Term Critical Illness Insurance VS. Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance

December 31, 2021

Hong Kong has become the most overworked city in the world according to the 2020 Work–Life Balance Index. Being overworked not only takes a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, it also has a grave impact on your physical health, like resulting in cancer in extreme cases. To protect our health comprehensively, should we opt for Term Critical Illness Insurance or Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance? To make an informed decision, you will first have to know their differences in nature and in coverage.

There is a rich variety of Critical Illness Insurance products on the market, which are mostly Term and Lifetime plans which offer different coverage. Term Critical Illness is generally divided into those that 1. cover cancer, 2. cover only the three major critical illnesses (cancer, heart disease, and stroke), and 3. cover multiple critical illnesses (in addition to the three major critical illnesses, they also cover a variety of serious illnesses such as carcinoma-in-situ.) 

Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance offers a wider range of protection 

Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance provides whole of life protection for the insured. Compared to Term Critical Illness, the coverage and illnesses covered are generally broader, and includes a variety of critical illnesses (e.g., carcinoma-in-situ) and childhood illnesses. In terms of claims, traditional Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance allows only one critical illness benefit.

Some of the Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance products include savings component. In the unfortunate event that the insured person suffers from a critical illness during the policy period, they will not be required to pay future premiums, and will continue to enjoy lifetime protection. If the insured person does not make a claim, the premium can be refunded at the end of the policy period.

Term Critical Illness Insurance Lifelong Critical Illness Insurance
Coverage A. Cancer

B. Three critical illnesses (cancer, heart disease, stroke)

C. Multiple Critical Illnesses (In addition to the three critical illnesses, it also covers a variety of critical illnesses such as carcinoma-in-situ, encephalitis, kidney failure, etc.)
Multiple Diseases

Three critical illnesses, serious illnesses (e.g., carcinoma-in-situ, encephalitis, kidney failure) childhood illnesses (e.g., type 1 diabetes, Still's disease, Kawasaki disease with heart complications)
Compensation One-off payment One-time partial or multiple compensation
Benefit Term 1/5/10/20 years
Generally renewed until age 65-80
Lifelong
Contribution Period Annually until termination of policy 20 years in general
Savings Component None Yes
The more you know — what is carcinoma-in-situ? 

Carcinoma-in-situ is cancer in its earliest form. These in situ cells are not malignant, or cancerous. However, they can sometime become cancerous and spread to other nearby locations. 

5 common types of carcinoma-in-situ that can easily turn into aggressive malignant tumors 

The common types of carcinoma-in-situ are breast carcinoma-in-situ, cervical carcinoma-in-situ, bladder carcinoma-in-situ, lung carcinoma-in-situ, and skin carcinoma-in-situ: 

  • Breast carcinoma-in-situ is divided into ductal carcinoma-in-situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma-in-situ (LCIS), and DCIS is more likely to become an aggressive malignancy.  
  • In cervical carcinoma-in-situ, the cancer cells are mostly hidden in the superficial layer of the cervix and can be detected by Pap smear.  
  • Bladder carcinoma-in-situ is usually found in men aged 60-70 years who have a smoking habit. 3% of these patients develop bladder cancer.  
  • Carcinoma-in-situ of the lung gland is not easy to identify.  
  • Carcinoma-in-situ of the skin is usually caused by long exposure to the sun.
Choose the Critical Illness Insurance that suits you best

Whether it is Term or Lifelong, it is always wise to take the time to do your research and making an informed decision. OneDegree has launched our all-new Critical Illness Insurance, featuring a First-in-Hong-Kong unlimited total number of claims+, and covering up to 62 critical illnesses with affordable premium. Learn more: https://www.onedegree.hk/en-us/critical-illness-insurance

(+Only applicable to the Infinity Plan: There will be a one-year waiting period for each new Critical Illness claim after the initial Critical Illness claim is made, with no limit on the total number of claims while the policy is in force, but only a maximum of one claim per Critical Illness. Terminal Illness and Loss of Independent Existence are only applicable to the first claim; subject to other terms and conditions, please refer to the policy details.)

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