Sunday, August 23, 2015
A new cover for cancer
Aegon Religare iCancer is more economical than competing policies
Aegon Religare has launched an insurance policy that will cover the costs of cancer treatment. The policy is similar to HDFC Life’s Cancer Care launched a few months ago, but with slightly different features.
Anyone in the age group of 18-65 can buy the policy except individuals already suffering from cancer or those who have suffered from it in the past. The policy will cover you up to the age of 70. Premium can be paid monthly or annually and the policy can be purchased online.
The policy covers all types of cancer from its initial stages, with the exception of skin cancer. Proposals of individuals who have a history of cancer in the family but are themselves healthy, will also be accepted. The maximum sum assured offered is ₹50 lakh and minimum ₹10 lakh.
Generally, there is no medical test required if the individual is 40 years of age or below. But he has to answer a detailed questionnaire on health and lifestyle habits.
On being diagnosed with cancer in its initial stages, the policy will pay out 25 per cent of the sum assured (up to maximum of ₹5 lakh).
At the advanced stage, an amount equal to 100 per cent of the sum assured minus the previous payments will be paid and the policy will continue. Besides, future premiums will be waived. If cancer reaches a critical stage, the policy will make a payout equivalent to 150 per cent of the sum assured, after deducting the previous payments.
The different stages of cancer are as per definitions followed by medical practitioners and are given in the policy document.
Unlike HDFC Life’s Cancer Care plan, this policy doesn’t have options for income substitution once cancer is diagnosed. It also doesn’t offer a higher sum assured for every year of no claim. But, given that such features only add to costs, a no-frills policy does have its advantages.
Aegon Religare iCancer plan’s features of premium waiver after a major-stage cancer and the payout up to 150 per cent of sum assured make it more attractive.
The premium for a woman who is 35 years old, for sum assured of ₹20 lakh for a 35-year term is ₹8,413 (including service tax) with iCancer.
With HDFC Life, the same individual will see a lower premium of ₹4,111 (including service tax). But note that the maximum term one can obtain is only 20 years. A 35-year-old person will have cover only until 55 years of age, while with Aegon Religare Life she can get a cover until she is 70.
Further, in the HDFC Life plan, after diagnosis of cancer in the initial stage, the premium is waived only for a period of three years, after which the policyholder has to start paying premium again. In Aegon Religare’s plan, after the claim for an advanced stage cancer, the premium is waived for the rest of the policy term.
The other plus with Aegon Religare is that the premium at the time of initiation of the policy is fixed for a period of five years. HDFC Life reviews its premium every three years.
Individuals who do not want a standalone cancer policy can look for a critical illness policy where all major illnesses get covered. But note that most critical illness policies do not cover cancers in the initial stage.
(This article was published on August 23, 2015)