Life insurance offers a host of benefits to individuals like planning for retirement and saving for child’s education among others. Some of these benefits are in the nature of add-ons. They provide financial cover over and above the basic sum assured.
They are commonly referred to as riders and are contingent on the occurrence of an event like a critical illness.
What is critical illness?
Critical illness is a health related condition of a serious nature. It can have a debilitating effect on the individual’s lifestyle and can incur considerable treatment cost, apart from loss of income from inability to work.
Some of the more common critical illnesses include:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Major organ transplant (e.g. heart, lung, liver, pancreas)
- Kidney Failure
How to safeguard against critical illness?
A definite way of circumventing the financial loss and inconvenience of a critical illness is by buying a health plan from a life insurance company or taking a critical illness rider on a life insurance policy.
If the individual is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses specified in the critical illness rider, he will receive a lump sum payment within a specified number of days.
The amount equals the sum assured for the rider and is different from the basic sum assured/life cover disbursed on death or maturity.
The critical illness insurance amount is disbursed whether or not the insured undergoes any treatment.
Some insurers as defined by the policy terms and conditions, disburse the amount towards the critical illness rider over and above the sum assured.
Other companies deduct the disbursal proceeds from the sum assured, which stands revised post-disbursal.
Who can benefit from the critical illness policy/rider?
The critical illness policy/ rider can be particularly beneficial for individuals who wish to take no chances with certain health conditions, especially if they have a medical history.
Also primary breadwinners of families who can ill-afford a hit on their finances from a critical illness are candidates for a critical illness insurance policy.
The health plan can provide financial security at a time, when the individual would be hard pressed for funds to treat the illness and support his family at the same time.