The Best Critical Illness Insurance in Canada (2021)

Congratulations for considering one of the major remedies against costly critical illness in Canada

While you can’t predict the future, you can prepare against any health challenge with the right critical illness coverage.

From a stroke, heart attack, bone fracture, cancer or meningitis – critical illness insurance got you covered from life-threatening illnesses.

However, not all critical illness policies are the same. As a result, you want to choose the best critical insurance in Canada.

But how can you determine the best critical insurance in Canada? How do you get it?

Here I answer these questions and more based on my personal experience and what I have seen work for others.

What is Insurance?

Insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company that covers you against a particular emergency or event.

In other words, insurance is a way of transferring the financial risk of an uncertain event to an insurance company in exchange for a premium.

The truth is, no one is sure of what the future has to offer. However, you don’t bother about unpleasant life surprises with the right insurance plan in place.

Due to the different nature of life surprises, insurance is categorized into different types.

As a result, there are many types of insurance available with different coverage. Examples of insurance in Canada include:

Since each type of insurance has different coverage, it’s essential to know the kind of insurance you need.

As you continue reading, you will know what critical illness insurance entails and why it’s worth buying.

What is Critical Illness?

As the name implies, a critical illness refers to a severe health condition or disease such as heart attack, cancer, lung disease, coma, hepatitis, kidney failure etc.

Regardless of your work type, you may be vulnerable to contracting an illness due to age, natural, environmental and other factors.

So what would you do if a critical illness struck you or your family? Critical illness policy got you covered financially.

But what is critical illness insurance? Who needs this type of insurance? What are the pros and cons of critical illness policy?

Continue reading to find answers to these questions and more.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance covers the cost of your critical illness such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, and other severe health conditions.

That said, the critical illness policy covers critical illness in exchange for your monthly premium.

As a result, you will receive a lump sum when you contract a particular illness during the term of your insurance plan.

Thus, critical illness insurance ensures that money is not a problem when you’re unable to work due to critical illness.

Unlike health insurance, a critical illness policy covers the cost of life-threatening illness beyond health insurance coverage.

This means that even if you have health insurance, you need a critical illness plan for more coverage.

But as mentioned previously, not all critical illness insurance policies in Canada are the same. Thus, the need to choose the best one in the market.

So how do you choose the best critical illness insurance in Canada? Read on to find out.

How Does Critical Illness Insurance Work?

Critical illness insurance works as coverage for critical health conditions in exchange for a monthly or annual premium.

As a result, you need to apply for the insurance and keep up with your monthly premium to receive coverage when you or your family member contracts a critical illness.

However, you need to provide evidence of critical illness to receive coverage. So once you or your family member is diagnosed with a critical illness, you can claim your coverage to receive a lump sum payment.

That said, you can’t only use your critical illness coverage to finance your critical illness cost, but your mortgage payment, house renovation cost, recurring bills etc.

What Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover?

The coverage of critical illness plan varies from one insurer to another. Generally, critical illness insurance covers critical health conditions such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Kidney failure
  • Lung Disease
  • Liver Failure
  • Coma
  • Many sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Hypertension
  • Occupational and blood transfusion acquired
  • Meningitis
  • Terminal illness
  • Paralysis

Since different insurers have different coverage, it’s essential to know the coverage and exclusions of your critical insurance policy before buying.

As a result, you want to shop around to compare different insurers’ coverage and exclusions before making a buying decision.

Subsequently, you will learn about the exclusions of most critical illness policies in Canada.

What is Not Covered By Critical Illness Insurance?

While different insurance companies have different exclusions, most insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions or chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes among others.

However, you can negotiate a deal with your adviser or broker on the amount of exclusions on your policy. By doing so, your insurer may cover your pre-existing critical health condition.

That said, it’s so important to know all the exclusions of your potential insurer before buying the insurance plan.

Critical Illness Insurance Pros and Cons

Like any insurance plan, a critical illness policy has some benefits and drawbacks.

Here are the are leading pros and cons of critical illness insurance:

Pros

  • Tax-free lump sum payment.
  • Coverage for more than 30 critical illnesses.
  • Flexible coverage (you can buy anything with the payout, not only medical expenses).
  • Coverage guarantee for the duration of the insurance.
  • Return of premium (this means you can be reimbursed for premiums if you don’t claim your benefit or die before it expires).

Cons

  • High premiums
  • Exclusions apply.
  • Strict conditions

How Much Critical Illness Insurance Do I Need?

According to research, $50,000 and $100,000 is the average critical illness amount for most people. But the exact amount of coverage you need depends on your situation.

That said, there are four major factors to consider when determining the amount of critical illness coverage you need. These are your:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Job type
  • Age

However, you can also use a calculator to determine the amount of critical illness coverage you need. You can find the calculator at your potential insurer’s site.

What is the Cost of Critical Illness Insurance in Canada?

The cost of critical illness insurance in Canada varies by coverage and insurers. Other factors that determine the cost of essential plans of illness in Canada include your:

  • Age
  • Current health condition
  • Smoking habit
  • Insurance coverage
  • Insurance term

Like other types of insurance, the younger you’re, the lower your insurance cost. But the older you’re, the higher your insurance cost.

However, since different insurers have different quotes, I suggest comparing different rates to make cost-effective solutions.

6 Best Critical Illness Insurance in Canada

As mentioned previously, there are multiple critical illness insurers in Canada, and the list is growing daily.

As a result, you need to choose only the best critical illness insurance in Canada for cost-effective solutions.

Based on my personal experience and what I have seen work for others, here are the best critical illness insurance companies in Canada:

1. BMO

Name of ProductLiving Benefit
CoverageEnhanced coverage (25 life-threatening illnesses)
Duration10 – 100 years
Limited Pay optionYes
Maximum coverage$2 million
Conditions25 enhanced conditions
Loss of Independent Existence coverageYes
Partial payout conditionsSeven eligible conditions
Partial payment/early detection paymentYes
Childhood illnesses coverageNone
Survival period30 days
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionNone
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessNone

 

BMO provides robust and personalized critical illness coverage at a competitive price through its Living Benefit package.

That said, Living Benefit is the name of BMO’s essential illness insurance program. It provides enhanced insurance for up to 25 life-threatening health conditions.

Check it out

2. Empire Life

Name of ProductCI Protect and CI Protect Plus
CoverageBasic and enhanced coverage
Duration10 – 100 years
Limited Pay optionYes
Maximum coverage$2 million
Conditions 25 enhanced conditions
Loss of Independent Existence coverageYes
Partial payout conditions6 eligible conditions
Partial payment/early detection paymentYes
Childhood illnesses coverageNo
Survival period30 days
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionNo
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessYes

 

Empire Life is a flexible coverage. It has a well-balanced combination of terms and features.

That said, Empire Life offers a multi-life policy, offering couples discounts for purchasing critical illness insurance.

Empire Life critical insurance policies are:

  • CI Protect: This covers four popular critical illnesses. (This includes heart attack, stroke, cancer, and coronary artery bypass).
  • CI Protect Plus: It covers 25 life-threatening health conditions.

Check it out

3. Assumption Life

Name of ProductCritical Protection
CoverageEnhanced coverage, no-medical, simplified l coverage
Duration15 – 75 years
Limited Pay optionYes
Maximum coverage$100,000
Conditions 16 enhanced conditions
Loss of Independent Existence coverageNo
Partial payout conditionsNo
Partial payment/early detection paymentNo
Childhood illnesses coverageNo
Survival period30 days
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionNo
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessYes

 

Unlike its competitors, this policy has limited coverage. But Assumption Life’s Critical Protection insurance has a streamlined non-medical solution.

That said, Assumption Life’s flexible critical illness insurance is one of the best critical illness insurers in Canada with a comprehensive underwritten product.

Furthermore, this insurance provides enhanced coverage for 16 critical illnesses as non-medical or underwritten coverage.

Check it out

4. Canada Life

Name of ProductLifeAdvance
CoverageEnhanced coverage
Duration10 – 75 years
Limited Pay optionYes.
Maximum coverage$3 million
Conditions25 enhanced conditions + 1 optional condition
Loss of Independent Existence coverageYes
Partial payout conditionsEightSix eligible conditions
Partial payment/early detection paymentYes
Childhood illnesses coverageYes
Survival period30 days for most conditions
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionYes
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessNone

 

Although slightly expensive, Canada Life’s critical illness insurance may be your perfect choice.

What I like about this insurance is it is wide coverage and favourable terms and conditions.

That said, LifeAdvance is the brand name for Canada Life’s critical illness insurance policy. It provides enhanced coverage (for 25 critical illnesses) plus one optional condition.

Check it out

5. iA

Name of ProductTransition
CoverageBasic and enhanced coverage
DurationFrom 10 years to permanent coverage
Limited Pay optionYes
Maximum coverage$2.5 million
Conditions25 enhanced conditions and four basic conditions
Loss of Independent Existence coverageYes
Partial payout conditionsSeven eligible conditions
Partial payment/early detection paymentYes
Childhood illnesses coverageYes
Survival period30 days
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionNo
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessYes

 

Industrial Alliance’s (iA) Transition feature makes it an excellent critical illness insurance policy.

That said, iA’s Transition critical illness insurance basic coverage (for four illnesses) and enhanced coverage (for 25 illnesses).

Their basic coverage also includes a decreasing coverage alternative. This allows you to choose a more cost-effective form of coverage.

So with this insurance, you can customize your illness policy to your exact requirements. This comes with too many add-on and rider opportunities.

Furthermore, you minimize the cost of your insurance package with Transition This is guaranteed for the first few years before it reaches 50% of the initial benefit amount.

Check it out

6. Equitable Life of Canada

Name of ProductEquiliving
CoverageEnhanced coverage
Duration10 – 100 years
Limited Pay optionNone
Maximum coverage$2 million
Conditions25 conditions
Loss of Independent Existence coverageYes
Partial payout conditionsFour eligible conditions
Partial payment/early detection paymentYes
Childhood illnesses coverageYes
Survival period30 days
Return of Premium on deathYes
Return of Premium on expiry/cancellationYes
Second optionNo
Electronic applicationYes
Online account accessNo

 

Equitable Life of Canada provides a variety of duration for parents. This is suitable for those who want to tailor their coverage to meet their children’s needs.

That said, Equiliving is the critical illness insurance package of Equitable Life. It insures 25 critical conditions and illnesses.

Furthermore, this policy provides five critical illness coverage for children. It also has coverage for lack of independence.

Check it out

How I Rated The Best Critical Illness Insurance Companies in Canada?

Here’s how I determine the above best critical illness insurance in Canada:

  • Financial Strength: The above critical illness insurance providers have stable finance. This is obvious from their A.M. Best rating. They also have a reputation for paying claims in time.
  • Coverage: The above best Canadian critical illness companies cover the most critical health conditions.
  • Duration: The above best critical illness insurance policies have a long-term benefit period. This means that the coverage will be durable for you and your dependents.
  • Easy Access: The best critical insurance firms in Canada are easy to access.

How Do I Choose Critical Illness Insurance?

Despite identifying the above best critical illness insurance in Canada, it’s impossible to use all of them. As a result, you want to narrow your selection to the one that suits you.

This is so important because each of the above best critical illness plans has different features. So how do you choose the best insurance policy?

Here are four factors to consider when choosing the right type of critical illness insurance in Canada:

1. Your Current Financial Status

It is essential to consider your current financial standing before purchasing critical illness insurance.

As a result, you can consider a low amount of critical illness insurance if you are debt-free and don’t have any obligations.

However, suppose you do have a lot of long-term obligations to pay off (such as a mortgage), you can consider having a higher amount of coverage.

This will ensure that you have enough money to pay off these liabilities when you no longer work.

2. Understand Your Family’s Condition

Are you young and single? Start with critical illness insurance. This would cover your medical expenses when you contract a critical illness.

Do you have dependents? Consider a combination of life insurance with long-term critical illness insurance to guarantee your family’s financial security.

But if you are at the age of retirement and much of your high-interest debts are paid off, and your children are college graduates… consider critical illness insurance to cover the expenses of treating a critical illness.

3. Consider the Insurance Coverage

It’s essential to check the list of your critical illnesses plan since different insurers have different coverage.

Preferably, you should look for a critical illness insurance policy that covers any illness you are prone to. Also, you should understand how each serious illness is being defined.

However, the more your coverage, the higher your monthly or annual premiums.

4. Consider Your Medical History and Current Health Condition

Finally, you should consider your medical history and current health condition when choosing a critical illness plan.

When purchasing a critical illness insurance policy, the insurance provider will assess your health status. This will have an impact on not only the costs but also the amount of coverage you have.

Often, there’s an exemption on severe pre-existing illness. Some insurers may cover your pre-existing illness but at a greater cost.

So it is preferable to buy insurance when you are in good health. By so doing, you may enjoy full coverage.

How to Buy Critical Illness Insurance

You can buy your critical illness policy directly from an insurer or through an online insurance brokerage such as Bounc3.

So if you’re okay with the features of any of the above best Canadian insurance companies, you can click on the “check it out” to buy.

But if you want to compare more options, I recommend using an online insurance broker since they partner with multiple insurance companies.

By using an online insurance broker, you can easily choose an insurer that suits your need by comparing several quotes and features. The choice is yours.

Over to You

When life throws a curveball on your health, you can turn to your critical illness coverage to enjoy what your health and disability insurance can’t afford.

But to make a cost-effective decision, it’s essential to choose one of the best critical illness insurers in Canada above.

Furthermore, you need to buy your insurance as early as possible to enjoy comprehensive coverage.

The ball is now on your court to take the next step of protecting yourself and your family against costly critical illness.

FAQs

Is it Worth Buying Critical Illness Insurance?

Yes, critical illness insurance is worth it for anyone interested in covering themselves and their family against cost critical health conditions.

Not only will you get money to fund your critical illness, but you can use your insurance payout to fund your mortgage, recurring bill, home renovation, among others.

So whether you already have health insurance, it’s worth complementing it with a critical illness policy for maximum coverage.

How Soon Can You Claim Critical Illness Cover?

It depends on your insurer. You can make a claim immediately after you’re diagnosed with a critical health condition or after a given period after the diagnosis, often between two to four weeks.

How Do I Claim Critical Illness Insurance?

All you need is to submit your diagnosis proof to your insurer. Your insurer will then examine your diagnosis proof to determine its eligibility. If it’s eligible, you will be required to fill and sign a form to claim your coverage.

Is critical Illness Insurance Taxable in Canada?

As with most other types of insurance in Canada, critical illness insurance is not taxable. This means you can spend the payout the way you like without including it in your taxable income.

Why Can’t I Get Critical Illness Cover?

You may not get critical illness cover if you pose a high risk to an insurer. High risk means having critical pre-existing conditions, smoking habits and risker job type.

Have more questions? Kindly drop them in the comment section.

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