Critical Illness Insurance

What is critical illness insurance? A critical illness health insurance is a benefit cover that pays the insured in a lump sum on diagnosis of a critical illness as specified in the policy document. One can use this lump sum amount to meet the treatment expenses, pay off debt, replace lost income, or make the necessary lifestyle changes for recovery if any.

Best Critical Illness Insurance Policy in India for April 2021

There are several health insurance plans in the market that cover critical illnesses and offer other benefits to the policyholders as well. To know more about these plans, refer to the table below:

Health Insurance Company



HDFC Ergo General Insurance

Critical Illness Insurance

  • Cover for 15 Critical Illnesses
  • Payment in Lump sum, For a Term of 1 or 2 Years 

Reliance General Insurance

Critical Illness Insurance

  • 10 Life Threatening Critical Illnesses
  • Along With Other Benefits Like Wide Sum insured Options  

Star Health And Allied Insurance

Criticare Plus

  • Daycare Procedures
  • Emergency Ambulance Expenses
  • Non-Allopathic Treatments

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

Critical Illness Plan

  • Cover for 10 Critical Illnesses Including Cancer, Heart Attack, etc.
  • Expenses Incurred on Treatment in India And Abroad 

Universal Sompo General Insurance

Critical Illness Policy

  • Cover for 11 Critical Illnesses Along With Surgical Procedures, etc.

Aditya Birla Health Insurance




  • Cover for early, major, and advanced stage cancer
  • 50% sum insured in case of early stage cancer
  • 100% of sum insured is paid on case of major stage cancer
  • 150% of sum insured is paid in case of advanced stage cancer

Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited


SmartHealth Critical Illness

  • Hospital cash allowance
  • Domiciliary hospitalisation expenses
  • All daycare procedures

Cholamandalam MS

Critical Healthline Policy

  • Cover for 10 critical illnesses under standard policy
  • Cover for 12 critical illnesses under advanced policy
  • Ambulance expenses

Raheja QBE General Insurance

Cancer Insurance

  • Payment in lump sum on acceptance of cancer
  • Expenses related to pre-policy medical screening for up to 50%

ManipalCigna Health Insurance

Lifestyle Protection Critical Care Insurance Plan

  • Coverage of 15 and 30 major illnesses under Basic and Enhanced plans respectively

Unlike regular health insurance plans, critical illness insurance plans cover serious and long term illnesses that require expensive medical treatment and hence, come with high sum insured options. These plans are specially designed to compensate for the loss of income and treatment expenses in case the insured suffers from a critical illness.

Common critical illnesses that critical illness insurance policies usually cover are given below:

  1. Cancer
  2. Kidney failure
  3. Coma
  4. Stroke
  5. Major burns
  6. Brain surgery
  7. Blindness
  8. Apallic syndrome
  9. Goodpasture's syndrome
  10. Open heart replacement or repair of heart valve
  11. Heart attack
  12. Benign brain tumour
  13. Open chest CABG
  14. Alzheimer’s disease
  15. Primary Parkinson's disease

Critical illness insurance plans cover specified diseases that may vary from insurer to insurer. To ensure the best use of a critical illness policy at the time of need, one must be completely informed of these diseases.   

Types of Critical Illness Health Insurance Covers 

Critical illness covers offered by general insurance companies as well as health insurance companies come in the following ways:

1. Rider: A rider or an add-on benefit is an additional benefit that you can purchase under a traditional health insurance policy voluntarily by paying an extra premium. In this type, the coverage depends on the base policy under which you are buying a rider. But in this case, the coverage amount of the base policy cannot be exceeded. One of the benefits of buying a rider is that there is no requirement for a medical test.  

2. Standalone Policy: A standalone critical illness policy is a fixed benefit policy that provides comprehensive coverage to the insured. This is more flexible in terms of sum insured. To be covered under this, a medical test is required. Also note that a standalone critical illness can be ported to a similar insurance policy but a rider alone cannot be ported. 

Benefits of Critical Illness Insurance Policy

Critical illness health insurance plans offer the insured the following benefits:

  • Act as Income Replacement: Not only physically, but critical illness affects the patient as well as his/her family financially as well. With a critical illness insurance policy, the insured gets a lump sum amount that he/she can use to cover the medical or household expenses.
  • Tax Benefits: You can avail tax benefits under a critical illness insurance policy. The premium paid for critical illness plans are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 along with medical insurance. 
  • Easy Claim Process: To avail benefits under critical illness insurance plans, hospitalisation is not necessary. This means one can make a claim simply on the basis of diagnostic reports. 
  • Short Waiting Period: Critical illness insurance plans generally come with short waiting periods of up to 3 months. This means that the insured can start availing of policy benefits soon after being covered.  
  • Peace of Mind: Critical illness insurance offers peace of mind to the insured so that he/she can concentrate more on the medical treatment instead of worrying about the finances. 
  • Covers Treatment on a Foreign Land: Under a critical illness plan, the insured gets a lump sum amount on diagnosis, which he/she can use to get treated in India or abroad. This means one can avail of treatment anywhere as per their preference. 
  • Add-On Covers: Many insurers offer add-on covers along with critical illness plans that the insured can voluntarily opt for a Wellness coach, second opinion, etc. 

Critical Illness Health Insurance vs Health Insurance Policy

Regular health insurance reimburses the medical and OPD expenses incurred during hospitalisation. They may not cover all the diseases and also come with long waiting periods. Critical illness policies, on the other hand, cover life-threatening diseases such as stroke, cancer, etc., and pay the insured in a lump sum on diagnosis. These plans are not associated with hospitalisation. Also, critical illness plans come with lesser waiting periods and greater sum insured amounts as compared to regular health insurance policies. 

Why Should One Buy a Critical Illness Cover, (Even If You Already Have a Mediclaim Plan)?

Unlike a regular health insurance policy that covers you for hospitalisation expenses, a critical illness policy is a fixed benefit policy that offers you a lump sum amount in case you are diagnosed with any critical illness like cancer, stroke, etc. according to the coverage. Usually, health insurance insurance plans do not offer cover for critical illnesses. And even if they do, they offer it as an add-on cover, thereby charging extra premium, which even then may be insufficient. On the other hand, critical illness insurance plans offer you extensive cover for all the critical illnesses listed under the policy. One should go for a critical illness policy even if they have a health insurance policy offered by their employer or otherwise, because a critical illness can occur to anyone at any time during a lifetime and also because the expenses incurred on their treatment is huge.

What’s Not Covered by Critical Illness Insurance?

Exclusions vary with different critical illness insurance plans. Generally, these plans do not cover you for the following expenses:

  • Treatment taken outside India
  • Any dental care or cosmetic surgery
  • Expenses related to hormone replacement treatment
  • Infertility treatment or treatment to assist reproduction
  • Death within 30 days of diagnosis of critical illness or surgery
  • Pregnancy or childbirth-related critical illness
  • Critical illness developed by tobacco, smoking, drug intake, or alcohol, etc.
  • Illnesses caused due to terrorism, civil war, navy or military reasons
  • Any critical illness diagnosed within the waiting period
  • Any critical illness arising due to internal or external congenital disorder. 

Why is it Important to Have a Critical Illness Cover?  

A critical illness cover offers additional coverage to the insured, for medical emergencies such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, etc. considering the fact that these emergencies or illnesses often incur greater than average medical expenses, so the under person insured under these policies get cash to cover those expenses where a tradition health insurance policy may fall short of. 

Who Should Buy Critical Illness Insurance Policy?

There is a steady rise when it comes to the number of people getting affected by life-threatening diseases in India. And the age at which people develop these illnesses is unfortunately decreasing. Now, even people in their 20s or 30s face serious health issues. Therefore there is no rule to who should and who should not buy critical illness policy.

However, having it is recommended for the following:

People with a family history of critical illnesses - Critical illnesses are mostly genetic. For instance, a person will be at a higher risk of getting cancer if he/she has a family history of the disease. So, if you are aware of the family history, then you should definitely opt for a critical illness policy.

If you are the sole earner of the family: It is imperative to think about the security of the family for someone who is the sole breadwinner of the family. So, it is better to have a critical illness plan if you do not want your family to go through financial distress in case of an unforeseen situation like the diagnosis of a critical illness. 

Critical illness insurance coverage can be purchased as a standalone or a rider plan. The rider plan comes at an affordable cost comparatively but usually covers lesser critical illnesses as compared to a standalone critical illness plan. So, if someone is looking for extensive coverage, then a standalone plan is recommended.

How To File A Claim For a Critical Illness Policy?

Under a critical illness policy, the claim can easily be processed on the basis of a diagnostic report. If you want to file a claim, then you need to contact your insurance company and register your claim. Generally, the following documents are required to make a claim under a critical illness insurance plan:

  • Duly filled claim form
  • Photocopy of ID card
  • Detailed discharged summary
  • Medical certificate received by the doctor stating the diagnosis of the critical illness

Once the insurance company will verify the details, on the basis of which the decision related to your claim request will be made. Whatever the decision will be, it will be conveyed to you. 

How To Buy Critical Illness Insurance Online at InsuranceDekho

Purchasing critical illness insurance policy online at InsuranceDekho is a transparent, paperless, and easy process that takes just a few minutes. To own a critical illness policy online, you will be required to follow the steps given below: 

  • Visit InsuranceDekho then click on the ‘health’ tab.
  • Select your Gender and enter your Name and Mobile Number. You will receive a One Time Password on the entered mobile number. Kindly enter that.  
  • Tell us ‘When do you want to buy the policy’ by choosing one of the options from the drop-down menu. Click on the  ‘View Quotes’ button.
  • Select the member(s) of your family you wish to include in the policy and click ‘Continue’.
  • Select the age of your family member(s).
  • Enter your Email ID and City. Click on ‘Submit and View Quotes’. You will see the most suitable quotes for you on the screen. Select the one you wish to buy.
  • Select the term for your shortlisted policy. Fill in the required details. Please pay online via secured gateway.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Opting for a Critical Insurance Policy

So, if you don’t know how to select an ideal critical illness plan, then you must ensure to check the following points: 

1. Sum Insured: The coverage amount is important to understand which policy works the best for you. So, when selecting a critical illness policy, you must select the one with enough coverage. 

2. Standalone Critical Illness Policy or Rider: A standalone critical illness insurance policy comes at a higher insurance premium but also offers comprehensive coverage. A rider on the other hand comes at comparatively lower premium but does not offer extensive coverage. So, you must consider the pros and cons of both when choosing between them. 

3. Inclusions and Exclusions: The inclusions and exclusions differ with different critical illness policies. So, to gain better understanding of the plan and avoid any discrepancy at the time of claim settlement, you should check the same. 

Why You Should Buy Critical Illness Cover From InsuranceDekho?

To make the best use of time, you must buy critical illness cover online at InsuranceDekho. The platform allows you to compare and find the best critical illness policy within a few clicks. Other benefits that you can avail of are as follows: 

  • There are several critical illness insurance plans from top insurance companies available at InsuranceDekhko. You can compare these policies and choose the right one for yourself.
  • InsuranceDekho offers affordable critical illness plans.  
  • Trained professionals to guide you throughout the process and veen at the time of claim settlement.
  • Online premium calculator to get an estimate of premium to be paid for different critical illness plans. 

At InsuranceDekho, you can purchase critical illness insurance policy in two ways, i.e. online and offline mode. To purchase the policy online, you will be required to visit the Health tab on InsuranceDekho’s website and fill out a quote. Whereas to purchase it offline, you must contact the customer care executives on the toll-free number and share your requirements. 

Health Insurance Calculator

A health insurance premium calculator helps you calculate the premiums of different health insurance plans instantly and accurately, without any manual intervention. With the help of the calculator, you can get a personalised premium quote basis details specific to you and make an informed decision.

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Health Insurance Critical Illness FAQs

  • What is critical illness insurance?

    Critical illness insurance is a benefit policy that pays out the insured in lump sum upon diagnosis of a critical illness as covered under the policy. 

  • What is a fixed benefit insurance policy?

    A fixed benefit insurance policy pays the insured a lump sum amount in case the insured event takes place. 

  • Why should I buy a critical illness insurance policy?

    Critical illness insurance policy offers individuals and families extra financial security on diagnosis of a critical illness. The policy provides a lump sum amount that can be used to repay debt if any, recuperation aids, expenses related to treatment in India or on a foreign land, loss of income or desired change in lifestyle. 


  • Is there any tax exemption under critical illness insurance policy?

    Yes. Premiums paid for a critical illness insurance policies are subject to tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.  

  • What are the common illnesses covered under a critical illness insurance policy?

    Common illnesses covered under a critical illness policy are listed below:

    • Stroke
    • Cancer
    • Paralysis
    • Blindness
    • Heart Attack
    • Kidney failure
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Is there a free look period available in critical illness insurance policies?

    Yes. Critical illness policies come with a free look period during which the insured can review the terms and conditions of the policy. 

  • Is portability offered under critical illness insurance policies?

    Portability is offered within similar products. So, you can port your existing critical illness insurance policy from another similar insurance policy.  

  • Can I renew my critical illness insurance policy after making a claim once?

    No. A critical illness insurance policy terminates immediately after payment of first claim. So, you will not be able to renew the policy again.

  • What is the survival period in a critical illness insurance policy?

    Survival period is the period that the insured has to ‘survive’ after the first diagnosis of a critical illness to be able to avail benefits under a critical illness insurance policy. Survival period may vary from insurer to insurer. But commonly it is for 30 days. 

  • Are pre-existing diseases covered under a critical illness insurance policy?

    No. Pre-existing diseases are permanently excluded under critical illness insurance policies. 

  • What is critical illness insurance?

    Critical illness insurance offers coverage against specific life threatening diseases like stroke, cancer, heart attack, kidney failure, paralysis, etc. The policy pays a lump sum amount that the insured that he/she can use to meet the treatment related expenses, pay off debts, avail treatment outside the country, compensate for the income loss, etc.

  • Why is it important to have critical illness insurance cover?

    You should buy a critical illness policy even if you have a standard health insurance policy. This is because a critical illness policy offers you comprehensive cover against critical illnesses that the standard health insurance may not always cover. It saves you from the double trouble of losing the income as well as increase in expenses due to frequent doctor visits in case of diagnosis of a critical illness, by offering you the much needed coverage. 

  • What are the benefits of critical illness insurance?

    A critical illness insurance plan offers you the following benefits: 

    • The benefit paid on diagnosis of a critical illness acts as an income replacement and can be used to pay off debts, for the treatment, etc. 
    • You can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 on the premium paid for critical illness plans
    • Critical illness insurance plans offer you peace of mind by taking away the stress of running around managing for funds in case of a health emergency. 
    • The lump sum amount that you get on diagnosis of a critical illness can be used to avail medical treatment outside India. This means that a critical illness insurance policy covers you for treatment in a foreign country as well.
  • How to buy critical illness insurance?

    Buying critical illness insurance online at InsuranceDekho is very easy. All you need to do is follow the steps given below:

    • Visit and click on the health tab.
    • Select your Gender and enter your Name and Mobile Number. You will receive an OTP on the entered number, kindly enter that.
    • Tell us ‘When do you want to purchase the policy’. Then click on the ‘View Instant Quotes’ button to proceed. 
    • Select family members you wish to add in the policy along with self. 
    • Select the age of the selected family members. Click ‘Continue’. 
    • Enter your Email ID and City. Enter ‘Submit and View Quotes’ button. Select the most suitable policy from the quotes displayed.
    • Select the policy term for the chosen health insurance policy. the n enter the required details. 
    • Make the payment via secure payment gateway through any of the flexible payment modes offered. 
  • Why should one buy a critical illness cover, (even if you already have a mediclaim plan)?

    A critical illness insurance policy provides you additional coverage for critical illnesses that your standard health insurance policy may not offer. For instance, cover for stroke, paralysis, heart attack, etc. A critical illness insurance policy offers you complete coverage, which is why it is important to get one.

  • Do all insurance providers in India cover the same critical illnesses?

    Different insurers cover different critical illnesses. The list of critical illnesses can be found in the policy wording of each critical illness insurance plan.

  • What’s not covered by critical illness insurance?

    A critical illness insurance insurance does not cover you against all healthcare expenses. Some common exclusions are listed below:

    • Critical illnesses arising due to intake of alcohol, drug, or any substance abuse 
    • Any sickness, illness other than the ones covered
    • Health related issues arising due to pregnancy or abortion
    • Mental illnesses, psychological or psychiatric disorders
    • Treatment related to HIV or AIDS
  • Are medical tests important to get critical illness cover?

    A critical illness insurance policy helps you in serious health conditions. Hence, it is important to get medically tested before purchasing one.

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