If you have a family, you’ve likely started taking financial planning seriously. This is especially true if you’re the primary breadwinner and have several dependants.
Insurance is a must to protect your family against all eventualities, the most serious being critical illness and early, unexpected demise. Term life insurance is the most basic form, paying a sum assured to the policyholder’s dependents in case of his or her untimely death. In most cases, the policyholder is the main provider in the family, so their loss is felt not only emotionally, but also financially.
That’s why both life and critical illness cover are essential to a full financial plan. Critical illness coverage acts as an income replacement plan if you’re diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening disease that interrupts your normal course of life.
Some companies have tried to reduce the time and research involved in buying insurance by creating “all-in-one” or “comprehensive” products. These plans protect you and your dependents by combining term life insurance with critical illness coverage and additional riders. They also offer flexibility in terms of sum assured payout modes.
Compared to standalone term insurance policies with riders, comprehensive protection plans allow you to wrap your insurance payments into one product and save you from having to do the research on separate policies.
If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness requiring surgery or hospitalization, or simply need time off work to rest and recover at home, your income will take a hit.
A comprehensive protection plan with critical illness coverage serves as an income replacement and covers not only medical treatment and hospitalization, but also the longer-term costs that may follow. This can include medical equipment, prosthetics, medicine, rehabilitation and more.
If you’re unable to work for an extended period, the sum assured from a critical illness policy also helps recoup lost income so you can continue to pay your EMI, outstanding loans and daily expenses such as food and transportation.
A health insurance policy only covers or reimburses you for immediate health expenses such as hospitalization and treatment costs. Beyond that, the impact of a serious ailment can push any family to financial ruin. This is where a comprehensive protection plan serves as a financial cushion.
Comprehensive protection plans include the most commonly-occurring diseases in India, such as cardiac ailments, stroke, kidney disease and cancer, among others. Some plans like Total Secure+ from Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance cover as many as 35 critical illnesses. If any of these cause you to miss work, you can claim a sum assured that will help you pass through these months without having to change your lifestyle too much.
Riders covering accidental death, accidental total and permanent disability, waiver of premium and hospital cash benefit are also available for enhanced protection.
When you buy a comprehensive protection plan with critical illness and life cover, it’s a 2-in-1 solution that allows you to choose the sum assured for each defined event. If you make a critical illness claim, the remaining amount of life cover will decrease accordingly. For example, if you select a base sum assured of Rs 1 crore and critical illness sum assured of 10 lakh, and then make a critical illness claim worth that amount, your sum assured in the event of premature death will be reduced to 90 lakh.
In addition to multi-purpose protection, a comprehensive plan covering both life and critical illness is more affordable than a standalone critical illness plan. However, cost is a small consideration for complete and total peace of mind.