26 Jan, 2021 | Term Life Insurance

Critical Illness Riders - Useful Or Taking You For A Ride🚴?

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By Team Beshak
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We’ve heard a lot of questions around the critical illness rider that is often sold as an addon with term or health insurance policies - if it is really worth buying and what the alternative options (if any) are.

We thought we should settle this question - once and for all! So, here we go!

Why do you need a Critical Illness cover?

A critical illness - a serious disease or medical condition can cause serious financial damage to your family, possibly - even worse than death. Even if you have a good health insurance policy to cover all your hospitalization expenses, you will end up spending out of your pocket for major expenses such as renovating your house to make it suitable for your use, redoing your car, etc. Plus, you’re likely to incur several long-term expenses towards medical bills, doctor visits, and hiring of nurses/ household help.

All this, while your source of income is either lost or substantially reduced. We’ve known senior leaders from huge multinational companies giving up their high-paying jobs, and taking up less stressful roles - after suffering from a stroke or a heart attack. In other cases, we’ve heard of individuals who had to discontinue working - temporarily and permanently as a result of getting cancer - with long-term chemotherapy needing several months of treatment to work.

If your family largely depends on your earnings for their expenses - you should seriously consider a critical illness cover that will provide your family with the financial relief to deal with a serious disease and the costs that follow, without compromising on their current lifestyle.

2 ways to get a Critical Illness Cover

You can get a critical illness cover in one of two ways.

  1. As a Rider - as discussed above, as an add on attachment rider over your term insurance plan. For an additional cost and no extra paperwork - you will be able to take this critical illness cover.
  2. Separate specialized policy - as a separate critical illness insurance policy. Such policies are designed for a specific purpose and are therefore comprehensive covers. They can, however, get expensive (especially after you grow older or get a disease) and a high coverage may require mandatory medical tests.

Here’s a quick comparison of a critical illness rider and a Separate specialized policy - to help you make a decision.

 Critical Illness RiderSeparate specialised policy
Type of policyThis is an add-on, on a base term insurance, health insurance or life insurance plan.This is a separate comprehensive policy
Limits on Cover amountThe coverage amount you can buy is limited to your base cover.There’s no limit, so you can buy any amount of cover
What stages of Critical Illness are covered?Cover only advanced or final stagesSeparate plans may cover early stage critical illness too.
How complicated is the buying process?Part of the main plan, hence no separate paperwork or medical tests requiredYou will go through all due diligence - including documentation and medical tests wherever necessary.
PremiumsInitial premiums could be similar to standalone riders. However, premiums usually remain fixed for a long duration or the entire term based on the plan.Premiums change as your age changes. It can become very expensive in old age.

How to decide which one is right for you?

If you’ve to make a decision about buying the right critical illness cover for yourself, here’s how you should compare your two options.

  1. If convenience and cost is a priority: If you’re looking to buy the policy without too much effort, or at a relatively lower cost - choose a critical illness rider, along with your term insurance policy.
  2. If you want to provide adequate cover for your family: If you’re someone who doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of cover, and are willing to pay the additional costs - you should pick a Separate specialised policy. This will also mean you’ll spend time being diligent about all the features and benefits, and fill additional documentation for the plan. But, it’ll be worth it as your family will get a very dependable cover.

We hope this article has clarified at least some of the questions you’ve got about the critical illness insurance plans - riders and comprehensive covers.

If you have any specific questions and would like to understand the right insurance plan for you, post them on the Beshak Forum, and get answers from experts for free!

Key takeaways
  1. 🧑‍💼 Every earning member of the family should buy a critical illness insurance and protect their loved ones from the financial risk of a serious disease.
  2. In the case that you get a serious disease 💉 listed in the policy, your family will be paid a lump-sum amount of money.
  3. You can buy this cover either as a Rider with your term insurance policy, or as a separate health insurance cover specialised for critical illnesses. 🤒
  4. You should be aware of the many differences between both these covers 🛡️, and carefully analyse them before finalising which policy to buy.
Team Beshak
Written by,
Team Beshak, We breathe insurance :)

Multiple people working at and with Beshak come together to make this article really really useful. You can join us too - write at info@beshak.org

19 Feb, 2021
by: Shravan Kumar

Hello readers, It is very important to take critical illness policy.I have one friend who was diagnosed with colon cancer and critical illness policy saved him.Thanks beshak team for such ethical articals.

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10 Feb, 2021
by: Hiren Dedhia

What about the critical illness or cancer policies issued by Life Ins Co's? Are there plans comparable with General Ins Co's?

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11 Feb, 2021
by: Mahavir Chopra

Hello Hiren
We have covered the critical illness plans offered by Life as well as general under Specialised standalone plans above.
We have not covered cancer plans here. While we understand that Cancer can result in major financial disruption, when we take a few steps back we feel it does not make sense to take a single disease plan, when you can take a similar one-time effort and get hold of a comprehensive plan that covers a wide range of diseases.
Yes, the plans from General and Life insurance are comparable if both of them are fixed cash benefit plans and not reimbursement plans based on actual expenses.

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