Over 17 lakh1 new cases of cancer are expected in India by 2020. Is the average Indian family prepared to deal with it?

Treatment of cancer, with advances in medical science, is possible if detected early. But without adequate funds at your disposal, the high cost of treatment required to fight cancer may never reach its required stage. Only 12 people*** out of 100 patients come for treatment in the early stage.

This is why it is important to financially protect you and your loved family from the ill-effects of cancer.

Traditional health insurance pays cancer treatment claims, but that is based on hospitalization bills and has its own limitations. Don’t worry. There are cancer insurance policies that pay a lump sum insurance payout merely on detection.

The best part is that the specialized cancer insurance policies pay without asking for medical bills. In this way, cancer patients can truly fight against cancer and avail the best treatment possible, without worrying. Give you and your family the financial shield from cancer with cancer insurance. Read on to know more.

Why do you need cancer insurance?

There is no vaccine for commonly occurring cancer. But there is a way to avoid the financial hardships due to cancer by taking cancer insurance.

Cancer has a negative effect on two main aspects of your financial life.

One, cancer means ongoing treatment that can last for days, weeks and even months. It all depends on the type of cancer and the line of treatment chosen. This means one will need a considerable amount of funds. The best treatment can be the costliest. Cancer insurance allows you to choose your own sum assured. For instance, a 35 year old male can take ₹ 20 lakh cover of ICICI Pru Cancer Protect by paying ₹ 187 per month (inclusive of taxes), or go for a bigger cover of ₹ 50 lakh by paying ₹ 428 per month (inclusive of taxes) for the policy term of 20 years.

Two, cancer insurance protects your family’s financial position. This is because cancer treatment and associated costs often leave a big dent on a family’s savings. Everybody loves their family and does everything possible for them. The same sentiment runs in each family member for each other. As a result, nobody hesitates before spending all that they have to save one precious life. This saving may have been done for son/daughter education and their marriage. Sometimes, even retirement corpus or provident fund money is used to fund cancer treatment. The patient may finally recover, but without cancer insurance all the hard-earned money may be gone.

How does cancer insurance work?

Insurance is based on trust. The same applies for cancer insurance. So for fixed benefit health insurance plans, there is no need to produce any medical bills or hospitalization proof. The sum assured in cancer insurance is paid on the basis of the first diagnosis.

The full claim amount is paid irrespective of the actual medical costs. The insured person needs to present only medical records of diagnosis or doctor’s certificate of diagnosis.

The full claim amount is paid irrespective of the actual medical costs. The insured person needs to present only medical records of diagnosis or doctor’s certificate of diagnosis.

Benefits of cancer insurance

Packed with consumer-friendly features, cancer insurance comes with 9 distinct benefits.

  1. High cover at affordable premium - Cancer insurance makes financial costs of cancer treatment affordable. A 30-year old non-smoker male can get ₹ 20 lakh ICICI Pru cancer protect cover for 20 year policy term by paying less than ₹ 4 per day (inclusive of taxes). The premium falls more if you choose the single-pay options available in some cancer insurance policies.
  2. Payout on diagnosis^ - ICICI Pru Cancer Protect pays you the money on first diagnosis of cancer in the form of a doctor’s certificate. The claim money is not related to the actual amount you may spend on treatment to help you recover.
  3. Family discount## - Cancer insurance is needed for everyone in the family. So, customers who want comprehensive coverage for their spouse can choose to do so at the policy inception time and get 5% discount with ICICI Pru Cancer Protect for first year premium.
  4. Choose your own treatment, hospital - ICICI Pru Cancer Protect gives you freedom from the worries about getting treated in a network hospital or apply for reimbursement claims. Since the payout is on diagnosis^, now only you decide how and where you want to get treated.
  5. Premium waiver~ - ICICI Pru Cancer Protect continues its coverage even after the first pay-out for a minor condition, without you having to pay any further premiums. In case of family coverage, waiver of premium is applicable for the spouse diagnosed.
  6. Increasing cover4 – ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer protect has the benefit that automatically increases the cover/sum assured. This allows you to tackle the rising medical costs. The sum assured can go up by 10% every year till the time a claim is made and the cover could potentially become 200% of the original cover chosen by you at policy inception. So, a ₹ 10 lakh cover can become ₹ 20 lakh.
  7. Pays for loss of income5 - A few cancer insurance plans have a benefit that pays the insured person on loss of income. Cancer treatment forces patients to stay at home. This can lead to all leaves getting used and then the prospect of unpaid leaves i.e. no salary. ICICI Pru Cancer Protect gives you additional benefit of 1% of sum assured every month for 5 years. This helps your family deal with loss of income, in case due to any major condition when you have taken a break from your work. This monthly payment is extra and over the lump sum payment on diagnosis.
  8. Bye-bye co-payment - Some health insurance plans ask policyholders to pay a portion of the claim amount. This is called co-payment, and it can range from 10-30% for some policies. ICICI Pru Cancer Protect has no such condition. The policy pays the money and there no strings attached.
  9. Save tax^^^ with cancer insurance - There are tax benefits to avail if you opt for cancer insurance. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can reduce your taxable income by ₹ 25,000 with premiums paid towards this plan.

Types of cancer covered by cancer insurance

  • Cancer insurance plans cover both minor conditions as well as major conditions. So, early stage cancers, carcinoma-in-situ of any organ (except skin) and cancers of specified severity are all covered. Sometimes, cancer patients recover from minor conditions but then again faces a remission i.e. are again affected by major condition cancer.
  • To solve this problem, cancer insurance pays out on every stage. So, even if you have been paid 25% of the money due to diagnosis of minor stage cancer, ICICI Pru Cancer Protect allows the rest amount to be claimed if the cancer comes back from remission to affect the person at a higher severity i.e. major stage.

How to choose best cancer insurance plan?

While buying a Cancer Insurance Plan, people will always have questions like which is the Best Cancer Insurance Plan and how to compare them. Here are some parameters which may help you choose the Cancer Insurance for yourself:

  • Claim Settlement Ratio: Claims are when an insurance policy is tested. Each company has their own claims settlement ratio. Finding out the number will help you understand how many claims for life insurance have been paid out as a proportion of claims made. The higher this ratio is the better. For instance, ICICI Pru Life has a claim settlement ratio of 97.88%** for financial year 2017-18.
  • Solvency Ratio: Insurance claims are paid by the insurance company. Financially capable insurers are the best. Solvency ratio tells you whether the insurer you will choose for a cancer insurance plan is financially capable of settling your claim if and when the need arises. As per insurance regulator IRDAI rules, every life insurer should maintain a solvency ratio of at least 1.5. For example, ICICI Pru Life has a solvency ratio of 2.52^^.
  • Pay-out on minor conditions: Cancers can be split into two types - minor condition and major condition. None of us know what type of cancer will happen to us. Hence, buy a cancer policy that gives the most benefits even for minor conditions. For instance, ICICI Pru Cancer Protect gives up to 25% of the sum assured on diagnosis of the covered minor conditions. So, if your sum assured is ₹ 40 lakh, you can get up to ₹ 10 lakh.
  • Affordable premium: Cancer treatment is high, but cancer insurance premium should be affordable. It is important to buy a cancer insurance plan that you can continue with for as long as you want. Plans with affordable premium are light on your pocket. Did you know a 25-year old can get ₹ 20 lakh cancer insurance cover for ₹ 100 per month for 20 years? Yes, it is possible with ICICI Pru Cancer Protect. If you add your spouse, you can get 5% discount3 for first year premium
  • No-claim year benefit: Cancer is quite prevalent in India, but it may not immediately occur. As a result, cancer insurance policy will have no-claim years. The best cancer insurance policy will give increasing cover benefit for every no-claim policy year. For example, ICICI Pru Cancer Protect gives 10% boost to cover for each and every no-claim year. Cover increases upto 200% of the cover chosen at inception, till the time a claim is made. So, a ₹ 30 lakh cancer cover with 5 no-claim years can become a ₹ 45-lakh policy.

#https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/features/cancer-treatment-cost/story/191785.html

^ Only doctor’s certificate confirming diagnosis needs to be submitted. The benefit is payable only on the fulfillment of the definition of the diagnosed level of listed condition

##This discount will not be applicable from second year onwards. Family benefit will have to be chosen at the inception of the policy only, spouse cannot be added once the policy is issued. The policy benefits of both the Life’s Assured shall be independent of each other.This discount is not applicable on Single pay policy.

~In case the policy has been purchased for you and your spouse, waiver of future premiums will be applicable only for that Life Assured who has been diagnosed with the following conditions – namely a minor condition; or Permanent disability due to an accident; or a minor/major condition where cancer cover and heart cover are chosen together.

** Claim statistics are for FY2017-18 and is computed basis individual claims settled over total individual claims for the financial year. For details, refer to Public Disclosures in our Website.

^^ As per IRDA Annual Report 2017-18

^^^ Tax benefits under the policy are subject to conditions under Section 80C, 80D, 10(10D) and other provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Tax laws are subject to amendments made thereto from time to time. Please consult your tax advisor for details, before acting on above.

1https://www.indiatoday.in/pti-feed/story/over-17-lakh-new-cancer-cases-in-india-by-2020-icmr-610839-2016-05-18

***https://www.thebetterindia.com/86527/did-you-know-late-detection-cause-70-cancer-deaths/

3A discount of 5% on the first year’s premium will be offered on purchase of ICICI Pru Heart / Cancer Protect when life assured and his/ her spouse is covered under the same policy. The policy benefits of both the Lives Assured shall be independent of each other. The Sums Assured of both the lives could be different. A claim made by one Life Assured under the policy does not affect benefits of other Life Assured. This Family benefit has to be chosen at the inception of the policy only, spouse cannot be added once the policy is issued. This discount is not applicable on Single Pay Policy. With one policy, you can avail either Family Benefit or Loyalty Benefit.

4Increase in sum assured will stop on occurrence of first claim under the cover. Where Cancer cover and Heart cover are taken together, in case of occurrence of first claim under any one type of cover, the increase in sum assured will stop for that cover type and Increasing Cover Benefit will continue for the other type of cover, for which no claim has occurred. Your sum assured will increase by 10% simple interest every year, till the time first claim is made. The maximum sum assured under Increasing Cover Benefit is limited to 200% of the sum assured chosen at inception

5The Income Benefit will be paid as and when due irrespective of the expiry of the policy term, provided Major condition has been diagnosed within the policy term.
In case of death of Policyholder during income benefit payout period, the benefit will be paid to the Claimant. If 100% of the sum assured has already been paid under the policy on account of multiple Minor condition claims, then on a claim under listed Major conditions, only Income Benefit will be paid and there will not be any lump sum benefit payment.
Where the Cancer cover and Heart cover are taken together, pay out under Income Benefit will be triggered for only that cover for which a claim of Major condition is registered and all Benefits through other cover remains unaffected.

W/II/3719/2018-19

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