scorecardresearchCritical illnesses: Should you opt for a separate medical insurance policy?

Critical illnesses: Should you opt for a separate medical insurance policy? Let's find out

Updated: 05 Sep 2022, 09:00 AM IST

There are two alternatives to get a wide-ranging coverage for critical illnesses: take a rider to an existing insurance cover or opt for a separate medical insurance policy.

It is imperative to take a medical insurance cover in view of the rising medical cost

It is imperative to take a medical insurance cover in view of the rising medical cost

When medical expenses have been skyrocketing, it is indispensable for policy holders to opt for medical insurance policies of an optimum amount. Even this won’t suffice. A medical insurance policy could fall short of the actual medical expenses in case of a serious illness known as ‘critical illness’ in the context of insurance.

Consequently, it is strongly recommended to opt for a separate policy for critical illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, organ transplants, among others.

There are some insurance experts who believe that policyholders should ideally go for an add-on to an existing insurance scheme. At the same time, there are some who argue that a separate cover specifically for critical illness is the need of the hour.

We explore more on this here.

One of the unique features of critical insurance is that the sum assured is given when the illness is diagnosed regardless of the actual expense incurred. This is, however, subject to the survival period and severity of ailment.

Separate policy or as rider?

Critical insurance covers can either be taken as standalone policy or as rider to the existing medical insurance policy. Experts advise policyholders that they take standalone policy because if they happen to port their medical insurance policy at a later stage, then the new insurer may not have the same rider on offer.

“Ultimately, it completely depends on the customer’s need and preference as with health insurance. It is never one size fits all. A thorough evaluation of one’s health status, financial needs, required coverage is necessary prior to making a purchase,” says Sanjay Datta, chief of underwriting, reinsurance and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance about taking a separate critical illness insurance cover.

Naval Goel, Founder and CEO of, says that one should go for a standalone policy if one anticipates a critical illness in future through family history or want to purchase a policy with a better coverage.

“Given the expenses that arise out of critical illnesses, going after higher coverage would be a wise thing to do. And, a standalone insurance policy will give a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of critical illness," says Goel.

Kapil Mehta, Co-Founder, SecureNow Insurance Broker, also shares the similar sentiments when he says that critical illness cover should be taken separately. 

“I prefer separate policies for critical illnesses over riders because they tend to have a much wider coverage of diseases. In fact, many diseases are more often covered in stand-alone critical illness insurance. These are diseases that have a high out-of-pocket expenditure,” explains Mr Mehta.

These are the four common exclusions for insurance policies. 
First Published: 05 Sep 2022, 09:00 AM IST