Term Insurance with Critical Illness Rider
  • Significance of Term Insurance with Critical Illness Rider
  • List of Critical Illnesses Covered
  • Medical Situation in India
Term Insurance with Critical Illness Rider
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Term Insurance with Critical Illness Rider

Medical emergencies can occur when least expected since life can be unpredictable. In such unpredictable times, a Critical Illness Rider incorporated into your term insurance plan might offer much-needed financial security. Consider a scenario where a policyholder with critical illness coverage under their term insurance contract receives a cancer diagnosis. The rider would offer a lump-sum payout, enabling the insured to pay for medical costs, pursue specialized therapies, and provide for their family while recovering without using up all their life savings. In this regard, it operates as a critical safety net in emergency situations.

A Term Insurance cover with a Critical Illness Rider at this stage can take care of your financial worries & allow you to focus on the treatment. In fact, industry experts particularly emphasise on the importance of adding a Critical Illness Rider to the base Sum Assured under a standard Term Insurance plan.

* The Economic Times

What Does the Critical Illness Rider Mean?

Critical Illnеss Ridеr is an optional add-on which gеts addеd to thе basе tеrm plan. It is intеndеd to offеr a financial safety nеt if thе insurеd pеrson is dеtеctеd with a critical disеasе, illnеss or mеdical condition spеcifiеd undеr thе ridеr.

Hеrе's what a Critical Illnеss Ridеr doеs in tеrm insurancе:

  • Lump-Sum Payout In casе thе policyholdеr gеts dеtеctеd with a specific critical illnеss mеntionеd undеr thе plan, this ridеr pays a lump sum amount. It’s usually a sеt amount agrееd bеforеhand, which you can use as you wish.
  • Covеrеd Critical Illnеssеs Thе particular critical illnеssеs covеrеd will dеpеnd upon thе insurеr and on thе policy documеnt. Covеrеd illnеssеs may include heart attack, cancеr, coma, kidnеy failurе, strokе, and others.
  • Financial Support Thе lumpsum payout from thе ridеr takеs carе of numеrous еxpеnsеs linkеd to critical illnеss. Thе insurеr can covеr things likе mеdical bills, trеatmеnt costs, rеhabilitation bills, and еvеn daily еxpеnsеs likе mortgagе (or rеnt) paymеnts if thе insurеd pеrson can no longеr work bеcausе of sicknеss.
  • No Impact on Basе Policy Most importantly thе Critical Illnеss Ridеr works on its own and is not tiеd to thе basе tеrm insurancе policy. This means that еvеn if thе insurеd filеs a claim undеr thе ridеr, thе primary lifе insurancе covеragе rеmains untouchеd and thе dеath bеnеfit rеmains payablе to thе bеnеficiariеs at thе timе of thе insurеd pеrson’s dеath.
  • Survival Pеriod For most ridеr claims to bе considеrеd lеgitimatе, thе insurеd individual who is diagnosеd with a critical illnеss, should livе for a specific timеframе as mеntionеd in thе policy documеnt. This time pеriod after thе diagnosis is known as a survival pеriod.

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Check and compare plans from 21 IRDAI-approved term insurance providers before purchasing a term plan.

Why Should You Add the Critical Illness Rider to your Basic Term Plan?

Medical Emergencies come unannounced & in addition to emotional and mental strain, it can drain a significant portion of your lifelong savings. Critical Illness Riders ensure extra protection against these ailments. Available at nominal charges, these riders are helpful, especially if you have a medical history or fall in the high-risk category.

For your understanding, we have mentioned the reasons which signify that Critical Illness Rider should be added to your Basic Term Plan.

Income Replacement

If you get diagnosed with one of the Critical Illnesses and lose the ability to work, the Critical Illness Rider can serve as a temporary source of income while you are undergoing treatment. These riders offer a wide range of flexibility, wherein you can utilize the funds received to serve different needs i.e. hospitalisation or non- hospitalisation.

Better Chances of Survival

With the cost of medical treatment running up to lakhs and lakhs of rupees, it is nearly impossible for an average middle-class household to cover the treatment expenses. As a result, you will often see families give up on the treatment process. Sum Assured with Critical Illness Rider allows you to get access to proper diagnosis and quality treatment, and in turn, improve your chances of survival.

Immediate Payout Post Diagnosis

A very important reason to consider opting for this rider is that you do not have to wait for the Sum Assured till after the treatment. This essentially means that you are entitled to receive the full amount assured under the rider, right after being diagnosed with the Critical Illness. This eliminates the need for you to pay out of pocket for the treatment or hospitalization expenses that you will incur as a result of it.

Protection against Medical Inflation

Medical inflation rose from 3.8% in December 2019 to 7.7% in June 2021*. This has been a growing case of concern given that nearly half of the population in India loses out on quality care as a result of it. Therefore, you should give this rider some serious consideration, more importantly if you have a family history of any of the Critical Illnesses.

* The Hindu

Tax Benefits

The premiums paid towards a Term Plan are eligible for Tax Benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Up to Rs. 1.5 Lakhs is deductible from your taxable income with Term Insurance. Further, the benefits received are exempt under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act.

Additional Coverage against Medical Expenses

The Critical Illness Rider can prove to be particularly helpful if you are also covered under a Health Insurance Policy. With the combined coverage of both the policies, you are more likely to be able to afford the best of treatments against serious illnesses without burning a hole in your pocket.

The reasons listed above are strong enough for you to seriously consider getting a Critical Illness Rider with your Term Plan.

How can I avail of the Benefits of Critical Illness Rider?

If you are diagnosed with a Critical Illness, you would be required to submit a Diagnosis Report, duly signed & validated by the Medical Practitioner. Upon verification, the Insurance Company will pay a lump- sum amount equivalent to the Sum Assured. The amount can be used for expenses related to the treatment or any other miscellaneous expenses like travelling to & fro the hospital, attendant's expenses etc.

However, this comes with a Waiting Period which is usually 90 Days. It is advisable to check the Terms & Conditions with your respective Insurer, as it might vary from company to company.

Eligibility Criteria to Buy Critical Illness Insurance Cover

  • Minimum Entry AgeThe Minimum Entry age to purchase the Critical Illness rider as well as the Disability rider is 18 years.
  • Maximum Entry AgeThe Maximum Age of adding the Critical Illness rider under your Term Insurance cover is 65 years.
  • Premium Amount by Gender Both male and female buyers can opt for the critical illness cover at exactly the same premium rates while purchasing a basic Term Insurance plan.

How does the Critical Illness Rider work?

  1. Purchasing the Critical Illness Rider

    When you are buying a Term Insurance cover, you will see the option of adding riders to your base plan. On opting for the Critical Illness Rider, you will next be presented with the option to pick the Sum Assured under the rider benefit. You are advised to go through the policy brochure to see the list of Critical Illnesses that are covered under the plan.

  2. After Diagnosis

    Once you are diagnosed with one of the pre-specified Critical Illnesses, you are required to intimate the Insurance Provider and offer the required details of your condition.

  3. Lump sum payout

    Once the Insurance Provider verifies the details offered by you and confirms the validity of the same, it will pay out the lump sum amount directly to your registered bank account.

  4. Rider benefits

    Once you receive the rider benefits, you have the option to use the amount according to your convenience. You can use it for day to day expenses or to cover hospitalization expenses, or for any treatment recommended against the Critical Illness. Some Insurers may also provide the necessary cash flow during the recovery period.

    Every Term Insurance Company comes with their own set of benefits and it is extremely important that you go through the information provided in their official websites and brochures before buying a plan.

List of Critical Illnesses covered under Term Insurance

With this rider, the policyholder can ensure proper treatment with the lump sum amount payable on the diagnosis of any one of the following conditions:

Alzheimer's DiseaseAngioplastyAorta Graft SurgeryApallic SyndromeAplastic AnaemiaBenign Brain Tumor
Brain SurgeryCABG (Coronary artery bypass graft)CancerCardiomyopathyChronic Lung DiseaseChronic Liver Disease
ComaDeafnessEncephalitisHeart Valve SurgeryLoss of Independent ExistenceLoss of Limbs
Loss of SpeechKidney Failure (End Stage Renal Failure)Major BurnsMajor Head TraumaMajor Organ/ Bone Marrow TransplantMedullary Cystic Disease
Motor Neurone Disease with permanent symptomsMultiple Sclerosis with persisting symptomsMuscular DystrophyMyocardial Infarction (First Heart Attack)Coronary artery by-pass grafts (with surgery to divide the breastbone)Parkinson's Disease
Permanent Paralysis of limbsPoliomyelitisPrimary Pulmonary Arterial HypertensionStroke resulting in permanent symptomsSystemic lupus Eryth. w. Renal InvolvementTotal Blindness

**It is advisable to check the coverage of Critical Illnesses under your particular policy.

Companies offering Critical Illness Rider with their Term Insurance Plans

The following table presents a few examples of Best Term Insurance policies that offer the Critical Illness Rider.

Insurance Company Term PlansCritical Illness Benefit
PNB MetLifePNB MetLife Mera Term Plan PlusCoverage against 50 Critical Illnesses
Max LifeMax Life Smart Term PlanCoverage against 64 Critical Illnesses
HDFC LifeHDFC Life Click 2 Protect LifeCoverage against 19 Critical Illnesses
Bajaj AllianzBajaj Allianz Life Smart Protect GoalCoverage against 55 Critical Illnesses
SBI LifeSBI Life – Poorna SurakshaCoverage against 36 Critical Illnesses
ICICI PruICICI Pru iProtect SmartCoverage against 34 Critical Illnesses

Need For Critical Illness Rider For Rising Medical Situation

In order to further emphasize on the importance of adding a Critical Illness Rider with your Term Cover, the following pointers attempt to highlight the seriousness of the medical situation in India.


The Cancer related data highlighted below is in reference to the Globocan (Global Cancer Observatory) India-specific report released by the Indian Council of Medical Research's National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (ICMR-NICPR) in 2018.

  • The report indicated that the number of cancer cases in the country has gone up by 15.7% since 2012. In fact, a total of 11.57 lakh cancer cases are reported every year.
  • A total of 7,84,821 people died as a result of cancer in 2018 alone.


Moreover, a combined study by the Registrar General of India, WHO (World Health Organisation), and the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) reported that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) or also commonly referred to as heart-related health problems are one of the foremost causes of death and disability in the country.

  • The study indicated that in the 10 years between 2007 and 2017, India witnessed nearly a 49.8% increase in deaths (across all ages) due to CVD.
  • Further, the mortality rate due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD), stroke and diabetes increased by 39.4%, 37.1%, and 53.8%, respectively.


The following set of data in regards to Heart Attacks was reported by the Indian Heart Association.

  • It was noted in the study that almost 50% of all heart attacks in Indian men occur below 50 years of age. Further, 25% occur in men under the age of 40.
  • The male population of the country in the age bracket of 30 to 74 is at a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases than the female population
  • While Indian women were reported to have a 12.7% risk of developing cardiovascular issues, approximately 21.4% of the males were at risk


Because of today's hurried lifestyles, one out of every four Indians is at risk of dying from serious illnesses such as cancer or cardiovascular disease before reaching the age of 70. Treatments for these serious illnesses can put a family's finances in jeopardy, as the treatment costs for these ailments can rapidly reach lakhs.

Various studies suggest that the working population in India in the age bracket 30 to 74, is more prone to developing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Other serious illnesses, such as kidney failure, sclerosis, stroke, or paralysis, demonstrate a rapidly increasing prevalence in the country.

This indicates the pressing need for a Critical Illness cover. Critical Illness Rider helps you get the right medical treatment without any financial burden,

Term Insurance with Critical Illness Rider: FAQs

1. What is a Critical Illnеss Ridеr?

A Critical Illnеss Ridеr is an optional add-on to a tеrm insurancе policy that offеrs financial protеction if thе insurеd pеrson is diagnosed with a spеcifiеd critical illnеss.

2. What critical illnеssеs arе typically covеrеd by this ridеr?

Thе spеcific illnеssеs covеrеd can vary, but common еxamplеs includе heart attacks, cancеr, coma, kidnеy failurе, strokе, and morе.

3. How doеs thе ridеr providе financial support?

It providеs a lump-sum payout upon diagnosis, which can be used for mеdical bills, spеcializеd trеatmеnts, rеhabilitation, and othеr еxpеnsеs, including daily living costs.

4. Doеs thе ridеr affеct thе basе tеrm insurancе policy?

No, thе Critical Illnеss Ridеr opеratеs indеpеndеntly of thе basе policy. It doesn't impact thе basе lifе insurancе covеragе, and thе dеath bеnеfit rеmains payablе to bеnеficiariеs.

5. Is thеrе a waiting pеriod for claiming thе ridеr bеnеfit?

Yеs, thеrе is usually a waiting pеriod (oftеn 90 days) after diagnosis bеforе you can claim thе ridеr bеnеfit. Bе surе to chеck your policy for specific tеrms.

6. Why should I consider adding a Critical Illnеss Ridеr to my tеrm plan?

Critical Illnеss Ridеrs providе additional financial protеction against high mеdical еxpеnsеs, offеr incomе rеplacеmеnt during trеatmеnt, and protеct against rising mеdical inflation.

7. How can I avail thе bеnеfits of thе Critical Illnеss Ridеr?

Upon diagnosis of a critical illness, you nееd to submit a diagnosis rеport signed by a mеdical practitionеr. Aftеr vеrification, thе insurancе company pays out thе lump sum, which can bе usеd for trеatmеnt-rеlatеd еxpеnsеs.

8. What are thе еligibility criteria for buying Critical Illnеss Insurancе Covеr?

Thе minimum еntry agе is typically 18 yеars, and thе maximum agе for adding thе ridеr to your tеrm insurancе is usually 65 yеars. Prеmiums arе thе samе for both gеndеrs whеn purchasing a basic tеrm insurancе plan.

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