Immensely difficult and expensive to cure, cancer is a nightmare for any individual. The treatment incurred when one is affected with cancer can be harrowing – not just emotionally but also financially. And the worst part is, it is such a common disease that you may never know when it will hit you or your family and deplete your hard-earned savings. To ensure that you are ready mentally and financially if and when such a situation comes up, you should opt for a cancer insurance plan that will offer you comprehensive cancer coverage.Wondering what exactly does cancer insurance cover and whether it would be wise to opt for it? Read on to discover answers to these questions and more in this article.

#1 – What is cancer insurance? 

Cancer insurance is an insurance plan that provides financial coverage in the event of the policyholder getting diagnosed with cancer. As mentioned before, cancer treatment can get quite expensive sometimes going up to more than 10 lakhs depending on the stage of cancer diagnosed. A normal health insurance policy may not provide such huge coverage and may also not be equipped to handle the frequent hospitalization and other treatment procedures. This is why some insurance companies provide a special cancer insurance policy.

#2 – What kind of coverage is offered under a cancer insurance policy?

Cancer insurance plans are benefit-based, that is, the policy offers you a lump-sum benefit on the diagnosis of cancer. You may use this lump-sum payment for whatever purposes you wish to. Cancer treatment is usually a long-term process and often leads to many frequent expenses other than hospitalization. You may also prefer getting treated abroad in which case the expenses will go even higher. So, a lump-sum benefit can be of immense help.

Do bear in mind that the lump-sum pay-out will be dependent on the stage of cancer diagnosed.

#3 – Does cancer insurance offer any other benefits that differentiate it from a critical illness benefit policy? 

Yes. Cancer insurance policyholders whose claims of early or major stage cancer have been approved can avail of the benefit of having their premium waived off for the next three to five years of the policy. As cancer treatment can have a major impact on the household income, insurers also provide income benefit wherein the policyholder will receive lump-sum pay-outs on a regular basis (up to a specified period) which can act as income replacement. In case the policyholder passes away, the nominee is eligible for income pay-outs on a monthly basis.

You may also be given a certain percentage of increase in your sum insured if you have not made any claims during the policy period.

#4- What types and stages of cancers are covered under cancer insurance? 

Generally, the following types of cancers are covered-

– Lung cancer

– Prostate cancer

– Stomach cancer

– Breast cancer

– Ovarian cancer

Though the cancer insurance coverage differ from insurer to insurer, usually skin cancer and cancers caused due to sexually transmitted diseases are excluded.

There are majorly four stages of cancers viz. Carcinoma in Situ (CIS) or stage 0, early-stage/stage 1, major-stage/ stage 3, and critical stage/stage 4. If the policyholder is in CIS or early stage, then they are eligible to receive 10-20% of the sum insured as specified by the policy. If the cancer is diagnosed at the major or critical stage, then the policyholder is eligible to receive the full cover amount.

#5 – I do not smoke or indulge in unhealthy activities. Should I still take cancer insurance?

The truth is that even those who do not indulge in smoking or unhealthy activities may still be prone to cancer due to a variety of reasons. Genetic factors and environmental factorsmay pull you towards being at risk of developing cancer. Being financially prepared for the worst in the future makes the present much better.

Kindly remember that policy wordings and features may differ from insurer to insurer. Read the policy documents carefully before going ahead.