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Critical Illness Insurance

If you’re one of the luckiest people alive, the chances are good that you’ve never had to make use of your critical illness insurance (sometimes called catastrophic illness insurance). I guess you may have never heard of it or some kind of it.

Serious health problems like strokes or even cancer can be caused by certain circumstances that are out of your control. In these cases, critical illness insurance can help keep you from going bankrupt.

Many people think that a basic health insurance plan will protect them fully, but the high cost of treating serious illnesses is often more than any plan will cover.

Read on to learn everything about critical illness insurance and decide if you need it or not.

What is the term “Critical Illness Insurance”?

Critical illness insurance is a class of insurance coverage that provides a lump-sum payout to the policy holder in the event of a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease or ailment. The lump-sum payment may be used to cover childcare costs or house renovations to make the insurer’s residence more accessible.

Some of the critical conditions covered by critical illness insurance include:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiac arrest and stroke

The amount of benefits an insured person gets from the insurance company will depend on the level of coverage you choose at the time of buying such a policy. Typically, the insurance company pays the benefit upon the doctor’s diagnosis of any of the diseases covered by the policy.

  • Insurance firms might vary with respect to
  • How they define a life-threatening disease

To know the exact ailments that they cover, it’s recommended you check with your certified insurance agent to determine which ailments are covered by your policy.

Before you sign the policy, carefully read it thoroughly to ensure that you fully comprehend what your coverage covers and does not cover.

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How Exactly Does Critical Illness Insurance Work?

Critical illness insurance, also called CI insurance, helps pay for medical bills if you or any member of your family is diagnosed with a serious disease or illness like cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke.

To keep that protection, you’ll need to pay monthly premiums for the period of your term length, just like you would with life insurance. When you apply for the policy, you choose the amount of the benefit as well as the monthly installments.

Is Critical Illness Insurance Worthwhile In Canada?

Depending on your lifestyle and situation, critical illness insurance may be worthwhile.

People who are relatively young, have significant commitments such as a family and a mortgage, and would be unable to meet their obligations if they fell seriously sick will profit the most from getting critical illness insurance.

People who are older (whose premiums are likely to be substantially higher), do not have dependents, and have savings or a source of fixed income to fall back on will profit the least from obtaining critical illness insurance.

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What Does It Cost To Have Critical Illness Insurance In Canada?

How much critical illness insurance costs in Canada depends on a number of risk factors, such as:

1. Your Age And Gender

Your age is the most major risk factor for being seriously sick. As a result, it’s perhaps the most important component in calculating your critical illness insurance cost or premium.

There are also disparities in risk between biological men and women, with males having a higher risk of most diseases than females.

2. Your Way Of Life

Smoking (including cannabis) is a significant risk factor for becoming seriously sick.

3. Your Policy’s Coverage

Your premium will be proportional to the quantity of coverage you select. There are plans that cover a variety of critical diseases, have different payment amounts, and offer extras like the chance to switch your plan to a different kind of insurance.

4. The Type Of Policy You Selected

Term critical illness insurance, just like term life assurance policies, also provides coverage for a certain period of time.

Ten years is the most frequent term length. When your term expires, you have the option of renewing your insurance or letting it lapse.

You may also get lifetime critical illness insurance, which will cover you until you reach a particular age (usually 65 or 75) or die.

The average guaranteed issue limits for the cost of critical illness insurance in Canada are:

  • It costs approximately $50,000 for 5-to-9 lives.
  • It cost roughly $100,000 for 10-to-49 lives.
  • It cost approximately $200,000 for 50-to-99 lives.
  • Approximately $250,000 for more than 100 lives

What Exactly Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover?

In a recent interview with Joan Weir, Director of Health and Disability Policy at the CLHIA, a non-profit trade group that represents Canadian life and health insurance carriers, she says

“Covered critical diseases will be outlined in the contract,” adding that around 26 diagnoses are covered. Cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease are common examples. Your package could also include kidney failure, limb loss, blindness, deafness, paralysis, and serious burns.

You should evaluate various plans if you’re interested in certain sorts of coverage, but Weir points out that you can’t pick and choose your categories separately. “Critical illness insurance is frequently marketed as part of group benefits at work,” she notes. “In this situation, the employer would select the coverage for its employees.”

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Top 7 Critical Illness Insurance Providers In Canada

1. Manuvie Lifecheque

If you have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, it is imperative that you have sufficient financial resources to meet not just your regular but also any unexpected costs that may arise. This will allow you to concentrate on receiving treatment.

With Lifecheque Basic critical illness insurance, you can get coverage that is not only cheap but also easy and quick to get.

Manuvie LifeCheque’s Basic Features

  • After a specific waiting time, you will get a lump sum benefit if you are diagnosed with cancer (life-threatening), a heart attack, a stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, or aortic surgery.
  • If you did not claim benefits during waiting time, you may be eligible for a premium return of up to 100 percent when you reach the age of 75.

Price: From $7.79

2. Manulife CoverMe

CoverMe Life Insurance provides four different life insurance policies from which to pick, depending on your needs, family, and budget.

Whether you’re searching for your first life insurance coverage after getting married, purchasing a home, or having a family, or you already have life insurance but want to supplement it, CoverMe Term Life Insurance offers affordable protection. You just pay for the coverage you require.

 CoverMe’s  Features

  • In the event that you are diagnosed with life-threatening cancer, have a heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, or aortic surgery during the first 30 days of coverage, you are eligible for a lump sum payment.
  • If you reach the age of 75 and have not yet submitted a claim for benefits, you are eligible for a premium return of up to one hundred percent.

Price: From $7.85

3. Sunlife Express

Sunlife express provides you the option of selecting one of three plans that cover between 1-to-7 frequent life-threatening diseases or ailments. If you are diagnosed with one of the listed illnesses and live for 30 days, you will get a tax-free1, lump-sum2 payment3 that you may spend anyway you choose.

Consider Express Critical Illness insurance if:

  1. You believe that $25,000 or $50,000 in coverage is adequate protection.
  2. You want rapid online clearance — with no need for a medical exam or blood tests.
  3. Cancel at any moment. You’ll get a full refund if you do it during the first 30 days of your policy.

 Sunlife Express Features

  • You will get online approval with no medical exam.
  • You will have the opportunity to choose over six (6) common illnesses or disorders.
  • You will also get a 30-day obligation-free review period.

Price: From $8.83

4. Canada-Life Insurance

Canada-Life Insurance has been in business for almost 170 years. Customers all around Canada have put their faith in them to meet their financial security demands and to keep their commitments.

Canada Life now sells insurance and asset management products and services in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and Germany. It also has a subsidiary in Ireland called Irish Life.

Canada Life Insurance Features

  • Depending on your demands, ailments ranging from 4 to 26 are addressed.
  • Amount exempt from tax
  • Access to medical specialists
  • Additional assistance

Price: From $9.02

5. IA Cancer Guard

IA Cancer Guard products cover the most serious diseases that plague Canadians. If you are diagnosed with a critical illness covered by your policy, you will receive a tax-free lump sum payment to assist you in covering the cost of the disease.

You are free to spend the money however you see fit without having to defend your actions.

IA Cancer Guard’s Features

  • The majority of cancers are covered.
  • Tax-free advantage
  • No previous medical evaluation is necessary.

Price: From $9.12

6. SSQ Assurance

SSQ assurance has an excellent critical illness insurance plan with comprehensive coverage that provides your clients with the tools to continue their lifestyle and alleviate their financial commitments in the case of a critical illness diagnosis.

SSQ Assurance Features

  • Depending on your demands, 4 to 25 ailments are covered.
  • Premiums may be refunded if no benefits are claimed during the contract’s length. A support guarantee is included in the package.
  • Additional advantages in the event of a cancer diagnosis (prostate, breast, skin)

Price: From $9.31

7. Desjardins Insurance

If you have Desjardins critical illness insurance, you can receive a tax-free reimbursement to help you focus on your rehabilitation.

You will also gain access to breakthrough technologies and medications under development.

 Cover any unforeseen bills for you or your children (e.g., a private hospital room or drugs not covered by your provincial plan or group insurance).

Desjardins Assurance Features

  • Coverage for up to 26 diseases or surgical procedures.
  • Amounts ranging from $10,000 to $3,000,000 are paid following the diagnosis of a serious disease.


  • In the event of an early death, your beneficiary receives either 100% of the premiums paid or 25% of the coverage amount, whichever is larger.
  • If no diagnosis is made, the premiums paid will be refunded.
  • Possibility of safeguarding your children, business partners, tax benefits, and so on…

Price: From $9.50

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Benefits Of Critical Illness Insurance Policy Coverage

  • You will not be taxed on the advantages you get.
  • You are not required to defend how you spend the money; you may spend it however you see fit.
  • It helps you pay for extra costs that come up because of the disease, like medications, special equipment, experimental treatments that aren’t covered by public health insurance, rehab costs, and other private medical costs.
  • It assists you in meeting your financial obligations if your income falls or is lost.
  • You can use the funds to provide home care for yourself and your family, such as food preparation and homework assistance.
  • You may use the money to give yourself some financial flexibility while you heal, allowing you to work part-time or prolong your sick leave to take care of yourself.

Life Insurance Vs. Critical Illness Insurance

Life Insurance

It provides the beneficiaries with a payout of an amount that is not subject to taxation in the event of the insured’s death.

Critical Illness Insurance

If you are diagnosed with a serious illness that is covered under the policy, you will get a payment of a non-taxable sum as financial support, which will aid you throughout your recuperation.

Pros of Having Critical Illness Coverage

After being diagnosed with a disease covered by your critical illness insurance, you will get a lump sum payment.

The refund can be used for anything that is necessary, including non-medical expenditures such as rent or mortgage, transportation or equipment, or even a vacation while you are recuperating.

In contrast to the premiums associated with a standard health insurance plan, these ones are rather reasonable and inexpensive.

Cons of Having Critical Illness Coverage

There is a possibility that some forms of cancer will not be covered, and chronic conditions are commonly excluded from coverage.

It is possible that a payout will not be made in the event of a recurrence of a serious disease, such as having a second stroke or heart attack.

When an insured person reaches a certain age, the coverage may expire altogether or the premiums may become more expensive.

It is essential to make a note of the specific conditions that must be met in order for a policy to provide coverage for a condition, as many critical illness policies impose stringent requirements.

Critical Illness Insurance Conclusion

Critical illness insurance is an excellent strategy to protect yourself financially in the event of a sudden and serious sickness. If you’re young and healthy and would be unable to support your house and family if you became ill, critical illness insurance might be invaluable to you.

If, on the other hand, you are at higher risk and your financial status is more secure, you may not require this type of coverage.

Finally, the decision is yours. Start by receiving a critical illness insurance quote online to discover more about the types of critical illness coverage available and how much it would cost.

Other types of insurance

Life Insurance in AlbertaLife Insurance in British ColumbiaLife Insurance in ManitobaLife Insurance in New Brunswick
Life Insurance in Newfoundland and LabradorLife Insurance in Nova ScotiaLife Insurance in OntarioLife Insurance in Prince Edward Island
Life Insurance in QuebecLife Insurance in Saskatchewan

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September 25, 2022
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FAQs about Critical Illness Insurance

Is A Critical Illness Insurance Payout Taxable In Canada?

A critical illness insurance payout is typically not taxable, meaning you don't owe income tax on the benefit. It is a lump sum benefit to be used at your discretion.

How Many Times Am I Permitted To File A Claim With My Critical Illness Insurance?

iA's critical illness insurance provides two forms of coverage, based on the severe illness with which the insured is diagnosed. Coverage for certain early-detected, non-life-threatening diseases includes a partial benefit payout up to four times throughout the policy's term. When this part of the reward is paid out, the insurance doesn't get canceled. Other, more serious, life-threatening conditions, such as cancer or heart attack, are covered by a one-time lump sum payout throughout the policy period. This payment brings the insurance to an end.

How Long Is The Critical Sickness Insurance Waiting Period?

The 30-day period of survival is often followed by a waiting period for serious illness, however this varies depending on the policy. Nevertheless, the length of time it takes to recover from an illness might range from 30 to 90 days.

What Exactly Is Critical Illness Insurance For Children?

Children's critical illness insurance permits you to keep your job if you need to take time off to care for and recuperate for your child. It will pay for additional charges, such as treatments and prescription medications not covered by a provincial healthcare plan, as well as travel fees if you have to travel to seek healthcare for your kid, similar to critical illness insurance for adults. Nobody likes to think of having a sick child. However, in the case of a sickness or accident, you will want to ensure that your kid not only has the finest possible access to medical treatment, but also that you can be present for your child.

What Exactly Is Critical Illness Mortgage Insurance?

If a covered critical illness arises while you have mortgage critical illness insurance coverage, one of your greatest monthly costs might be covered, freeing up money for health-related expenses. Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance is available to Canadian individuals between the ages of 18 and 55 who hold a mortgage with a banking institution.

How Much Critical Sickness Coverage Do I Need?

There are online calculators ready to aid you. However, it is as simple as adding up any missed income, mortgage or rent payments, debts, house renovations, domestic help, and other incidental expenses such as transportation to treatments, hospital parking, and so on. Again, the majority of participants chose a figure between $50,000 and $100,000. Still, a lot will depend on your income, monthly spending, and recovery costs.

Will I Get Reimbursed If I Don't Use My Critical Illness Insurance?

Yes. On so many occasions, some critical sickness insurance policies offer a premium refund. Some insurance companies may give you back all of your premiums if you don't make a claim at the end of your term, when you reach a certain age, or if you quit your coverage. This is an optional provision that will raise premium costs. Almost all the insurance companies offer a return of premium on a death clause. This means that if you die unexpectedly before getting the full benefit payout from your critical illness insurance, your premiums will be returned to the person you choose.

What Amount Of Critical Illness Insurance Does One Need?

Because it offers a living benefit, the policy is meant to cover a shorter length of time, notably while you are treating and recuperating from an illness. Hopefully, your recovery will be quick, and you won't have to rely on the money from your policy for the rest of your life. If you're not sure how much coverage you need, an insurance calculator can recommend a coverage quantity based on your projected needs and provide an estimate of the policy's monthly expenditures.

What Is The Best Canadian Critical Illness Insurance Provider?

While Manulife and Sun Life are prominent life insurance companies in Canada, the ideal company for your critical illness insurance is determined by your unique needs and considerations.

Can I Be Denied Critical Illness Insurance?

Depending on their past, the average Canadian resident should have their application accepted. However, the insurance provider to which you have applied may decline or deny coverage. If you and your family do not have a strong medical history, it will be considered during the underwriting procedure. If you have already been diagnosed with a disease or have pre-existing problems, your chances of becoming insured or having coverage alternatives available may be decreased.

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