Cancer Insurance: Sum Assured, Premium, How to Choose

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Every year 10 lakh cases of cancer are reported in India and 5 lakh people die every year. And this number is expected to increase five folds by the year 2025.

Cancer can strike anyone – male or female, fat or thin, at any age and in any part of the body – lung, breast, mouth, colon rectum, cervix and others. Although individual can survive cancer but it comes with a very heavy cost. And this cost devastates the financial life of the family in a big way. And such individuals either have to depend on borrowing money from their friends/relatives, sell assets, utilize own savings to meet the treatment cost and fight this deadly disease. And when you include inflation and the rising medical costs consisting of high fees charged by doctors, the money requirement further increases.

How cancer insurance works:

Suppose you buy a cancer insurance with a cover of 20 lakhs and premium of Rs. 460 per month. And if you are diagnosed with cancer during the policy term, insurance company would payout across all stages of cancer. This way policy holder and family will become financially secured to a large extent.

Payout will be a certain pre-fixed percent depending on the stage. There are four stages of cancer are Carcinoma In Situ, early stage, major stage, and critical stage.

Additional reading: Features of SBI Life Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha

How to select best cancer plan?

Cancer care is long term in nature with recurring expenditure. So a cancer plan should be purchased keeping following features into consideration:

Coverage: Depending on the stage of the cancer the cost increases. So always look for insurance company offering cover for all types and stages of cancer.

Sum assured: Since the treatment cost of cancer is very high, buy a plan offering a high sum assured. Higher the sum insured, smaller would be the financial impact.

Here’s the table showing minimum and maximum sum assured along with the annual premium for a 30 year old male.

InsurerPolicy NameMinimum Sum AssuredMaximum Sum AssuredAnnual Premium (in Rs.) for 30 year old male
ICICI PrudentialCancer Protect Special2 Lakh50 Lakh1452 (30 year term, 10 lakh cover)
SBI LifeSampoon Cancer Suraksha10 Lakh50 Lakh852 (30 year term, 10 lakh cover)
HDFC LifeCancer Care Plan10 Lakh20 Lakh1333 (10 year term, 10 lakh cover)
Future GeneraliCancer Protect Plan10 Lakh40 Lakh806 (20 year term, 10 lakh cover)
Birla Sun LifeBSLI Cancer Shield Plan10 Lakh20 Lakh3210 (10 year term, 30 lakh cover)
Aegon LifeiCancer Insurance Plan10 Lakh50 Lakh3056 (30 year term, 10 lakh cover)
Max Life InsuranceCancer Insurance PlanNA50 Lakh10266 (30 year term, 50 lakh cover)
Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA)Cancer Insurance Policy30, 0002 Lakh8000 (One time lump sum payment)
PNB MetlifeMera Heart and Cancer Care5 Lakh40 Lakh6314 (20 year term, 10 lakh cover)
Indian Cancer SocietyICS Cancer Insurance Scheme50, 0002 Lakh1144 (for cover of Rs. 2 Lakh)

Note: For more details on these plans, contact respective companies.

Claim settlement ratio: This is the most significant criteria to be taken into consideration whenever buying any insurance (car, health, life, etc.). Always buy insurance from a company with a high claim settlement ratio.

Claim settlement process: The process of filing a claim and receiving money should not be cumbersome. It should be very simple. Before finalizing the company, understand the claim settlement process in advance. And most importantly make this process understand to the nominee or family member. Because when the policy holder is undergoing treatment, nominee/others will have to do all the claim process.

Premium waiver: There are many companies who waive off the future premiums, depending on the stage in which cancer is diagnosed.

Survival period: Post diagnosis, policy holder has to survive for a certain time period. This can range from 7 days to 15 days depending on the company’s rules. Ideally you should buy a cancer plan with minimum survival period.

Waiting period: After buying a policy, if policy holder is diagnosed with cancer within certain number of days then claim cannot be made. This is known as waiting period. Always prefer insurer asking for a minimum waiting period.

Premium: Although anyone would like to pay minimum amount possible but sometimes higher premium can offer large benefits. Best is to compare all the features and select suitable plan.

Although emotional and psychological impact cannot be completely cured. However the best one can do to fight against all types and stages of cancer is to stay prepared for the unforeseen financial calamity. And this can be done by buying comprehensive insurance for cancer.

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