What is critical illness insurance?
Critical illness insurance acts as additional protection to the cover provided by your regular health plan. It provides you with a lump sum, payable to the insurer, to cover all the costs of medical bills, hospitalization, surgery and recuperation. It covers up to 40 critical illnesses. Once you have been diagnosed with any of the diseases covered by the policy, and certain conditions have been met, the full lump sum is disbursed. As well as the costs of treatment, this lump sum can be used for your family’s daily expenses.
Processing a claim on a critical illness policy is straightforward, as it is based solely on the diagnosis report provided by the medical professional. There is no need to attach the medical bills to the claim. Once the lump sum has been paid out, the policy terminates. A critical illness plan is therefore sure to give you and your family peace of mind.
Why take a medical exam before purchasing critical illness cover?
Before purchasing a critical illness insurance policy, you will be well advised to undertake a medical examination. Although some insurers will issue policies without requiring medical tests, the premiums on these policies are likely to be lower. However, the sum assured will also be low - probably too low to cover the possible costs a patient will incur.
Having a medical examination before signing up for a critical illness policy provides the insurer with a clear indication of the level of risk you present. Your health condition provides them with a good idea of how likely you are to make a claim against the policy. The typical tests you can expect during the medical examination include an electrocardiogram to check for possible heart disease, blood tests to look for conditions like HIV and hepatitis, a cholesterol level check as an indicator of kidney and liver function, a smoker test, and a urinalysis.
The insurer will also look beyond the examination and consider basic factors, such as your height, weight and age. Additional factors the insurer will consider are:
1. Your medical history and the history of your close relatives,
2. Your occupation,
3. Lifestyle and hobbies to determine whether you smoke or indulge in dangerous sports,
4. Where you live and work.
Some tests the insurance company may require will depend on what you declared on your application form. If, for example, you state that you are diabetic, the insurance company may require you to take tests to establish your blood sugar level. This will show whether the diabetes can be controlled with medication, thus limiting the prospects of it worsening. It is vital that you provide honest answers to the medical questions in the application form. Failure to disclose a particular condition could result in the insurance company rejecting your claim. If you failed to declare that you had diabetes and then found that you were suffering from related kidney damage, a claim for treatment could be denied.
A critical illness insurance policy is a crucial element of the medical safety net you want to provide for your family. Such a policy will ensure you receive the treatment you need in the event of your contracting a serious illness and provide your family with living expenses while you focus on recuperation with peace of mind. Talk to a financial advisor about the best critical illness policy for your family.
The aforesaid article presents the view of an independent writer who is an expert on financial and insurance matters. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. doesn’t influence or support views of the writer of the article in any way. The article is informative in nature and PNB MetLife and/ or the writer of the article shall not be responsible for any direct/ indirect loss or liability or medical complications incurred by the reader for taking any decisions based on the contents and information given in article. Please consult your financial advisor/ insurance advisor/ health advisor before making any decision.
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