A colleague of mine was diagnosed with brain cancer today and when I asked whether he had a critical illness policy, he said “NO! Can you believe after all these years of telling clients how important this insurance is, that I did not stop to put my own policy in place.” And then he called himself a name I won’t repeat.
The point of this blog is to remind you all of what this type of insurance is and why it makes a lot of sense for certain individuals to have it. Critical Illness is an insurance plan that pays you a lump sum on day 31 of a critical illness diagnosis such as cancer, heart attack and stroke. The insurance company I prefer lately for my clients provides protection for up to 22 covered conditions. Also included in the coverage are other great benefits like an early intervention benefit, which provides a percentage of your coverage for the early stages of some cancers and for coronary angioplasty.
The lump sum payment is paid tax free and can be used any way you wish. For example, you can pay for daily expenses related to your recovery, reduce or pay off debts, make alterations to your home or vehicle, seek specialized medical treatment, fund a leave of absence and more. Given that your risks of being diagnosed with a critical illness are high, but also high probability that you will recover from it, the fear is whether you can afford to be sick. The founder of Critical Illness Insurance, Dr. Barnard says it best, “You need financial independence when you’re ill. Not because you’re going to die, but because you’re going to live.”
Please read through these frequently asked questions and call me at 416-481-3433 if you feel this is something you want to discuss either for yourself, or someone close to you.
What are my chances of suffering from a critical illness?
Consider these statistics and facts:*
* Statistics sources: Heart and Stroke Foundation. Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. National Cancer Institute of Canada: Canadian Cancer Statistics.
What are my chances of surviving from a critical illness?
Advances in medical science and increasing life expectancies mean you have a better chance of surviving a critical illness. However, a critical illness can bring overwhelming medical and financial burden to you and your family.
Some survival statistics:
World renowned heart surgeon Dr. Marius Barnard helped develop critical illness insurance. Dr. Barnard witnessed the emotional strains that many of his patients faced after surviving serious illnesses. Financial stress often worked against recovery or, in many cases, left patients struggling to pay bills as they resumed their lives.
“You need financial independence when you’re ill,” said Dr. Barnard. “Not because you’re going to die, but because you’re going to live.”