Cancer is often regarded as a rare disease that may or may not happen to us. Most people are faced with the dilemma of buying a cancer policy and are plagued by questions such as – why should I buy a cancer insurance policy?, will a cancer insurance policy prove to be beneficial?, etc. Specifically, in India, it has been observed that patients ignore the early symptoms of cancer, and hence, cancer is detected only in the latter stages, which can be both – fatal and expensive. Genetics are known to play an important role in the occurrence of certain kinds of cancer. Lifestyle choices are also an important factor in the incidence of cancer. As a matter of fact, around 40% of cancer cases happen due to excessive consumption of tobacco. Staying healthy and never having to face the pain and strife that comes with cancer is something everyone wishes for. However, here are a few facts that indicate that cancer can happen to anyone.

Did you know?

  • It has been found that 1 in 8 men and 1 in 9 women develop some form of cancer during his or her lifetime.
  • In India alone, about 14.5 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer every year and another 6-7 (use numerals or words consistently) lakh die of it.
  • 7 Lakh new cases of cancer are detected every year in India

Effect of Cancer on the patient and his/her family –
A diagnosis of cancer affects not only the patient but also the family, friends, and community of the individual. Cancer and the treatments used to treat it can introduce a complex array of lifestyle changes and emotional responses, which can be difficult for family members to handle. Cancer often changes the roles of individuals, which may be a challenging adjustment. A person who has always been in charge or served as the caregiver may have trouble accepting a more dependent role. Or a person who has not served in those roles may struggle to take charge and provide care.
One major effect that cancer diagnosis causes is the immediate financial stress. You know you will need to manage huge cancer care expenses, often leading to debt. The financial stress can reflect upon your relationship with the other members in the family and may cause emotional discord.

Average amount spent on treating cancer
Cancer treatments are usually a recurring expense and the chances of relapse make regular diagnostic tests an important part of the treatment cycle. Based on the type, stage, and complexities, the cost can run into thousands of rupees every week. The total expense can be anywhere between Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 50 lakh depending on the type of medication and advanced therapies recommended. In India, late detection of cancer has been largely responsible for the increased cost of treatment.
To counter the ill effects of cancer on your financial status and savings, it is recommended that you opt for a good cancer insurance policy.

What is a cancer insurance policy?
A cancer insurance policy is a type of health insurance cover that protects you from the risks of cancer. This policy pays for the cost incurred in treating cancer thereby keeping you from dipping into your savings and helps you stay financially stable.

You should buy a cancer insurance policy if –

  • Your regular health insurance policy does not cover cancer
  • You don’t have sufficient savings to pay for cancer treatment

Now you might ask, why not take a critical illness plan instead.
Well, do you know? Critical illness plans cover cancer, but only at an advanced stage. These plans will pay for cancer only if the malignant tumour shows uncontrolled growth, with invasion and destruction of normal tissues. In addition, Cancer insurance policies are specifically planned keeping in mind your needs after cancer diagnosis.

Do you still think you don’t need a cancer insurance policy?

Before we take you through the 10 most important reasons why you should buy a cancer insurance policy, here are a few more things you should know about cancer insurance policies –

    • Eligibility: In case of most of the cancer policies, the eligible age is 18-65 years.
    • Sum covered: The minimum sum assured is Rs 5 lakh and the maximum Rs 50 lakh.
    • Exclusions: Of course there are a few exclusions. These policies do not usually cover skin cancer. However, you may find a few policies that do cover skin cancer. Also, no claim is payable if cancer has been contracted through sexually transmitted diseases. Cancer insurance policies cover different forms of cancer such as breast cancer, ovary cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, hypo larynx cancer and prostate cancer
    • The sum assured for most policies increases annually by 10%, in case no claim has been made during the year.
    • Before choosing a cancer insurance policy, you should always confirm the waiting period of the policy. It essentially means the duration for which you will have to wait before the policy starts providing coverage. In addition, checking the survival period of the policy is also crucial for the eligibility to claim benefits of the policy.

Why you need a cancer insurance policy

Here are 10 reasons why you should buy a cancer insurance policy –

    1. Affordability
      One of the major advantages of cancer policies is that they are reasonably priced, as compared to other health insurance plans.
    2. Availability
      You can buy most of the cancer insurance policies online. Not only that, you may also get good deals and discounts online. And when you are getting good deals on already affordable policies, why risk your savings and life by not buying one?
    3. No need for hospitalisation
      What makes cancer insurance policies truly hassle-free is the fact that you don’t need to be hospitalised to claim a policy. Which means you don’t have to apply for cashless claims or wait for reimbursements for the bills you have paid. And the best thing – unlike health insurance plans, cancer-only plans come without sub-limits which means the entire cover is paid on detection. More of this in the next point.
    4. Lump sum pay-out
      Most health insurance providers offer 20-25 percent of the sum assured upon diagnosis at an early stage. The rest is then paid at the major or last stage of the disease. Some insurance providers offer free check-ups during the term of the insurance policy.
    5. Wide coverage
      With a cancer insurance policy, you can get the cover for numerous types of cancers. You may, therefore, enjoy a wide scope of coverage at an affordable price. However, you must always check the types of cancers covered, as a few cancer insurance policies exclude certain types of cancers such as skin cancer and cancers due to sexually transmitted diseases.
    6. Compensates for loss of income
      Once you are diagnosed with cancer, you might miss out on attending work and fulfil your professional commitments, and eventually lose out on your monthly income. In order to compensate for such a loss, some insurance providers offer income benefit. This benefit is a certain percentage of the sum assured amount and acts as a regular stream of income to meet your financial needs. This protects you from liabilities and keeps you financially stable.
    7. Coverage against high treatment costs
      Medical inflation in India is growing by the day. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, you may be required to pay an exorbitant cost for treatment. In order to protect yourself financially from the treatment-related costs such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, you may unfailingly invest in a cancer care insurance policy. Cancer insurance plans take care of all these expenses and secure your life financially.
    8. Waiver of premium benefit
      There are certain rider options available in the market, so as to enhance the level of coverage of your cancer policy. One such rider, known as ‘waiver of premium,’ allows you to enjoy the benefits of the policy without having to pay any premiums. This add-on, however, may be availed of only once you are diagnosed with cancer.
    9. Tax benefits
      Just like health insurance policies, you may avail of tax benefits on your cancer insurance plan. You may avail of a tax deduction of up to INR 25,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Senior citizens may enjoy a higher tax benefit amount. Purchasing such a policy, therefore, allows you to reduce your tax liability largely.
    10. Save your savings
      With a proper cancer insurance policy in place, you won’t have to spend all your savings on treating cancer. This further helps in keeping that money reserved for the goals you have set for you and the welfare of your family.

These are the benefits of buying a cancer insurance policy. Here’s a quick glance at the features you should look for before choosing the best cancer insurance policy in India for you –

  • Maximum inclusions
  • Facility to increase the Sum Assured (either on the ad-hoc basis or systematically, every year)
  • Waiver of future premiums upon the positive diagnosis
  • Regular income benefit as a fixed percentage of the sum insured

Medical science is yet to find a total cure for cancer. Meanwhile, a few lifestyle changes such as avoiding tobacco, exercising to keep our body fit can help us in the prevention of cancer. Finally, a comprehensive cancer insurance policy can help protect ourselves for the worst in the unfortunate even if we are diagnosed with cancer. A non-linked insurance plan, Shriram Life – Comprehensive Cancer Care Plan is one of the best cancer insurance plans in India. It offers benefits on diagnosis and treatment, in both initial and critical stages. Here’s everything you need to know about Shriram Life – Comprehensive Cancer Care Plan –

Key Features of Shriram Life Cancer Insurance Policy

One of the major advantages of this cancer insurance policy is the maximum maturity age, which is 75.

The affordable premium, lump sum payment and an array of benefitting features such as easy claim settlement and more, make Shriram Life – Comprehensive Cancer Care Plan an obvious winner when it comes to choosing a cancer insurance policy in India. To know more about the cancer insurance plan and buy it online