Heart disease is the biggest cause of mortality in India, resulting in 23% of the overall deaths, according to the Office of the Census Commissioner Report 2016. Similarly, another report published by National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health found that heart problem and cancer are the two biggest causes of mortality in India.
To help people who suffer deep financial trouble due to the amount of the time and specialized care required to recover from these two deadly ailments, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched a new health insurance policy called ‘ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect’. As the name suggests, this product provides coverage for cardiac problems and cancer. This product is in line with the IRDAI’s new health insurance guidelines.
With this policy, ICICI Prudential Life aims to help policyholders pay for costs incurred by ailments related to cardiac problems and cancer at affordable premiums.
What is it?
ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect policy term ranges between 5 years and 40 years for a sum assured of up to Rs. 75 lakhs. Policyholders can avail the benefits of this plan at affordable insurance premiums. For instance, paying a premium of just Rs. 100 a month, can give policyholders a cancer cover of Rs. 20 lakhs or heart cover of Rs. 7 lakhs. Policyholders can buy coverage for both, minor and major stages of cardiac or health problems. However, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance will not provide coverage for pre-existing complications related to heart and cancer.
ICICI Prudential Life also provides discounts on premiums for policyholders who have policies from ICICI Prudential Life insurance, either for individual or family members.
Additionally, policyholders can avail a discount if they purchase a combo cover for both illnesses or buy the policy online.
How does it work?
The policy pays out on the diagnosis of heart ailments or cancer, irrespective of the stage of the disease. If it is a minor condition, the plan pays out 25% of the cover amount and continues its cover till the policy term ends. If unfortunately, the disease affects the policyholder again in a major way, it pays out the remaining 75% of sum assured to the policyholder, and the policy terminates. In the case of a serious condition, the policy pays out 100% of the cover amount as a lump sum upon diagnosis.
USP of the plan
A key feature of this policy includes payout on the first diagnosis of the illness, irrespective of the actual amount spent on treatment. This means, if a policyholder makes a claim on early diagnosis of the disease, he or she will receive the sum assured, depending on the criticality of the condition.
The policy also comes with a premium waiver feature, wherein if the policyholder makes a claim even for a minor condition, ICICI Prudential Life waives all future premiums.
The policy has three other benefits:
Income benefit – ICICI Prudential Life Insurance will provide a monthly income equivalent to 1% of the sum insured on a claim request. This can ease the policyholder’s financial burden if he/ she faces a loss of income due to a heart or cancer condition.
Increasing cover benefit – This is another add-on that involves increasing the sum insured by 10% every year, if no claims are made, going up to a maximum of 200% of the original sum insured. Thus, it helps policyholders tackle rising medical costs that they might incur in the future.
Hospital cash benefit- Policyholders can also receive Rs. 5000 for each day of hospitalization during the policy tenure.
The experts' views
Vishal Dhawan, Founder & CEO, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors believes, “We advise clients to pick these plans as they are designed in such a manner that provide more protection than a basic health cover in the form of add-ons. Often, when a person is diagnosed with a critical illness like cancer or a heart ailment, there could be a period where income is affected because of the inability to work; these policies are beneficial during such troublesome times. They provide the policyholder with a lump sum payment as long as he survives after the diagnosis of the disease. Therefore, they could use this money flexibly for various reasons that include covering medical expenses, income replacement and so on.”
Work pressure, unmanaged lifestyles and food habits have made the younger generation in India susceptible to various lifestyle diseases. A normal health insurance plan does not cover these diseases adequately. When a critical illness like heart attack or cancer strikes, it affects your income and living standard. It is therefore vital as to have a critical illness cover a top-up to your standard health plan.
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance manages AUM of Rs.1.229.19 billion and has a healthy claim settlement ratio of 96.87% as on 31st March 2017.