What to look out for when buying critical illness insurance

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Critical illness is not something we’d like to face at any point in our lives. Because the risk of getting ill can never be eliminated completely, it’s important that we take precautions so that you’re able to make the financial choices required to make a difference when needed most. Securing the right insurance now while you’re healthy is one way to cover some of the unexpected expenses that could arise as a result of a critical illness.

Leading causes of critical illness claims?

70% – Cancer
14% – Heart attack
5% – Stroke
5% – Other
4% – Coronary artery bypass surgery
2% – Multiple sclerosis

Sadly, critical illness can affect any one of us, no matter what age or gender. It usually strikes when we expect it at the least, and it unfortunately does happen to many. Canadians are more likely to experience a critical illness than they are to die before the age of 75. Critical illness insurance pays a lump sum benefit following the diagnosis of one of the covered illnesses. It offers you choices and allows you to recover on your own terms without having to search for additional financial choices to cover all the expenses. With this type of insurance, you may afford medicine and treatments that are not covered by group, personal or government plans. You will be able to replace lost income and maintain your business until you can return to work.

Critical Ilness Insurance Claims Table

Example of the benefits paid for critical illness insurance claims

When looking for buying such policy, make sure your broker answers questions related to the points below:

  • Financial coverage. The amount of critical illness insurance you can purchase and the age of the insured person varies from company to company. Ask your broker to find out and suggest what is most beneficial for you.
  • Type of protection and durations. Is the amount of coverage fixed or does it decrease as time goes? Also find out whether the premiums increase over time. Term policies allow you allow maximum short term protection according to your available budget. Many policies also offer a return of premium option if a claim is not made.
  • Illnesses covered and restrictions. Find out if all the standard medical conditions are covered by your insurance policy, for example: Heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass, cancer, kidney failure, organ transplant, major organ failure on waiting list, multiple sclerosis, blindness, deafness, coma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, speech loss, loss of limbs, paralysis and so on. For restrictions, find out the number of days the condition is required to persist for you to be eligible for the claim. As an example, some insurance companies require 180 days in the case of paralysis, while others only 90.
  • Exlusions. Almost all contracts on the market are being systematically updated with other exclusions, such as self-mutilation and cancer diagnosis within the first 90 days of the contract taking effect.

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blenda allen
blenda allen

I would like to purchase a disability long term illness policy but not sure which one to purchase. My husband and I are both 60 years of age and would like a good policy in case we get long term illness or sickness.

How much is this policy. Is there a senior rate.

What is the best policy to and where to buy such policy in canada.

I am living in Newfoundland, Canada. Thanks

Mara
Mara

I am wondering why the eligibility of Critical Illness insr. excludes dependent children?

Are there any C.I. policies that would include my child?

Thx,
Mara

Mara
Mara

I appreciate that you let us know. It is often difficult to compare the products of the many companies out there.

One of my insurance companies has only recently condescended to offer certain policy information online–of course, there is the usual caveat:
“check with your plan administrator for specific details.” Yeah, like I can ever reach her! 🙂

Thanks for that information,

Marc
Marc

I’m 37 and living in Alberta and would like to know what type of insurance that does not have 3 to 24 month waiting and paying into their plans so I could use their benefits if there is such companies.

Rita
Rita

Hello Lorne,

I am currently looking at a critical illness policy with Sunlife. And I am 53 years of age/Non-smoker.

If I start paying into my policy now for the next 22 years until age 75 and don’t make any claims – would my policy end after 22 years? And would this amount be refundable back to me?

jean
jean

Hi Lorne,

If you make a CI claim. How long do you think does an insurance company able to respond/pay. Granting of course that it is truly an illness covered in your policy.

Parm Parmar
Parm Parmar

I am looking to buy critical illness insurance, I am from B.C. and I wanted to know if Canada Life is a good company to go with.

bora
bora

Hi,
Could you please tell me where to purchase these three insurances and some information about each one? I am a 38 year old, woman, non smoker, have no children, divorced.
Thanks

Asim Khan
Asim Khan

My wife and I are looking to buy critical illness insurance, I am from ON and I wanted to know if Empire Life is a good company to go with.

Joy
Joy

Hi,my husband and I are looking for critical illness/disability insurance to supplement our life insurance.I am 49and he is turning 50 this year both nonsmokers. We are meeting with our financial advisor this weekend and for sure she will offer us one but I would like to compare plans before commitment.what can you suggest?

cindy
cindy

Hi there,
I am looking at getting critical illness insurance for my husband (sept 1976). Just wondering what the diff in price in term and term with a rider on it for premium return. Do you offer insurance for people in NB?

Cindy

Emy
Emy

My husband has been refused by 2 insurance companys (2-3months ago) due to his problem of a high protien on his kidney and his regularly taking a high blood pressuure pills for prevention.Our insurance broker said that he will be approved only for $50000 with high premuim rate approx.($100.00/month).He said the policy probably goes up to $100,000 in a following years having the medical every 6 months. please give us advice,what we gonna do. thank you.

Stan
Stan

I am single, healthy and just turned 37. This was also the first year anniversary of my critical illness insurance (CII) and I have submitted my 2nd annual premium but am actually contemplating cancelling the CII.
My SunLife insurance agent is meeting with me in a couple of days to convince me otherwise. I am not happy that I signed on with her without looking at other insurance companies. Is it too late to compare plans?

Andrea
Andrea

Hi Lorne,

I’m 30 years old and my partner is 38. We are both educations and are interested in CI insurance but have had a really hard time deciding on the right company. Multiple Sclerosis, chronic fatigue and M. gravis, run in my family, (brother, aunt, uncle) while heart attacks and blood clotting (aneurysms) run in my partners. Any suggestions on the best plans out there in BC? Right now I am going through SunLife for my life insurance.

Abdul
Abdul

I would like to know the cost of disability insurance,? there is a history of heart attacks in my family. I am 40 years old.

Thanks,
Abdul

INGRID
INGRID

Hello: My husband suffered a heart attack and as a result had to insert a stent and he is fine. The sad part is he did not have critical illness insurance. How can we get critical illness insurance now and at what cost. He is 45 yrs old, never smoked. I am 50 years old,never smoked and in excellent health.

Kylie
Kylie

Hello,
I’m seeking critical illness/disability insurance. I am covered under a work plan, but would like to have something outside of this. I am in Edmonton, Alberta and would like to find a reliable broker here to connect me with a good product.
Can you name a broker?
Thanks!

DL
DL

Hello,

I am 34, Female, Married, non-smoker, live in Burnaby BC, occupation is office administrator with a propert management company and I would like to have a quote on an insurance that covers critical illnesses (include cancer). I was recently approached by Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company on their insurance just on cancer alone, and I want to “shop” around before I make a decision. Thank you.

navtej
navtej

Hi,
I would like to know if there is any critical illness insurance which i can get get after i have heart attack. If yes what is the procedure.

Kim
Kim

Hello,
I am looking for critical illness insurance. I am female, 54, Divorced, non smoker, good health, not on any medication. . Would you be able to give me quotes from different providers?

Corissa
Corissa

Is it possible to have coverage for rare and unusual diseases?

Or does cancer coverage cover cancer related diseases, does Hodgekin’s disease also cover illnesses that mimic, etc?

Douglas
Douglas

I have Short-term Disability through my work but not LTD. I am interested in purchasing LTD insurance. I am 56, non-smoker and live ….

Does LTD automatically end at 65 yrs of age or can it/should it be extended?

Thanks.

Anthony
Anthony

What is the highest coverage on the market for CI insurance?

JC
JC

Is it standard insurance policy that a healthy individual (under 40 yrs) with no pre-existing health issues is denied critical illness insurance based on family history alone. Example, father passed away of colon cancer before age of 60yrs.. We’ve been advised that if family history is based on colon or breast cancer then one would not qualified automatically.

Sally
Sally

Am interested in getting CI insurance but don’t know too much about it. I am female, 57 yrs, non-smoker for 10+ years living in Alberta, with no current health issues. There are so many companies that offer but I want top notch coverage but don’t know who are the best companies to deal with. Can you provide info on the top 5 companies with similar coverage so comparative quotes can be obtained. thanks

Oksana
Oksana

I would like to get list of insurance companies which offer return of premium on CI insurance. I am from BC. Thanks