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April 1, 2024

Approximately 50% Canadians will experience a heart attack, stroke, or cancer in their lifetime. And while this is an alarming statistic, the good news is that thanks to advances in medicine along with early detection, more and more of us are surviving these events. The bad news is that recovering from these critical illnesses is expensive. Between medicines and therapy not covered by government healthcare, to modifications that may be needed in the home, along with lost wages, childcare, etc., when there is a critical illness in the household, it can be a terrible financial blow to a family which can quickly deplete their hard-earned savings and even force them deep into debt.  

Is there a way to prevent this kind of financial hardship? The answer is yes. You can protect yourself and your family with critical illness insurance.  

What is critical illness insurance?  

Critical illness insurance is a type of living benefit insurance that will pay you a tax-free lump sum of money if you develop a life-threatening illness such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke and survive the waiting period (which is usually 30 days).  

Just like other forms of insurance, you will be required to pay a monthly premium, the amount of which will be based on the amount of coverage you purchase and the level of risk you are deemed to be by the insurance company.  

In most cases, once a critical insurance policy pays out, the insurance is terminated (unless you add a ‘second event’ rider which would cover you in the event you suffered a second critical illness).  

What illnesses are covered in a critical illness insurance policy?  

A basic crucial illness policy will cover the most common illnesses: cancer, heart-attack, and stroke, however most insurance companies also offer extended coverage for a minimal extra charge that can cover dozens of conditions including kidney disease, Parkinson’s, paralysis, and loss of independent living.  

Do I have to use the money to pay for medical expenses?  

No. The payout (benefit) goes directly to you and may be used by you for whatever purpose you choose. Common uses for critical illness benefits include:  

  • Medical treatment and therapy.  
  • Covering living expenses while taking time off from work to recover.  
  • Home retrofitting to make your home more accessible.  
  • Childcare. 
  • Home Care. 
  • Travel expenses to see loved ones, or to bring loved ones to visit you while you are recovering.  

How expensive is critical illness insurance?  

Critical illness insurance is more expensive than a term life insurance policy, but not so expensive that it is unaffordable. It is certainly less expensive than experiencing a critical illness! The exact amount will depend on a number of factors including your age, smoking status, family history of critical illnesses, overall health, how much coverage you opt for, the term of the policy, and any riders you add to the policy.  

Some insurance companies allow you to combine critical illness insurance with life insurance in order to reduce your premiums.  

When should you get critical illness insurance?  

Critical illness insurance is something that you should get as soon as possible – while you are young and healthy. While you are young, the premiums for critical illness will be lower than if you wait. Furthermore, once you have an illness or health condition, it could cause your premiums to be rated (go up) or it could even make you ineligible to get the insurance. The best time to get critical illness insurance is now.  

Contact ICD Insurance today 

Would you like to learn about your options for critical illness insurance? If so, contact ICD Insurance today to speak to a broker