When it rains, it often pours. In today’s scenario, people are often hard pressed when they or their family members suddenly fall ill. However illness is just the tip of the iceberg for the unlucky few but who knows when they fall into that small subset of unlucky ones. For example, the managing director of SAP India, died of heart attack at a very early age. He was at the helm of the Indian operations of the top enterprise software maker since 2007. One never knows, when one may encounter a critical health challenge in life, and so it is important to be ready for these situations.

Sometimes, when one is suddenly diagnosed with a terminal disease, or may undergo an accident. We never really know when such an event may hit us right? For such times, we have life insurance policies which are rolled out by leading insurance providers. But not always such plans have the flexibility for providing additional support for the expenses being incurred when one falls into the uncovered zone. This is why, insurance companies need to think of policies which have the flexibility to provide support to the people who needs it most and when they really need it, like in the “unlikely” case of a Critical Illness. Not always we are really geared up to be ready, emotionally and financially, when we fall in the “unlucky group” who face critical illness in the family. Emotionally, we can’t really do too much when the situation hits us in the face. But financially we can plan for such events, so that we can care for our family members.

So, the next question that crops for us is what exactly is a Critical Illness? All sorts of Cancer, heart attacks, open heart surgeries, angioplasty, kidney failures, chronic lung diseases, major organ transplantation, brain tumors, paralysis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc all count as Critical Illness. The statistics are even more disturbing. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 adults suffer from some sort of cardiovascular disease. Men have a fifty percent lifetime risk of developing some form of cancer. For women, the risk is around thirty three percent. Fifty percent of men and sixty-four percent of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms of this disease.

However one should not lose all hope. In fact, the good news is survival rates are also increasing due to developments in medical treatment. More than seventy percent of the people who have a heart attack or stroke survive at least three years after medical treatment. The chances of surviving cancer has improved by over thirty percent with the advances in medical sciences. When a family member gets any one of these, it is not only the health concern that is worrisome, but also how does one arrange for the funds for the intermediary treatment? Medical treatment in today’s scenario does burn a hole in every man’s pocket, and still one could not bear with the thought of not being able to provide the best for their near and dear ones.

This is where insurance plans with double benefits really comes into the picture and saves the day. Such plans could have multiple options like death benefit and waiver of premium on sudden disability. Or there could be a flexible choice of life cover option benefits with accidental death benefits. Further, there could be the option to choose life cover options with critical illness benefits, in case someone in the family is diagnosed with critical illness, as discussed earlier. Again, all these could be a mix and match, based on the requirements of an individual and his family. After all, every family has its own requirements and not the same shoe can fit all the feet.

So what is the solution? For addressing such situations, solutions like ICICI Prudential Life was developed to provide the flexibility and benefits for the common man, to be the supporting shoulder and the umbrella when it pours. With such insurance plans, you can now get life insurance with critical illness; a 2-in-1 benefit instead of purely opting for health insurance or life insurance and thus paying out for both. While we cannot really predict when someone near and dear may be affected medically, we can certainly plan to give them a better medical treatment. Indeed, this is something every family needs to think in the days of spiraling cost of living and spiraling medical expenses.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.