More people are being diagnosed with what used to be deadly diseases—and, ironically, are living to face the financial consequences instead. Critical illness insurance is designed to protect you or your family against the financial impact of a life threatening medical condition, and pays a lump sum of cash upon diagnosis.
For example, if you had $250,000 in coverage and recovered from a heart attack, a cheque for that amount would be sent to you whether you are cured or not.
The coverage could be used for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Out-of-country expenses for treatment or medication not adequately covered by governmental plans
- Covering the cost of a spouse’s unpaid leave of absence to help you or your child recover
- A substitute for disability insurance for someone who has no earned income
- Home/automobile modifications to improve mobility
- Business applications, such as key person replacement or buy-sell agreements
- Access to Best Doctors Inc., an organization that will get you the care you need no matter where it is found
CI insurance now covers up to 20 conditions, including the basic three—cancer, heart attack and stroke. Policies to protect children have been introduced, and paid premiums can be refunded if you have had no claims over a given period.
Ask your financial planner or insurance agent for more details on these products. Having a financial safety net can let you focus on the business of getting well.
Allan H. Macdonald, B.Sc., RLU, EPC is an Independent Financial Security Advisor and Elder Planning Counsellor based in Montreal.
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