Critical illness is a grave disease or medical condition which requires expensive treatments, in most cases. These include ailments such as Cancer, Organ Transplant, Heart Attack, Coma of specified severity, end-stage Kidney Failure, Multiple Sclerosis, third-degree burns etc. Apart from physical and mental distress, it can cause financial hardships as well.

Hence, it is essential to buy a Critical Illness Insurance which will support during a medical emergency. Critical Illness Insurance is available as two options- Standalone Policy and Critical Illness rider. A Standalone Policy is a plan that provides full coverage for critical illnesses. The Critical Illness Rider is an optional add-on feature you buy along with your Health Insurance Policy. Both Standalone Policy and Rider provide coverage against critical illnesses.

Let us understand the difference between the two

FeaturesStandalone Critical Illness CoverCritical Illness Rider
CoverageHas a wide-ranging coverageThe coverage depends on the base policy on which you are opting for a add-on
Sum InsuresMore flexibility with regards to the sum insuredCannot be more than the coverage amount of the base policy
PremiumPremium charges depend on the age and health conditions of the policyholderSame for the duration of the base policy
Tax BenefitSection 80D benefit is available for Standalone Critical Illness policiesTax benefits under Section 80C/80D available on the premium paid for riders
Waiting PeriodUsually, a waiting period of 30 to 90 days before the coverage startsIn the case of the rider, the critical illness gets covered from day one


So what should you opt for: Standalone Policy or Critical Illness rider? It depends on your health condition and requirements. If you are looking for a policy with better coverage for critical illnesses, the Standalone Critical Illness Insurance can be considered. However, if you are fine with less coverage and looking for an add-on feature, then a Critical Illness Rider will be better.