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  • affects 1 in 4 women / 1 in 5 men before retirement
  • 94.1% of the critical illness claims are paid *
  • protect yourself and your family if you get seriously ill
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  • get the cover that will pay when you need it
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Exploring the Timelines and Deadlines of Your Critical Illness Cover

To ensure that you are successful when claiming critical illness insurance, it is helpful to be mindful of the timelines and “deadlines” of your critical illness policy. Some definitions and benefits are based on specific time frames.

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Some timelines you should know:

Time Frame What Is It About? What Can Happen?

Minimum age for issuing the policy

Eligible Age.

This sets how old you should be before you are considered an eligible applicant for critical illness cover.

Your application can be denied if you are below the minimum age.

Maximum age for issuing the policy

Eligible Age.

This sets how old you should be before you are considered an eligible applicant for critical illness cover.

Your application can be denied if you are above the maximum age.

30 – 90 days while your policy application is being processed

Free cover.

This is mostly offered for policies that are bought to cover a mortgage. While you are waiting for the property purchase to be completed (before the policy is issued), this provides free cover on critical illness. Terms and conditions apply.

This is to provide protection while the purchase has not been finalized. The free cover will last until the earliest of:

  • The cover period
  • Until the completion of the mortgage

30 – 90 days while your policy application is being processed

Free Accidental Death Benefit (name and time line may vary for each provider).

This provides accidental death cover after you have submitted your critical illness cover application and waiting for underwriting to decide on it.

If you die due to accidental death within the coverage period, the policy will pay the Sum Insured to your beneficiaries.

The cover stops at the earliest of:

  • The cover period, which may vary per provider
  • The decision on your application is given, whether it is accepted, postponed or denied.

Terms and conditions on Accidental Death apply. This is also not available if you are cancelling an existing policy to buy a new one.

10 to 30 days after the policy is issued

Free Look Period.

This gives you the right to cancel the policy within the free look period and get your money back.

Be sure to send a written request for cancellation to your critical illness provider within the free look period. Otherwise, no premium refunds will be given.

6 months after a life event

Guaranteed Insurability Option.

This allows you to increase the amount of your cover without the need for submitting additional medical evidence. Life events include:

  • Marriage or civil union
  • Divorce or dissolution of civil union
  • Parenthood
  • Increase in mortgage or a new mortgage
  • Increase in income due to a promotion or new job

You need to apply for the increase in the cover within this period. Otherwise, after this period, you may no longer use that specific life event to increase your cover.

14 to 28 days after a diagnosis of the critical illness

Survival period.

After you have been diagnosed with a critical illness, you need to survive within a specified number of days for the claim to be payable.

If you are not able to survive within the Survival Period, the critical illness claim will be denied. Premiums already paid will be refunded to the beneficiaries.

26 weeks after you are diagnosed as totally and permanently disabled (may vary per provider)

Deferred Period or Waiting Period.

When you are eligible for a benefit such as Waiver of Premium, the benefits will only start to kick in after the deferred period. Usually, you are able to choose the length of the deferred period.

Be sure that you continue to pay the premiums during the deferred period to ensure that the policy is still in force until such a time that the benefit payments start.

The last 12 to 18 months before the policy cover ends

Terminal Illness Cover.

If you become terminally ill within the last months of the policy, the terminal illness cover will no longer be payable.

Terminal illness is considered a critical illness but should be diagnosed before the last months of the policy.

3 to 12 months after the diagnosis of a critical illness

Claim Period.

You need to notify the Claims Department of your Critical Illness Cover provider about your claim. You should make this notification as soon as you are able, after you have been diagnosed.

Your critical illness claim may be denied when you take too long to file a claim. Often, the provider may ask for proof/documentation/pictures that you may not be able to produce after so many days have passed.

30 days after you miss a premium payment

Lapsation of your policy.

If you stop paying premiums, the policy will still provide you cover for the next so days from the day your latest unpaid premiums are due. If you are diagnosed with a critical illness during that time, you can still make a claim but the unpaid premiums (plus any penalties) will be deducted from the claim amount.

Once the policy lapses, any diagnosis after the lapse date will no longer be payable. Usually, premiums already paid will also not be refunded, since there is no cash value on the policy.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

 

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