Single-Pay vs Multi-Pay Critical Illness Plans — Which Is Right For You?

Critical illness insurance is, well, critical for sufficient coverage. Protect your financial and physical health with single-pay or multi-pay critical illness insurance plans in Singapore.

critical illness

Critical illnesses are one of the major causes of deaths among Singaporeans. These conditions are not only difficult to heal but also expensive to treat. Depending on the treatment required, medical bills can easily go into the range of hundreds of thousands, an amount that most regular salaried workers will find hard to bear. This is where critical illness insurance plans, also known as CI insurance in Singapore, can come in handy.

If you’ve yet to discover critical illness insurance coverage, read on and find out how it can be beneficial for you. Identify the differences between single-pay and multi-pay critical illness insurance plans, so you can make an informed decision when you decide to buy one.

What does a critical illness insurance plan in Singapore cover?

Unlike life insurance which offers a payout to your beneficiaries when you pass on or are in total permanent disability (TPD), critical illness (CI) insurance coverage provides you with financial protection when you’re diagnosed with a critical illness. The level of financial coverage differs between insurers. This is because insurance companies usually define their CI insurance plan based on the type of critical illnesses, the number of illnesses detected, and at which stage the illness is at.

A typical CI insurance plan insures you from the risk of developing any of the 37 critical illnesses defined under the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) framework. The list comprises major ailments such as cancers, heart attacks of specified severity and stroke with permanent neurological deficits that are leading causes of death in Singapore.

37 Critical Illnesses Defined under the Life Insurance Association Singapore (LIA) Framework
Major CancerMotor Neurone Disease
Heart Attack of Specified SeverityPrimary Pulmonary Hypertension
Stroke with Permanent Neurological DeficitHIV Due to Blood Transfusion and Occupationally Acquired HIV
Coronary Artery By-pass SurgeryBenign Brain Tumour
End-stage Kidney FailureSevere Encephalitis
Irreversible Aplastic AnaemiaSevere Bacterial Meningitis
Ends-stage Lung DiseaseAngioplasty & Other Invasive Treatment for Coronary Artery
End-stage Liver FailureBlindness
ComaMajor Head Trauma
Open Chest Heart Valve SurgeryTerminal Illness
Irreversible Loss of SpeechProgressive Scleroderma
Major BurnsPersistent Vegetative State
Major Organ / Bone Marrow TransplantationSystemic Lupus Erythematosus with Lupus Nephritis
Multiple SclerosisOther Serious Coronary Artery Disease
Muscular DystrophyPoliomyelitis
Idiopathic Parkinson’s DiseaseLoss of Independent Existence
Open Chest Surgery to AortaAlzheimer’s Disease / Severe Dementia
Fulminant Hepatitis

The goal of CI insurance is to provide policyholders substantial financial support. They can focus on recovery instead of forgoing treatments because of financial lack or loss of income.

What are the types of critical illness insurance plans in Singapore?

woman lying in hospital
Source: Pexels

There are two types of CI insurance plans: single-pay plans and multi-pay plans.

Single-pay critical illness insurance plan

This plan provides a lump sum payout upon diagnosis of late stage of a critical condition, such as Stage 4 cancer. If you purchase an early critical illness plan (ECI), the single payout is made at early-stage detection.

As a rule of thumb, you can only make a single claim from your single-pay critical illness Insurance plan. Once that claim is made, the policy expires. You’ll no longer be covered or entitled to make another claim should have another critical illness diagnosis.

Another important factor to note when buying a single-pay critical illness Insurance plan is that once you make a claim, it’ll be tough to find another insurer that is willing to insure you for critical illnesses. Even if you find one, it is not very likely to cover you for the same condition you’ve been diagnosed with. Your premium may also be a lot higher than before.

Who is suitable for single-pay critical illness insurance coverage?

Single-pay CI insurance works best for those in their 20s or 30s without any prior related diagnosis. Also, as the premiums are tagged to the policyholder’s age, health and lifestyle, getting a CI insurance plan at a younger age is cheaper.

Related: Guide to Critical Illness Insurance in Singapore

Multi-pay critical illness insurance plan

A multi-pay plan allows you to claim multiple pay-outs for different CIs in the early, intermediate, and late stages. The plan provides continual protection even after you make the first claim.

Unlike the single-pay policy which insures you for only one condition, this plan covers you for multiple CIs throughout your lifetime. For example, Singlife’s Multipay Critical Illness plan allows as many as six claims. Policyholders can even enjoy total payouts of up to 900% of their sum assured.

One downside for multi-pay plans is costly premiums. If you’re cost-conscious, you can consider alternatives like buying riders on top of a basic CI insurance plan for more comprehensive coverage. That said, always do thorough research across different insurers to find the best critical illness coverage for your lifestyle and needs.

Who is suitable for multi-pay critical illness insurance coverage?

Those who are genetically predisposed to CIs or at risk of contracting diseases due to environmental or lifestyle factors. This plan can also be a saving grace for those with dependants. The payouts offer substantial financial support to take care of family obligations and medical treatments, even when there is a loss of income.

How to select the right critical illness plan

critical illness coverage
Source: Unsplash

Don’t be in a hurry to sign up for the cheapest or most expensive CI insurance plan out of fear. You should carefully assess the coverage you need and conditions you may be predisposed to first, among other things. More importantly, prioritise a healthy lifestyle. It’s your best bet to prevent you from making a claim any time soon.

If you’re ready to purchase a critical illness plan, check out our roundup of the best critical illness insurance plans in Singapore today!

Compare Best Critical Illness Insurance Plans in SingaporeFind Out More

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