Healthcare costs are increasing as rapidly as the rise in cases of critical illnesses in Singapore. With this, no one wants to be diagnosed with an extensive health emergency that could drain your finances. But if it does happen, it is best to be financially prepared by having essential hospitalization insurance.
Yet, insurance doesn’t come cheap. And while you may think that you don’t need to get insurance while young and healthy, it is precisely the opposite. Everyone should take this type of insurance early. So, read on and learn why critical illness insurance is something you and your family should consider soon.
After all, the decision to get insurance even before the needs arise will save both your health and savings.
Critical Illness Insurance (Singapore) – Everything You Need Know
Critical illness insurance is hospitalization insurance that protects against severe diseases such as stroke, heart attack, cancer, and many others. Often, these illnesses incur high medical costs and may significantly impact one’s savings.
While medical breakthroughs make a recovery from a serious illness possible, medical costs keep soaring. And, critical illness insurance is the most logical answer to cover these expenses.
Still, one survey says that only 15% of Singaporeans have sufficient critical illness insurance. This essential gap roots from the false sense of security that their current life insurance policy protects them.
The truth is, many still lack an accurate view of coverage to sustain the illness through the recovery period. It is further discounting the fact that it is also during this time that critical illness insurance will be most beneficial.
What Are The Illnesses That Are Considered Critical?
Critical illnesses are life-altering medical emergencies. Among some common critical illnesses is
- Major Cancer
- Heart Attack
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- End-stage Kidney Failure
- End-stage Liver Failure
- Heart Valve Surgery
Note: Health insurance providers may have a different setlist, and the list usually varies according to a specific plan. Some of them may even cover only a few. Singapore’s Life Insurance Association (LIA) maintains 37 of these as part of the Critical Awareness Framework.
To check whether your insurer has comprehensive coverage, you may want to check with this list. (Click this link to see the complete list.)
How Does Critical Illness Insurance Work?
Critical illness insurance is a must-have type of policy when you work and live in Singapore. This type of policy pays a tax-free lump sum payout if diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. This one-time payment should be enough to pay for medical fees and other expenses to make up for lost income while you recover.
Who Should Get Critical Illness Protection
You may think that health insurance works the same as critical illness insurance. Instead, they work pretty differently. For one, with health insurance, you may need to shoulder a portion of your medical bill. While, for critical illness insurance, you have the power to use the lump-sum payout to cover out-of-pocket costs.
Generally, a critical illness policy is best suited for:
1. Parents, Breadwinners, or Key Income Contributors
Everyone who has a dependent should consider getting life insurance. As you love your family, you surely don’t want them to suffer the burden of looking for money to cover your medical expenses.
2. Those with not enough savings
Having critical illness coverage will minimize putting your savings at risk, losing your properties, and even against bankruptcy.
3. Employed individuals with no sick benefit packages
Even if you are employed, your employer may not provide sickness benefits. Often, it may not be enough to replace your income when you are no longer working.
4. Those who can afford to have one
By getting a critical illness policy while you can afford it, you will protect and grow your savings.
Choosing The Best Critical Illness Insurance
Getting diagnosed with a critical disease can be backbreaking for any family. Thus, you should ensure that these unplanned events won’t break your finances and future goals.
Insurance providers often combine critical illness coverages with their term life insurance policies. With this, the critical illness rider acts as income replacement and provides you coverage for medical expenses as well as day-to-day expenses. But for this purpose, we will focus only on stand-alone CI covers.
It is crucial to choose excellent coverage. While shopping for an outstanding critical illness policy can be confusing, we are here to shed light on this matter. Here are essential factors that you may need to consider:
1. Budget Considerations
No one would probably want to deplete their savings to cover hospital bills. With this, you may want to know more details on the policy you are eyeing. Important information to consider are:
- How much is the monthly, quarterly, or yearly premium? Some providers may even give discounts for those who pay premiums for the whole year.
- Will you be able to sustain the premium payments over a long-term period? Remember that buying life insurance or any other type is a long-term commitment.
Age is a crucial factor when getting any type of insurance. Most critical illness insurance providers would only accept and approve health plans for people age 59 and below. Individuals aged 60 and above are more prone to incurring critical illnesses.
3. Lifestyle Habits and Family History
A healthy lifestyle minimizes the risks of suffering from critical illness. Yet, most of the diseases on the list can be inherited from family. Cancer, heart attack, diabetes, or stroke are among the common ones. Thus, it is best to check your family’s medical history to know if your chances of getting it are high.
4. Critical Illness Insurance Benefits
Before you buy critical illness insurance, check that it includes the medical conditions you are likely to get. You may also want to check if there are any limits on expenses. As a rule of thumb, a good critical illness insurance plan can cover a year’s worth of income. Also, to maximize protection benefits, look for one that can offer you more than one payout.
Compared to riders, stand-alone critical illness cover gives more extensive protection. It also gives you better freedom in deciding the sum insured. Also, the cheapest options may not offer you the coverage suited for you. So, weigh all your options and assess your requirements.
Some critical illness plans may cover dependent parents and other family members. If you need to file a claim for one member, ensure that the claim will not impact the cover of other members insured.
5. Special Features
Some notable features that your critical illness coverage may come with are:
- Coverage for family members
- Return of premium on maturity
- Waiver of premium on partial or permanent disability
6. Current Life Insurance Policy
Having life insurance makes you an ideal candidate for getting a critical illness plan. By now, you may already have enough budget to pay for the premiums of critical insurance coverage.
Life insurance payouts will only be available to your family upon your death. On the other hand, critical illness insurance payouts will be immediately helpful upon diagnosis of a critical illness.
7. Stand-Alone Vs. Critical Illness Rider
Stand-alone plans could offer either single pay, or multi-pay benefits. Yet, multi-pay plans have become the most sought-after feature of critical illness coverage. For a better understanding, you may contact your life insurance provider to check if your life insurance plan includes a rider for critical illness.
Ensure that your insurance advisor explains the terms and conditions of your policy, as some may either continue or terminate the lump-sum payment.
Top Critical Illness Insurance Plans in Singapore
If you want a quick look at the top 3 critical illness coverage in Singapore, check the table for a detailed comparison.
|AXA Super CritiCare||Aviva My MultiPay CI Plan IV||Tokio Marine MultiCare|
|Maximum Payout (%)||Up to 600%||Up to 900%||Up to 900%|
|Max Sum Assured||S$250,000||S$1,000,000||S$350,000|
|No. of Critical Illness Covered||111||132||109|
|No. of Special Conditions Covered||11||16||10|
|Policy Term||Two Options
||Ages 10 to 99 years old||To-Age – 70, 75, or 85 only|
Critical Illness Insurance could be the most challenging type to understand among other different types. This complexity is because of the stages and terms and conditions that could affect a CI claim. So, we’ve listed and analyzed the best critical illness plans in Singapore that could best fit your needs.
1. AXA Super CritiCare – Most Affordable Multi Payout Critical Illness Insurance
AXA Super CritiCare was launched in late 2019 and is currently one of the top and most affordable critical illness coverage that allows multiple claims across stages. It offers the lowest premiums, and you can get protection for you and your loved ones for as low as S$3 per day.
Singaporeans live longer, and AXA understands that this leads to a higher risk of contracting multiple critical conditions. Now, let’s look at how their plans work:
- Life Insured: This can either be you or a loved one aged one month to 70 years old.
- Sum assured: AXA offers coverage from a minimum of S$50K up to a maximum of S$1M.
- Policy and Premium Term. Currently, there are two types of options to this:
- To-Age Term
You can choose your plan to cover you up until 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, or 75
- Renewable Term
For this option, your insurer will renew your policy at regular intervals of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30. They will base this interval on your selected term.
Note: A to-age term can cover you to a maximum age of 75, while the renewable term can cover you up to age 99.
As mentioned earlier, AXA Super CritiCare is a multiple payout CI plan. This plan allows you to make more than one claim up to 6 different times. Plus, you will get a maximum of 100% of your sum assured for each claim, regardless of the CI stage. To understand better, check out the table below.
|CI Stage||Maximum Claim|
AXA Super CritiCare’s critical illness insurance cover will protect you and your loved ones from the critical stage, early critical, and even for terminal illnesses.
Note, however, that there will be a 12-months wait period in between claims for different CI conditions. While for a re-diagnosed and recurrent critical illness, there will be a 24-months waiting time.
Critical Illnesses Covered
AXA Super CritiCare covers up to 111 critical conditions. Plus, it also allows up to eleven special and ten juvenile conditions.
Super CritiCare is the only plan that covers re-diagnosed cancer and recurrent heart attack and strokes at any stage. Further, you will receive a 100% sum assured against these conditions.
Additionally, AXA Super CritiCare also has a dedicated program for Diabetes Management.
In case of death of the insured, beneficiaries will receive a S$10K payout.
You may also get premium waiver riders depending on your needs. As an example, if you purchase the Payer PremiumEraser, future premiums are waived in the event of CI diagnosis or death.
This add-on rider will ensure that your family remains protected just in case anything happens to you. However, it will automatically expire upon age 65.
Summary of AXA Super CritiCare features:
|Comprehensive multiple claims structure||Long wait-period for subsequent multiple payouts for different CIs and rediagnosed and recurring conditions|
|High payout limit of $350K for early-critical stage||Covers only specific organs for carcinoma in situ (Stage 0)|
|The premium waiver can cover you for the entire rider policy term.||–|
|Maximum sum assured up to S$1M.||–|
2. Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness (CI) Plan IV – Best Early Stage Multi Payout Critical Illness Plan
Aviva is another well-known insurance brand in Singapore, and it offers yet another critical illness protection plan. The Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness Plan IV was launched last August 2020 and aimed to cover more than its predecessor (Plan III). This plan is Aviva’s answer to updates in the LIA CA framework.
The Aviva My MultiPay CI Plan IV is an early critical illness coverage that can pay a lump sum of up to 900% of the basic sum assured. Let’s take a closer look at Aviva My MultiPay CI Plan IV’s main benefits and plan details.
- Can cover for ages 10 to 99 years old
- Sum assured: Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness Plan IV offers coverage of up to a maximum of S$250K.
Under Aviva’s Critical Illness benefit, there will be no waiting period from the early, or intermediate stages claim to an advanced stage claim. However, there is a one-year waiting time between two early-stage and intermediate-stage claims.
The same rule applies between two advanced stage claims and between an advanced stage to an early-stage illness claim or intermediate stage claim.
To understand better, check out the table below.
|CI Stage Benefit Claim||Waiting Period|
- Advanced Care – An additional 100% of the sum assured when a claim is made for one eligible advanced-stage CI.
- Intensive Care – Allows an extra 25% per life insured for an ICU stay of four or more days in one hospital admission. This benefit could amount to up to S$25K.
- Benign and Borderline Malignant Tumour Benefit – You will receive an additional 20% of the life assured for a suspected malignancy with complete surgical excision. This amount is capped at S$25K.
- Special Benefit – An additional 20% of the sum assured upon diagnosis of any of the 27 conditions included
Guaranteed payment of $5K to beneficiaries upon the death of insured.
Critical Illnesses Covered
You may claim up to 600% of the sum assured. This benefit covers 72 early and intermediate CIs and 60 severe CIs. While for recurrent critical illness, the amount payable is up to 150% of the assured sum, and you can claim this twice.
The insurer will also wave future premiums when 300% of the sum assured is paid under the Critical Illness benefit.
|Critical Illness Benefit||Maximum Total Payout (per claim)|
|Early or Intermediate||100% of sum assured|
|Advanced Stage||300% of sum assured less claims paid for
(either early or intermediate)
|Recurrent Critical Illness||300% of sum assured (150% per claim up to 2 times)|
There are no optional riders offered for this plan. However, the Aviva My MultiPay CI Plan IV can be a rider or additional benefit option if you purchase Aviva’s Main Term Plan.
Summary of Aviva My MultiPay Critical Illness Plan IV features:
|Its multiple payout structure of claiming up to 900% sum assured||Maximum sum assured is capped at S$250K only|
|More conditions covered (up to 132)||The death benefit is also lower at $5K only|
|No wait-period between early to advance stage CIs to claim 300% for both the same and different CIs||One year wait-period to claim after the first early or intermediate CI claim|
|Premium Waiver benefit allows all future premiums waived upon diagnosis of advanced stage CI.||The plan may be too complicated for beginners.|
3. Tokio Marine MultiCare – Best Valued Critical Illness Insurance Plan in the Market
Tokio Marine may not be Singapore’s top insurer. Yet, their MultiCare plan is one comprehensive stand-alone critical illness coverage worth reviewing.
Like Aviva MultiPay CI Plan IV, the maximum lump-sum payout is 900% of the sum assured.
Let’s dive deeper into the TM MultiCare’s plan details:
- Policy Term: To-Age – 70, 75, or 85 only
- Sum assured: Tokio Marine MultiCare offers coverage of up to a maximum of S$350K.
It is designed to cover early-stage critical illness and up to 109 CIs. It also has the highest capped payout for early-staged CIs.
|CI Stage||Maximum Claim|
|Advanced||300% of sum assured (which one can claim up to 2 times)|
- Special and Juvenile Conditions – Receive 20% of the sum assured, capped at S$25K, and make multiple claims under both benefits up to 5 times.
Critical Illnesses Covered
The policy groups conditions into three main groups and three layers of claim structure. The illnesses are grouped as follows:
- Group 1 – Major cancers and illnesses related to major organs
- Group 2 – Heart-related illnesses
- Group 3 – Systemic conditions and diseases associated with the nervous system
Beneficiaries are guaranteed a payment of $20K upon the insured’s death.
You may purchase additional riders that give plan holders a choice to enhance your critical illness policy. These include:
- Payer Benefit
- Enhanced Payer Benefit
- Spouse Benefit
- Enhanced Spouse Benefit
Summary of Tokio Marine MultiCare features:
|High sum assured payout of up to S$350K||Highest priced premiums among other multi-pay CI plans|
|300% lump sum of the basic sum assured for advanced-stage diagnosis.||You can only claim once per group.|
In terms of better critical illness protection, our top pick is AXA Super CritiCare. As mentioned, it is the only plan that covers re-diagnosed cancer and recurrent heart attack and stroke for all stages. Plus, it has a tailored program for managing diabetes. Price-wise, it also offers the best money for money, with the lowest premium of S$1,165.
Different life insurance plans, as well as critical illness plans, come with various features. For helpful financial tips and a better view of CI plans, it is best to approach a licensed advisor to help you make objective comparisons. A trusted financial expert will advise accordingly, based on your financial profile and protection needs.
- In terms of critical illness, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Financial assessment plays an important part in getting life insurance and critical illness coverages.
- Ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the critical illness plans you are signing up for.
Should you decide to buy critical illness insurance soon, Instant Loan can help you materialize that plan. Instant loan provides the best service in finding the best licensed financial institutions in Singapore and loan offers for you. Contact them now and get a free loan quote today!