Points of Distinction Between a Critical Illness Plan and Standard Health Policy

Increasing ailments has made it imperative to have a health insurance cover. However, there isn’t only one health insurance policy that is available. There are various plans that serve different purposes. Each of them is best suited for a specific set of medical needs. Hence, having different plan helps attain the coverage for diverse range of treatments.

Critical Illness Plan

Lately, there are rising instances of life-threatening diseases gripping people. These diseases are not only severe but also fatal in nature. Thus, treatment becomes the highest priority. With the help of health insurance plans that specifically address these ailments, you need not worry about treatment cost at such times. These plans are termed as critical illness policies.

What is a critical illness insurance?

A critical illness insurance is the one that provides medical coverage against ailments of severing intensity. These ailments are those that if ignored, can lead to fatalities, and include ailments like cancers of different organs, stroke, renal failures, coronary artery bypass surgery, organ transplant, and the like. Since the treatment cost of these ailments is high, the pay-out under a critical illness insurance plan is paid at lumpsum at the beginning when the illness is diagnosed.

How do standard health insurance policies fall short to tackle these critical ailments?

Standard health insurance policies have limited sum assured and they compensate the policyholders on an indemnity basis. This in turn has an effect of only paying only in the event of hospitalisation. A critical illness cover on the other hand offers much higher sum assured since a single treatment can run into lakhs of rupees. In addition, the pay-out method differs thereby offering financial assistance not only for treatment costs, but also for other ancillary expenses like the loss of income source.

Here are some other points of distinction between a standard health cover vis-à-vis critical illness plan –


The foremost difference between a standard health cover as compared to a critical illness plan is the amount of premium charged for both. The premiums for a standard policy are higher since it encapsulates host of different ailments in its coverage. On the contrary, critical illness policies only cover for certain pre-defined medical conditions.

Waiting period

It is that duration during which the insurance company does not offer coverage for treatments covered under the policy. For critical illness plans, the waiting period is generally 90 days from its purchase whereas standard policies have different tenures based on the terms of the plan.


A standard policy is like the jack of all, but master of none. This is when a critical illness plan comes handy to ensure all round protection against a specified ailment. If you have a family history of certain critical ailments, it is best to purchase such health insurance plan.

Sum insured

Standard health insurance plans have a lower sum assured. When you purchase a policy, it is crucial to account for the future medical inflation and that is when a critical illness plan with higher sum assured comes handy.

These are some of the points of distinctions between the two types of plans. Make sure to compare health insurance before you finalise considering your family health history and any pre-existing ailments, if any. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms and conditions, please read sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.


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