Carrey Financial Group    (204) 771-9211
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Critical Illness

Get a quote & buy Critical Illness Insurance online.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical Illness Insurance is an insurance policy to help protect your lifestyle and help you to recover from a serious illness or condition. It helps you to pay the costs associated with a life-altering illness. If you become sick with an illness covered by your policy and survive the waiting period, you receive a lump sum cash payment - you decide how to spend the money.

Facing a critical illness can be one of the most difficult challenges in life. There is a great deal to consider— making decisions about your care, remaining financially stable, meeting your family’s day-to-day needs, coping with the emotional stress and more. A lump sum payment allows you to take care of yourself, and not have to worry about missing work or paying your extra medical bills not covered by the government or your health care or disability plan. It can help you where you need it most so you can focus all your energy on recovering.

Unlike life insurance, when you get critical illness insurance, you can get 100% of your premiums returned to you. This means that down the road, after a minimum of usually 15 years, you have the option of cancelling your policy and getting all your premiums returned. It is still to your advantage to keep the policy in place, but it is an option should you need it. In addition, if you keep the policy, live to a ripe old age and do not make a claim, you will have all your premiums returned to you.
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The Real Costs of Critical Illness

More and more people are realizing the extra costs involved with a critical illness. See what a poll showed in a Toronto Sun Article: Canadians worried about the costs of cancer treatment: Poll

Thankfully, with the advances in diagnosis and treatment, the odds of surviving a critical illness are much improved today. The question is not “will you survive?”, the question is “will your finances survive?” More than ever, your physical health is directly connected to your financial health when you consider the trauma and stress involved with a critical illness. Think about trying to battle cancer and yet having to go back to work to pay for any extra expenses. Think about having a stroke and not being able to return to work and how helpful the funds from your critical illness policy would be to you.
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Who becomes critically ill?

The average age of people who make a claim on critical illness insurance is 49.1
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Do I need Critical Illness Insurance?

Ask yourself a few questions:

1. Can you afford to shoulder the costs associated with becoming critically ill? Think about some of the possible costs and imagine the impact to your savings: medications and health care not provided by the government, out of country procedures and tests, loss of income, business losses etc.

2. What would the impact be over the long-term? Would your retirement goals be met if you were to remove, say, $50,000, from your savings plan? Would you have to postpone your retirement by a few years? Probably.

3. Consider the effects of financial stress at a time when you should be 100% devoted to recovering from your illness. Do you think removing this stress would be a good thing?
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How Much Coverage do I Need?

You need an amount that will give you some peace of mind if you were diagnosed with a critical illness. Complete
this worksheet
to determine your own needs.

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What are the health risks?

Almost everyone has a relative or friend who has suffered from a major, possibly fatal, illness. It is a sad truth. Protect yourself and your family. The numbers, speak for themselves:

Heart disease, stroke and cancer are the leading health issues facing Canadians today: Cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in Canada, were responsible for just over one-half (51%) of the 238,617 deaths in 2008. 2

Heart Disease Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada. These statistics are based on 2008 data (the latest year available from Statistics Canada).

In 2008 cardiovascular disease accounted for:

• 29% of all deaths in Canada (69,648 deaths)
• 28% of all male deaths
• 29.7% of all female deaths


• There are over 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. That’s one stroke every 10 minutes.
• For every 100,000 Canadian children under the age of 19, there are 6.7 strokes.
• About 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke.
• After age 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years.
• Each year, nearly 14,000 Canadians die from stroke. 3

Cancer An estimated 177,800 new cases of cancer (excluding about 74,100 non-melanoma skin cancers) and
75,000 deaths were expected to occur in Canada in 2011. In 2007, cancer surpassed cardiovascular disease
(heart and cerebrovascular) as the leading cause of death in Canada.

• On average, 487 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day.
• On average, 205 Canadians will die of cancer every day.
• 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetimes.
• An estimated 1 out of every 4 Canadians is expected to die from cancer. 4
Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics: Canadian Cancer Statistics 5

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What Illnesses are Covered?

There are a wide range of Canadian insurance companies who offer critical illness insurance The terms and conditions vary from company to company, but the following illnesses are generally included in most. This particular list is from SunLife.

Coverage for the following Group 1 illnesses:

Heart Attack
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Occupational HIV infection
Bacterial meningitis
Aortic surgery
Heart valve replacement
Loss of speech
Kidney failure
Major organ transplant
Major organ failure on waiting list
Benign brain tumor
Aplastic anemia
Loss of limbs
Severe burns
Multiple sclerosis
Alzheimer’s disease
Parkinson’s disease
Motor neuron disease

Specifically, with critical illness for children, the insured person will also have coverage for the following illnesses which will be covered until the date of the insured person’s 24th birthday:

-Type 1 diabetes mellitus -Cystic fibrosis -Congenital heart disease -Muscular dystrophy -Cerebral palsy
As not all critical illness policies are the same, it is important to seek out professional advice and guidance in choosing your policy.

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Doesn’t my Disability Insurance cover this?

If you're wondering whether disability insurance or extended health care benefits through your employer are enough, it's important to understand exactly what those benefits cover, and for how long. Review your disability policy or your extended health care benefits and compare this with the features of a critical illness insurance plan.

Things you should look for:

• Maximum benefit amounts
• Deductibles and waiting periods
• Employment stability (you can't take benefits with you when you leave your job)
• What percentage of income will be replaced, and for how long?

Make sure you're aware of the potential costs of care and recovery, or the kinds of changes you might have to make to your home or life following an illness. Will your benefits meet your needs, or will you have to rely on savings and investments to bridge any gaps? With this information, you can make an informed choice.

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Example of how Critical Illness Insurance can help

Brenda’s Story

Doug’s Story

Doug was lucky. He beat cancer. And with critical illness insurance, Doug didn't have to pay for his travel for out- of-town treatment or for homecare.

Doug explains:

"I remember browsing through some magazines one night when I couldn't sleep," recalls Doug. "I came across an article that described symptoms very similar to what I had been experiencing for several months." They were the symptoms of colorectal cancer. The next morning, Doug called the doctor and events unfolded quickly. Tests, an operation, chemotherapy…

Thankfully, Doug beat cancer. Equally fortunate, Doug did not have to face the financial stress common to critical illness survivors. He did not have to struggle to find the money to travel to a larger city for treatment. Nor did he have to wrestle his savings out of his RRSPs to pay for home care.

Why? Doug had a critical illness insurance policy that he used to replace lost income while he was ill. He even had enough money to pay off debts, complete some home improvements and purchase a few little rewards for himself. "They were especially important because they kept me positive and active."

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Ten Reasons to Get Critical Illness Insurance

1. Lock in premiums now! The cost of critical illness insurance plans is on the rise and will only get more expensive as the insurance companies are realizing that customer claims are greater than they expected. In addition, premiums are automatically higher when you are older.

2. Canada is the only country where you are given the possibility to get all of your money back if you never make a claim. You just need an additional feature, called a rider, to have this.

3. Applying for critical illness coverage while you are healthy is extremely important because if you are diagnosed with a critical illness before purchasing critical illness insurance you will most likely not be eligible to receive coverage.

4. Instead of having to work full time while you are ill, you will have the option to work part time, or perhaps you may choose early retirement because you will be able to afford it thanks to the lump-sum check you receive from your critical illness insurance.

5. Critical Illness can be used to cover your mortgage or other expenses, such as medical treatment not covered by your provincial health plan while you are critically ill.

6. There is a 90% chance that you will survive your 1st heart attack, but without critical illness insurance your finances will most likely suffer more than you.

7. Critical Illness Insurance was not created by the insurance industry; it was invented by Dr. Marius Barnard, the first surgeon to perform a successful person-to-person heart transplant. Dr. Barnard invented critical illness Insurance to offer patients financial support in case they become critically ill.

8. Critical illnesses that are covered by critical illness insurance, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke are on the rise, so you are more likely to experience one of these illnesses than ever before.

9. I will choose the best available critical illness insurance plan for your specific situation.

10. In most cases an employee benefit plan does not offer critical illness insurance, and in the rare cases where it does, it most likely does not offer sufficient coverage.

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Why you should get Critical Illness Insurance for your children

No, it’s not odd at all to consider getting critical illness insurance for your child, once you know the benefits. Think about what your family’s life might be like if your child succumbed to a critical illness. It would change dramatically and also add emotional and financial stress. I know as a parent that if one of my children were to become critically ill, I would want every resource available to ensure the best care and treatment possible for my child.

If your child was sick, wouldn’t you want to be able to access extra funds to take time off work to care for your child? In addition, you would have surplus money to cover your mortgage, pay medical bills etc. without having to dip into your retirement fund.

In addition to the illnesses covered by Critical Illness insurance for adults, children are covered for the following additional child-specific illnesses (until the insured’s 24th birthday)

-Type 1 diabetes mellitus -Cystic fibrosis -Congenital heart disease -Muscular dystrophy -Cerebral palsy

How Much Will it Cost?

Like all insurance, premiums are based on three factors:

1. age at the time of application
2. face amount of the policy
3. optional riders selected

What is the Return of Premium Rider?

When you add a “return of premium rider’ on your child’s critical illness insurance policy, you will automatically receive 75% of the returnable premium on the latter of the 15th policy anniversary or the policy anniversary following the insured person’s 25th birthday. Not only that, but the policy continues to stay in place at the same low premium.

Even as your child ages, the premiums will stay the same. This is the best of both worlds. If your child gets sick you have peace of mind, and if your child does not get ill, you get the majority of your money returned. At age 25, when your child is attending post-secondary school, paying off student loans, purchasing their first home or saving for a trip around the world, those returned premiums will come in pretty handy!

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Example of Critical Illness Insurance for Children

A parent or grandparent takes out a Critical Illness insurance policy on their child/grandchild.

The plan:

• Critical Illness Protection for Children 0-17 years of age
• Protection for up to 24 standard covered illnesses and 5 child-specific childhood illnesses
• Coverage available from $25,000 to $250,000

Let’s look at two specific examples with a face amount of Critical Illness insurance of $100,000.

  Mary 8 years old Tim 12 years old
Basic Monthly Premium $37.35 $38.52
Return of Premium Rider *$19.08 **$19.26
Total Monthly Premium $56.43 $57.78

How the Return of Premium Rider Works

*When Mary turns 25 her policy would have been in force for 17 years, providing an automatic return of premium of $8633.79.

**Since Tim’s policy began when he was 12, he would not be eligible for the return of premium until his 27th birthday (policy in force for 15 years). On the policy anniversary following Tim’s 27th birthday, he would receive $7800.30

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1 SunLife Financial

2 Statistics Canada

3 Heart and Stroke Foundation

4 Canadian Cancer Society

5 Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics: Canadian Cancer Statistics

6 Kanetix, posted Dec. 6, 2010