 2011, you can transfer your policy from one company to another. Read the policy document for more information.

Should I buy Critical Illness Insurance?

Yes. Critical Illness cover provides a monetary cushion to you and your dependents in life-threatening circumstances and financial hardships.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.