Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance protects your savings by providing financial assistance in medical emergencies arising from life-threatening diseases. The policy pays a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical health condition like heart/ kidney ailments or cancer. The policy covers all stages of critical illnesses and supports the family during a crisis. Unfortunately, the current healthcare inflation rate is 8.4%², making a critical illness policy a must-buy.

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What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance covers several medical conditions like cancer, renal failure, or heart attack. Unlike pure life insurance that only pays in the event of death, critical illness insurance pays a tax free lump sum amount in the event of specific critical illness diagnosis. Critical illness policy is also different from regular health insurance policy, because the lump-sum payment is independent of the actual medical bills. You and your family can choose to spend this amount however you want. In addition to your regular health policy, this lump-sum can be used to clear large medical bills and other expenses like diagnostics bills. On top of this lump-sum amount, you can choose to avail a monthly income to replace your lost income in case you are staying away from work to undertake the treatments.

Wondering How Critical Insurance Works?

Find out with an example

Critical Illness Insurance - ABSLI

Why Buy Critical Illness Insurance?

If ever you get diagnosed with a critical illness, this insurance policy will save you from going broke. This will provide you with the financial support to get high quality treatment at the right time. Lack of funds can at times delay in availing the treatment. But with critical illness insurance cover, delay in getting the best medical treatment is never a case.

Think that you have an umbrella which can protect you from getting wet while it is drizzling. But if it is raining heavily, a shade will save you better. Similarly, your mediclaim policy is an umbrella that can help you with medical coverage. But under the heavy rain of heart/ renal ailments or cancer, the critical illness insurance can protect you just like a shade. The following are a few reasons why critical illness insurance is important:

Focus on recovery:
In case of a critical illness diagnosis, medical bills tend to skyrocket. In such an unfortunate event a critical illness insurance can aid you with security and a certain degree of control to manage such situations. So that you can focus on recovery without worrying about arranging the funds for the treatment.
Critical illness is on the rise:
Critical illnesses have become very common in India due to modern lifestyle changes and multiple other factors. In 2020, nearly 13.92¹³ lakhs Indians got cancer lakhs Indians got cancer. The annual number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases rose to 4.77 million in 2020¹⁴. Lifestyle issues like hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity has led to the rise in the critical illnesses.
Just mediclaim policy is not enough:
A mediclaim policy that you might be owning only covers the cost of hospitalisation. That does not cover pre-hospitalization expenses and doctor consultation charges among other expenses. However, critical illness insurance pays in a lump sum right after the diagnosis of the specific diseases. It enables you to cover all medical and non-medical expenses.
Get the best quality treatment:
Individuals affected by critical illnesses can not always get comprehensive treatment due to a lack of funds. With critical illness insurance, the life insured can avail of the treatment at a suitable hospital. This financial support is essential to deal with rising healthcare inflation.
Increases the chances of survival:
With the large coverage under the critical illness policy, the life insured gets a better opportunity to undertake the most suitable quality treatment without worrying about the expenses. It reduces the financial burden of availing better treatment and increases the chances of survival.
Protect savings:
With this policy, the life insured can protect their savings. It reduces financial burden For example, the cancer treatment cost in India can be as high as Rs.27 lakhs⁹. The critical illness policy will cover the medical cost after such a diagnosis. It helps protect years of savings that can be used for child education, buying a house, etc.
Monthly income recovery:
When diagnosed with a major stage of any critical illness, individuals might have to stay away from work for long. This affects the monthly income, further emptying the savings. Critical illness insurance policies have an option for monthly income to support the family's daily expenses. The portion of the lump sum amount can be used as a substitute for monthly income.
Benefits of Critical Illness Insurance
A critical illness insurance plan is available for a high sum assured to get adequate medical assistance when the life insured is diagnosed with critical illnesses. The benefits of the critical illness insurance include
Lump sum payout benefits:
The critical illness insurance provides a lump sum payment, regardless of the actual expenses incurred on the treatment. The insurance policy covers all stages of critical illnesses. 30% of the sum assured payment will be paid on diagnosis of an early stage of the covered disease. The remaining 70% will be paid if the major stage is diagnosed in the future. However, if the major stage is diagnosed at first, 100% of the sum assured will be paid.
Monthly income option:
Critical illness insurance provides an option to choose the monthly income benefit. This pays 1% of the sum assured every month after a major stage diagnosis. You can use the amount to support the family’s financial requirements when the active monthly income stops due to illness.
Premium Waiver:
If the life insured is diagnosed with an early stage of cancer or cardiac/renal diseases, the premium is waived off for the next 5 years to reduce the financial burden under ABSLI critical illness insurance policies.
Tax Benefit:
The premium paid for the critical illness policy is eligible for tax benefit under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The tax benefits are subject to changes in the tax law. Consult your tax advisor to know more.
Convenient online purchase:
The critical illness policy can easily be purchased online.
Our Critical Illness Insurance Policies
ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan
ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan
Fight cancer³ without worrying about expenses.
Covers all stages of cancer
Covers all stages of cancer
Covers all stages of cancer
Protects savings
Covers all stages of cancer
No medical required
Covers all stages of cancer
5 years premium waiver
Cancer Cover:
₹10 lakhs
ABSLI CritiShield Plan
Financial protection for cardiac or renal conditions.
Covers all stages of cancer
Increasing cover option
Covers all stages of cancer
Comprehensive payout
Covers all stages of cancer
Covers cardiac & renal conditions
Covers all stages of cancer
Monthly Income option
Cancer Cover:
₹10 lakhs
Why buy ABSLI Critical Illness Insurance?
The critical illness insurance policies from ABSLI are designed to cater to your sudden medical emergency needs. A critical illness insurance creates financial security when the life insured suffers from critical illnesses. We offer:
Affordable Premium:
You can get high sum assured at an affordable premium. For example, you can get ₹10 lakh ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan at Rs.4/day1 only.
Comprehensive plans:
We offer two critical illness insurance policies ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan (which covers all stages of cancer) and ABSLI CritiShield Plan (which covers all stages of cardiac and renal ailments). Both the policies are available online.
Easy Claim Settlement Process:
We work hard to simplify the claim settlement process. The claim amount is credited quickly to cover the varied expenses associated with critical illness. You can file their claims both online and at the branch office.
Easy online purchase:
It is easy to buy both ABSLI Cancer Shield and CritiShield policies online. It is a hassle-free and fast process.
Fast Turnaround Time (TAT):
Average claim settlement time post receiving all the claim documents/ requirements will be 3.5 days5 for individual businesses.
High Claim Settlement Ratio:
Our claim settlement ratio is 98.04%4 for FY 20-21. Our intent is to serve our customers faster and better.
Presence across the country:
We have 363 physical offices across India. So that you can walk in anytime and meet our representatives regarding new and existing policies.

Features of critical illness policies

A critical illness policy is a life insurance policy that pays the insured to fight medical emergencies due to critical illnesses. It creates financial security for the family to handle medical and regular expenses.

Affordable premium:
The premium for both our critical illness policies is affordable.
Entry age:
Any individual of 18-65 years can get critical illness insurance
Flexible premium payment mode:
Annual | Semi-Annual | Quarterly | Monthly
Hassle-free experience:
You can purchase/renew policies and even make a claim online.
High sum assured:
High coverage up to Rs.50 lakhs.
Long coverage:
Option to covers till 85 years of age
Payout options:
Choose between level sum assured or increasing sum assured for ABSLI CritiShield Plan and ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan.

Who should buy a critical illness insurance policy?

A critical illness policy can help you be prepared in case of medical emergencies that arise due to critical illness. Poor health conditions or diseases can strike anybody. This is why anyone can buy a health cover. Broadly these individuals can buy a critical illness policy:

Any individual:
Individuals who wish to handle medical emergencies well must buy a critical illness policy. The cover allows the life insured to get the required medical treatment.
The taxpayers can buy the insurance plan to get tax benefit⁶ under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
How does Critical Illness Insurance works?
Critical illness insurance is simple to understand policy. The insurance company pays the life insured a lump sum amount (pre-defined) on the critical illness diagnosis. For example, Mahek owns the ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan with a sum assured of Rs.30 lakhs. Five year after the policy purchase, Mahek was diagnosed with an early cancer stage. As soon as the disease was diagnosed, the insurance company initiated the claim payment. They paid 30% of the sum assured, which means ₹9,00,000/ as it was an early stage cancer. The lump sum amount helped Mahek to pay for her treatment. Further, the insurance company waives the premium for the next 5 years or the policy term. Because of this insurance benefit, she could afford the necessary treatment without consuming her savings. Further, when Mahek was diagnosed with major stage cancer, the insurance company paid the remaining 70% of the sum assured to support her medical requirement then.
What is Covered in the Critical Illness Insurance Policy Offered by ABSLI?
A critical illness insurance covers the life insured against life-threatening critical illnesses, including heart attack, renal failure, cancer, etc. Even the healthiest individual can catch these diseases, but she/he may not be able to afford the expenses. This is where this insurance plan can help.
Cardiac and Renal Ailments (ABSLI CritiShield Plan):
If the life insured is diagnosed with either of these diseases, they will get the lump sum as specified under the policy. The critical illness policy covers all stages of cardiac and renal ailments.
All stages of Cancer (ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan):
The critical illness insurance policy covers all stages of cancer. The amount of payment depends on the stage of the cancer. For example, 100% of the sum assured is given if a major stage cancer is detected.
Death of life insured:
In case of a major stage diagnosis, the insured receives 1% of the sum assured as a monthly income for a defined period. In case of death of the life insured, the nominee gets the monthly income benefits. Apart from this, there are no maturity/ death benefits under critical illness policies.

Factors that Affect Critical Illness Policy Premium

A critical illness insurance premium is based on several factors. Some of these which affect the premium include

Age plays a vital role in the critical illness insurance premium. It becomes evident that the probability of getting a disease increases with higher age. The insurance premium will be cheaper if you are young.
Family health history:
When the proposer has a history of critical illness running in the family, getting insurance for their own becomes difficult. But this does not mean that such an individual cannot get critical illness insurance. The individual might have to pay a higher premium.
If the proposer is known to consume too much alcohol or have a poor lifestyle, the candidate will have to pay a higher premium for the critical illness insurance.
Occupation of any individual affects the premium. If the occupation of the individual seeking insurance is risky or one that increases the possibility of diseases, the premium will be high.
Policy Term:
Policy Term is another factor that affects the premium under the critical illness insurance.
Pre-existing illnesses:
If the proposer suffers from pre-existing diseases, the insurance company will either deny the critical illness cover or provide the cover with several conditions applicable.
Sum Assured:
For a higher sum assured cover, the premium for a critical illness insurance will be more than the cover with a lower sum assured.
Facts on Critical Illness
The facts on critical illness makes you aware of the utility of critical illness insurance in India.
Cancer Problems¹⁰
  • With an incidence rate of 97.1%, India has a total of 13.9 lakhs cancer patients.
  • 1 in 9 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime (0-74 years of age).
  • Tobacco, alcohol, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle are common causes of fast spread of the disease.
  • One chemotherapy cost in India ranges from 1-2 lakhs.
Cardiac and Renal Problems¹¹
  • Prevalence rate of coronary heart diseases in India is 1% to 13.2% in urban populations.
  • Cost of open heart surgery ranges from Rs.1.75 lakhs to Rs.4.25 lakhs.
  • The rate of Chronic Kidney Diseases in India is 13% to 15.04%.
  • Cost of kidney transplant in India is between Rs.7 -10 lakhs.
Tips to Choose a Critical Illness Insurance
Keep in mind these tips before you choose critical illness insurance.
Adequate Sum Assured
When buying critical illness insurance, note the rate of medical inflation. It will reflect the amount needed for treatment of critical illness in the present time. Then choose the sum assured for yourself.
Buy when young:
Buying critical illness insurance at a young age is better. You can choose a high sum assured at lower premiums.
Check the list of Critical Illnesses covered:
Before buying the critical illness insurance, check the list of critical illnesses that are included. You should check for your requirements.
Find out the claim settlement process:
Know the claim settlement process and inform the same to the family members also. The life insured should be aware of the claim settlement to get the financial support fast and hassle-free.
Understand the exclusions and conditions:
Find out the basic conditions that apply to critical illness insurance. Commonly these policies do have a waiting period, exclusions (conditions not covered), etc. Read the terms and conditions of the critical illness insurance in detail.
Get assistance with critical illness insurance queries

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Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about critical illness insurance and explore how it will benefit you.

A critical illness insurance is a life insurance cover that protects the family from huge financial expenses when the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness like kidney disease or cancer illness. On the first diagnosis of the disease a lump sum amount is given. There is also a choice in the critical illness insurance to get regular income when the life insured is away from work for the treatment.

On the other hand, a mediclaim is a cover that pays you for hospitalisation due to illness. The policy states that 24 hours hospitalisation is mandatory. The mediclaim insurance cover will take care of pre-hospitalization, medical treatment, and post-hospitalization expenses incurred.
The policyholders do not have to hassle when they take the treatment for critical illness. On diagnosis of the disease, the insurance company will pay you in lump sum to start with the treatment.
You can buy a health insurance plan as early as possible in life. Sooner the cheaper. When you are young the critical illness insurance are available at low premiums, because you are less likely to have any substantial medical condition. Ideally everyone should get health insurance before they turn 30. The premium under Cancer Shield Plan for Sum assured ₹10 lakhs and policy term 20 years for any individual of 30 years will be ₹101/- including GST. But if any individual purchases the policy after turning 40 years, the premium for same sum assured and policy term will be ₹233/- monthly. As you grow old, you end up paying more premium.

Yes, health insurance premiums provide tax benefits2 under section 80D of Income Tax Act.1961.

Benefits can be claimed as under:

Self and family

₹25,000 tax deduction + ₹5,000 health check-up exemption

Self, family, and parents

₹50,000 tax deduction + ₹5,000 health check-up exemption

Self, family, and senior citizen parents

₹75,000 tax deduction + ₹5,000 health check-up exemption

Self (senior citizen), family, and parents (senior citizen)

₹1 lakh tax deduction + ₹5,000 health check-up exemption

Yes, you can have any number of health insurance policies you want. It only increases the coverage. Having more health policies is like more money in hand to manage expenses for treatment when needed.

But you should keep in mind that policyholders can not claim for the same expense against different health policies.
The critical illness insurance will allow you to protect your savings by providing you a lump sum amount for the treatment of the critical illness. If in case you are diagnosed with any critical illness, the policy will pay you a lump sum benefit so that you do not compromise on your treatment. Recently, an inflation of 8.4%12 was observed in 2021 in the cost of healthcare facilities as compared to the year 2019. It denotes that it is important to save for any emergency healthcare expenses. Talking about Cancer, there will be about 1.1 million new cases by 2040 that will need chemotherapy. This proves that one must be ready with critical illness insurance to handle illness crises.
The diseases covered under critical illness varies from insurer to insurer. However, some common diseases include:
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure
  • Cancers (of certain types)
  • Organ Transplant
  • Angioplasty
The critical illness insurance benefits under the policy are generally paid in lump sum on the diagnosis of the disease. The claims are paid under the Critical Illness for the diseases that have occurred for the first time more specifically like Stroke, Coma, Paralysis, Total Blindness and First Heart Attack.
Choose the health insurance plan that provides you:
  • Right coverage that pays you for a wide range of medical illnesses.
  • Check whether the insurance plan covers you for critical illnesses like cancer.
  • Cover at affordable rates.
  • Verify whether the plan offers lifetime renewability or not?
  • See for the Claim Settlement Ratio which should be high. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance had a high claim settlement ratio of 98.04%4 for individual businesses.
The critical illness insurance premium that you will be charged is purely dependent on the following factors:
  • Age: Health insurance premium increases with age. When you are young and healthy, you are less likely to attract diseases. So the probability of filing a claim is less- this results in a low premium. So buying health insurance when young can help in enjoying the benefit of lower premiums.
  • Gender: Women usually pay a higher health insurance premium than men. Because according to medical study, women are vulnerable towards chronic diseases. In addition to that, women have a higher risk of attracting cancer as compared to men. 1 in every 28 women15 in India has the risk to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. With increasing risk of these lifestyle-induced diseases, women must have health insurance policies.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions while buying health insurance, then the policy will be available at a higher premium. Because the insurer covers a greater risk on your behalf as compared to a healthy person.
  • Choice of the profession/ occupation: If your profession demands you to work in a high risk environment where you get exposed to hazardous chemicals/ radiation or the risk of getting physically injured is high, you will have to pay a higher premium to avail a health insurance policy.
  • Tobacco use: If you regularly consume tobacco in any form (chewing / smoking), insurance companies may not provide you cover.
  • Location: Where you live has a significant effect on the premiums. If you reside in a place where there are harsh climatic conditions/ there is a cultural dislike of exercise/ there is lack of healthy food options, your insurer may charge you more. Also, if your area of residence is in an accident-prone zone, you may end up paying higher premiums. That’s why insurers ask about your pin code while taking the details.
Yes, it does. Premiums paid towards health insurance qualify for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961
The cost of health insurance for an individual depends on the age, lifestyle, medical history, occupation, and sum assured chosen. The price is not fixed, but the premium can increase when you grow old and hence it is suggested to buy a cover earlier in life when young.
Buying a health insurance plan can be overwhelming at times. But you can consider the following before buying the health insurance plan:
  • Sufficient Cover: Choose a critical illness insurance that provides sufficient insurance cover.
  • Think about the needs: Consider your liabilities before you select the health insurance plan coverage amount. The coverage amount can be less in 20s and 30s. But it may arise when you turn 40 as at that point financial responsibilities increase.
  • Check Critical Illness Coverage: Check whether the health insurance plan provides you coverage for critical illnesses like cancer, heart ailments, etc.
  • The claim settlement ratio of the insurer: Insurance comes into play only when you are facing an emergency. So it is very important to check if the insurer you are going to buy the health insurance from has a good track record of settling the claims of the policy holders. Aditya Birla Sun Life insurance has a claim settlement ratio of 98.04%4.
These are the documents needed to buy a health insurance plan:
  • Proofs of age
  • Identity
  • Address Proof.
  • Photographs are also required.
In some cases, you may also need to furnish medical reports if demanded by the insurer.
It is the maximum amount that the insurer will pay in a year if the policyholder is diagnosed with specified critical illnesses or cancer. If the total cost of treatment and hospitalisation goes beyond the sum assured, the policyholder will have to bear it from their pocket.
These are the expected benefits of critical illness insurance:
  • A critical illness insurance premium is allowed to file under income tax savings under section 80D of the IT Act, 1961.
  • The critical illness insurance (ABSLI CritiShield Plan and ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan) gives you a lump sum amount after diagnosis of the critical illness.
  • The critical illness insurance comes with an option to get monthly income.
  • It protects savings.
  • The critical illness insurance reimburses healthcare bills.
Yes, rather, it is better to buy critical illness insurance online. Follow the steps outlined below:
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