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What is Survival Period in Health Insurance?

Updated On Dec 27, 2021

A health insurance policy is an absolute must if you want to stay healthy and financially secure in today’s world. It becomes especially important when the insured is suffering from any critical illness. Critical illnesses often require prolonged and/or expensive treatments which is why it might become financially burdensome. To avoid that, it is crucial that a health insurance policy be prepared beforehand.

What is Survival Period in Health Insurance?

Nature of Critical Illness Covers

Under a critical illness cover, a lump sum is paid out to the insured who is suffering from the critical illness. It is intended to cover any and all expenses that are incurred due to the treatment of the critical illness. However, there are no death benefits available under this cover. If the insured dies due to the critical illness, the insurance provider will provide no amount to the beneficiaries of the insured. There is no return on premium available as well, if the insured does not survive for a minimum period after their diagnoses with the critical illness. 

What is a Survival Period?

A survival period is typically found in a health insurance policy which has a critical illness cover. The survival period is a specific period of time for which the insured must survive after they have been diagnosed with a critical illness. Critical illnesses that are covered under health insurance policies can be of a wide variety, ranging from cancer to heart diseases and such. Moreover, the survival period can vary from one insurance policy to another. However, it is usually between 14 to 30 days. Once the insured survives this certain period after their diagnoses, only then will the insurance provider pay out the amount that the critical illness cover entails. This is essentially set in place so that only the diagnoses do not warrant a payout from the insurance provider, which would be difficult on their part. It is therefore required that the insured who has a critical illness, survive for the survival period following which they will receive the necessary benefits to cover their medical expenses. 

Survival Period Vs. Waiting Period

Although they sound similar, it is crucial to not get confused between these two. While a survival period is the time that the insured needs to survive after being diagnosed with a critical illness, the waiting period on any insurance policy is the minimum amount of time for which the policyholder has to wait before they can make any claims against the particular insurance policy. A survival period is to be found only with those health insurance policies that have a critical illness cover. On the other hand, a waiting period is provided for all health insurance policies, regardless of their particular covers. It is put into effect as soon as the policyholder buys the insurance policy. 


Taking note of the survival period in a health insurance policy with a critical illness cover is extremely important. Understandably, the shorter the survival period, the more beneficial it is for the insured. This is because they will receive the benefits sooner in that case. Therefore, a proper understanding of the survival period in an insurance policy and what it can mean for the insured is important before one can buy a health insurance policy to cater to their needs, especially when they are suffering from a critical illness. 

Also read: Pitfalls of Not Buying Health Insurance    

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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