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Buying Critical Illness Coverage? Read This First

Today, most of us are facing an increasing risk of falling prey to lifestyle diseases. A report from the World Bank suggests that nearly 61 percent of deaths in India due to diseases are now attributed to critical illnesses like cancers, heart attack etc.

Although most of us now are adopting an exercise regime, healthy diet and fitness programs to keep these diseases at bay, still many times these diseases find a way into our lives, be it due to heredity, age or the most harmful cause of them all – pollution. Moreover, these diseases not only bring physical pain but can also financially deprive you, as the cost of treatment is very high.

Most people know the importance of medical insurance; however, they tend to overlook the necessity of critical illness cover. They ask what is the need for an extra cover on their health, won’t their medical insurance take care of these illnesses?

The best answer to this is that normal medical insurance covers your expenses while you are in the hospital. Whereas, critical illness coverage takes care of expenses when you are out of it. Read on to get a better grasp on how buying this cover can help you in long-term:


Let’s say one day you start feeling a sharp pain in your chest on your way back home. You call for help, and someone takes you to a hospital. Once in the hospital, the doctors start a series of tests and find out that you have had a minor heart attack due to blockage in your arteries. Moreover, the damaged artery needs to be operated through surgery.

Surgery Procedure

Your family asks the doctors to rush for the surgery, which is going to cost around two lakhs. But you were already prepared for an emergency like this by purchasing health insurance, so you are relieved. All the procedures and operations are done, and your policy has covered the expenses. However, as you are getting discharged, doctors advise you to take complete rest for at least 2-3 months for better recovery. Which in simpler terms mean that you will not be able to work for 2-3 months.

After the Surgery

Now here begins the problem. If you take off from work for 2-3 months, it means you won’t be getting any income during that period. And, let’s face it no employer is going to give a paid leave for these months. The expenses of your medicines, your diet and other things during this period can leave a hole in your pocket.

Critical Illness Cover to the Rescue

At this stage, critical illness cover can come to your rescue. In critical illness cover, you get a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of diseases listed under critical illnesses. As soon as you are diagnosed with any critical illness and need treatment for the same, you can file a claim and receive the lump sum payout. You can use this sum to pay your hospital bills, your EMI’s, children’s school fee and your living expenses. In short, you can say that the sum will cover your expenses till the time your rest period lasts.

Which Critical Illnesses Are Covered?

The critical illness benefit is payable to the insured in respect of the incidence of the specified critical illnesses in the policy document. Some of them are:

  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Open Chest CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting)
  • Coma of Specified Severity
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Blindness

Many other diseases are covered in critical illness coverage.

You need to look into the following factors before buying critical illness insurance:

  • List of all critical illnesses included in your policy
  • List of critical illnesses not included in your policy
  • Age of Coverage
  • Exclusions
  • Associated waiting and survival period
  • The procedure for filing the claim


So, you can see that purchasing critical illness cover is essential for you to tide over tough times when you face financial crisis. It will give you and your family a breathing space required so that you will be able to recover from your illness without having to take any stress.

You can easily compare a variety of online options available today. Reputable insurers including Max Life Insurance offer many benefits to policy seekers, most significant of which, is critical illness cover for up to 40 health conditions. On the other hand, peers such as ICICI Prudential and Bajaj Allianz provide cover for 36 and 34 critical illnesses respectively.