List of 36 Critical Illnesses

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 25/10/2023

Health is one of the most critical assets of individuals. People do everything possible to keep themselves healthy, from a balanced work-life to mindful eating. Still, having an illness or disease is not something in our control. It becomes more challenging when it is a critical illness.

Critical illness or disease can be genetic or also due to the unhealthy lifestyle. A critical illness not only affects a person's emotional and physical well-being but also drains their savings.

That is why individuals buy health insurance coverage for critical illness when they are healthy. This way, their financial assets would be protected in case of any medical emergency in the future.

This blog will provide detailed knowledge about 36 critical illnesses and why to buy critical illness insurance.

What is a Critical Illness?

Critical illness is a life-threatening disease that requires serious medical attention. Often, people don't even know that they have any critical illness. Such illness usually happens in old age.

When the body doesn't get proper nutritional support or a main organ starts deteriorating, the chances of getting acute or critical illness are maximum.

Various diseases fall in the critical illness category, such as cancer, heart attack, kidney disease, etc. These diseases can't be cured in a day or two; they require proper medical attention. Treatment of critical illness is usually expensive because of the designed procedures and multiple tests.

List of 36 Critical Illnesses

Below is the list of critical illnesses for insurance.

SR no Critical Illness Details
1 Heart Attack When the blood flow decreases or stops in one of the arteries of the heart, it leads to a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction. 
  • The common symptoms of heart attacks are severe chest pain, pain in the arm, shoulder, etc.
  • 2 Coronary Artery Diseases When the blood flow decreases in the heart muscle due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart, it leads to coronary artery disease. 
  • The common symptoms are chest pain after any activity and shortness of breath.
  • 3 Brain Surgery Neuro or brain surgery treats various brain conditions such as clots, tumours, etc.
    4 Terminal Illness It is often characterised by their incurable nature and the limited treatment options available to alleviate symptoms or prolong life.
    5 Coma  It is a profound state of unconsciousness in which a person is unresponsive to external stimuli and cannot be awakened. 
  • It is a medical emergency and can result from various underlying causes such as brain tumours, etc.
  • 6 Poliomyelitis It is an infection caused by the poliovirus. 
  • Polio primarily affects the nervous system and can lead to paralysis, muscle weakness, and, in severe cases, respiratory failure.
  • 7 Chronic Lung Disease This is another one of the 36 critical illnesses, which refers to lung conditions that progressively affect a person's ability to breathe. 
  • These conditions often result in reduced airflow and difficulty getting enough oxygen into the bloodstream.
  • 8 Motor Neuron Disease This neurological disorder affects the functioning of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. 
  • These motor neurons control voluntary muscle movements, such as walking, talking, chewing, and breathing. 
  • 9 Multiple Sclerosis It is a chronic neurological disorder affecting the central nervous system (CNS), spinal cord and brain.
    10 Cancer  It refers to the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. 
  • Cancer can be benign or malignant.
  • 11 Aorta Surgery  It is a medical condition to repair or replace a damaged or diseased portion of the aorta. 
    12 Major Organ Transplant  A surgical procedure in which a diseased or failing organ is replaced with a healthy organ from a donor. 
    13 Permanent or Total Blindness It refers to the complete and irreversible loss of vision in both eyes, resulting in the inability to perceive light, shapes, colours, or any visual stimuli.
    14 Permanent or Total Deafness  It is a complete and irreversible loss of hearing in both ears, resulting in the inability to perceive sound. 
    15 Permanent Loss of Speech It is a condition characterised by the inability to produce speech or the significant impairment of language and communication abilities.
    16 Parkinson's Disease It is a neuro disorder that primarily affects movement. 
  • This condition gets worse with time. 
  • 17 Alzheimer's Disease It is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects cognitive function, memory, and behaviour.
    18 Chronic Liver Disease It is a broad spectrum of liver conditions that persist over time and can lead to progressive liver damage. 
    19 Full-Blown AIDS It is a medical term used to describe the advanced stage of HIV infection when a person's immune system has become severely damaged. 
    20 Bacterial Meningitis  It is a severe and potentially life-threatening infection that affects the meninges, which are the protective membranes that surround the spinal cord and brain.
    21 Encephalitis It is a rare but serious medical condition characterised by inflammation of the brain. 
    22 Head Trauma It refers to any injury or damage caused to the head parts such as the scalp, skull, and brain. 
    23 Apallic Syndrome  It is also known as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) is a neurological condition characterised by a profound disturbance of consciousness. 
    24 Kidney Failure  It is a medical condition where kidneys lose their ability to function adequately. 
    25 Fulminant Viral Hepatitis  It is a rare and life-threatening condition in which the liver suddenly loses its ability to function effectively.
    26 Benign Brain Tumour  A benign brain tumour is a non-cancerous growth of abnormal cells in the brain. 
    27 AIDS Due to Blood Transfusion  It is a situation in which an individual contracts HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which can lead to AIDS when contaminated blood or blood products get mixed.
    28 AIDS Contracted by Medical Staff  It refers to cases where healthcare workers, such as doctors, nurses, etc., become infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) due to occupational exposure to the virus while providing medical care.
    29 Stroke It is a medical emergency that happens due to disruption or disturbance of blood supply to the brain. 
    30 Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension It is a severe and rare medical condition characterised by high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries.
    31 Paralysis or Paraplegia It is a medical condition characterised by the loss of voluntary motor function and sensation in the lower half of the body.
    32 Third-Degree Burns  These are severe burns that damage all layers of the skin, as well as underlying tissues, including muscle and bone. 
    33 Muscle Dystrophy It is a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle weakness and muscle degeneration over time. 
    34 Anaemia Anaemia is a medical condition where the red blood cells (RBCs) start decreasing or there is a decrease in the amount of haemoglobin in the blood.
    35 Heart Valve Replacement  It is a surgical procedure in which a diseased and damaged heart valve is replaced with an artificial valve or a biological (tissue) valve. 
    36 Other Coronary Severe Heart Diseases It is a medical condition caused by 3 significant arteries- the right coronary artery, Circumflex and left anterior descending artery.

    Understanding Critical Illness Insurance

    A critical illness insurance plan is a policy or policy add-on by the insurance company that offers coverage to the policyholder in case of the diagnosis of a critical illness listed under the policy condition.

    Critical illness insurance offers a lump sum to the insured after being diagnosed with a critical illness that can cover medical expenses. However, most insurance companies have a predetermined list of diseases under critical illness insurance.

    Need for Critical Health Insurance

    We have mentioned the 36 critical illnesses; however, people often wonder about the need for health insurance to cover critical illnesses. Some of the reasons for choosing the best critical illness insurance are:

    Quality Healthcare

    Quality care is of utmost importance when treating a critical illness. However, due to the expansive nature of treatment, most people can't afford quality medical care.

    But with critical illness insurance coverage, policyholders can seek the best medical care in reputed hospitals.

    Financial Protection

    Most individuals buy health insurance with critical illness riders when they are fit and healthy to provide financial security to themselves and family for unforeseen medical conditions.

    Under this policy, if the policyholder gets diagnosed with critical disease, the policy will provide financial coverage to cover medical expenses.

    Backup Source of Income

    When individuals get diagnosed with critical illness, they must take a break from their job or business. Without a regular source of income, they won't be able to provide for themselves and their families.

    But, with critical insurance coverage, individuals will have a backup source of income since all the medical bills and expenditures will be covered under the policy.

    Tax benefits

    One of the significant reasons for medical or health insurance is its tax benefits. All the money spent to cure a critical illness or any other disease can be shown on your income tax return to reduce your tax liabilities.

    How to Choose Health Insurance Cover for Critical Illness

    With so many choices for critical illness insurance for senior citizens and other individuals available, choosing the best health insurance plan can be hectic.

    The process becomes more challenging when you need to know what is the maximum age for critical illness coverage and other related questions.

    To help you, below are some considerations for choosing medical insurance with a critical illness rider or standalone policy.


    One factor that needs to be considered while buying a critical health insurance plan is age. If you buy it at a young age with no sign of illness, the policy will be more cost-effective.

    However, critical illness insurance for senior citizens offers comprehensive coverage considering the health risk.

    Sum Assured

    Another factor to remember while choosing the medical insurance plan is the sum assured in case of critical illness. It is the decided sum offered by the insurance company in case of a standard critical illness.

    Using a medical insurance calculator, individuals can check the policy premium based on the coverage they choose and the desired sum assured.

    Inclusions and Exclusions

    Knowing the inclusions and exclusions of critical illness cover or rider is another essential thing. Knowing what is covered under your health insurance plan or not will keep you ahead of the problems.

    Go with a medical insurance plan with a critical illness rider that has more inclusions and fewer exclusions.

    Waiting Period

    Lastly, the waiting period is another factor to consider while choosing a critical insurance plan. It ensures that policyholders will only take advantage of critical illness plans after the waiting period.


    With unhealthy habits and a sedentary lifestyle, the chances of critical illness have increased. It is essential to buy health insurance online with a critical illness rider to protect your financial assets during unforeseen circumstances.


    What are the significant 5 critical illnesses?

    The major 5 critical illnesses are cancer, kidney failure, heart disease, Alzheimer's, paralysis and more.

    What is the criterion for buying Critical Illness Insurance?

    The minimum age criteria for critical illness insurance is 18 years, and the maximum is 65 years.

    Does critical illness have a waiting period?

    The critical illness medical insurance plan comes with a waiting period. After buying a policy, an individual can't take benefit of critical illness coverage to ensure that the policyholder didn't buy a plan with ulterior motives. The waiting period varies between insurers.

    Disclaimer / TnC

    Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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