Best Critical Illness Insurance Plans In Singapore (November 2022)

Ian Lee

Ian Lee

Last updated 01 November, 2022


Every spending situation is unique. SingSaver assembles the 'Best For' list, so you can decide what’s best for you.


When you want protection that goes beyond just covering your medical costs, critical illness insurance is the logical choice. But with so many options out there, which ones are best for you? We investigate in this article.

In a nutshell, critical illness insurance is insurance that gives you a lump sum pay-out upon diagnosis of specific critical illnesses. It can be considered as a supplement to health insurance, which sticks to covering your medical costs, but cannot compensate you for any loss of income – for instance, if you are forced to take time off work or have additional expenses (i.e transport costs to the hospital, health supplements, mental wellness sessions, etc) incurred.

That’s where critical illness insurance comes in. Although it is a ‘supplement’, it is a very important one. A Straits Times article based on a LIA survey found that the average Singaporean has a critical illness insurance gap of S$256,000. That number is essentially the estimated ‘lost earnings’ from having to take time off work to recover from an illness.

In short, if you are worried about potentially losing income or savings from contracting a major illness, consider getting critical illness insurance. We’ve picked out five plans, with each one being the winner in their respective categories.

(Note: We will not be including cancer insurance plans here. These are ‘critical illness-lite’, having the same structure as a critical illness plan, but only covering cancer. If you’re looking for the top cancer insurance picks, check out this article instead.)

Critical Illness Insurance Plan Highlights Annual Premium
FWD Big 3 Critical Illness Highly affordable premiums

Additional S$20,000 death benefit

Full payout for all stages of cancer, Heart Attack of Specified Severity or Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit
Starting from S$275.50 [1]

Use the promo code BFCM2022 to receive 40% off when you apply for the plan.

Valid till 30 November 2022. T&Cs apply.
Great Eastern Critical Cover

Highly affordable premiums

Full payout for all stages of cancer and 53 critical illnesses

Protect Me Again rider to receive additional coverage of 100% lump sum payout for up to three critical illness claims 

Flexibility in protection against 53 critical illnesses or the top 3 critical illness conditions - cancer, heart attack or stroke.

Starting from S$S$278.30 [2]
Tiq 3 Plus Critical Illness

Highly affordable premiums

Additional S$20,000 death benefit

Full payout for all stages of cancer, Heart Attack of Specified Severity or Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit

Complimentary death benefit coverage for child (up to 4 of the insured’s youngest children)

Starting from S$55.68 [3]
Singlife Comprehensive Critical Illness Full payouts for all stages of diagnosis

Additional special conditions benefit that can be claimed up to 6 times

Benign and Borderline Malignant Tumour Benefit grants an additional payout upon complete surgical excision (benign) or diagnosis (borderline malignant)

Premiums don’t increase with age
From S$1,052 [4]
AIA Beyond Critical Care 104 conditions covered (upon inclusion of riders)

100% Refund of Premium benefit refunds you a lump sum upon policy expiry

Mental well-being benefit covers 5 prominent mental illnesses
From S$3,411 [5]

[1] For a 35-year old non-smoking female with sum assured of S$100,000 to age 65

[2] For a 30-year old non-smoking female with sum assured of S$100,000 to age 65

[3] For a 35-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$100,000 to age 75

[4] For a 35-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$30,000, renewable term

[5] For a 35-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$100,000 to age 85

 


FWD Big 3 Critical Illness – Best basic critical illness plan

If you are looking for something more extensive than cancer insurance, but don’t want to pay the costs associated with most critical illness plans, then FWD’s Big 3 Critical Illness is for you. It is a ‘basic’ plan that only covers Singapore’s big three killers: cancer, heart attack, and stroke.

The main appeal of this plan is its cost, with premiums as low as S$24 a month. If you want wider coverage, you can always purchase a rider to cover an additional 24 conditions that affect your brain or heart function. The sum assured starts at S$50,000 and goes up to S$200,000. This plan also comes with an additional S$20,000 death benefit. This policy is offered on a renewable basis until age 85. This means that the premium will increase year on year as you renew, but the good news is that the renewal is guaranteed without further underwriting.

That said, keep in mind again that this is a basic plan. The heart attack must be of a specified severity and the stroke has to be one that leaves a permanent neurological deficit (A.K.A. brain damage) to qualify for the payout.

But if you want something that is bare bones and low cost, this is a good plan for you. On the plus side, it does offer the full payout for all stages of cancer.

FWD Big 3 Critical Illness Insurance Promotion: Enjoy a 40% discount when you apply using the promo code BFCM2022. Valid till 30 November 2022. T&Cs apply.


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Great Eastern Critical Care – Best for multi-pay coverage

Getting a critical illness diagnosis at a younger age is, unfortunately, getting common and can sometimes lead to a recurring 2nd or 3rd diagnosis. 

Thanks to medical science, with treatment and care, full recovery is a great possibility. Great Eastern’s Critical Cover offers two options, one offering coverage for the top 3 critical illnesses and the other offering coverage against 53 critical illnesses. 

What's worth highlighting about this plan is the Protect Me rider, which offers 100% payout for up to a total of three critical illness claims. This provides peace of mind during recovery, taking a load off financial concerns. 

Getting your CI coverage sorted when you are young is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only is the premium lower, the fact that you're young and healthy makes you eligible to purchase a CI plan, whereas any change in your health as you get older could potentially make you ineligible for CI plans.

For a healthy 30-year-old male who’s a non-smoker, premiums for GREAT Critical Cover: Top 3 CIs with the multi-pay Protect Me Again rider works out to S$0.80 per day for up to S$100k coverage. In a nutshell, if you are looking for an affordable critical illness plan, Great Eastern’s Critical Cover would be a solid shield. To find out more, here's a full review of the plan.

Apply Now <https://singsaver.link/GE-great-critical-cover>

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Tiq 3 Plus Critical Illness – Best protection for young dependants

Tiq-Logo-by-Etiqa-insurance.-1024x319-2
 

One of the main concerns for a critical illness plan is whether it provides sufficient support for dependents due to the loss of income. For those with young children, Tiq 3 Plus Critical Illness would be an attractive option. 

The plan covers cancer (all stages), stroke with permanent neurological deficit, and heart attack of specified severity, with the sum assured from S$30,000 up to S$300,000. On top of that, it also has a death benefit of S$20,000 not only for the insured person, but also for four of the insured person’s youngest children. 

Another unique feature is the Special Conditions Benefit, which provides an additional 20% of the sum insured against Diabetic Complications or Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (SRA), capped at S$25,000 per special condition.

What makes this plan a good purchase is its affordability, with premiums as low as S$0.24 a day. For wider coverage, you can always top-up with a rider to cover an additional 24 conditions that affect your brain or heart functions. This policy is offered on a renewable basis until age 85 and available to apply up to age 70.

A comprehensive plan that offers good coverage and support for those with young dependants. 


Singlife Comprehensive Critical Illness – Best early-stage coverage

Singlife-with-Aviva-Logo11

When people think of ‘critical illness’ and ‘early stage’, the first thing that comes to mind is cancer. But cancer is not the only critical illness that can be diagnosed early. There are many others: Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s are three such examples, and they are all covered under Singlife Comprehensive Critical Illness.

This plan covers 132 conditions across various stages of critical illnesses and offers full payouts for early or intermediate-stage diagnoses. On top of that, you can also claim an additional benefit (‘Special Benefit’) of up to S$25,000 for 27 special conditions – such as angioplasty, severe haemophilia – without reducing your basic sum assured amount. You can claim this special benefit up to six times, as long as each is for a different condition.

This policy offers lifetime coverage, up to age 99 (the ‘Special Benefit’ is only up to age 18/85 depending on the medical condition). Furthermore, your premiums won’t increase with age, giving you better visibility when managing your finances.

Singlife's Comprehensive Critical Illness has the edge over its predecessor by including two new benefits as well: the Intensive Care Benefit and Benign and Borderline Malignant Tumour Benefit. Both grant payouts are identical to the Special Benefit, which makes things easy to understand.

For the former benefit, a payout is made should you be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for 4 days at least. For the latter, a payout is made either upon a complete surgical excision of a benign tumour with suspected malignancy or diagnosis of a borderline malignant tumour.

Starting at approximately S$88 a month, this plan is competitively priced. And if you want to ensure you can get a cash infusion the moment you are diagnosed with a critical illness – regardless of the stage – this might be ideal for you.

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AIA Beyond Critical Care – A holistic critical illness plan

Thus far, we have rated affordability as a strong factor when determining which plans should be included in this list. That makes perfect sense for most – but not for everybody. What about someone whose level of coverage is the most important factor? If that sounds like you, then you should look at AIA’s Beyond Critical Care.

This is a pricey plan no doubt, with premiums reaching S$300 per month should you decide to include riders such as Early Critical Cover Extra and Early Critical Protector Waiver of Premium. However, these just enhance a policy that is already well-rounded and includes benefits that many would find essential today.

Firstly, policyholders age 21 years and above are granted a health screening benefit of up to S$200 once every three years. This begins from the fourth policy year onwards and provides additional encouragement for you to schedule regular checkups.

Secondly, the policy's pioneering mental well-being benefit allows you to make a maximum of five claims up to age 75. Five mental illnesses are covered by this benefit, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Major Depressive Disorders. Each claim is capped at S$50,000 and there is a waiting period of 3 years between each one. Additionally, there is a limit of S$150,000 for mental health claims across all AIA policies.

If you require a critical illness plan that is an all-rounder, AIA's Beyond Critical Care is the one for you. And despite its higher premiums, do note that a 100% refund will be paid out upon policy expiry, less any claims made of course.

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5 more plans worth a critical look

Since August 2020, the definitions of critical illnesses have been changed to express the coverages more clearly. While current policyholders are not impacted by this latest development, it has certainly drummed up interest by individuals who are yet to be covered by such plans.

Here are five more critical illness plans for you to consider, in case you need to cast a wider net in terms of conditions or stages covered.

Plan  Highlights Annual Premium
TM Multicare 10 Special Conditions and 10 Juvenile Conditions coverage

Maximum payout can be up to 900% of Sum Assured

Death Benefit is 10% of sum assured, unlike other plans which offer a fixed nominal payout
S$1,515 [1]
Singlife Multipay Critical Illness Maximum Payout up to 900% of Sum Assured

Receive additional 20% of Sum Assured under Intensive Care Benefit 

Receive additional 100% of Sum Assured upon first Severe Stage Critical Illness benefit claim under Advance Care Option Benefit
S$1,187 per year [2]
Manulife's Ready CompleteCare Coverage resets every 12 months for Critical Illness benefit

Complimentary Health check up every 2 years

Additional Major Critical Illness Benefit of 200% sum assured is claimable for 6 major advanced stage illnesses 
S$1,036 [3]
GE's Critical Care Advantage No waiting period between claims. Applies for different illnesses or more severe stages of the same illness.

Premium waiver benefit allows you to not have to pay for premiums after claim for early/intermediate stage illness

Special Benefits:  ‘Cancer Recovery at Intermediate Stage’ and ‘Cancer Recovery at Critical Stage’,  which offer a payout of 10% of the sum assured (capped at S$10,000) and a payout of 25% of the sum assured (capped at S$25,000) respectively
S$2,070.60 [4]
PruActive Protect Coverage up to age 100

Highly customisable, with up to 6 benefits that can be added on

Affordable premiums due to policy's modular nature
S$451.92 [5]

[1] For a 30-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$100,000 and policy term of 45 years
[2] For a 35-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$100,000 and policy term of 30 years
[3] For a 30-year old non-smoking male with sum assured of S$100,000 and policy term of 46 years
[4] For a 30-year old non-smoking female with sum assured of S$200,000 and policy term of up to age 65
[5] For a 24-year old non-smoking female with sum assured of S$100,000 and policy term till age 85



TM Multicare: Highest early stage critical illness payout 

Oftentimes, the earlier a disease is diagnosed, the higher the chances of it being cured or successfully managed. With this lump sum payout, you have more options open if you are diagnosed with an early stage illness, such as seeking alternative medical treatments or deciding to take time off work to focus on recovery. 

TM Multicare also offers decent coverage for intermediate and advanced stages of CI. Covering 109 different stages of CIs, there are multiple payouts for early, intermediate and advanced stage critical illnesses, with a total payout of up to 900% of the sum assured. It also boasts additional coverage for 10 special conditions and 10 juvenile conditions –– such as osteoporosis and severe hemophilia –– with up to 20% coverage (capped at S$25,000). 

It is important to note that the claim structure of TM Multicare can be quite complex. While a payout of 900% is possible, there are multiple restrictions, such as waiting periods between claims and limitations on the number of claims that can be made per category of CI. Additionally, the plan has grouped cancer and illness related to other major organs in the same category, which could be limiting. The protection term is also relatively inflexible, only offering coverage till ages 70, 75, or 85.

This plan is pricier than many others, including those on this list. However, it also comes out on top in terms of highest early stage CI payout, with up to two claims and no waiting period in between. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals who go for regular checkups.

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Singlife Multipay Critical Illness: Payout at any stage of critical illness

We’ve covered multi-pay critical illness plans before, and we found another one that managed to impress us. Multi-pay plans are essentially plans that allow you to make multiple claims, therefore receiving more than one payout. If you’re looking for a long-term plan to take on the financial burden of CIs, particularly recurring ones, this might be the one for you. 

This Singlife plan was designed to protect policyholders by giving them the option of making multiple claims for conditions across different stages as well as recurring critical illnesses. With 132 conditions and recurrence of 6 specified critical illnesses, including recurrent heart attack of specified severity and repeated coronary artery by-pass surgery, covered, you get up to 900% of sum assured. 

In addition, you can opt for the Advance Care Option to convert your recurrent critical illness benefit to an extra 100% of sum assured. However, once you exercise this Advance Care Option, the recurrent critical illness benefit will cease.

You will also receive an additional 20% of sum assured upon a complete surgical excision of a benign tumour (suspected malignancy), or upon diagnosis of a borderline malignant tumour, with a cap of S$25,000 per life. This is under the Benign and Borderline Malignant Tumour Benefit. The Intensive Care Benefit also allows you to receive an additional 20% of sum insured with a cap of S$25,000 per life.

Coverage term ranges from 10 years to a maximum age of 99 years. It also comes with a death benefit – a lump sum payout of S$5,000. 

Do note that while there are multiple benefits, there are restrictions that can trigger the ceasing of the aforementioned benefits. In addition, there is a cap on how many times claims can be made for different categories of conditions. For instance, both the tumour and intensive care benefit can only be claimed once. 

Overall, this plan is a decent safety net for you as it ensures that you get multiple cash infusions no matter which stage of CI you are diagnosed at.

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Manulife's Ready CompleteCare: Multiple claims and full premium refund

Here’s another plan that allows you to make more than one claim while staying flexible. Manulife’s Ready CompleteCare covers a decent range of 106 conditions and critical illnesses for all stages. For early-stage, coverage comes up to S$250,000, and S$350,000 for the intermediate stage, with coverage (less any additional payout benefits) subjected to a maximum payout of 500% of basic sum insured. 

In addition, it also covers an extra 18 special conditions for up to six claims (bearing in mind that each condition can only be claimed once), each claim can allow up to S$25,000 in payout.

In the event advance stage critical illness occurs to your child, an additional amount of S$10,000 will be paid out. This does not reduce your total sum assured. Policyholders also get a bonus free health check every two years; if you do not wish to go for your health check, you can alternatively transfer it to another loved one. 

Because of the nature of this plan, the claim structure may be a little tricky to understand. This plan separates its coverage into the basic core coverage and a ‘Cover Me Again’ coverage, which allows you to restart your coverage after you have made a claim. Basically, under this option, after receiving payout(s), your coverage continues for other critical illnesses and recurring cancer.  Coverage will be restarted to 100% of basic sum insured after 12 claim-free months from the last critical illness claim. This is subject to a maximum payout of 500% of basic sum insured. Under the ‘Cover Me Again’ option, you also receive 200% of sum insured for six major advanced stage critical illnesses, and 100% of sum insured (capped at 200%) for subsequent advanced stage major cancer conditions, courtesy of the recurring cancer benefit. 

Manulife’s monthly premiums are pretty competitive, considering that it offers a full premium refund (minus past claim payouts) in the event of death. If you are able to get past the complex claim structure, its comprehensive coverage and flexible add-ons like critical waiver coverage and payor benefit could just make it the right plan for you. 

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GE's Critical Care Advantage: No waiting period between claims

How often do you get access to comprehensive insurance plans with no waiting periods between claims? With this plan, policyholders can receive timely payouts that may open up better treatment options for you.

Great Eastern's Critical Care Advantage boasts an extensive coverage of 122 medical conditions, with payouts for critical illness across all stages of diagnosis. For early stages, you can receive payouts of up to S$100,000, and up to S$200,000 for intermediate stages. On top of basic cover, you can receive extra payouts for seven special benefits, including Diabetic Complications, Severe Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, Crohn’s Disease and Cancer Recovery of up to S$185,000. 

Within the Cancer Recovery special benefit category, ‘Cancer Recover at Intermediate Stage’ and ‘Cancer Recovery at Critical State’ offer payouts of 10% of the sum assured capped at S$10,000 and 25% of the sum assured capped at S$25,000 respectively. 

This policy is offered until age 85, and comes with a death benefit of S$15,000 during the policy term, as well as a waiver of future premiums when your claim for early or intermediate stage illness is approved. Note that this waiver benefit is not applicable for approved claims made for the special benefits category. 

The tradeoff for this policy is that the maximum payouts for early stage and intermediate stages of diagnosis are not as high as some of the policies in the market. In addition, the amounts of payout are capped at S$25,000 for each special benefit. In addition, it is the most expensive plan on this list, but for those who are willing to spring for a better-than-basic plan that offers more breadth in terms of coverage, this plan seems to have you well-covered. Aside from its wide coverage, the absence of a waiting period is definitely another huge draw.

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PRUActive Protect: Highly customisable to suit your needs

Insurance coverage, like our lives, should never be static. Your needs are different at every life stage and coverage should increase and decrease alongside your number of dependents.

Prudential recognises this and its PRUActive Protect critical illness plan is highly customisable to ensure that coverage is always sufficient.

Although the base plan only covers 37 critical illnesses such as Alzheimer's Disease and end stage liver failure, remember that you're given the option to boost coverage throughout your policy's term. Supplementary benefits that can be tacked on include Early Protect (grants coverage against early stage critical illnesses) and Life Protect Plus (additional lump sum payout upon death for up to 100% of your basic critical illness coverage).

The policy term itself is customisable as well, ranging from 10 to 99 years. And if you're a parent and purchase this policy alongside your spouse, you'll be glad to know that you children receive a complimentary Child Cover Benefit. This protects them against 36 critical illnesses and 9 juvenile conditions.

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Similarly, a dollar of protection could be worth a hundred in costs. Don’t underestimate the havoc a critical illness can wreak on your finances – even if all your medical costs are covered. 

Opportunity costs from potentially lost income must be factored in as well, making critical illness insurance a wise choice, especially given the S$256,000 critical illness protection gap.


Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

Note: This is only product information provided. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying an insurance product that is not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs.

If you decide that the policy is not suitable after purchasing the policy, you may terminate the policy in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the policy.


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Start managing and saving money like a pro with SingSaver’s weekly financial roundups! We dole out easy-to-follow money-saving tips, the latest financial trends and the hottest promotions every week, right into your inbox. This is one mailer you don’t want to miss.

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Read these next:
Critical Illness vs Cancer Insurance Plans: A Critical Comparison
Critical Illness Plans vs Early Critical Illness Plans: Which Should You Get
Changes to Definition of ‘Critical Illness’ in Life Insurance Policies
5 Best Cancer Insurance Plans In Singapore
5 Critical Things You Need to Know About Cancer Insurance

 

Ian is a former investment banker turned freelance finance writer. He specialises in creating versatile finance content for the attention economy, ranging from personal finance and investing to fintech and cryptocurrencies.