Comparing Canada’s Top Disability Insurance Plans

We reached out to Tim Landry to provide us LSM Insurance with an in-depth analysis of Canada’s top disability insurance plans.
Tim is been offering disability insurance solutions to Canadians for over 45 years and has a real passion for this market.
Plan Names: Lifestyle Protection Independence
Market: Professional, White & Blue Collar
Pros: “Build your own plan” product, fit product to budget, excellent policy wording; sickness coverage.
Cons: Because of the “build your own plan”, you may not have coverage in your own occupation and may not have coverage for “non-total” disabilities. Independence premiums may be increased and coverage canceled if occupation becomes uninsurable.
Unique Features: (Lifestyle Protection) “Catch up”, “Expense Equalizer”, “Sale of Business Facilitator”, Lifetime Accident and Sickness
Plan Names: ProGuard, Venture, Synergy, Personal Accident
Market: ProGuard is for higher (2A, 3A, 4A, 4S) occupational classes. Venture has versions aimed at Business Owners, Full-time employees, Permanent Part-time employees, and Farmers. Synergy is a combined Life Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, and Disability Insurance product. Personal Accident is aimed at those looking for limited coverage, retired, and otherwise uninsurable clients.
Pros: ProGuard has the best policy wording in the industry (as of November 21, 2017); products include PensionGuard and optionally the most liberal Health Protection rider.
Cons: Personal Accident premiums may be increased but the coverage may never be canceled.
Plan Names: Professional, Quantum, Foundation, Bridge, Fundamental, Retirement Protector
Market: Given that they have the most experience to draw on in Canada in this product, they have something to suit every market and every budget. Personally, I would rank them (1) Professional (2) Foundation (3) Quantum (4) Bridge and (5) Fundamental. They are the best for doctors and dentists.
Pros: Guaranteed Standard Issue
Cons: Frankly, I can’t think of any except that they have become slower to update their existing policies.
Unique Features: If you have a large or “different” case, they can probably help more than others.
Plan Names: Blue Flex, Blue Vision, Tangible
Market: Clients who are prepared to accept lower cost and lower quality products.
Pros: Can include health and dental protection as well as a conversion to Long-Term Care Insurance.
Cons: Prices not guaranteed
Unique Features: (See Pros)
Plan Names: Solo Disability Insurance, Solo Essential Disability Insurance
Market: Any occupations (Solo Essential is accessible to those who don’t otherwise qualify), prime target market clients of unions/Caisse
Pros: Priced to be accessible to those who can’t afford better products.
Cons: Premiums can be adjusted.
Unique Features: Critical Illness benefit
Plan Names: Superior Program
Market: Any insurable occupation- the company is strongest in the Professional Association and Union markets, but is very active in all markets.
Pros: Options for 5 years renewable or level to age 65 premium structures.
Cons: Premiums are not guaranteed.
Unique Features: Able to guarantee occupational class and certain benefits
Plan Names: P.A.G.E. and P.A.I.R.E.
Market: Any insurable occupation
Pros: Company is trying to get active with all potentially insurable clients.
Cons: Premiums are not guaranteed.
Unique Features: Limited coverage available for LIFE.
Plan Names: Pillar
Market: Self-employed, Business Owners, and those difficult to insure.
Pros: 1st-day sickness coverage and products specifically designed to insure their market.
Cons: Prices are not guaranteed- you can get better coverage but it will be more expensive.
Unique Features: 1st-day sickness
I have been involved with Living Benefits since October 1969. I have worked for companies as well as MGA’s. Originally, my strength was my product knowledge, but Easter Weekend 1988 taught me that product knowledge – no matter how great – is not enough. That weekend I learned that disability can affect everyone and it hit my brother hard. He was in his car driving from Orangeville to the Toronto Airport when some idiot passed him where he should not have. Result: a head-on collision at a combined speed of 200 kmph. We thought we lost him. He has had seven hip rebuilds and the last time I saw him without his cane, he was dancing with his daughter at her wedding.  Still, all this is minor. The blood transfusions that saved his life gave him Hepatitis C. I will do everything in my power so that no one has to live with something like this.

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  • Jon Rogers
    January 14, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Why haven’t you mentioned that the only one of these insurance companies that does underwriting upon application is La Capitale? As an agent for them I feel like that is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire disability insurance conversation.

    • LSM Insurance
      March 8, 2019 at 9:04 am

      Jon, Thanks for sharing your thoughts

      September 18, 2019 at 12:15 am

      Manulife, Desjardins, Great West Life: all underwrite their clients during the application process.

      • Dima
        September 18, 2019 at 8:13 am

        Thanks for sharing Kelly

  • Rick Fuller
    November 30, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t think I have ever seen Tim look soo good.Congrates.