You weren’t able to work due to a serious illness, how would you pay your bills? Who would take care of you?

Do you know anyone who has ever had cancer, suffered a stroke or had a heart attack?  Alzheimer’s perhaps? Unfortunately, most of us could probably name several people in our family or circle of friends who have been afflicted with one of these illnesses. With today’s advanced medical science, many are surviving. But what happens to a family’s financial well-being while they are going through this difficult period? Recovery costs money! OHIP covers up to a certain point but who pays for treatments not covered by OHIP? What if you have to seek treatment outside of Ontario or Canada? Group benefits help but again, up to a point. If you’re sick, maybe your work group plan may pay part of your salary while you’re in the hospital or getting treatment but what about your spouse’s income. Who pays for that if he or she has to take time off work to be with you? What about the mortgage and living expenses? Life is expensive! The last thing you want to do is deplete your retirement savings in the event of a critical illness as the chances of you surviving a critical illness are very good and you will need those retirement savings later.

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Critical Illness Insurance was first developed in South Africa in 1983 by Dr. Marius Barnard who is the brother of Dr. Christian Barnard, the doctor who performed the first successful open heart transplant surgery. We are all aware of life insurance and the need to protect our loves ones in the event of a premature death but Dr. Barnard saw a need for insurance that pays a “living benefit” to offset lost income and to pay for additional expenses incurred by those who survive a major illness. He also found that the survival rates were higher for people who weren’t worrying about their finances during this critical period. Critical Illness insurance is truly one of the most important coverages available yet so little of the population has coverage in place.

With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Reasons to get Critical Illness Insurance:

  1. With Critical Illness Insurance, 100% of your benefit amount will be paid to you in a tax-free lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a critical illness and survive the amount of time specified in your policy (eg. typically 30 days).
  2. You can also add on a Return of Premium on Cancellation or Expiry on your policy. You can get all of your premiums back if you never get sick or make a claim. This means you are covered in the event of an illness and you are building savings for use down the road. Either way, you are protecting yourself and your family’s financial health.
  3. The illnesses that are covered by Critical Illness Insurance, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke are on the rise which means the odds are higher that you will face one of these illnesses in your lifetime.
  4. Great coverage for single people as there is no partner to help with medical costs and ongoing expenses such as mortgage and loan payments. Critical illness coverage can fill that gap.
  5. Now is the time to lock in premiums while you are young and healthy.The younger you are, the less expensive your premiums will be. The healthier you are, the higher the probability that you will be approved for coverage.
  6. Instead of having to work full-time while you are ill, thanks to the insurance benefit you can just focus on getting better
  7. Critical Illness Insurance can be used to cover anything you wish, your mortgage, loan payments or other expenses, such as the salary of a spouse that has to take time off work to help with your recovery or for medical treatments.
  8. Flexible benefit levels are available in the range of $25,000 to $2,000,000
  9. For children, Critical Illness Insurance also covers childhood illnesses such as Type 1 Diabetes, congenital heart disease, cerebral palsy, autism and others.
  1. The Best Doctors Program provides you with rapid access to over 50,000 doctors recognized as the best by top specialists. You can be confident that you will find the best care at home or abroad.

By purchasing life insurance, you’ve taken an important step toward protecting the financial future you’re building for your loved ones. Now it’s time to take of you!

Joanne Carmichael is the owner of Carmichael Insurance in the Ottawa Region.  To learn more about Critical Illness or other Insurance services or just ask a question, please contact Joanne Carmichael at: joanne_carmichael@cooperators.ca  or 613-723-0747.

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