Critical Illness Insurance – What is it and why should you get it?

What is a Critical Illness Plan and how does it work?

A critical illness plan works differently from a LifeCare or regular health insurance plan. A critical insurance plan is a health insurance plan that pays a lump sum amount, equal to the sum insured, to the insured on acquiring a serious ailment such as cancer or a stroke. This plan provides a lump sum benefit which can pay for the cost of care and treatment, recuperation expense and even pay off any debt if taken. Regardless of your hospital expenses, the insurer pays the full sum-insured.

What is covered?

The number of critical illnesses covered by insurers may vary. Most insurers cover 8 to 20 major critical illnesses or even more. Some of these are cancer, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, aorta surgery, heart valve replacement, major organ transplant and paralysis.

Guardian Life of the Caribbean covers 21 illnesses including the Alzheimer’s disease.

How much does it cost?

Cost of critical ailments would typically be in either TTD or USD depending on extent of treatment and one may have to resort to either borrowing from relatives or breaking existing investments. Moreover, contracting a chronic disease negatively impacts an individual's earning potential as well. One should look at buying the policy depending on a few factors, like family history, type of job, medical inflation and age.

The waiting period.

One distinguishing feature of these plans is that the insured person needs to survive for thirty (30 )successive days after the diagnosis of the critical illness in order to make the claim. Further, there is a 90-day waiting period at the start of the policy.


Having a health plan does not eliminate the need for a critical illness plan and vice versa. One helps with the upfront costs of illness or disease while the other helps with the backend costs that people tend to forget about such as:

◾️Loss of income due to downtime

◾️Therapy that may be needed after

◾️Need for after hour care such as a private nurse

◾️Or simply for having a buffer for family expenses because we know our bills such as rent or the mortgage or car payments do not stop just because we are ill.

Interested in taking out a Critical Illness Insurance Plan? Call Guardian Life of the Caribbean at 226-6944 for more information today!

Thank you for joining us for this week's piece. Have a safe weekend and join us next week for more!

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