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Cancer Insurance

Cancer Insurance
  • Get Plans that cover early and later stages of cancer
  • Receive premium discounts with higher sum assured
  • Get tax benefit under Section80D

What is Cancer Insurance?

Cancer Insurance
Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance is a kind of health insurance that has been created to ensure that all the risks linked with cancer are managed as best as they can be. Cancer insurance helps in reducing the costs incurred by individuals on cancer treatment, thereby ensuring that policyholders have the financial support when they most need it.

Cancer insurance has grown in popularity in recent years as it is known to lower stress on the finances of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Since cancer can strike anybody regardless of lifestyle and family history, it is advised that you purchase cancer insurance so that your finances are not totally depleted on the occurrence of cancer. A number of leading life insurance providers in India have started offering cancer insurance to protect their customers. In this article, we will look at the benefits of cancer insurance and everything else you need to know about the same.

Why should people buy Cancer Insurance?

While there are many benefits to purchasing cancer insurance, the scheme comes in handy in case you are diagnosed with cancer. Considering the increasing medical costs in this day and age, a cancer insurance will ensure that you receive the financial support to pay your bills and receive quality treatment to beat the condition. A cancer insurance policy provides cover for several different costs related to the diagnosis as well as treatment of cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, hospitalisation, radiation, etc.

Individuals who wish to purchase cancer insurance will have to ensure that they are not already suffering from cancer as cancer insurance policies do not cover already existing conditions. But purchasing a cancer insurance plan will ensure that there is no domino effect on the individual or his family and help them remain strong emotionally, physically and financially. It is essential to consider the purchase of cancer insurance if your family has a history of cancer, or if you do not have sufficient savings to meet medical expenses, or you are the sole earning member of the family, or if your basic health insurance policy does not offer comprehensive coverage for cancer, or if you have a fear of developing cancer owing to environmental or other reasons.

Types of Cancer Covered by Cancer Insurance Plans:

Following are the different kinds of cancer covered by cancer insurance plan:

  • Lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Hypolarynx cancer

Best Cancer Insurance Plans in India:

Following are some of the best cancer insurance plans you can avail in India:

Plan Name Entry Age Sum Assured Policy Term
ICICI Cancer Care Plus 20 years to 60 years Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.25 lakhs 10 years
HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.40 lakhs 10 years to 20 years
Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs Minimum of 5 years; maximum up to the policyholder turns 70 years of age.
PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.80 lakhs 10 years / 15 years / 20 years
Birla Sun Life Cancer Shield Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs 5 years to 20 years
  1. ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect Plan

  2. The Heart/Cancer Protect Plan from ICICI Prudential provides an insurance cover against cancer, heart diseases, or both by way of a joint cover. This policy offers a high sum assured at a low premium rate to the policy buyer.

    Key Features of ICICI Cancer Care Plus Plan

    • The policyholder can pay a nominal premium rate and avail the cover for a high sum assured.
    • The policy will provide a lump sum payout on the first diagnosis of the disease, regardless of how much one will actually spend on the treatment.
    • Policy buyers can either purchase an individual plan or a family floater plan. The insurer offers a discount to policy buyers who opt for family floater plans.
    • Post diagnosis of the disease, future premiums will be waived off and the policy will continue to remain in force.
    • The cover will automatically increase by 10% every policy year.
    • The policy provides an additional monthly benefit amounting to 1% of the sum assured for a period of five years, in case one is diagnosed with an illness.
    • No co-pay charges are applicable on this plan.
    • Policyholders can claim up to Rs.25,000 as tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for premiums paid towards this policy.
    Benefits of Cancer Insurance
    Benefits of Cancer Insurance
  3. HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan

  4. The Cancer Care Plan from HDFC Life Insurance offers policyholders a lump sum benefit upon diagnosis of cancer, regardless of the stage. The policy comes with three plan options – Silver, Gold, and Platinum, making it easy for a policy buyer to avail coverage as per his/her needs.

    Key Features of HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan

    • All three plan options offer slightly varying coverage.
    • Any policy buyer between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase this policy.
    • The maximum age at maturity under this plan is 75 years.
    • Policy buyers can opt for a policy tenure between 10 and 20 years.
    • Premiums can be paid on an annual, bi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.
    • The minimum sum assured for this plan is Rs.10 lakh, while the maximum sum assured is restricted to Rs.40 lakh.
    • One must survive for a period of 7 days after diagnosis of the disease in order to receive the benefit.
    • In case one is diagnosed with Early Stage Cancer, all future premiums will be waived off. The policy, however, will continue to remain in force and all policy benefits will be payable as per schedule.
    • Policyholders can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  5. Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan

  6. The iCancer from Aegon Life is a non-participating, non-linked, online insurance plan that was designed to provide policyholders financial support for treatment of cancer, by way of a stage-based benefit payment schedule.

    Key Features of Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan

    • The policy provides a cover against all types of cancer except skin cancer.
    • Premiums can be paid on a yearly basis or a monthly basis.
    • The policyholder can claim benefits for multiple unrelated cancers.
    • Insurer offers Waiver of Premium benefit, wherein if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer, all future premiums will be waived off.
    • Anybody between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase this plan.
    • The maturity age for this plan is 70 years.
    • Policy buyers can opt for any policy tenure between 5 years and 70 years.
    • The minimum and maximum sum assured under this plan are Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh, respectively.
    • The policy can be purchased online in a hassle-free manner with minimum documentation.
    • No death benefit, surrender benefit, or maturity benefit is payable under this plan.
    • Policy buyers can claim tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  7. PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan

  8. The Mera Heart and Cancer Plan from PNB MetLife is a non-participating, non-linked, health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage against heart diseases and all stages of cancer.

    Key Features of PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan

    • The policy buyer can choose to purchase the policy to provide a cover against cancer, heart diseases, or both diseases.
    • The plan guarantees lump sum payouts upon the diagnosis of a heart disease or cancer, irrespective of the stage of the illness.
    • The policy also comes with an in-built life cover and cover against terminal illness.
    • If the policyholder is diagnosed with mild or moderate cancer, premiums for the next 5 policy years will be waived off.
    • The minimum and maximum sum insured for the cancer cover are Rs.5 lakh and Rs.40 lakh, respectively.
    • Any individual between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase plan. The maximum maturity age under this plan is 75 years.
    • One can choose a policy tenure of 10 years, 15 years, or 20 years.
    • Premiums can be paid on a yearly, half-yearly, or monthly mode of payment.
    • Upon opting for the ‘Return of Balance Premium’ option, one will receive the total premiums paid during the policy tenure as the maturity benefit, at the completion of the policy tenure.
  9. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Cancer Shield Plan

  10. The Cancer Shield Plan from Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance is a non-participating, traditional health insurance that offers coverage against all stages of cancer.

    Key Features of Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Cancer Shield Plan

    • Policy buyers are provided the option to choose either an increasing cover or a level cover.
    • If the policyholder is diagnosed with Early Stage Cancer, premiums for the following 5 years will be waived off.
    • Prospective policy buyers have to be between the ages of 18 and 65 years in order to purchase the plan. The maturity age for this plan is 75 years.
    • The minimum policy tenure that a policy buyer can opt for is 5 years, while the maximum policy tenure that can be opted for is 20 years.
    • Premiums can be paid on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.
    • The minimum and maximum sum assured under this plan are Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh, respectively.
    • In addition to the policy benefits, one can avail tax rebates for premiums paid under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Features and Benefits of Cancer Insurance Plans:

Following are some of the features and benefits of cancer insurance plans:

  • Cancer insurance policies offer cover for multiple stages of cancer.
  • In case the life assured is diagnosed with cancer during the policy term, a lump sum amount will be paid out.
  • In case a life assured is diagnosed at an early stage, he/she can avail a waiver of premium under certain conditions.
  • In case the policyholder does not make any claims during the whole year, the sum assured will increase by a pre-determined percentage.
  • Policies that have been insured for more than a certain amount can avail premium discounts.
  • In case a policyholder is diagnosed with cancer in the later stages, he/she will receive monthly income for a certain time period subject to specific conditions.
  • Insurance cover will continue even after the first diagnosis.
  • Customers who purchase a cancer insurance plan can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Difference between Cancer Insurance and Critical Illness Rider Plans:

A comprehensive cancer insurance is completely different from a critical illness rider that can be added to a base plan to gain additional protection. While a critical illness rider will offer financial support in paying for expensive treatments for a variety of critical conditions such as stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, organ transplant, cardiac arrest, deafness, total blindness, etc. A number of life-threatening cancers are also covered by many critical illness riders. In most cases, the average critical illness rider will pay out a lump sum in case the life assured has been diagnosed with any of the critical conditions covered by the rider. The payouts offered by the rider can be used for co-pays, treatments, therapies and related medical expenses.

Critical illness riders are less expensive in comparison with comprehensive medical insurance policies as protection is offered only for a few critical conditions. Critical illness riders can be bought as individual plans or riders that can be attached to existing health or life insurance policies. One of the prominent drawbacks of critical illness riders, however, is that they usually cover cancer during the advanced stage in the sense that they cover cancer only in case a malignant tumour displays uncontrolled growth and invasion of regular tissues. Moreover, critical illness plans do not offer a waiver of future premiums whilst revoking all the other benefits you would otherwise receive from a comprehensive health insurance plan. In case any of the illnesses covered by the critical illness rider have been detected in the policyholder, the plan cover shall cease.

Cancer insurance plans, on the other hand, offer comprehensive coverage for each stage of cancer, thereby ensuring that the policyholder can continue to receive financial protection and save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on treatments and therapies.

Exclusions in a Cancer Insurance Plan:

Following are the exclusions in a cancer insurance plan:

  • All kinds of skin cancer.
  • Cancer as a result of any pre-existing or congenital condition; chemical, biological or nuclear contamination; radioactivity from any therapeutic or non-diagnostic source or contact with radiation.
  • Any type of cancer caused as a direct or indirect result of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS or HIV.
  • Leukemias.
  • Papillary micro-carcinoma of the thyroid.

How do I make a claim for Cancer Insurance?

While the claim settlement process varies from insurer to insurer, the general procedure that one will have to follow when it comes to making a claim is as follows:

  • Claim Intimation: Before you file your actual claim, you will first have to intimate the insurer of the upcoming claim. In order to intimate the insurer, you will have to reach out to the insurance firm on any one of their official customer care channels. You can find the insurer’s customer care channels on their official website or the policy brochure. Post intimating the insurer of the claim, you will also have to submit all supporting medical documents to the insurance firm. Insurance firms usually specify timelines within which time they will have to be informed of the upcoming claim.
  • Claim Processing: Once the insurer has received all your documents, an assessor will scrutinise the same and evaluate the validity of your claim and whether it falls within the purview of your insurance policy. At this time, if any more documents are required, the insurer will communicate the same to the policyholder by letter/email/SMS.
  • Claim Settlement: After evaluation of all the relevant supporting documents, the insurer will communicate their decision regarding the claim to the policyholder. The insurer can either approve the claim and settle the claim amount, ask for further documents, or reject the claim and communicate the reason to the concerned person. Most insurance firms generally settle the claim amounts via NEFT or ECS.

Things to consider before buying a Cancer Insurance Plan:

The main point to consider before purchasing a cancer insurance plan is the risk factor stemming from the health history of your family. In case your family has a history of caner, it makes sense to purchase cancer insurance. Given the increase in pollution and other environmental hazards, the number of individuals who are diagnosed with cancer is constantly on the rise. If you are concerned that you may also contract the condition, it is better to be safe by purchasing a cancer insurance plan.

Individuals who purchase a cancer insurance policy will have to be informed that having two policies will not offer double coverage. A cancer insurance plan in addition to a comprehensive health insurance plan will not mean double the benefits. Since most insurance plans have a clause for the coordination of benefits, once your expenses have been covered by one plan, the other plan will not cover the same.

Cancer Insurance FAQs:

  1. Can I make changes to the terms and conditions of the policy if the policy term has commenced?

    A. Changes in all terms and conditions will not be allowed once coverage starts, but customers have the freedom to increase the sum assured at any time.

  2. Will it be difficult to avail cancer insurance in case my family has a history with cancer?

    A. No. Proposal forms will be accepted from a customer even if he/she has a family history of cancer. However, such customers will have to furnish a detailed description of their cancer history.

  3. What are the eligibility criteria for availing a cancer insurance plan in India?

    A. Customers who wish to avail a cancer insurance plan will have to meet the age criteria which usually require them to be between 18 and 65 years of age. Customers will also have to make premium payments towards their plan and select a sum assured before availing the policy.

  4. What is the minimum and maximum sum assured for cancer insurance plans?

    A. While some companies allow customers to select a sum assured worth Rs.5 lakhs at least, the minimum sum assured for some companies is higher. In the same way, the maximum amount of cover you can avail from a cancer insurance plan will also change from company to company.

  5. How are the benefits paid out in case I am diagnosed with cancer?

    A. Different plans have different payout structures. While some plans will provide the customer with the entire sum assured upon diagnosis, some plans offer a certain percentage of the sum assured as a lump sum and continue to pay out the remainder over regular intervals of time.

  6. Do cancer-specific policies cover all stages of cancer or do they only provide a benefit in case of being diagnosed with major stage cancer?

    Most cancer care policies in the market cover major and minor stage cancer. Thus, no matter what stage of cancer the policyholder is diagnosed with, he/she will get the corresponding benefit.

  7. What other benefits are covered by cancer insurance policies?

    The benefits provided by various insurance policies will differ based on the policy’s coverage limits, inclusions, and exclusions. For more information on the same, make sure to go through the policy document or brochure.

  8. In case of the cancer patient’s death, will the insurer provide a payout to his/her nominee?

    Most cancer insurance plans do not provide a death benefit, thus no benefit will be paid to the nominee in case of the policyholder’s death. However, if the death benefit is part of the benefits offered under the policy, the nominee will be entitled to receive a payout in the event of the policyholder’s death.

  9. Do cancer care policies cover pre-existing illnesses?

    In most cases, pre-existing diseases are not covered by cancer insurance policies. You will find the whole list of exclusions in the policy brochure.

  10. Is there a waiting period under cancer insurance plans?

    Most cancer insurance policies that are offered come with a 180-day waiting period. Thus, if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer during the waiting period, no benefit will be paid.

  11. What is meant by ‘Survival Period’?

    To be eligible to receive the payout offered by the insurer, the policyholder has to survive for at least a period of 7 days, post diagnosis of the disease. This 7-day period is known as the survival period.

  12. Do cancer policies provide tax exemptions?

    Yes, you can claim tax benefits for premiums paid under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

  13. I already have a health insurance cover, do I still need to purchase a Cancer-specific insurance policy?

    A health insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage against a range of illnesses and diseases. And while health insurance plans do cover critical illnesses, they usually only cover inpatient hospitalisation, and not the entire treatment costs. Thus, it is advisable to purchase a cancer-specific policy, even if you already have a health cover.

  14. Will premium rates remain constant for the duration of the policy tenure?

    Your premium rates will remain constant for the duration of the policy tenure. At the time of renewing the policy, the insurer may increase your premium based on your current age, lifestyle, sum insured, etc.

  15. Do cancer care policies have a free-look period?

    Yes, cancer insurance plans come with a free-look period. The free-look period is usually either 15 days or 30 days.

  16. Can cigarette smokers apply for cancer insurance plans?

    Yes, you can apply for a cancer insurance plan even if you are a smoker. However, you will have to declare this fact at the time of purchasing the policy. Failure to do so could lead to your claim getting rejected.

  17. Will a policy buyer have to undergo a pre-policy medical screening before purchasing this plan?

    Policy buyers might have to undergo a pre-policy medical test on the basis of their age, sum insured, lifestyle, and other factors.

  18. Will I get a surrender benefit if I surrender this policy before the maturity date?

    Most cancer insurance policies do not have a cash value attached to them. Thus, you will not be paid a surrender benefit even if you surrender your policy.

  19. What documents should a policyholder submit at the time of submitting the claim?

    At the time of making a claim, the policyholder will have to submit the filled and signed claim form, supporting medical documents, bills, and any other reports that are requested by the company.

  20. Are cancer care policies yearly renewable or can they be purchased for longer tenures?

    Insurance providers offer cancer insurance plans with policy tenures between 5 and 40 years. Thus, when you purchase a policy, you can opt for a policy tenure that is best suited to your needs.

News About Cancer Insurance

  • Insurance providers need to ensure that prospective customers meet policy parameters, says Consumer Forum

    The Consumer Forum recently ruled that insurance providers selling insurance policies need to ensure that buyers undergo a medical examination before letting them purchase the policy, in an effort to reduce instances of claims being rejected as a result of concealment or non-disclosure of vital health-related data on the policy buyer’s part. Thus, the Consumer Forum has now said that insurance providers have to make sure that all policy buyers meet the eligibility criteria and parameters that are specified under the policy, including the screening of previous medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc.

    15 January 2018

  • Cytecare looks to raise $75 million to expand Cancer Care hospital chain

    Cytecare, which currently runs a Cancer Care centre/hospital in Bangalore, is looking to raise a sum of $75 million in an effort to expand their chain of cancer care hospitals. Cytecare had previously raised $30 million from high net worth individuals to build their Bangalore hospital. It was also reported that their Bangalore-based hospital, which launched just a year ago, will break even in the near future. Cytecare is trying to identify a location within the country to launch their second hospital, at present.

    29 November 2017

  • LIC launches Cancer Care Insurance Plan

    Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will be launching a cancer care policy as part of their health insurance offering. The sum assured for the said policy will range between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh. The cancer care policy is a non-linked insurance plan and the premiums are payable on an annual or bi-annual basis. Any individual between the ages of 20 and 65 years can purchase this policy, which is also available digitally on the insurer’s website.

    Upon the diagnosis of early-stage cancer, the insurer will pay the policyholder 25% of the payable benefit and future premiums will be waived for the next three years. If the policyholder is diagnosed with major-stage cancer, the insurer will pay 100% of the sum assured. In addition, an income benefit which will amount to 1% of the overall sum assured will be paid every month for the coming 10 years, regardless of whether the policyholder survives this period or not. Future premiums will also be waived off.

    15 November 2017

  • Star Health Insurance launches Insurance Plan for Cancer Patients

    Star Health Insurance and Allied Insurance have launched an insurance plan especially catered for individuals diagnosed with Cancer – the Star Cancer Care Gold. The insurance plan has a sum insured up to Rs.5 lakh, and can be purchased for anyone between the ages of 5 months and 65 years, provided they have been diagnosed with either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the disease. The policy can be purchased by individuals without undergoing a pre-policy medical screening.

    The policy also covers the risk of disease recurrence, spread of the disease, and a second diagnosis of cancer. Hospitalisation expenditures, surgical/non-surgical treatment, and interventional treatment for non-cancer related diseases and ailments are also covered under this policy. Just like a regular health insurance policy, this plan also provides members an accident cover. The insurer also has a pan-India network for easy accessibility.

    25 October 2017