Be wary of phishing scams. Please visit our Security Advisory page for more information.

What is Early Critical Illness insurance?

What is Early Critical Illness insurance?

Do you need additional coverage for early critical illness? Find the right plan to suit your needs.

01 Feb 2023
What is Early Critical Illness insurance?

When it comes to getting insurance in Singapore, it is crucial to consider early critical illness insurance coverage given the early detection and higher recovery rates with medical advancement today. While health insurance is vital for every person, early critical illness coverage is equally important as it provides a financial cushion for you and your family in the event of critical illness.

What is early critical illness insurance?

Early critical illness insurance provides a payout (could be a lump sum payout for some insurance plans) when the insured person is diagnosed with early stages of critical illness. A prudent decision would be purchasing a policy that provides coverage for medical conditions at its early stage.

If you are looking for an insurance plan that balances life protection and extends to early critical illness coverage, consider Great Eastern’s GREAT Life Advantage, a regular premium investment-linked plan that provides protection against death, total and permanent disability and terminal illness. With its Complete MultiPay CI Plus Advantage Rider, it gives you an option to add on coverage for all stages of critical illness – early, intermediate and critical stages. This optional rider allows you to make a claim on the covered critical illness up to three times and receive 100% of the coverage amount for each claim.

Do you need early critical illness insurance coverage?

Life expectancy in Singapore has been increasing over the years, so are factors such as stress, insomnia, workload, cost of living, and a lack of healthy lifestyle and diet habits among the population! These factors add on to the risk of critical illness lurking in the future. The truth is that being diagnosed with an early critical illness can be highly stressful, not just for the patient, but for the family. A lump sum payout after being diagnosed with a critical illness can open up more treatment options, and provide monetary relief. And that is where early critical illness cover can be extremely important.

Now the question is why is additional coverage for early critical illness needed, if you already have other insurance plans?

  • You already have medical expense insurance

If you already have medical expense insurance, you may wonder whether you need early critical illness insurance on top of it. It may seem like an overkill. But there are differences between both plans that you should know about. 

Medical expense insurance usually reimburses the medical bills that you incur when you get admitted to the hospital. Depending on which medical insurance plan you are signed up for, you will either get 100% coverage on your medical bills or a part of the bills will be paid by the insurance company. With early critical illness insurance, you will get a lump sum payout when diagnosed for the covered critical illness.

  • You have life insurance

The future is uncertain; you may lead a happy, healthy life and the unexpected may hit your family out of the blue. It’s crucial for every person with dependants to have a life   insurance plan. The dependants usually can receive the cash payout from the life insurance policy when the insured person passes away. But if you have early critical illness insurance, you will receive a lump sum payout earlier if diagnosed with a covered early stage of critical illness.

It is always wise to plan for financial protection against the unforeseen. Here at Great   Eastern, we have designed a tool to calculate how much critical illness coverage that you may need according to your lifestyle, treatment expectations and income so you know how much you need to put aside to prepare yourself.

  • Pay for non-medical costs 

While medical expense insurance will reimburse medical bills, there may be other costs involved when you are diagnosed with a critical illness. Nearly 40%* of critical illness survivors we surveyed have to stop working for more than a year, which means a loss of income. This insurance payout can help supplement living expenses during this time.

Choosing the right early critical illness insurance for yourself

When buying any type of insurance, you should always think about your personal considerations. The same applies to early critical illness insurance too. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you find the right plan for your needs:

  • What are the medical conditions covered in the plan?
  • Do you want to be covered against all stages of critical illnesses - early, intermediate and critical stages?
  • How much coverage do I need?
  • What should be the coverage duration of the policy?
  • Will you be covered if there are illness relapses?
  • Do you really need coverage for all critical illnesses?

Let's recap on what we know about early critical illness insurance plans

1.     Is it worth buying early critical insurance coverage?

Yes, it brings a lot of mental peace with it. Early critical illness insurance coverage can be worthwhile by knowing that you will get a lump sum payout in case you are diagnosed with covered medical conditions like early stage cancer, or undergo covered procedures for stroke, heart attack which can be costly to recover from. Hence, it is crucial to get covered as early as possible, especially when you are young and healthy.

2.     Why is early critical illness insurance necessary?

Early critical illness insurance will help to pay major expenses after one is diagnosed so that you can focus on getting better and back to normal life in the early stages of critical illness.

3.     What should be the amount of coverage I buy for my critical illness insurance?

Various studies have found that the recommended† coverage for critical illness insurance that Singaporeans should consider is 3.9 times the annual income or the amount of employment income you will receive in 5 years. It depends on how much you and your family will need to sustain your daily expenses plus any added medical costs during your recovery period. One thing for sure is that having adequate critical illness coverage will help give you peace of mind.

One final note about early Critical Illness Insurance

Speak with our Financial Representative, who would help you understand which critical illness insurance plan will suit you best taking into consideration your age, financial status, family health history, work life and lifestyle. 

GREAT Life Advantage
GREAT Life Advantage

Be covered over and over against critical illness


*Great Eastern Consumer Survey on Critical Illness

† Source: The Straits Times, 26 April 2018.  Working adults have inadequate cover if critical illness strikes, says study.


This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Investments in GREAT Life Advantage are subject to investment risks including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The value of the units in the fund(s) and the income accruing to the units, if any, may fall or rise. Please refer to Fund Details and Product Highlights Sheet for the specific risks of the fund(s). Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid.

The information presented is for general information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. This is only a product information provided by us. 

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites ( or

Let us match you with a qualified financial representative

Our financial representative will answer any questions you may have about our products and planning.


Request Callback

How can we help you?

Your last Servicing Representative will contact you.

Thank you

Your submission has been sent successfully.


Stay connected with Lifepedia

Join our mailing list on latest happenings and promotions