Critical illness insurance: protect your assets, lifestyle and financial future

A critical illness can hit us at any stage of our lives. We are all susceptible – both men and women – and at any age, to illnesses that threaten our overall health and well-being. From cancer, heart attacks, and strokes, to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney failure, critical illness is devastating for sufferers and their families.

And since these dreadful diseases do not necessarily respect age, people in the prime of their lives could be affected. Statistics help tell the story. The average claimant’s age is 41 for a critical illness. In Canada, depending on the condition, every few minutes people are stricken with cancer, a heart attack, or stroke. Approximately 40% of women and 45% of men will develop cancer in their lifetime. One in four of us will develop heart disease during our lives, while one out of two heart attack victims will be under age 65. According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, the survival rates are 62% for cancer, 80 percent for a heart attack, and 85% for a stroke.

The insurance covers soaring medical costs

But protection is available with critical illness insurance, which will pay out a lump sum if the insured person survives the ordeal and satisfies the waiting period. Why should we consider this type of insurance? Despite huge advances in medical science, surviving a life-threatening incident may come at an enormous cost. For example, recovery often involves expensive prescriptions, medical equipment, and home care expenses. It’s important to note that two-thirds of these costs are not covered by government health insurance.

Of course, the economic impact of critical illness takes its toll, especially when we lose income or revenues while struggling to keep up mortgage payments and a myriad of routine expenses.

Dire concerns about losing a job, a home or business, and reducing financial security underscore the importance of protecting yourself from the fallout.

Critical illness insurance will cover you and the family from the hardships of soaring medical expenses, particularly during that all-important recovery stage.

Premiums for critical illness insurance are based on your age, gender, and smoking status, as the following chart shows.

Insurance providers are quite strict about eligibility for critical illness insurance. So, the best time to apply for a policy is when you are younger and/or in good health. If you are in poor health, it’s highly likely these providers will reject your application.

The younger you are, the lower your premiums. Product options range from terms of 10 years to 100 years. You can also choose a limited lump sum payment over a 10, 15, or 20 year period. It all depends on how long you would like to be covered, as well as on your health and age. One optional benefit is that you can receive a full or partial withdrawal of your premiums, at the end of option dates or when a policy expires.

A serious illness or condition is too often unforeseen and can have a devastating impact on your health, quality of life, family, and finances. It is essential that you have adequate insurance for protection and the time to apply is when you are in good health. For more details, please contact Insurance Explorer Inc.