A man and woman research critical illness insurance together using laptops.

No matter how hard we try, we simply can’t predict what’s waiting for us around the next corner. Life’s unpredictability makes critical illness insurance an excellent option for people looking to help protect their family’s finances.

Critical illness insurance can provide valuable support should you or a family member experience a serious illness, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. Consider the following reasons to contact a financial security advisor about critical illness insurance today.

1.    Critical illnesses happen more than you think

For many Canadians – and especially those who are young, healthy or both – the idea of experiencing a critical illness like cancer, heart attack or stroke can seem distant and remote.

But nearly 3 in every 4 Canadians know someone who has experienced a serious illness.1 The Canadian Cancer Society reports that 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer at some point during their lives.2 It’s also worth noting that there are about 70,000 heart attacks and 50,000 strokes in Canada each year.3

2.    It can have a serious impact on you and your family

Thanks to recent medical advancements, more people are expected to survive cancer and other critical illnesses.4 That’s great, but what might your finances look like if a critical illness prevents you from working for an extended period of time? Additionally, how would a critical illness impact those closest to you, like your family members – would they have to give up some of the things they love?

Critical illness insurance can help you and your loved ones prepare for what’s ahead and could help you maintain your current lifestyle during your recovery.

3.    You may not be covered

Not all Canadians know about critical illness insurance. Those who do may think they’re covered through a work group benefits plan or their province’s healthcare plan. But not all plans are the same – while some offer critical illness insurance or disability insurance, many do not. Even if you are covered, you may lose that coverage if you leave your job. 

As for coverage through Canada’s public healthcare system, it’s true the government may cover some of your medical expenses. However, it may not cover all of them, which could be problematic if you’re required to undergo expensive treatment or if you’re prescribed a particularly costly medication. In addition, the government won’t pay for many of the extra costs associated with fighting a critical illness, like hospital parking, gas and meals. Over time, these expenses can really add up.

To ensure that your family is prepared for a life-altering illness now and in the future, check your group benefits plan to see if it includes critical illness coverage. Even if you are covered, it may be worth talking to a financial security advisor about acquiring your own critical illness insurance coverage.

4.    Focus on your health rather than your finances

With critical illness insurance, you don’t have the added stress of having to choose what’s best for your family versus what’s best for your health.

If you experience a critical illness, you can receive a lump sum cash payment that you can use however you need to help with your recovery – you can hire a caregiver to help around the house, you can take time off work to recover on your own terms or you can pay for medical expenses not covered by your employer or provincial healthcare plans.

5.    Waiting comes with a cost

It’s easy to dismiss the thought of a life-altering illness while you’re young, healthy or both. But keep the following in mind:

  • If you wait, you may have difficulty qualifying and the cost will likely increase.
  • Your ability to qualify for critical illness insurance is affected by changes to your health – and, potentially, by changes in the health of your parents and siblings.
  • The cost of critical illness insurance depends on your age and the likelihood you’ll be diagnosed with such an illness; as such, prices typically increase as you get older.
  • People may not consider buying critical illness insurance until a family member experiences a serious illness, but such an event could actually make getting coverage more difficult.

Want to learn more about critical illness insurance? A financial security advisor with Freedom 55 Financial can provide you with additional information about critical illness insurance and how it can benefit you and your family.

1 “Critical illness insurance thought leadership research: A summary of findings, Sept. 14, 2015,” report  commissioned by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life™ and conducted by Head Research.

2 Laurie Down, “Covering the Cost of Critical Illnesses,” Cancer Care News.

3 Together, these two issues account for roughly 350,000 hospitalizations each year. “2014 Report on the Health of Canadians,” Heart & Stroke Foundation.

4 Arti Patel, “Cancer Statistics in Canada: Rates, Deaths Fall but Skin Cancer on the Rise, Report Finds,” The Huffington Post Canada, May 28, 2014.

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