Critical Illness Insurance

Also known as critical illness covererage or a dread disease policy, is an insurance product in which the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses on a predetermined list as part of an insurance policy.

The policy may also be structured to pay out regular income and the payout may also be on the policyholder undergoing a surgical procedure, for example, having a heart bypass operation.

The policy may require the policyholder to survive a minimum number of days (the survival period) from when the illness was first diagnosed. The survival period used varies from company to company, however, 14 days is the most typical survival period used.

A primary health insurance plan may cover some health care costs, but oftentimes the patient will face other challenges such as paying everyday living expenses while out of work. That's when a Critical Illness plan can come into play.

Critical Illness Conditions Covered

The schedule of insured illnesses varies between insurance companies. Examples of other conditions that might be covered include:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Aortic surgery
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Benign brain tumour
  • Blindness
  • Cancer (life-threatening)
  • Coma
  • Coronary artery- bypass surgery
  • Deafness
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of independent existence
  • Loss of limbs
  • Loss of speech
  • Major organ transplant
  • Major organ failure on waiting list
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Occupational HIV infection
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Severe burns
  • Stroke (Cerebrovascular accident)
  • Pairing a Critical Illness plan with other health insurance products like Short Term Medical, Dental, Term Life and Accident products can help build a more comprehensive coverage package. Talk to a Product Advisor about your options.

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