Compare Critical Illness Insurance

You could save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing the price of critical illness insurance policies.

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What is critical illness insurance?

In 2022, researchers estimate that there will be 233,900 new cases of cancer in Canada and 85,100 deaths from this disease. The emotional and financial impacts of cancer are well known: frequent absences from work and travel for various treatments, family upheaval, body changes, medication, and surgery. If cancer strikes you, will you be able to support yourself while continuing the treatments required to recover? Do you have an emergency fund that would allow you to afford private health care, if needed? Being bothered by financial worries is the last thing you need when you've just been diagnosed with a critical illness.

The implications of a serious illness

A person who becomes critically ill may need in-home help for their care, cleaning or cooking meals, a babysitter or homework help for their children, private health services, and may need to purchase adaptive equipment or try experimental treatments that are not covered by the public plan. Critical illness insurance pays a lump sum to an insured person with a critical illness that meets the policy definition for their specific condition. You can purchase an insurance policy for yourself or your loved ones, such as your spouse or children. How you use the benefit is up to you and you have the right to spend it as you wish. For example, the amount paid by critical illness insurance may allow you to retire earlier or allow a caregiver to temporarily stop working to care for you. So, with the amount your insurance pays, you are better equipped to deal with the new expense caused by your illness. It gives you the financial flexibility you need to take the time to fully recover before returning to work

A private plan complements the Canadian public plan

Like most Canadians, you may have access to public provincial health insurance. This varies from province to province and covers only certain expenses for the care that is required for your medical condition. In addition, you may want to undergo treatment abroad. Critical illness insurance is, therefore, an excellent complement to the provincial plan.

Critical illness insurance for children

Critical illness insurance is for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or health status. Although children are less likely than adults to develop a critical illness, some insurers offer coverage tailored to children. These conditions are not found in adult coverage and can include cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. With this type of insurance, the benefit allows you, for example, to compensate for a loss of income when you have to spend time at your sick child's bedside. If you are reluctant to purchase insurance for your child, know that you can purchase a return of premium clause. In certain circumstances, all or part of the cost of the insurance will be reimbursed to you.

Tips to save on your next critical illness insurance policy in Canada

Compare the coverage offered by several insurers

Critical illness insurance can cover a wide variety of conditions. That's why you need to look at each insurer's list and definition of covered conditions. An offer may seem attractive but offer less coverage than another company. Comparing the products offered requires finding the necessary information and reading it carefully. If you're having trouble understanding what coverage is included in an offer, don't hesitate to ask the insurer questions.

Pay your premium on an annual basis

In general, an insurance policy will cost you less if you avoid paying it in monthly installments. Instead, consider paying your premium annually. Some insurers may charge you up to 8% more if you choose monthly payments. For example, if you have a profile that insurers perceive as riskier and your premiums are high, saving 8% will put a few hundred dollars back in your pocket.

Have a return of premium clause included in your policy

Take a close look at your policy offer to find out under what conditions you could receive a return of premiums. Some critical illness insurance policies may offer to reimburse the premiums you paid under certain circumstances, such as if the policy ends without you making a claim. The amount reimbursed and the conditions for obtaining it depends on each insurer and are detailed at the time of purchase of the policy.

Buy your insurance while you're young and healthy

Insurers almost always reward people who get in early to buy a policy. The cost of critical illness insurance usually varies depending on your health status at the time of purchase, your age and gender. Plus, if you smoke, it will definitely work against you! To benefit from a low premium, buy your insurance policy while you are still young. Waiting as long as possible, when health problems start to appear, is not the best strategy for getting a good premium.

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Learn more about critical illness insurance

Critical Illness Insurance
Critical Illness Insurance
Emma Martin

The Ultimate Guide to Critical Illness Insurance

Canada defines a critical illness as a life-threatening or life-altering illness or condition. Getting diagnosed with a critical illness devastates the patient

Frequently asked questions about critical illness insurance

Is critical illness insurance worth it in Canada?

If you have the health and lifestyle that allows you to get an attractive premium, critical illness insurance can be a real asset, especially if you have had several critical illnesses in your family. To determine if this is the right coverage for you, compare the coverage offered, its price along with the costs you may incur to support yourself, and its coverage in your province for treatment following a critical illness.

What does critical illness insurance cover?

Generally, once you receive the lump sum fromyour insurer, you can use it as you wish. To qualify, you must have an illness listed in your policy. Several common health conditions are usually covered by critical illness insurance, such as heart attacks and strokes. If you have an illness that is not listed in your policy, you will not receive a benefit. In this case, if you also purchased a disability insurance policy, it may help you maintain income during your treatment and recovery. When reading your critical illness insurance policy, take note of the list of covered illnesses and check for exclusions. For example, the policy may cover cancers, but these must affect the tissues around the cancerous organ to be eligible to make a claim. Some insurance policies also offer psychological services, a second medical opinion, or recovery assistance.

Is critical illness insurance taxable in Canada?

No, your critical illness insurance benefits are not taxable in Canada. When you are diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy, you receive a tax-free lump sum payment. Typically, this amount is paid in a single lump sum, approximately 30 days after you make your claim. You then use this money to deal with the financial consequences of the illness.

Can critical illness insurance be canceled in Canada?

Yes, but not at any time. You have a 30-day grace period from the effective date of your policy to cancel it if you are dissatisfied. This period allows you to review your policy in detail to be sure it is right for you. If you purchased your policy with a list of covered illnesses, but then discover that your policy has a list of exclusions that you are not happy with, you can cancel your policy as long as you meet this grace period. As with any other policy, breaking it afterward may be impossible or costly in penalties.

Do I need critical illness insurance in Canada?

If you're in excellent health, you probably think you don't need critical illness coverage. But this is when you can get the best deal. Depending on the province you live in, you may have different health services covered by your government plan. But it's a mistake to believe that public plans will pay for everything you need as a sick person. Can you afford health services that are not covered? You may need them, for example, if an experimental treatment gives you a better chance of recovery. In addition, private insurance allows you to use the money for help at home or for any other need that may arise during an illness.

Does my life insurance policy include critical illness insurance?

Life insurance does not include critical illness coverage. While your critical illness coverage pays out during your lifetime, life insurance is designed for your survivors. It pays your beneficiaries, such as your children, the amount specified in the policy when you die. However, it is possible to buy more than one insurance policy or combine them to cover everything related to your health: life insurance, disability and critical illness.

How much critical illness insurance do I need?

The amount of insurance you purchase will definitely affect the annual premium you pay. There is no need to choose an amount that is too high for your needs. The lump sum you want to receive in the event of a critical illness can easily vary from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive the full amount, as it will depend on your illness and its severity. While some conditions will entitle you to 100% of the insured amount, others will only allow you to receive a partial benefit, such as 35% or 50%. To estimate the amount of coverage you need, assess your financial needs by considering the percentage of coverage you will receive for illnesses that are common in Canada and those that tend to affect your family.

How much does critical illness insurance cost in Canada?

Critical illness insurance premiums vary greatly depending on the amount insured, the length of the coverage period, your age, occupation, gender, as well as whether you smoke or not. Critical illness policies are available in Canada for $15 per month for $50,000 of coverage. If you lower the amount of coverage to $10,000, you can even get it for just a few dollars a month! However, the monthly premium can go up to $400 for an elderly smoker.

Who needs critical illness insurance?

Anyone can need it since no one knows who and when the illness will strike. It is even possible to insure a child. Are there gaps in your public plan? It's a good idea to purchase critical illness insurance. Your social network may not be available to support you in the event of illness. What if you need to hire professional help? This is another situation where critical illness insurance is a good idea. Are you anxious about the impact of a critical illness on your finances? Again, it may be time to find a policy that's right for you!

Are critical illness insurance premiums tax deductible in Canada?

Critical illness insurance purchased individually cannot be deducted from your income, that's the law. The premiums you pay are considered a personal expense, made with after-tax money. However, you can probably include part of your premium as a medical expense, which is eligible for a tax credit. Check with your accountant to see if this is possible. Also, be aware that the insurance benefits you receive in the event of a critical illness will not be taxable.

Can I get critical illness insurance if I have cancer?

If you are currently suffering from cancer, you will have a hard time finding an insurer who would be willing to sign a contract. Those who are open to the idea will likely offer to exclude cancer from the coverage of your policy. This is because your policy will have exclusions, including anything that affects your pre-existing conditions. These are illnesses that showed signs or symptoms before you signed the policy, and the exclusion may even extend to illnesses for which you consulted a doctor before signing. Your chances of getting a good policy will increase if you have been recovering from your cancer for some time.

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

The list of covered critical illnesses is contained in your policy, which is what you should refer to. To give you an idea of what is covered, it is common to find stroke, myocardial infarction, life-threatening cancers, aplastic anemia, severe burns, type 1 diabetes mellitus, muscular dystrophy, flesh-eating disease, occupational HIV infection, and other illnesses, occupational HIV infection, kidney failure, vital organ transplant, Alzheimer's, Lyme and Parkinson's diseases, bacterial meningitis, paralysis, loss of speech, loss of limbs, multiple sclerosis and several other medical conditions.

How do I make a claim for critical illness insurance?

You can make a claim with your insurer as soon as you are diagnosed with a critical illness covered under your policy. The diagnosis must be made by a physician licensed in Canada. If you are diagnosed with a covered illness, you will receive the benefit after a 30-day period. This period is used to verify the information provided and you must survive it to receive your lump sum payment.

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