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QWhat does critical illness insurance plan provide QHow do go


									    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

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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