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

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

Critical Illness Plan

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

What is critical illness insurance?

Critical illness insurance is the one that provides medical coverage against ailments of severe intensity. These ailments are those that, if ignored, can lead to fatalities and include conditions 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 lump sum at the beginning when the illness is diagnosed.

How do standard health insurance policies fall short of tackling these critical ailments?

Standard health insurance policies have limited sum assured, and they compensate the policyholders on an indemnity basis. This, in turn, has the effect of only paying only in the event of hospitalization. On the other hand, a critical illness cover offers a 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 main difference between a standard health cover and a critical illness plan is the premium charged for both. The tips for a standard policy are higher since it encapsulates a host of different ailments in its coverage. On the contrary, critical illness policies only cover certain pre-defined medical conditions.

Waiting period

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


A standard policy is like the jack of all but master of none. This is when a critical illness plan comes in handy to ensure all-around protection against a specified ailment. If you have a family history of specific conditions, it is best to purchase a 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 future medical inflation when a critical illness plan with a higher sum assured comes in handy.

These are some of the points of distinction between the two types of plans. Make sure to compare health insurance before you finalize, 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 the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.


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