What is critical illness insurance?
Unlike life insurance, critical illness coverage is there for you while you're living. It provides you with a lump-sum payment to help with the cost of recovery should you become critically ill during the term of the policy. You receive the money when you need it most and you can use it any way you see fit.
What’s considered a critical illness?
While the list of covered critical illnesses varies by company, most policies include:
- Heart attack
- Heart bypass surgery
- Kidney failure
- Major organ transplant
- Loss of speech
- ALS - aka Lou Gehrig's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Alzheimer's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Occupational HIV
- Severe Burns
- Loss of limbs
Why is critical illness insurance so popular?
Canadians are living through their brushes with a critical illness thanks to advances in medicine and technology. Consider how:
40,000 to 50,000 Canadians yearly have a stroke and 85% survive although most people have lingering effects they must live with.
Over 70,000 Canadians yearly have a heart attack and more than 80% of them survive when admitted to hospital.
38% of Canadian women and 44% of Canadian men will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Despite these stats, the cancer death rate for both men and women has steadily been declining so there are more cancer survivors than ever.
Unfortunately, the finances of the people living through a critical illness do not always recover as well as the individual and that's why critical illness insurance is becoming so popular.
I have disability/medical/life insurance coverage already, why would I want critical illness insurance?
Critical illness insurance fills the void left by disability, medical and life insurance. Where --
disability insurance partially replaces your lost income
medical insurance pays for some of your medical expenses, and
life insurance pays your beneficiaries upon your death
-- critical illness insurance provides you with a lump-sum payment that can be used any way you and your family decide is best. You can use it to:
top-up your disability payments so your extended absence from work does not dip into your savings
keep your business going during your crucial recovery period
pay off your mortgage
renovate your home to accommodate a long-term disability
protect your savings or retirement plans
This list is by no means comprehensive. The simple fact is that you can do anything you wish with the money…it is yours and there are no stipulations.