How to choose the best critical illness insurance?

The usual health insurance policy can take care of your medical expenses and help you avoid the financial burden that certain treatments can bring. However, these health insurance plans do not always cover certain critical illnesses unless they’re included as add-ons on the customer’s request. For these specific groups of critical illnesses like cancer, blindness, deafness, loss of limbs etc, a separate type of insurance called as the critical illness insurance is available.

But if you already have a comprehensive health insurance plan in place, do you really need a separate critical illness insurance plan? And how to choose the best critical insurance plan from the many options available today? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and many more.

Do I need a critical insurance plan?

If you already have a good health insurance plan in effect, it is always a good idea to first think about whether you actually need a separate critical illness plan or not. Most of the time, a general health insurance policy will not be enough to cover the significant costs for the treatment of a critical illness. In these instances, a critical illness insurance policy can be a godsend because it can help you avoid burning through your finances. So, if you feel that you have higher chances of critical illness, for eg. if you have a family history of cancer, or your job carries certain risks of eye injury or other bodily injury, then a critical illness insurance is always a good idea.

Making the right choice.

Nowadays, a lot of options are available when it comes to critical illness insurance. Use the following guide to help you decide what type of plan will be most suitable for your needs.

A standalone critical illness plan or an add-on to your general health insurance?

If you decide to go for critical illness insurance, you have two options. You can either go for a separate critical illness plan, or if you have an existing health insurance policy, you can sign up for a critical illness rider or add-on, if available. The choice you make will be heavily reliant on your existing health insurance and what it covers. Usually, a separate critical illness insurance is preferable because it will offer you more flexibility, will cover more number of illness and the sum insured will always be higher than what an add-on rider can provide.

What does it cover?

Before making your decision, you have to go through the nitty gritty of the critical illness insurance that you’re planning to buy, whether it is an add-on or a new plan. See what illnesses it covers and whether there are any conflicts with your existing health insurance. Conflicts can cause unwanted complications at the time of claim.


Based on the specific terms of your policy, it can either be a lifetime policy or a limited time policy that can be renewed after the term is over. Make sure you check the maximum age for renewability since many policies do not allow the policy to be renewed after 50 years of age.

Check for exclusions

Any health insurance policy you buy will have documents detailing what illnesses it covers, and what it doesn’t cover. It is very important to carefully read what illnesses are excluded in the policy since this can create a problem at the time of claim if you suddenly found out that your policy doesn’t cover your illness. If certain treatments that you wanted are excluded in your policy, discuss with your provider and get them as add-ons or look for other providers that include those treatments.

Waiting period

Choose a critical illness policy that has the shortest waiting period, for obvious reasons. Signing up for a policy that has a long waiting period will be virtually useless if your illness occurs in the waiting period and you cannot claim your policy.

Check for special plans

Many insurance providers offer special critical illness plans designed for women and senior citizens. Certain illnesses common in women like breast cancer and cervical cancer are covered in such plans.


Thus, the critical illness insurance you choose is highly dependent on what your actual requirements are. Read carefully through the terms of the policy and keeping the above points in mind, make an informed choice. In this day and age, when nothing is predictable, a critical illness insurance may just save you from an unexpected financial crunch.

Louise Author