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Which Makes More Sense - Critical Illness Rider or Standalone Policy?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you get caught up with a critical illness that renders you jobless and impacts family income? Well, critical illness cover comes to your aid if such a situation arises in future.

People who survive life-threatening ailments face financial hardship due to exorbitant medical costs and loss of income, thus critical illness cover acts as a hedge against monetary crunch. It gives a tax-free lump sum if the insured is diagnosed with critical ailments, like kidney failure, heart attack, paralysis, etc.  

However, to make a claim, the policyholder must survive at least 30 days (varies with the company to company) after diagnosis.

Critical Illness Rider Vs Standalone Policy

Critical illness cover is usually available in two variants- standalone critical illness plan and critical illness rider. Although both offer coverage against critical ailments there are some factors that differentiate these covers from each other.

You may also like to Read: Income Tax Benefits under Section 80C

Let’s know how critical illness rider is different from standalone policy-


Critical Illness Rider With Term Plan

Standalone Critical Illness Health Policy


Rider sum assured is linked with base policy sum assured

It offers high flexibility in respect of sum insured


No need to renew separately as it can be renewed along with term plan

It must be renewed annually or 5 years as per the policy you opt for


Premium remains the same for the entire duration of the base policy and therefore tends to be cheaper

Premium changes with age and health condition of the insured in case you bought it from a general insurer. In life, the same premium rate and conditions continue.

Ailments covered

8-10 ailments are covered, may vary with the insurer

It covers more than 20 ailments

Medical test

No medical test is required if it is bought from the same term insurance provider. It can be issued within the medical underwriting of term insurance

A medical test is required

Are you still trying to find out which one to opt for- a critical illness rider or standalone policy? The answer depends on your health background and specific needs. 

You may also like to Read: Deduction under Section 80D for AY 2016-17