Best Critical Illness Policy in India

What is the critical illness policy? Which is the best critical illness policy in India? Most of us have heard about the term insurance policy, but very few know the importance of critical illness policy. In this article, we will learn about the importance of having a critical illness insurance policy and also compare the various policies available out there to find out the best critical illness policy in India.

Not only that, but we will also discuss the benefits of having critical illness policy and how can you buy this critical illness policy online by your self. Before going ahead, let’s first understand why a critical illness insurance policy is a must-have insurance policy nowadays.

Why should you have a critical illness insurance policy?

As per the Indian health statistic data, every year around 2% of the population move below the poverty line just due to the heavy spending on the illnesses. Most of the time, it is due to the lack of knowledge and ignorance of the people that they don’t give much importance to the critical illnesses.

The expense on such illnesses is so high that sometimes you have to sacrifice your retirement corpus as well. I also have seen people are selling their house to cover the expenses of the critical illness.

So you can imagine how bad it can affect the family and the financial status if you do not have a proper insurance policy which can help you to meet your expenses.

heart attack

You might have heard about the different types of cancer, which is now seen in every family. The cost of the cancer treatment is as high as 20 lakhs and even spending that much of amount there is no surety that the person will be saved.

There is a drastic change in our lifestyle, and believe me, there are changes that are bad for us. Irregularity of food intake, junk food, drinking, etc. are nowadays common. These lead to diabetes, stroke and many other diseases.

Most of the Indians are thinking that they have a health insurance policy that is sufficient for them to meet all medical exigency. But most of them are unknown that the health insurance policy only covers the basic diseases and cost of the treatment. While on the other hand, there are these critical illnesses which are required higher treatment and so higher expenses will be there.

There is a vast difference between health insurance and critical insurance policy. Let’s check them out to have clarity.

Comparison between health insurance and critical illness insurance policy

Health Insurance Policy

  • It provides coverage against all medical expenses which require hospitalization
  • The Health insurance policy covers the actual cost of the hospitalization, subject to the capping of the illness.
  • The premium amount would be higher

Critical Illness Policy

  • On the diagnosis of the critical illness, a lump sum amount (insured amount) will be paid
  • Critical illness plans are fixed benefit plans irrespective of the actual expenses.
  • The premium amount would be lower

What is the common cause of critical illnesses in India?

We are living in an era where we have multiple choices, easier availability of the resources, fast and easy life. We have adopted the western culture, lifestyle, and trends with the cost of our lives.

These lifestyle changes account for around 66% of the entire diseases that take place in India. And the irony is very few people are aware of the impact of these diseases on their life.

Here are the major reasons for the occurrence of critical illness in India.

Rising Stress Level

We all want to win the rat race. For that, we are ready to work extra hours and therefore our stress level has gone up drastically. These high-stress level is leading to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

It is, therefore, necessary to have a critical illness policy to cover the expenses of these illnesses.

Less Physical Activities

With advanced technology, our life has become easy and fast. Gone are the days when people are gathered to play street cricket for 5-6 hours during the vacation. Everything is now available online or through mobile. You can get most of the task done online without even going to the places.

This has resulted in lesser physical activities and thus we became a victim of obesity. Sedentary lifestyles double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.

Kids have become smarter with mobile and tabs. They spend most of their time on mobile or tablets. Constant sitting and straining our eyes have been extremely damaging to our health. Eye problem and obesity have become a common problem for most kids.

Best Critical Illness policy
Image source: Tomorrow makers, WHO

What is Critical Illness Policy?

It is a type of insurance policy wherein the insurance company is agreeing to gove lump sum payment on the event of the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the life-threatening illness. The illness must be from the predetermined list declared by the insurance company.

There is an option for the payout to be given on a regular basis or policyholder is undergoing a surgical procedure.

Every insurance company has to declare the list of the illnesses which is going to be covered under the policy. It is mandatory for them to declare this to the buyer so that the buyer can make an informed decision about the policy.

However, the terms and conditions of the policy may vary from company to company. Sometimes, it becomes confusing for the buyer to choose the best critical illness policy as there are a plethora of the schemes available in the market.

Here is the list of the commonly covered illnesses under the policy.

List of Critical Illnesses

Below is the broad list of the diseases which are covered and not covered under critical illness policy in India.

Commonly Covered

  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Kidney replacement
  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of limbs
  • Parkinson
  • Liver disease
  • Brain tumor
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Neuron disease
  • Major organ transplant
  • Aortic disease

Not Covered

  • Pregnancy
  • Dental of cosmetic surgery
  • Infertility treatment
  • Hormone replacement
  • Any treatment outside India

As I have mentioned above, the disease coverage by the insurance company varies. So before you buy the insurance plan, make sure you are buying the right policy for yourself.

It is always recommended to read the terms and conditions of the policy before you buy it to check which all illnesses are covered under the policy.

Benefits of the Critical Illness Policy

Peace of mind: Critical illness policy gives peace of mind as it covers the expense of the major treatment or surgery. The cost of the treatment of such critical diseases is very high. It can ruin all your future financial plans.

Having a critical illness policy sets you mentally free when you got to know about the life-threatening disease. It is a big relief if you are financially secure against such high-cost treatment.

Vide Coverage: As I have mentioned above, there are companies who are offering insurance coverage for more than 30 such illnesses and that is good news. Majority of the illnesses are covered so you will get the benefit against almost all major diseases.

Income Tax Benefit: The premium paid by you towards critical illness insurance is eligible for tax benefit under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. The premium paid for a spouse can also be claimed under this section.

The only thing you need to remember is, the premium paid by cash will not get benefit under section 80D. So make sure you pay the premium by cheque or bank transfer from your own bank account only.

Full Payout: Once the insured person gets diagnosed with a critical illness, the total sum assured amount will be paid to the person. There is no marginal payment here. So you rest assured that you will get the full amount as a claim.

Best Critical Illness Policy in India

Now let’s check various policy available in India and compare them to find out the best one for you.

Age at
Apollo Munich
Optima Vital
3730 to 90
2 to 50
18 to 65
Rs. 3835
Religare Assure32Nil3 to 1
18 to 65
Rs. 3367
Max Bupa
2090 days5 to 2
18 to 65
Rs. 2368
Bharti Axa2030 Days2 to 5
Up to 55
Critical Illness
1530 Days2 to 10
5 to 45
Rs. 2500
SBI Critical
1390 Days2 to 50
18 to 65
Rs. 1404
Bajaj Allianz
Critical Illness
1030 Days1 to 50
6 to 59
Rs. 3000

Now let’s check these policies in details.

Apollo Munich Optima Vital

Optima Vital is the unique policy designed for a critical illness which protects you financially in the event of any of the illness occur.


  • Covers critical illness, medical events, and surgical procedures
  • It covers 37 major illnesses under this policy
  • Survival period under this policy is up to 90 days
  • The sum assured can be as high as Rs. 50 lakhs
  • Entry age is between 18 to 65 years
  • E-opinion – a second opinion selected by the insured person
  • You can port in your existing insurance policy
  • The option of increasing sum assured
  • Renewal grace period of 30 days is given

Religare Assure

With a view of financial stability and lifelong commitment, Religare health insurance offers a comprehensive medical solution.

Super Mediclaim is an Indemnity based Health Insurance Product that offers comprehensive coverage against critical illnesses such as cancer, major heart ailments, organ transplants & even critical surgeries. It gives the flexibility to choose from among 4 Plans basis your requirement.

  • Critical Mediclaim: A plan that covers 32 defined critical illnesses.
  • Cancer Mediclaim: Comprehensive coverage for a wide-range of cancer ailments.
  • Heart Mediclaim: A plan that covers 16 Critical Heart-related Illnesses
  • Operation Mediclaim: A plan that offers coverage for a wide array of defined surgeries.


  • In-patience hospitalization
  • Daycare treatment
  • OPD expenses
  • Dialysis covered
  • No claim bonus
  • Organ donor covered
  • Free annual health check-up
  • Doctor on call
  • Global coverage
  • No limit on ICU charges
  • International second opinion
  • Air ambulance
  • Ambulance cover
  • Quick recovery counseling

Max Bupa Criticare

Max Bupa Criticare is another good policy which helps you to be secure financially.


  • 20 Critical Illnesses covered
  • Direct claim settlement
  • Assured Policy renewal
  • Freelook period of 15 days
  • Claim payment option
  • International cashless coverage
  • Inpatient hospitalization cover
  • 2 years policy tenure option

Bharti Axa

The main benefit of this policy is. you will get the lump sum amount compensation for your day-to-day expenses.


  • Covers 20 critical illness
  • Survival period is 30 days
  • Get lump sum amount to pay your day-to-day expense

HDFC Ergo Critical Illness

The HDFC Ergo Critical Illness plan will take care of your financial worries and lets you focus on health. It’s a lower premium and bigger coverage helps you focus on your health without any financial stress.


  • 15 Critical illnesses covered
  • 2 different plans available to choose from
  • Option to buy for 1 & 2 years
  • Freelook period of 15 days
  • Lifetime renewability
  • No medical check-ups up to the age of 45 years

SBI Critical Illness

SBI General’s critical illness policy helps you to be in control by protecting you financially. it provides coverage against 13 most important critical illnesses. The policy provides for a fixed sum, irrespective of your actual expenses.


  • Coverage against 13 critical illnesses
  • Two plan options – 1 year and 3 years
  • Freelook period of 15 days
  • Sum assured available up to Rs. 50 lakhs

What should you look for while buying Critical Illness Policy?

Here is the checklist of the important points you must look for while buying critical illness policy.

Covered Illnesses:

This is the first and foremost important point you must check in the policy that how many and which all illnesses are covered under the policy. You don’t know which disease may happen to you. So it is better to pick the policy which has the maximum diseases covered under the plan.

At the same time, you must also keep in mind that higher the disease coverage higher the premium of the policy.

Sum Insured:

What is the optimum sum insured for critical illness? what will be the expenses of these treatments? In India, the medical expenses are increasing at around 12% per annum. In such condition, it is a wise decision that you minimum have 10 lakhs of coverage.

Insurance policy should always be purchased keeping the inflation in mind because these policies are for a longer period and the sum insured today may look big or adequate but in future, it may not be.


Choose the policy which has lifetime renewability. This will ensure you get to cover all the time without any break. This way you will get the benefit of the accrued benefit. As you grow older, the possibility of critical illnesses is high.

Survival Period:

The survival period is the length of time for which the insured person must survive once he is being diagnosed with the illness in order to get the claim. The claim will be given only after the survival period.

So, if a person’s death happens immediately after a heart attack, even if he has critical illness insurance, his or her family may not receive any payout from the insurer.

The length of survival period varies among different insurers, it can be 14 days or 30 days, etc. So,  for buying a critical illness policy make sure that the policy has the least survival period.


So if you think critical illness cover is important for you, go get one for yourself. Critical Illness Policy is a must in today’s era. Though it is a bit confusing and hard to understand for common man, it is a must.

Check the family history of yours and if you found it necessary, go for it.

Let us know your views and queries about this article in the comment section.

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