Critical illness and disability insurance are products designed to protect the insured if he or she loses the ability to work due to an unexpected injury or a clinically diagnosed illness. Navigators (and our affiliates at McLean Hallmark Financial Ltd) specialize in working one-on-one with its clients in order to determine their specific and unique insurance needs. Depending on the level of risk you assume, having sufficient coverage can greatly lessen the impact that a physical ailment or bodily damage can have on your financial ability to continue supporting your family.
Money worries can normally cause tremendous stress in the best of times. When faced with a life-threatening issue, however, money should be the last thing to cause stress. Instead, beneficiaries can focus on the main concern at hand, and that is to get well.
Critical Illness Insurance And Its Benefits
While national health care in Canada can be relied upon to help you deal with the treatment of a malady or injury, it is simply not designed to protect your lifestyle or your personal assets during your treatment. This is where having critical illness and disability insurance is essential to take over where medicare leaves off.
Care and medical treatment can be a lengthy and costly expense to bear as a result of an illness. Critical illness insurance will ostensibly pay you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness that is clinically diagnosed. The policy is attractive in a sense because premiums can be reimbursed under certain circumstances. If no claim is made, you are entitled to your money back. What is also attractive is the fact that receiving a lump sum can immediately help to alleviate the financial burden of many of the costs associated with health care.
Various insurance companies will have different underwriting criteria on what types of critical illness they will cover. Make sure you go over the conditions described in the contract with each covered critical illness with your Navigators / McLean Hallmark Financial advisor. The following are general conditions that are typically covered by most critical illness insurance plans (different insurance companies may cover more or fewer of these):
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Aortic Surgery
- Aplastic Anaemia
- Bacterial Meningitis
- Benign Brain Tumour
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
- Heart Attack
- Heart Valve Replacement
- Kidney Failure
- Life-Threatening Cancer
- Loss of Limbs
- Loss of Speech
- Major Organ Transplant on Waiting List
- Major Organ Transplant
- Motor Neuron Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Occupational HIV Infection
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Severe Burns
What To Expect With Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is an insurance product that is designed to provide you with financial security in the event an accident or an illness does not allow you to work and earn income. It allows you to meet your financial obligations and maintain your lifestyle should something happen. However, there is great scrutiny and risk assessment analysis of your lifestyle. Your background and history would have to be squeaky clean. That means no neck pain or bad backs and no history of mountain climbing. The reason it is hard to claim disability insurance is because it is very difficult to diagnose some types of problems that can keep people off work.
Disability insurance can defray the cost of such things as:
- Loss of earned income
- Mortgage payments
- Car payments or other household expenses
- Medical expenses not covered by the government
Tips to Reduce Critical Illness and Disability Insurance Cost
Over the past 10 years, critical illness and disability insurance have risen in cost. While having coverage is critical for financial security, it won’t do any good if you can’t afford the monthly payments. Consider the following tips:
- Purchase protection as early in life as possible. Costs rise as does the age of the applicant. By the age of 50, the cost to insure may be too great to be managed.
- Be selective of coverage. While you can be covered for dozens of maladies, you can also tailor a policy to only cover for illnesses you consider your highest priority.
- Select a 10-year plan rather than non-cancellable or guaranteed renewable. By buying into a longer term plan, your insurer can show a reward for your ongoing payments.
- You can avoid return-of-premium contracts. They cost more because the insurer refunds a portion of the premium when the policy matures or if no claim is made.
Critical Illness and Disability Insurance is Everyone’s Concern
The fact is, regardless of your lifestyle and to what degree your risk factors play a part, a critical illness or injury can happen to anyone. For example:
- It is estimated there are over 70,000 heart attacks in Canada each year
- There are between 40,000 and 50,000 strokes in Canada each year
- An estimated 3,075 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every week
When you’re ready to discuss your critical illness and disability insurance concerns, contact a Navigators / McLean Hallmark Financial broker. These specialists can help you determine the adequate level of protection that you need, based upon your life, your obligations and your major priorities.