Let’s learn about critical illness insurance, that thing you said you want to get for yourself but have been putting off. I know this because I am you. Or rather, I was, until I decided enough is enough, just get it done.
In 5 minutes, we’re going to cover:
- What critical illness insurance covers (and what it doesn’t)
- Why insurance agents keep telling you to buy it while you’re still healthy
- How much they cost
- Where to get it (agent option and online option), and
- How to combat analysis paralysis because yes, there are quite a few options for critical illness insurance out there
If you look online, one of the biggest complaints people have about insurance is they claim they were denied payment for their insurance claims. Actually… more often than not, they just tried to claim what their insurance didn’t cover.
So let’s use this scenario as an example: you ONLY have critical illness insurance and you were unlucky enough to get a medical condition. Let’s say, cancer.
In this case, you will get the sum insured promised by the insurance provider. If your critical illness plan is for RM30k in sum insured, you’ll get RM30k. If it’s for RM50k, you’ll get RM50k. If it’s for RM100k, you’ll get RM100k. You get the picture.
(The disbursement have T&Cs depending on the plan and the company but let’s keep it simple for now).
What you do with the money is up to you: you can use it to pay your medical and hospitalisation bills, and as salary replacement to cover your living costs. You can even use it to pay for complementary and alternative treatments.
You WON’T get the sum insured for critical illness insurance if you were unlucky enough to be hospitalised for anything other than a covered medical condition, for example due to an accident. That will be covered under life insurance, personal accident insurance and/or medical card, depending on the scope and coverage.
So yes, critical illness insurance is just one of the few types of insurance that people should have. It is also one of the top priority to get, because…
Not everyone can get critical illness insurance. You can ONLY get it if you’re healthy.
There are products that can cover some medical conditions (the term is called pre-existing conditions), such as MSIG’s Gluco SafeGuard, a plan for diabetics that rewards ‘good behaviour’. However, such plans are the exception rather than the norm.
Even if you managed to get critical illness insurance with a pre-existing condition, you’ll have to declare your condition in advance and you can’t make claims related to the medical condition you already have.
For example, let’s say you have kidney problems and you manage to get a critical illness plan. You can only claim it if you develop something else unrelated to your pre-existing condition, like a heart attack or something.
Therefore, the ideal situation is to get it while you’re healthy, with NO pre-existing condition. You have to be ok with ‘paying for nothing’. Remember, insurance is not something you buy and immediately put to use. You buy it and hope you don’t use it.
(Personally, I make myself feel better about this by reframing it as the best-case scenario. Yay another month of not using the insurance I paid for, thank you God for the health) (Or Universe. Whatever you believe in).
Your critical illness premium depends on variables including:
- Your age (younger = cheaper)
- Your gender (men = cheaper)
- Your medical history/condition (including BMI)
- And more
If you are in your 20s and 30s, you can expect comprehensive critical illness insurance to cost around RM100-RM300 per month, depending on those variables.
Can you get critical illness insurance for cheaper, say around RM20 per month or less? Can. In fact, if you can’t afford to get the plan that covers 36 critical illnesses (some providers even go up to 75..), then get the ‘good enough’ plan, which covers 4 illnesses: Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke and Kidney Failure.
But Suraya, you say, what if I get other illnesses aside from the 4? Shouldn’t I be covered for ALL the illnesses?
Yes that’s true, but consider this: just those 4 illnesses make up 90% of all critical illness insurance claims. Statistically speaking, rather than have NO coverage, better get mostly covered, for a significantly cheaper monthly premium.
Again, remember what I said in #2 – not using your critical illness insurance is the best case scenario – it means you’re healthy, but *in case* life has other plans for you, you’re covered. I can’t stress the importance of getting it BEFORE you’re sick, not after. Get one that you can afford, no matter how basic – that is better than not having anything at all.
Plus, when your financial situation improves, and if you’re still healthy, you can always upgrade or get additional plans.
You can get critical illness insurance and the quotation from insurance agents or online distribution channels.
The first option has more of that ‘personal touch’, so if this article isn’t enough for you to take action, go find an agent and just get it done. They’ll help you get the best package according to your requirements and budget.
You can find agents from:
- Asking friends/family for referrals
- Social media
- Directly from insurance providers websites
The second option is for introverts, eh no, people who prefer DIY research (you’re usually good at it, too) and happy to get their insurance from online platforms.
MSIG EZ Critical Care and MSIG EZ Cancer Care are for those people – you can literally get one or both plans in 15-20 minutes and it comes with 15% rebate to boot.
Here’s how to get it:
Step 1: Go to https://takeiteasy.msig.com.my/msigonline/ and click on Healthcare
MSIG offers two critical illness insurance products that you can get online: MSIG EZ Critical Care and MSIG EZ Cancer Care. Clicking ‘learn more’ will show you the details of each plan.
To proceed, click on Apply
Now you have to state your age and self-declare your medical background.
Note: You can only proceed with the online method if you have a normal BMI. If you can’t proceed, you can still get the product – simply complete the process manually by downloading and filling out the application form and submitting it to MSIG here.
I love this part. You get to pick the plan you want and straight away see how much it would cost. Note that the total amount payable is ANNUAL not monthly cost.
In the example below, my critical illness insurance premium for RM50k sum assured is RM131.55 per year (including RM10 stamp duty cost), which is just RM10.96 per month!
(Side note: I am actually paying for a separate critical illness insurance which costs me RM171 per MONTH for RM200k so believe me when I say this one is CHEAP for 90% of coverage)
Make the payment by online banking, credit/debit card or e-wallet and you’re done!
Some of you, especially DIY researchers, will reach here and be like, I need to compare all plans! All! I will find me the best plan!
Which is great if you eventually do get insured, but not if you put it off. I’m a chronic researcher and put mine off for YEARS. I was lucky to be healthy, but what if I wasn’t?
So here’s what you can do instead: No one said you have to get ONE critical illness insurance – you can get a few. Obviously getting 10 critical illness insurance plans is a bit of an overkill, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking one plan now (the one you can afford) and adding more in the future (when your income and needs grow).
This is not a bad idea, because:
- If anything happens, you can claim from ALL of them, not just one
- More sum insured means more money, which gives you more options. You’re already stressed from the illness. Don’t stress from finances too
- You can get additional coverage for cancer, which is a really expensive illness to treat
- Different plans may have specific perks unique to the provider so rather than headache and analysis paralysis to choose, might as well get from a few. For example, MSIG’s EZ Critical Care and Cancer Care both have payouts for early stage detection, whereas most other critical illness insurance plans will only pay at terminal stage
- In case one plan lapses and got terminated by accident (or intentionally), you have others to depend on
The catch is, of course, the additional/annual commitment you have to pay.
What else would you like to know about critical illness insurance? Leave your questions in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Lastly, shoutout to online distribution channels for making it easy for people like me who prefer to buy insurance online, even critical illness insurance. Both MSIG EZ Critical Care and EZ Cancer Care are good options, and the premium is honestly affordable and within reach for almost everyone. Get them from https://takeiteasy.msig.com.my/msigonline/.