What is Critical Illness Insurance? Critical Illness Insurance provides a one-time lump sum benefit should you be diagnosed by a qualified physician or specialist with one of the illnesses covered by your policy, and you survive. The survival period is usually 30 days. Critical Illness Insurance coverage varies greatly from policy to policy and the term of the policy may also vary with some policies covering you to age 65, age 75, or for life. The benefit will be paid only on the first insured condition for which a diagnosis is made or surgery is performed, and then the coverage terminates. All applications are subject to a satisfactory statement of health (your current health and family history will be subject to examination) and the insurer may request that certain tests are performed. There are many options available including Second Event Coverage, Return of Premium at Expiry, Return of Premium at Death, Automatic Increasing Benefits, and Waiver of Premium on Disability. Critical Illness Insurance is also available for children.

Do I need Critical Illness Insurance? Most of us will be affected by a critical illness in our lifetime as is evidenced by these statistics. The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that:

  • 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are predicted to develop heart in disease in their lifetime
  • 1/3 of stroke victims are under the age of 65
  • 60% of stroke victims will be left with a disability

The Canadian Cancer Society reports that:

  • More than 130,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year
  • More than 60,000 people in Canada will die from cancer this year
  • 1 in 2.4 men and 1 in 2.7 women living in Canada will develop cancer

The Parkinson’s Foundation of Canada reports that:

  • There are approximately 80,000 – 100,000 Canadians suffering from Parkinson’s

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada reports that:

  • More than 50,000 Canadians have Multiple Sclerosis.

What Critical Illnesses will my policy cover? Critical Illness Insurance policies may offer you the option of insurance for the three most commonly claimed critical illnesses – Heart Attack, Cancer, and Stroke. Depending on the insurer and the plan, up to 25 medical conditions may be covered – heart attack, cancer, stroke, coronary artery by-pass surgery, blindness, paralysis, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), bacterial meningitis, kidney failure, loss of independent existence, loss of limbs, loss of speech, aplastic anemia, deafness, Parkinson’s disease, severe burns, aorta surgery, heart valve replacement, occupational HIV infection, benign brain tumour, major organ transplant, and major organ failure.

What can I use the money from my Critical Illness benefit for? There are absolutely no restrictions on how you use the money. You can use it for anything that you choose including medical care, paramedical care, out-of-country treatment, alternative treatment, paying monthly bills, home renovations, adapting your vehicle, or taking a vacation.