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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 plan provide? 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 endowment plan. 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 premium. 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
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