Let's say I'm going to be a living donor for a relative. I'm about to willingly undergo major surgery with known (albeit low) risks. I will be taking on significant debt to pay for the whole thing. I would, therefore, want to go in with the knowledge that if I don't make it out alive at least my debts are paid off and my family is taken care of.

Are there any insurance companies (India-specific) that would cover this kind of risk? What kind of policy would it be? (life insurance? medical?)

  • As JoeTaxpayer said, you are amazingly generous and I hope that all will turn out well and that there will be no need for the insurance company to pay a death benefit. That being said, many insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage if you participate in certain activities that increase your risk of dying. A common joke is that death during lion-taming is not covered. Whether donating an organ constitutes participating in a hazardous activity that is excluded from coverage is something that you need to look into. As Joe says, there may be waiting periods too that will not suit you. Jun 14, 2012 at 17:43
  • Does the other party have insurance? In the US the procedure would be covered by the recipients insurance. I don't know how that translates into life and disability coverage. Jun 14, 2012 at 21:10
  • @mhoran_psprep Due to various reasons, the recipients insurance has rejected all claims so far that have led up to the diagnosis for a transplant. I am not optimistic on whether they will cover the transplant itself.
    – Ragesh
    Jun 15, 2012 at 3:29
  • @DilipSarwate I suppose you're right. I was hoping that there would be some way to get around the increased risk. Perhaps by agreeing to a higher premium, or paying the full premium amount up-front.
    – Ragesh
    Jun 15, 2012 at 3:32
  • @Ragesh This may not be super helpful, but I have to say that I have been in that sort of a situation, so Respect for opting to be a donor. I believe this will fall under medical insurance and will mostly have to be negotiated first-hand.
    – Abhic
    Jul 25, 2012 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


While the chance of a plane crash is very low, and the insurance one buys for a two day trip very overpriced for the risk, I always hear "tell that to the families of flt xxx that crashed last week." So, I understand your request. Life insurance is tough. You usually have to die to collect. A complete disability or long term illness isn't enough.

This is one of those times I suggest talking to an insurance agent, both medical and life. Explain your intention, as it's best to be honest. If I buy life insurance, there may be some exclusions or waiting period, after all, a suicidal person may very well have the thought to first buy a huge policy for his family. By explaining the reason and timing of your purchase you can make sure you have the right product.

(by the way, I wish you well, it's a kind, amazing, thing you are about to do.)

  • Thanks, Joe. I guess you're right -- I really should be talking to an agent about this as it's a complicated situation.
    – Ragesh
    Jun 15, 2012 at 3:31
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    @Ragesh - When you are recovered, and back on line, please come back and update to share how you are doing. This is one question where I hope to get an update. And to hear that you and the recipient are both doing great. I wish you well, sir! Jun 15, 2012 at 14:12

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