Many Canadians are opting for critical illness insurance to bridge gaps in their health insurance coverage.
They are worried that some expensive drugs aren’t covered by medical plans and they will will not be able to afford for additional expenses such as rehabilitation costs or a spouse having to leave work to provide care.
Critical illness insurance gives a lump sum for a diagnosis of the critical illnesses listed in the contract.
Although they differ from company to company, typical illnesses and diseases covered by critical illness insurance may include:
Depending on the policy selected, additional conditions may also be covered. The policy ends when the benefit is paid.
Coverage can also vary according to the degree of severity of, or conditions associated with, an illness or disease. For example, if you are diagnosed with a type of cancer that is treatable and that results in minimal "down time", you will be eligible to receive a partial claim.
Do I Need Critial Illness Insurance?
Many Canadians do not possess adequate coverage to effectively cope financially if they are stricken with a critcial illness. It is always best to speak to a professional insurance advisor to accurately determine if a critical illness insurance policy is recommended for you.
How much does it cost?
Generally, the healthier you are, the lower the premium (cost). However, the cost varies depending on your age, medical condition, whether or not you use tobacco, the amount of coverage, the number of illnesses covered by the policy, and the insurance company.
It pays to shop around to get the best rate and to use the services of a professional insurance advisor. When shopping for a critical illness plan, you should consider your income, financial obligations and your family's needs if you become critically ill.
How can I make a claim?
In simple terms, you can make a claim if a physician, licensed to practice medicine in Canada and specializing in your particular illness, diagnoses you with a critical illness or disease covered by your policy.
If my claim is approved, when will I receive payment?
Generally, a lump-sum benefit payment will be made to you 30 days after the claim has been approved. There are no restrictions on how you use the money and once your claim is paid, your critical illness insurance policy ceases. It is also important to note that you are entitled to collect the entire benefit even if you make a full recovery.
There are also select critical illness insurance polices that may pay a secondary lump sum benefit if you experience a second event (e.g., heart attack) as a consequence of your initial critical illness.
Is disability insurance the same as critical illness insurance?
No. Disability insurance, also known as “income replacement” insurance, provides a monthly income replacement benefit if you become disabled and can no longer perform the normal duties of your work. Generally, the benefit is limited to a percentage of your regular income and ceases once you earn an income or you no longer meet the definition of disability in the contract.
Critical illness insurance, on the other hand, provides the full policy benefit in a lump sum payment on diagnosis of a critical illness. Long-term disability policies may have a waiting period from the onset of disability and unlike critical illness benefits, long-term disability benefits may be affected by other income you receive or by your full recovery from the illness.
Protect yourself and your family by investigating one of the most important things you can do: acquiring critical illness insurance in Canada.
Interested in learning more about Critical Illness Insurance and how it can protect you and your family? Download our free ebook: The Beginner's Guide to Critical Illness Insurance.