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Critical Illness Insurance

A critical illness is an illness that is severe enough to have a terminal outcome. Examples of it are cancer, heart attack, stroke and heart bypass surgery and major organ transplants. The Critical Illness Insurance concept was developed in South Africa in the 1980s, by Dr. Marius Barnard, the brother of Dr. Chris Barnard, who together performed the world’s first heart transplant. Dr. Barnard realized that although the transplant saved the patient’s life, and medical science prolonged their survival, and this in turn worsened the patient’s ongoing financial position.

In the past 30 years, thanks to medical technology and science, far more people are surviving for much longer from critical illnesses, that once made them a mortality statistic. For example:

  • 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke each year and 70% survive the initial event. Women suffer 60% of strokes;
  • This year more than 130,000 individuals will be diagnosed with cancer and over 60,000 will die from it;
  • Approximately 11,000 heart bypass surgeries are done each year;
  • Annually 75,000 people suffer heart attacks, 55% survive one year and of these, 45% survive another 3 years.

Ask yourself, who you know of your relatives, or friends who have suffered a heart attack, invasive heart surgery or undergone chemotherapy. They survived the initial critical illness and may be enjoying life again. Was their recovery prolonged and how were their lives and those of their families, or businesses affected?

What are the financial problems of survival?

  • Being unable to work for some time can cause a serious loss of income without disability insurance. But disability insurance replaces a portion of one’s salary loss, it does not provide other funds;
  • What if the Canadian health system cannot deliver the health care you need or treatment is delayed? Will you have the funds to seek treatment outside the country?
  • What if there are extra medical costs not covered by OHIP, or your benefit plan? Will you have to use funds earmarked for your retirement or kids education? What is the present and future cost of losing many years of tax deferred savings accumulation?
  • What will it cost to introduce lifestyle changes you need to, or want to make to help your recovery?
  • Will your close family be able spend time with you while you recover? What will it cost if they need time off work to help you?
  • Serious illness or disability is a major cause of mortgage foreclosure!

Critical Illness insurance was designed to provide important financial support to solve these problems in a way that disability, life, and medical insurance could not. It pays the insured while they’re alive from $10,000 up to a $2,000,000 maximum tax-free lump sum. The money is paid on the diagnosis of a critical illness or specified event, after surviving for 30 days or more, depending on the condition. It is not based on inability to work and full recovery can be made. It offers a unique customer benefit, as one can spend the money as one wishes. It covers from 3 to 26 critical illnesses or events. A return of premiums on early withdrawal and if one should pass away before making a claim are offered options.