In today’s age, one of the most fatal diseases in the world is none other than cancer. The disease has claimed many victims, and it continues to do so daily even while this article is being written. The Indian Society usually discourages people from talking about death or even thinking about it. In simple words, discussions and ideas related to death are a taboo in our country. But considering the present scenario, it’s very important that we have this conversation. What would happen if you get diagnosed with cancer? What would happen to your family and children? These are the questions for which we need to be prepared to answer.
No disease is easy. Yes, the severity may differ but they all take their victims lives as and when they want. It’s difficult to protect ourselves against these diseases or the hardship that comes along with them. The diseases also have a severe impact on the families of the ones who are affected. As a result, this leads to worsening of general economic and financial situations at home. There is a possible solution to this and that is a cancer insurance policy. But now the question is –
Which is the best cancer insurance policy in India?
Both life and general insurance companies offer cancer insurance policies. In this article, we will discuss the cancer insurance policies offered by life insurance companies.
What Is A Cancer Insurance Policy?
A cancer insurance policy is just like any other insurance policy. The insured is a victim of the disease, and the event is the disease itself. Moreover, the insurer is usually a life insurance company or a general insurance company.
Cancer insurance policy promises a sum assured only in case when the insured encounters the disease. This sum assured is meant to help the insured fund his future treatment without difficulty. The sum assured differs on the basis of the premium that is paid for the insurance. A high premium would mean a high sum assured, while a low premium would mean a lower sum assured.
Also, the sum assured payable depends on the various stages of cancer. Having said that, let us first understand the various stages of cancer.
What Is Early Stage And Advanced Stage Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, Staging is the process of finding out the estimated progression of the disease. The procedure ascertains how much cancer is there inside a person’s body and where it’s located. It’s quite alike to how a doctor determines the stage of a person’s cancer. For most types of cancer, doctors use staging information to help plan treatment and predict a person’s outlook (prognosis).
Early-stage cancer refers to a small tumor that’s present in the body of the victim but hasn’t spread yet. This tumor has the potential to spread in the future and that’s why it should be taken seriously. Nonetheless, early-stage cancer can be cured if the victim is provided with the appropriate treatment at the right time. Late-stage cancer refers to cancer that has already spread throughout the victim’s body. Not giving the appropriate treatment to a late-stage cancer patient could lead to death. It’s so because the disease is fatal in general.
How Does Cancer Insurance Policy Work?
Cancer insurance policy payout works in 2 ways.
First/Early Stage Cancer
If a person is diagnosed with first stage cancer, a percentage of the sum assured is paid as a lump sum. Some companies pay 20% of the sum assured whereas some pay around 25%. Then, there are some companies which even offer up to 30% of the sum assured.
Future premiums are waived off if a person is diagnosed with an early stage of cancer. Here also, it varies from company to company. For example, ICICI Prudential and Max Life waives off the premium for the entire term. Whereas HDFC Life and LIC waives off the same for 3 years.
Let me take an example: Sumit is a 40-year old man. He had taken a cancer insurance policy from ICICI Prudential Life Insurance with a sum assured of 20 Lakhs. Sumit was diagnosed with early-stage of cancer at age 42. He would be paid 25% of the sum assured, i.e. 5 Lakhs as a lump sum for his medical expenses. All the future premiums would be waived off after the first payout but the policy will still continue.
Advanced Stage Cancer
The entire sum assured is paid if the person is diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer and all the future premiums are waived off in the policy.
Let me take an example: Sumit is a 40-year old man. He had taken a cancer insurance policy from a regular insurer with a sum assured of 20 Lakhs. Sumit was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer at age 42. He would be paid 100% of the sum assured, i.e. 20 Lakhs as a lump sum for his medical expenses. All the future premiums would be waived off after the payout and the policy will discontinue. In simple terms, no further benefits would be payable in the policy.
What if Sumit is first diagnosed with early-stage cancer and later on with the advanced stage. So the payout, in this case, would be 5 Lakhs. It would be paid after the diagnosis of early-stage cancer. Whereas the remaining 15 Lakhs would be paid after the diagnosis of advanced-stage cancer. (Assuming a sum assured of 20 Lakhs)
Pros And Cons Of Cancer Insurance Policies In India
The obvious advantage of taking an insurance policy is the protection that one receives against various life-threatening diseases. It’s almost impossible to afford a full-fledged cancer treatment in India without having an adequate cancer policy as a backup. The premiums of the majority of the cancer insurance policies are generally on the lower side.
Besides that, there are many problems associated with cancer insurances in today’s time.
For all the cancer insurance policies in India, the waiting period is 180 Days. It means that if you’re diagnosed with cancer within 180 days of purchasing the policy, no benefit would be payable.
“You have to survive for a minimum of 7 days” – is the second clause which is present in most of the cancer insurance policies. Nevertheless, PNB Metlife and ICICI Prudential have a 0-day survival period. It means that if the person dies within seven days of disease diagnosis, the sum assured would not be paid.
Best Cancer Insurance Policy Comparison 2019
Here is the cancer insurance policy comparison along with the different features.
Cancer Insurance Policies Deatils
From the above table, the practices of all the big players in the cancer insurance market are evident. As you can see, they only provide insurance to people between the age-group of 18-65. The SBI Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha is a “one of a kind” policy. The reason is that the policy starts covering its clients even from the age of 6. In contrast, the Max Cancer Insurance policy starts its cover only at the age of 25.
The minimum maturity for most of these policies normally occurs at the age of 70-75.
The early-stage detection payout is generally 25% of the total sum assured across the complex. Generally, there are no defined limits on the early stage payout. But some insurers like PnB and Aegon have a maximum limit on the sum assured at around 5-6 Lakhs. IPRU cancer and PnB Mera Cancer are the most beneficial policies in terms of the survival period. It’s so because these policies don’t have any survival period.
Cancer Insurance Policy Review
Here is the final review of Cancer Insurance policies. If you ask me which Cancer Insurance policy, I would go for:
I will first look for the policy tenure, i.e. which will give me cover for the maximum time. (Since maturity age and premium are approximately same for all the policies). For the tenure part, 3 policies fit perfectly into the category.
- ICICI Pru Heart and Cancer
- Max cancer Insurance
- Aegon iCare
Since there’s a limit on the payout of first stage cancer in Aegon iCare, 2 options would be left.
- ICICI Pru Heart and Cancer
- Max Cancer Insurance
The remaining features are almost the same in both the policies. So, you can go for either one of them as per your choice. I’d prefer ICICI Prudential Heart and Cancer because you can include an additional cover of heart insurance in it.
Also Read :Sample Financial Plan for Salaried Employee
Should I Go For Cancer Insurance Policy
Yes, you should opt for it but only in addition to a health insurance policy. Since the number of cancer cases is increasing in India, the premiums for these policies are very cheap. Another point to be taken into consideration is that this premium remains constant throughout the policy term. Most importantly, these policies don’t define whether the payout would be made in the condition of a particular severity.
This was my view on the best cancer insurance policy in India in 2019. What is your view?
Please feel free to come in contact and share your valuable perspectives with us.