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How Important is Critical Illness Insurance for the Self Employed?

We live in this era of aggressive competition where we don't get personal time due to hectic work schedules, business trips, and many another day to day tasks. It is quite challenging to stay wholly prepared for a metal, physical or mental emergency. And if this emergency is health related, apart from huge medical bills, the pressure of paying ongoing loan EMIs within set deadlines can be undreamt of.

A critical illness policy keeps you financially protected against ever-increasing medical expenses and lifestyle-related illness. This insurance policy is essential for self-employed individuals as their line of business is unpredictable. In case their business incurs losses, and they fall ill at the same time, it would be truly tough for them to manage their day to day expenses while maintaining their business and paying medical bills. The situation could get more terrible if the patient is the only breadwinner of the family. Despite having a fair understanding and inkling of such circumstances, we hardly plan for such emergencies.

Self-employed individuals should have a comprehensive health insurance policy with a critical illness rider, or they should instead go for a standalone critical illness insurance policy in itself.  A critical illness cover ensures that you don't have to worry about the life-threatening illness and its treatment and the lump sum payout of the policy covers it all.

The lump sum payout of the critical illness cover provides for more than just medical expenses that a regular health insurance plan might not cover. You can even use the amount for other expenses like travelling, accommodation, paying monthly bills, and much more. For example, if you are travelling to another city for the treatment, then the payout amount of the policy may help you lead a regular life concerning monthly expenses till you resume your job.  

Most of us would have heard of relatives, friends or family of how they ended up paying a fortune in the treatment of a family member suffering from a critical illness. We take our health lightly and fail to plan for ourselves.

So, how does one pick the right insurance policy that matches their budget, pays adequately for medical treatment and safeguards a self-employed individual against a financial crisis- Opting for a policy that ticks all the boxes is quite tricky, but a thorough understanding of the plan available in the market can make your selection process reasonably simple.  Here are a few tips that will help you buy the perfect critical illness insurance cover plan:

1. The Cover

Your policy should fit into your budget while providing you with the needed coverage. You should compare the prices of the policies available in the market and choose the plan that offers both the mentioned benefits. Before you decide the coverage of the policy, you should also consider the age factor.

2. Type of Policy

There are two types of critical illness insurance plan – one is a standalone policy, and the one is a rider which can be clubbed with other policies. An independent policy is better than a rider and has more extensive flexibility and larger covers compared to the riders.

3. Diseases covered

Before buying the critical illness policy, you must know what all diseases are covered under the policy. Most of the insurers cover as many as 20 critical illnesses under the same policy.

4. Ample sum insured

The treatment of critical illness is expensive. Hence, you should think twice before finalizing the sum assured.