Critical Illness (CI) definitions will tighten soon

CI definitions will be tightened from 26 August 2020 to reduce ambiguity in the policy wordings.

There will be stricter exclusions for coma, heart attack, stroke and major cancers.

For example, the header for stroke has been changed to Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit; the header for kidney failure has been changed to include the words end stage; and the header for loss of hearing and loss of speech have been changed to include irreversible.

Remember, over 90 per cent of all severe stage claims received by life insurers in Singapore are for the following five critical illnesses:

  • major cancer
  • heart attack of specified severity
  • stroke with permanent neurological deficit
  • coronary artery bypass surgery
  • end-stage kidney failure

Existing CI policies are not impacted by the new definitions.

If you need a CI and ECI cover – especially for protection till 65/70 as it provides income replacement while you still have expenses like mortgages – then you can consider Aviva’s Multipay or Tokio Marine’s Multicare which allow for multiple claims (ECI+CI) across early, intermediate and late stage critical illnesses.

Prices of such multipay policies will be quite expensive though, and you can also consider policies with an acclerated one-time lump-sum payout on diagnosis.

They are usually cheaper and will immediately pay out your coverage, but it will terminate the policy so you can’t claim it again.

Firepathlion analyzed his rationale on purchasing his ECI insurance and concluded that being diagnosed with ECI before 60 years old would make an ECI plan financially advantageous.

If a second occurance of CI occurs before 70 years old, then the multipay provides best protection – you can read his analysis here.

The folks at Seedly have also written a comprehensive walkthrough of CI plans in the market so you can check out their article if you’re interested.

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