Not familiar with critical illness insurance? Keep reading and you'll discover the who, what, when, where, why and how of this important insurance.

What is critical illness insurance?
Unlike life insurance, critical illness coverage is there for you while you're living. A unique product, 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. Because it's a policy that covers a specified term (at Kanetix we quote 10-year policies) the rate that you will pay is the same for the entire duration of your coverage.

The history of critical illness insurance
Relatively new to Canada, critical illness insurance, was developed by Dr. Marius Barnard in 1983 to offset the financial hardship often experienced by survivors of major illnesses. This hardship - often a result of lost income and unexpected expenses - meant that survivors were dipping into savings and RRSPs to keep the lifestyle they enjoyed before becoming ill.

Now available in Canada, critical illness insurance offers Canadians the security of knowing that their financial future is protected should they become critically ill.

Why you need critical illness insurance
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffer and recover from serious illnesses each year.*

  • 40,000 to 50,000 Canadians yearly have a stroke and 85% survive the initial incident
  • 70,000 Canadians yearly have a heart attack and more than 80% of them when admitted to hospital survive
  • 1 in 3 women in Canada will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime
  • 2 in 5 men in Canada will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime
  • The cancer death rate for both men and women has steadily been declining

What does it all mean? With medical advancements and technology, we are surviving these illnesses.

But will your finances recover as well as you? In most cases, no. That's why critical illness insurance can help. It helps you maintain and protect your pre-illness lifestyle through the time it takes for you to recover. Critical illness insurance provides you with a lump-sum payment, when you need it most, to be used any way you see fit. This can mean covering extra health care bills, alternative medicines, business expenses, pay off debts, home renovations or treatment abroad - it's your choice.

For more information about critical illness coverage, see the Kanetix article "Insurance for the living - critical illness insurance increases in popularity" and "Medical advancements mean critical illness insurance more important than ever".

Critical Illness insurance quickguides

*Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2005; Canadian Cancer Society, 2005.

The information contained within this article is subject to change. Always speak with your current insurance supplier, or a licensed insurance representative, to answer your specific questions. The information collected and compiled here is intended to simply act as a guide.

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