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Thinking of getting Critical Insurance coverage? Update yourself on these changes first

As we move into more stable waters in this COVID-19 environment, perhaps you might be shifting your focus to your own health and insurance coverage. In light of this, if you have wondered about getting Critical Insurance (CI) coverage for yourself or your loved ones, this would be a ‘critical’ time to do so.

The Life Insurance Association (LIA) is changing the definition of CI and this new framework will kick in from 26th August 2020. That gives you 1 month or so to look into your CI coverage. Read on to find out what these new changes mean for you: 

1. Clearer definitions of CI based on medical advancements and health trends

According to LIA president Khor Hock Seng, it was necessary to relook the CI framework to address ambiguities of existing CI definitions, which arose from advancements in medical technology and health trends in the last 5 years. 

Based on LIA’s findings, over 90% of all severe stage claims received by life insurers are from 5 CIs: Major cancer, heart attack of specified severity, stroke with permanent neurological deficit, coronary artery bypass surgery and end-stage kidney failure.

The changes in framework give a more accurate definition of coverage and/or exclusions in 3 of the 5 major CIs and various diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy and Systemic Lupus Erythematous with lupus nephritis that would impact the majority of severe stage claims. The major definition changes are listed below (Tilt your phone horizontally to view): 

CI Changes Original Wordings New Wordings
Major Cancer


The term maglinant tumour includes leukemia, lymphoma and sarcoma The term Major Cancer includes but is not limited to leukemia, lymphoma and sarcoma

Additional exclusions:

1. All grades of dysplasia, squamous intraepithelial lesions and intra epithelial neoplasia

2. All non-melanoma skin carcinoma, skin confirmed primary cutenaeous lymphoma and dermafibrosarcoma protuberans unless evidence of metastases to lymph nodes and beyond

3. All neuroendocrine tumours histologically classified as T1N0M0 or below

4. All Gastro-intestinal stromal tumors histologically classified as Stage 1 or 1A

Heart Attack Death of heart muscle due to obstruction of blood flow Death of the heart muscle due to ischaemia
Stroke Stroke Stroke with Permanent Neurological Deficit

Additional exclusions:

Secondary haemorrhage within a pre-existing cerebral lesion

Aplastic Anaemia Aplastic Anaemia

Chronic persistent bone marrow failure

Irreversible Aplastic Anaemia

Chronic persistent and irreversible bone marrow failure

Multiple Sclerosis The definite occurrence of Multiple Scelerosis The definite diagnosis  of Multiple Sclerosis
Loss of Speech                                      Total and irrecoverable loss of the ability to speak Total and irreversible loss of the ability to speak
Muscular Dystrophy A group of hereditary degenerative diseases of muscle characterised by weakness and atrophy of muscle The unequivocal diagnosis of muscular dystrophy must be made by a consultant a consultant neurologist
Parkinson’s Disease Parkinson’s Disease Idiopathic Parkinson Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease/Severe Dementia Deterioration or loss of intellectual capacity as confirmed by clinical evaluation and imaging tests. Deterioration or loss of cognitive function as confirmed by clinical evaluation and imaging test
Benign Brain Tumour Current Exclusion list



Vascular Malformation


Tumours of the pituitary gland or spinal cord

New Exclusion list

Same as Current Plus



Blindness Vision is measured at 3/60 or worse in both eyes Vision is measured at 6/60 or worse in both eyes
Systemic Lupus Erythematous with lupus nephritis A Multi-system, multifactorial, autoimmune disorder characterised by the development of auto-antibodies directed against various self-antigens

WHO Classifications

The unequivocal diagnosis of SLE based on diagnostic criteria and supported with clinical and laboratory evidence


RPS/ISN Classification system

Other Serious Coronary Artery Disease Proven by coronary arteriography Proven by invasive coronary angiography

2.Existing CI policy holders will not be affected by new framework

For existing policy holders that are already covered by CI insurance, rest assured your policy will still follow the 2014 LIA CI Definition Framework. You will still be able to enjoy the benefits of the old CI definition. 

What you can do now to improve your coverage would be to relook your policy to ensure that your CI insurance coverage amount is 10 times your existing annual income (as a rule of thumb). This is meant to provide sufficient financial coverage for 10 years, in the case that you are diagnosed with CI. Reach out to your financial advisor to find out how you can get better protected. 

3. Get CI insurance coverage within the next month

For those that have yet to get themselves covered for CI and want to be covered under the older 2014 LIA CI Definition Framework, schedule an appointment with your financial advisor as soon as possible. As mentioned, the new framework will kick in on 26th August 2020.

Aside from this looming deadline, it is also important to get CI coverage and insurance plan while you are in the pink of health. Check out and compare the different options for CI insurance plans on Moneyline SG here

If you want a customized quote from a partnered financial advisor, please fill in the forms below and they will get back to you.

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