Welcome to your critical care insurance guide. This page will give you a good understanding of critical care insurance, which is also called critical illness insurance. It will inform you of savings opportunities, and also provide a number of other useful tips based on our publications. Here are several statistics to start with:
– There is a 35% chance of developing a critical illness before you are 65
– There is a 65-70% chance of developing a critical illness before you are 81
– 25% of Canadians will have during their lives, some form of heart disease
– 45% of men and 40 % of women will be diagnosed with cancer during their life time
Critical care insurance works in a very simple way: if you are diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses listed in your policy and survive the waiting period (typically it is 30 days), you will receive a lump sum payment that you can use towards anything you would like. This includes experimental treatment abroad, drugs that are not covered under government plans, additional care or simply realizing your life plans.
Aspects to consider when getting critical care insurance
- Conversion options: You need to understand if your Critical Illness policy can be converted into another one (e.g. Term 10 into Term 20) without additional medical exams.
- Return of Premiums: Some policies return your premiums after a predetermined time period if you were not diagnosed with a critical illness. There are different options for this feature too. Some policies can return premiums partly or fully after a particular number of years. Some policies have an option of premium return at death – if you die of something different than a critical illness with a policy in force, the premiums that you’ve paid into the policy will be returned to your beneficiaries.
- Number of conditions covered: It is important to know what critical illnesses are covered by your policy – the coverage can vary from 3-4, to over 30 conditions.
- Early assistance benefits: Reduced benefit (e.g. 10% of your overall benefit without reducing your total benefit for future claims) in case you are diagnosed and survive the survival period for such diseases as early prostate cancer, early breast cancer, early skin cancer, etc.
- Second Event: If you are diagnosed with a second critical illness you receive an additional 50% of the overall critical illness policy benefit, over the initial (base) benefit. It could be offered as an additional policy option (optional rider).
Saving on critical care insurance
- Smoking increases insurance rates: If you are a smoker – someone who has used tobacco products in the last year – it will result in a big increase in your premiums. In most instances the premiums are more than double for a smoker as compared to a non-smoker.
- Great health history is rewarded: If you were healthy in the past, it will definitively find its reflection in the premiums. Having issues with health and especially defined pre-conditions can drive your premiums up or even exclude some illnesses from your insurance policy.
- Get a combo policy – Life Insurance with a Critical Illness Advance Payment: A life and critical illness combination policy can cost you less since an insurer saves on administration costs when dealing with both insurance types at once. Compare a combo policy with two separate policies to understand how much you can actually save.
- Do you have a Life, Disability and Critical Illness insurance? Consider cancelling your Mortgage insurance: Many of us got mortgage insurance when buying a house but the truth is that this product overlaps with Life, Disability and Critical illness insurance. Simply said, it is a different name of Life, Disability and Critical Illness insurance policy associated with payments for your mortgage. If you have enough coverage in other policies, you might not need a mortgage insurance policy.
- Say no to guaranteed issue Critical Care policy: People with good health do not need a guaranteed issue Critical Illness (these are policies that do not require a medical exam but should only be taken by people with serious health issues) – do a health check / exam and enjoy lower Critical Illness insurance premiums
- Age rounding is tricky: If you are getting a critical illness insurance policy, make sure that your age rounds down and not up, i.e. if you are going to be 50 years old on December 31, buy the policy in the first 6 months of the year where your age is still rounded down to 49 and not 50 (e.g. in March or April).
- Dealing with High blood pressure cases: High-blood pressure often leads to higher insurance premiums but can be treated differently by various insurers. As a rule any blood pressure exceeding 140/90 can trigger higher premiums. Some insurance brokers will be able to navigate you to the company with better rates.
- Other tips: Contacting an experienced, licensed broker (see a button below) will help you to find other ways to reduce insurance premiums of your Critical Care insurance. Discussion with broker is entirely free and there is absolutely no obligations to buy.