It is under circumstances like these that critical insurance plan. It provides for the early payment of
illness insurance plans help you and your family tide the sum assured under your basic plan in the event
over what would be a difﬁcult period, depending on that you are diagnosed as having one of the speciﬁed
the plan that you buy. In this article, we answer some illnesses. However, this payment is instead of, rather
common questions about critical illness insurance than in addition to, the death or maturity beneﬁt
plans. under the basic plan. This means that, once a critical
illness claim has been settled, your beneﬁciaries
Q What does a critical illness insurance
Critical illness insurance pays a lump sum either
will not receive any additional beneﬁts in the event
of your death and no payout at maturity if it is an
when you are ﬁrst diagnosed with a disease covered On the other hand, a stand-alone critical illness
by the policy, or after ﬁrst undergoing surgery that is plan is independent of your other insurance coverage;
covered by the plan. The lump sum does not depend as such, upon payout of your critical illness beneﬁt,
on your being hospitalised or your actual medical it does not affect the payout of beneﬁts from your
expenses. You can use this beneﬁt to help pay for other insurance plans.
treatment, replace lost income, pay off debts, and The other difference is the cost factor. The
help you tide over the difﬁcult period. stand-alone critical illness plan would have a higher
Q How do I go about choosing a critical
illness insurance plan?
Based on the guidelines from the Life Insurance Q I’ve heard of cases where people
have not received any beneﬁts from
Association, Singapore, insurers generally select 30 their critical illness plans despite being
critical illnesses from a list of 37, for their offered diagnosed with a covered disease. How
plan. Thus the plans offered by different insurers do I ensure that the same does not happen
do not differ signiﬁcantly in terms of the critical to me?
illnesses covered. However, a few areas to look out Beneﬁts are paid only if the disease or surgery meets
for include: the deﬁnition in the policy. Deﬁnitions of diseases are
■ Critical illness plan should carry the “Big 5 Illnesses” ﬁxed across all insurance companies in Singapore.
that are: cancer, heart attack, coronary artery bypass Also remember that an insurance contract is
surgery, stroke and kidney failure. based on trust. At the time of application, you must
■ The duration of coverage eg. to what age does the provide all information asked of you. This could
plan provide coverage? include your age, occupation, any history of illnesses,
■ The beneﬁts offered by the plan medical conditions or disabilities. If you do not
■ Is the premium payable ﬁxed or does it increase provide important information in your application,
over time? Is the premium guaranteed? the plan you take up may not actually cover you,
■ Is the plan renewable after its expiration? rendering your claim null and void.
However, as the coverage needs for each individual Another point to note is that the industry has
differs, it is advisable to seek professional advice from instituted a 90-day waiting period (starting from the
an insurance adviser. date that cover commences) for all cancers, coronary
artery bypass surgery and heart attack. What it means
Q Should I get coverage for critical
illness with a stand-alone plan or as
an add-on to my life insurance plan?
is that if any of the above-mentioned critical illnesses
is diagnosed or carried out during the waiting period
of 90 days, no beneﬁts would be paid.
There are two types of critical illness plans — a stand-
alone critical illness plan as well as an accelerating
critical illness plan that rides on your other insurance
coverage. Both types have their pros and cons, however,
Q Should I buy a critical illness policy
for my children?
As most critical illness plans cover individuals from
the payout of the beneﬁt is similar, ie. upon diagnosis 0 to 65 years old, children can be covered by a
of one of the speciﬁed critical illnesses. critical illness plan. However, this is not a common
An accelerating critical illness plan rides on your practice, as most of the critical illnesses are not likely
whole life, term, endowment or investment-linked to happen to a child.
JUNE : family 31