Cancer Insurance: Everything You Need to Know About It

With changing lifestyle and consumption pattern, human beings are now more exposed to health risks and critical illnesses. Significant rise in the contraction of deadly diseases like cancer is one such example.

Cancer, given its unpredictable nature, less chance of early detection and low survival rate makes it one of the most deadly disease. Besides mental trauma, it also punches a big hole in your finances which can derail all your goals, if not protected.

And, normal health insurance plan fails to provide the full coverage and payout benefits, in case of, diagnosis of cancer. For the reason, insurance companies introduced the special health insurance plan for cancer, to take care of every small and big need for the successful treatment of cancer.

In this blog post, we will discuss in details, what cancer insurance offers, how to choose one, who should buy it and how it is different from traditional health insurance plans.

Cancer Insurance

Cancer typically has four stages, Carcinoma In Situ (CIS), Early Stage, Major Stage and Critical Stage. For payout term, insurers treat, the first two-stage in the same way and the last two-stage in the same way, to offer maximum benefit.

In order to qualify for Cancer Insurance, the insured cannot have pre-existing cancer condition or has been previously treated for cancer and has to complete the mandatory waiting period. The policy is only limited to the covering of expenses for the treatment and no benefits such as death, maturity or surrender benefits are provided.

What Cancer Insurance Term Covers?

A typical cancer insurance policy covers various costs from its diagnosis to treatment, which includes, hospitalization, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, cost of medicines and assured income for a fixed term (on paying a higher premium).

How Cancer Insurance Benefits are Provided?

The payout structure of Cancer Insurance is completely different from traditional health insurance plans, as the money is paid at various stages of treatment, or lumpsum, in case of advanced stages.

Typically, in case of early detection, 25% of the sum insured is paid initially, and thereupon as required for treatment. And, in case of diagnosis of a major stage, 100% is paid to the insured. If cancer advances to a major stage, after initial detection of early stage, the insured will be entitled to full sum assured minus the sum paid on the early stage of detection.

And, in some policy, a lump sum amount is also paid to the family to compensate for the income loss during the course of treatment, subject to the policy terms.

Who Should Buy It?

Ideally, every individual should opt for cancer insurance, because of high exposure to health risk and harsh environmental conditions.

But, those with a family history of cancer have a higher chance of contracting the disease and should take the cover.

Those, who are living or working in a hazardous environment, or where you believe the risk of contracting cancer is higher, then you should go cancer insurance plan.

What Factors Should be Looked Upon Before Choosing a Cancer Insurance?

  • Every insurance policy has certain terms and conditions, which you should go through carefully before signing or purchasing it.
  • Check the minimum and maximum entry age and maximum policy term. Generally, the tenure of every cancer insurance plan ranges from 10-20 years.
  • Carefully read through the details of the insurance scheme, what benefits it offers including the payout at different stages.
  • Compare the benefits offered at each stage and total benefit offered under the plan.
  • Does the plan offer a fixed sum insured throughout the period of insurance or the sum insured increases to a certain limit after every unclaimed year.
  • Does the plan offer waiver from payment of premium after the diagnosis of cancer.
  • Check the initial waiting period and survival period. Waiting period means, after how many days you can make a valid claim after the commencement of the policy and in that period, you should not have any cancer-related condition. And, the survival period means, you should survive the mentioned number of days in the policy, after diagnosis of cancer.

Benefits of Cancer Insurance

One of the major benefits of this insurance is, the plan is designed exclusively to meet the special needs of cancer treatment, which traditional health insurance lack and fail to cover.

Following are the other major benefits:

  • Offers a flexible and easy claim settlement process
  • Higher coverage and cheap premiums
  • Premium waiver, even in case of detection of cancer in early stages
  • Fixed monthly income guarantee to the family, if the insured is diagnosed with critical or major stage cancer
  • The policy coverage does not cease, even after the first diagnosis of cancer

Different Cancer Insurance Plans

Scheme NameMin & Max Sum InsuredMin & Max Entry AgeMin & Max Policy TermPremium Payment Frequency
HDFC Life Cancer CareRs 10 Lakh & Rs 50 Lakh5 yrs & 65 yrs10 yrs to 85 yrsAnnual, Semi-Annual, Quarterly and Monthly
Max Life Insurance PlanRs 10 Lakh & Rs 50 Lakh25 yrs & 65 yrs10 yrs to 40 yrsAnnual, Semi-Annual, Quarterly and Monthly
Aegon iLife Cancer PlanRs 10 Lakh & Rs 50 Lakh18 yrs & 65 yrs5 yrs - 70 yrs minus entry ageAnnual or Monthly
PNB Metlife Cancer PlanRs 5 Lakh & Rs 40 Lakh18 yrs & 65 yrs18 yrs & 65 yrsAnnual, Semi-Annual, Quarterly and Monthly


Cancer is one of the worst kind of health disease, which exhausts can you emotionally, physically and financially. Further, it also brings a painful time to your near and dear ones.

Cancer Insurance helps you to tide over the situation financially, which can help you to remain emotionally and physically strong to fight the disease in the best possible way. Its extensive coverage helps you to undertake the best treatment, without the worry of cost and compromising on your future goals.