Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance is a type of health insurance plan intended to manage financial risks associated with cancer. It helps the policy holder to manage the costs of cancer treatment and provides the much-needed financial support during the time of crises. It would be wise to prepare for a financial contingency especially against cancer treatment and care and have an insurance policy that especially covers cancer. Cancer care insurance policies are introduced with the very objective to offer a comprehensive coverage against cancer. During time of crises and trauma, the up side of having an insurance will help the patient and members of the family deal better with the situation.

Benefits of Buying Cancer Insurance

  • Cancer Insurance plans offer comprehensive insurance related to cancer.
  • Most cancer plans offer waiver of premium benefit for specific period say for 3 to 5 years or for entire policy duration. Some of the plans even offer a regular income benefit for a fixed period of time up to 5 years to cover daily costs of running a household. This is usually a percentage of the sum assured (say 1 percentage monthly).
  • Most cancer insurance plans offer an increase in sum assured as a plan option.
  • One of the most distinguished benefits of buying a cancer insurance plan is that the insurance coverage continues even after the diagnosis of early stage of the disease.
  • Cancer insurance plans also offer tax benefits under section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Importance of Cancer Insurance

The following are the benefits of purchasing a health insurance policy that is especially designed for financial protection against cancer treatment:

Financial Security

The rising costs of medical treatments and hospitalization, along with inflation, makes an effective cancer insurance policy a much recommended investment. You can be assured of being financially safeguarded against exorbitant expenditures of medical treatments like radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery, in case such a need arises.

Extensive Coverage

Cancer insurance policies cover a wide range of cancers, usually with the exception of a few like skin cancer. These policies are usually available at an affordable premium. However, you should check the coverage with insurers offering cancer insurance policies before purchasing one.

Lump Sum Payment

Cancer insurance policies offer a guaranteed lump sum payout in case of an early diagnosis of the illness. This payout generally ranges between 20% and 25% of the pre-decided sum assured, and varies among health insurance companies. The remaining sum assured is paid on diagnosis of major stage of cancer or final stage of the illness. Some insurers also include check-ups free of additional costs during the policy tenure.

Steady Source of Income

Some insurance companies offer the Income Benefit feature on a sudden loss of employment owing to the diagnosis of cancer. Income Benefit serves as a compensation for this financial loss, acting as a reliable source of income. This benefit is a specific percentage of the sum assured.

Waiver of Premium (WoP) Benefit

This offered as an add-on rider or inbuilt benefit that is available at a nominal premium above the premium for the basic cancer insurance plan. As evident from the name, this rider waives off the premium, without revoking its benefits. The policyholder will be eligible for the benefits of this rider only when he/she is diagnosed with the disease.

Tax Benefits

Policyholders of cancer insurance plans are eligible for tax deductions of up to Rs. 25,000 as per Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Senior citizens may be able to avail a higher tax deduction.

Cancer Insurance Plans in India

ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect

  • Affordable health cover of up to Rs. 20 lakh for health and cancer at less than Rs. 160 per month
  • 5% discount benefit on the premium for the first policy year on a health plan that covers the policyholder and his/her spouse
  • 5% loyalty discount on the premium for the first policy year for all existing customers
  • Payout on diagnosis of major/minor illnesses, as mentioned in the policy document
  • Waiver of Premium (WoP) in case of minor and major claims or in the case of permanent disability due to accident
  • Up to 25% of sum assured on diagnosis of minor conditions, as specified in the policy document
  • 1% of sum assured as additional income for 5 years on diagnosis of major illnesses, as mentioned in the policy document
  • 10% increase in cover for every no-claim policy year under increasing cover option for every claim free year.

HDFC Life Cancer Care

  • 25% of the sum assured payable to the insured on diagnosis of cancer in the early stages or Carcinoma-in-Situ (malignant cancer)
  • 100% of the sum assured is payable on being diagnosed with major stage cancer after deducting any earlier benefit paid for early stage of malignant cancer
  • Waiver of Premium (WoP) for the next three policy years after the benefit is paid for early stage cancer or malignant cancer

Aegon Life Icancer Insurance Plan

  • 25% of sum assured on being diagnosed of cancer with minor stage
  • 100% of pre-decided sum assured on being diagnosed of the illness in advanced stages in case no previous claims have been paid
  • 150% of sum assured on being diagnosed of Critical Stage Cancer in case no previous claims have been paid
  • Lump sum payout on diagnosis of cancer across stages
  • Waiver of Premium (WoP) once a claim for Major Stage Cancer is approved
  • Increases accumulated payout as impairment grows to more severe stages

Max Bupa Criticare Insurance Plan

  • Sum insured is either paid as lump sum or a combination of lump sum and additional 10% of the sum insured payable annually for subsequent 5 policy years
  • Sum assured payable when the insured survives for at least 30 days from the date of diagnosis of cancer
  • Cover ceases for the insured person if claim has been paid under the policy and the policy cannot be renewed

Max Life Cancer Insurance Plan

  • Coverage up to 75 years of age
  • 20% of sum insured paid on the diagnosis of early stage cancer or Carcinoma-in-Situ (CiS)
  • Increased sum assured in case the policyholder is diagnosed of cancer after 12 months from the date of purchase of the policy
  • Waiver of Premium (WoP) applicable when the insured is diagnosed of cancer in its early stages
  • 100% of sum insured or increased sum assured in case of diagnosis after 12 months from the date of purchase of the policy minus prior cumulative lump sum payments in case of early stage cancer or Carcinoma in Situ (CiS)
  • 10% of basic sum insured payable for up to 5 years as income benefit on diagnosis with major stage of cancer.
  • The Income Benefit is payable as and when due irrespective of the expiry of the policy term or in case of policyholder’s death due to cancer
  • Benefit payable to the nominee in case of policyholder’s death during Income Benefit payout period

Bharti AXA Health Insurance & Coverage for Cancer

There are two health insurance policies offered by Bharti AXA that offers coverage for cancer, amongst other illnesses. These policies are:

  • Smart Super Health Insurance Policy
  • Smart Health Insurance Policy

Smart health Insurance Policy: Benefits

  • Coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakh
  • Renewal discount between 5% and 25% as No Claim Bonus (NCB)
  • Critical Illness Add-on Cover
  • Dread disease Recuperation Benefit in case of critical illness like cancer

Smart Super Health Insurance Policy: Benefits

  • Flexibility to select for Critical Illness Cover or Hospital Cash
  • Coverage between Rs. 5 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore
  • No cap on room rent
  • Includes pre and post-hospitalization charges for 60 days and 90 days respectively
  • Restoration of sum assured of a maximum of 100%
  • No-claim bonus of up to 100% of sum insured.
  • Annual health check-up
  • Organ donor expenditures of up to the sum insured amount

Aditya Birla Sun Life Cancer Shield Plan

  • Covers all stages of cancer - Early and major stages of cancer
  • Flexibility to select between level and increasing cover
  • Stable monthly income for 5 policy years on diagnosis of Major Stage of Cancer
  • Waiver of premium (WoP) for 5 policy years on diagnosis of Early Stage of Cancer
Plan NamesAge LimitsSum Assured LimitPolicy Tenure LimitPremium Payment Frequency
DHFL Pramerica Cancer Shield Plan18 - 65 years50 Lakh40 yearsMonthly and Annually
Religare Super Mediclaim Plan5 to 50 Years2 CroreNo Age BarMonthly or Annually
ICICI PrU Heart/Cancer Protect18 - 65 years2 - 50 lakh5 - 40 yearsMonthly or half-yearly
HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan18 - 65 years10 - 40 lakh10 - 20 yearsMonthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually
Aegon Life Icancer Plan18 - 65 years10 - 50 lakh5 - 70 years minus entry ageMonthly or annually
Max Bupa Health Assurance Critical Illness Insurance Policy18 - 65 years3 - 10 lakh1 year and 2 yearsMonthly or annually
Max Life Cancer Insurance Plan25 - 65 years10 - 50 lakh10 - 40 yearsMonthly, half-yearly, quarterly or annually
Bharti AXA Smart Health Critical Illness Insurance Plan18 - 55 years2 - 60 lakh18 - 75 yearsMonthly or annually
Birla Sun Life Insurance Cancer Shield Plan18 - 65 years10 - 50 lakh5 - 20 yearsMonthly, half-yearly, quarterly or annually

Types of Cancer Covered by an Insurance Plan

A Cancer Insurance policy provides payouts on diagnosis of early and major stages of cancer. The payment can be used to get better care against cancer. It helps meet chemotherapy and radiation costs, hospitalization and surgery costs. Most leading cancer insurance plans cover all types of cancer i.e. Early Stage and Major Stage Cancer.

How To Check Eligibility

As far as the eligibility is concerned, the minimum entry age for almost every cancer insurance plan would be 18 years, whereas the maximum age would be 65 years. The minimum amount of sum assured would be Rs.5 lakh and the maximum amount of sum assured would be Rs.50 lakh. However, the renewal of the policy beyond 65 years would vary from one insurance policy to another.

Why Do You Need a Cancer Insurance?

Cancer is the one of the worst health related illnesses that can happen to someone. No one wants to be afflicted by cancer as it is the most painful time physically and mentally for the person going through it and also for the family members. Wishing it away is not the solution. Everyone is aware that cancer can strike anyone regardless of family history and lifestyle. The recent rise in cases of cancer in India is of a major worry. Hence, having a cancer insurance is your best bet against the unforeseen health crises in life. For More DetailsClick Here

Things to be Considered Before Buying Cancer Insurance Plan

It is recommended to do some research before taking a cancer insurance plan. Below are some of the points that need to be considered before making a decision to go for a specific cancer insurance plan.

Sufficient Sum Assured

We all know medical expenses have risen over the years. It is often estimated that cost of medical expenses rises by 15% every year. Cancer treatment takes time, so it is advisable to opt for a cancer insurance plan with high sum assured. This will provide you sufficient funds during time of crises.

Payment Under a Cancer Plan

A good plan should offer coverage for all stages of cancer. A Cancer care plan will make payment of 30% on early stage and remaining 70% on major stage or the entire on major stage whichever is earlier.

Premium Payment Option

The premium payment option for the Cancer Insurance Plan would vary from one insurer to another. Typically, the premiums can be paid either annually, bi-annually, quarterly or monthly basis.

Waiting Period and Survival Period

It is always good to check on the waiting period i.e the amount of time you will have to wait before the policy will start coverage and survival period i.e the amount of time after cancer diagnosis the policy holder has to be alive in order to claim benefits of the policy.

Additional Policy Benefits

Insurers put add on benefits to make their policy stand out from the competition. Some of the benefits are a waiver of premium or regular income for fixed period. These add-ons are crucial to have as they can provide some added relief during the tormenting period.


A policy which has a long duration is beneficial as the policy holder is protected for a longer duration.

Documents Required During Cancer Insurance Claims

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Age
  • Medical and diagnostic test reports that indicate the stage of the disease and treatment required

Any other document that the insurance company may ask for while processing the claim made against cancer insurance.


Remember that usually cancer insurance plans do not offer coverage for skin cancer and cancer that might be caused due to sexually transmitted infections, congenital any pre-existing diseases, and nuclear, biological or chemical contamination. But, cancer insurance is the most secure options to make sure that you are covered financially while facing such critical condition. Besides, industry experts also suggest that it makes sense to opt for a cancer-specific plan in case you are of the opinion that you might fall prey to this deadly disease due to environmental reasons or if this disease is genetic.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cancer Policy

How much does cancer insurance cost?

Costs for cancer insurance policies differ between insurance companies based on the factors and benefits offered, among other parameters. Research well and clarify the premium applicable on your chosen cancer insurance before purchasing the policy.

Is oral cancer covered under cancer insurance policies?

Oral cancer is usually covered under cancer insurance policies by most health insurance companies. However, it is highly recommended that you clarify the same from the insurer before purchasing a cancer insurance policy.

At what age can individuals take a cancer insurance policy?

The minimum and maximum age eligibility for purchasing cancer insurance differs between insurance companies. Do a thorough research before zeroing in on a cancer insurance that you can avail, as per your age and unique requirements.

How does a cancer policy work?

Cancer insurance policies may be purchased individually or as a supplement with your health insurance. You would not be eligible for a cancer insurance policy if you already have been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer insurance usually pays a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of the illness, or pays for certain medical or treatment expenditures.

The higher the sum assured, the higher will be your premium rate. Besides, premiums for a cancer insurance policy for an individual will be lower than one that covers the entire family.

Do you pay taxes on cancer insurance payout?

No, the payout is not taxable. Cancer insurance plans are eligible for tax deductions of up to Rs. 25,000 as per Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Senior citizens may be eligible for higher tax benefits.

Is money received from a cancer policy taxable?

No, the money received is not taxable. Cancer insurance plans are eligible for tax deductions of up to Rs. 25,000 according to Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Senior citizens may be eligible for higher tax benefits.

What is survival period in cancer policy?

The survival period of a cancer insurance policy is the period of time for which a policyholder must survive after being diagnosed of the disease. The insurance benefit will be paid once the policyholder has passed the survival period. The general survival period is of 30 days.

Can cancer insurance be purchased with an existing health insurance policy?

Yes, you can supplement your existing health insurance plan with a separate cancer insurance that is especially designed to offer coverage against this disease.

Are requests accepted from insured having a family history of cancer?

Health insurance companies may offer cancer insurance to individuals with a family history of cancer, but generally at a higher premium. Such applicants have a higher scope of being diagnosed of the disease, thus, making insurers quote a higher premium.

Is the policy term for a cancer care policy changeable?

No, the policy term once chosen cannot be changed.

What is the entry age for cancer-specific policies?

The entry age of cancer policies differs from Insurer to Insurer, and hence, it is recommended to check the same with your insurer.

What are the eligibility criteria for availing a cancer insurance plan in India?

Cancer insurance offers coverage for most types of cancers, with certain exclusions like skin cancer. However, if the application is from an individual with a pre-existing history, he/she will not be eligible for purchasing a cancer insurance policy. The eligibility for such a policy also depends on certain other parameters like family history of cancer, lifestyle habits, medical tests, etc.

What is the minimum and maximum sum assured for cancer insurance plans?

The minimum and maximum sum assured for cancer insurance varies between insurance companies and cancer insurance plans. Check the same with your insurance company before purchasing a cancer insurance policy.

How are the benefits paid out in case I am diagnosed with cancer?

The benefit payouts of cancer insurance are primarily determined by the stage of cancer the insured is diagnosed with like Early Stage Cancer, Major Stage Cancer. Once the stage of cancer is determined, the insurer will make a lumpsum payout as per the stage of cancer along with any other benefit payable along with it like Monthly Income etc.

What are the benefits covered by cancer insurance policies?

Some of the primary benefits offered by cancer insurance are:

Lump sum payment- Cancer insurance includes a guaranteed lump sum payout, varying between 20% and 25% of the pre-decided sum assured, in case of an early diagnosis of the disease. The remaining sum assured is payable by the insurer during the most vital phase of medical treatment or at the final stage of cancer. Some insurance companies include free checkups during the policy term.

Regular source of income- The Income Benefit serves as a steady income source on the sudden loss of employment of the policyholder due to diagnosis of cancer. This benefit is fixed at a certain percentage of the sum assured.

Waiver of Premium (WoP)- This is an add-on rider that is offered on the payment of an additional premium. This rider waives off the premium on the policyholder being diagnosed of cancer, while he/she can still avail the benefits of this rider.

Tax benefits- Policyholders of cancer insurance can avail tax deductions of up to Rs. 25,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Do cancer care policies cover pre-existing illnesses?

No, cancer policy does not cover pre-existing illness.

Is there a waiting period under cancer insurance plans?

Yes, a waiting period of 30 days is applicable for cancer insurance policies.

Do cancer policies provide tax exemptions?

Policyholders of cancer insurance can avail tax deductions of up to Rs. 25,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Can cigarette smokers apply for cancer insurance policy?

Yes, smokers can apply for cancer insurance plans. However, they will be offered a comparatively higher premium rates by insurers.

Are cancer care policies yearly renewable or can they be purchased for longer tenures?

Insurance companies offer cancer policy tenures that vary between 5 years and 40 years.

Is cancer covered in insurance?

Yes, your regular health insurance plan may offer coverage for cancer and its related treatment expenses.

Can you get health insurance after being diagnosed with cancer?

No, your health insurance company would not approve your health insurance application post being diagnosed with cancer.

What insurance covers cancer treatment?

Almost all health insurance plans cover cancer treatment.

How long does cancer treatment last?

The cancer treatment varies in length as well as frequency and totally depends on the individual treatment plan as prescribed by your treating medical practitioner.

Is cancer insurance worth getting?

Many people are dying of cancer day-in and day-out. The probability of falling prey to this critical illness as well as the costs to get the treatment done is increasing on a significant note. Therefore, buying a cancer insurance plan has become the need of the hour. It would be totally worth buying a cancer insurance plan since a number of expenses related to cancer diagnosis as well as the treatment, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc. are all covered at both early and advanced stages irrespective of the gender.

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