According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2016, one-half of the causes of deaths of Canadians was primarily due to two factors: cancers and heart diseases. Even more worrisome, it is estimated that more than 40% of either men or women will develop cancer in their lifetimes. Standard lifestyle advice still applies to prevent these critical illnesses: eat well, have good sleep hygiene, and exercise regularly. However, having a good lifestyle can only reduce your chance of becoming ill to near nil, but you cannot eliminate that completely. As with the case of cancer, you can’t know when some of your cells inside your body will start to divide en masse for no reason. Therefore, you must have options to guard yourself against those agents of death. Critical illness insurance is one of those options.

What is critical illness insurance?

Marius Barnard, a South African heart surgeon, was the first to coin the term critical illness insurance in 1983. He also was the first person to offer critical illness insurance. As the name suggests, a critical illness insurance policy seeks to protect the insured person from critical illness. What kind of diseases are considered critical illnesses, you might ask. Although its definition has evolved over the years, the term “critical illness,” at the minimum, encompasses two classes of diseases: cancer and heart diseases, the latter commonly referred to separately as heart attack and stroke. Upon confirming the existence of a critical illness, the beneficiary will be paid a lump sum to cover their medical bills or the insured’s other financial commitments.

How to get critical illness insurance?

Like other types of insurance, you should consider the amount of coverage you want to get and secondly premiums. Usually, you will save more paying for premiums annually than monthly. Once you have decided on the coverage on premium, head over to the home page of Life Insurance Quote, fill in the necessary information in the calculator and voila, and get back a table of policy options for critical illness insurance offered by different insurers. After that, you can purchase a plan through Insurance Direct Canada or consult our licensed advisors for more information. In the next section, we will show an example of 10-year level term critical illness insurance quotes from various companies obtained from the calculator on our website.

Companies selling 10-year level term critical illness insurance

In our example, a 52-year-old man is looking for a 10-year level term critical illness insurance policy. The “10-year level” part here means that the policy will be in effect for ten years after the policy is activated. Assuming the man is in good health condition, a non-smoker, and seeking a coverage amount of $500,000, we will get the following results:

CompanyType of policyMonthly premiumYearly premium
SSQ Financial GroupCritical Illness – Basic T10 Non-Smoker$256.05$2,845.00
Canada LifeCritical Illness – 10 Year R & C to 75Gold Non-Smoker$306.45$3,405.00
SSQ Financial GroupCritical Illness – Enhanced T10Non-Smoker$330.30$3,670.00
ManulifeLifecheque – 10 Year Renewable Non-Smoker$336.15$3,735.00
Empire LifeCI Protect Plus – (25) 10 Year Non-Smoker$346.50$3,850.00
iA Financial GroupTransition T10 (R&C / 4 Illnesses) Non-Smoker$242.10$2,690.00

SSQ Financial Group

SSQ Financial Group is one of the largest insurance companies in Canada with three million active customers each year. They provide four categories of products: insurance, group insurance, investment, and real estate.

Basic T10 Non-Smoker is the most basic type of critical illness insurance SSQ Financial group offers. This policy covers three critical illnesses: cancer, stroke, and heart attack. To increase the number of critical illnesses covered, you can choose the enhanced coverage option, which goes up to 28 critical illnesses, from $256.05/month and $2,845.00/year to $330.30/month and $3,670.00/year, respectively. The difference in premiums amounts to $8,250 over 10 years.

Pros:

  • Contains additional benefit: you can get 110% of the coverage amount if diagnosed with certain critical illnesses
  • Offers assistance before and during your illness: psychological assistance, second medical opinion, etc.
  • Benefit is paid in cash, not to a specific medical requirement

Cons:

  • Basic option covers two few illnesses

Canada Life

Canada Life, or the Canada Life Insurance Company, is a Canadian corporation specializing in financial services and products. They offer a variety of insurance: life insurance, critical illness insurance, health & dental insurance, etc.

Canada Life’s 10 Year R & C to 75 policy is guaranteed to be renewable to age 75 and convertible before age 65. Compared to SSQ Financial’s critical illness insurance, this Canada Life policy offers protection up to 26 critical illnesses. As a plus, it is nearly $30/month cheaper than SSQ Financial’s Enhanced coverage option.

Pros:

  • Premiums are fixed for the whole term
  • Offers professional help to family of the insured 
  • Payment is tax-free
  • Return of premiums possible

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer cheaper policies
  • Limited information online and requires contact with advisors

Manulife

Manulife is the household name of insurance in Canada. With the assets of $935 billion, Manulife is the biggest Canadian insurance corporation. Founded in 1887 focusing at first on life insurance, Manulife has branched out to other services such as group benefits, investment, and banking.

With Manulife’s Lifecheque – 10-Year Renewable, you can renew the policy after 10 years. This insurance product will protect you against 24 critical illnesses. One of defining aspects of Lifecheque is that if you require long term care, you will receive an additional monthly payout for that

Pros:

  • Payout is paid in cash, tax-free
  • Benefits can be paid prior to the waiting period
  • Waiver of premium in the event of disability

Cons:

  • Premiums might increase during the insured period
  • Can be difficult to claim

Empire Life

Founded in 1923, Empire Life is a financial services company based in Ontario that offers a wide range of insurance and investment products, including life insurance, critical illness insurance, group benefits, etc.

At $346.50/month, Empire Life’s CI Protect Plus – (25) 10 Year is the most expensive critical illness insurance option. CI Protect Plus provides protection against 25 types of critical illnesses. Unlike other critical illness insurance, CI Protect Plus will pay $1,000 to your designated beneficiary if you pass away, separated from the policy payout.

Pros:

  • Renewable to age 75
  • If you already have whole life insurance from Empire Life, critical illness insurance’s monthly premium can be purchased with less $5/month more
  • Addons don’t require an increased premium

Cons:

  • Most expensive but doesn’t cover the most critical illnesses

ia Financial Group

Headquartered in Quebec City, ia Financial Group is a Canadian public company specializing in insurance products and wealth management with more than 4 million clients.

ia Financial Group’s Transition T10 (R&C / 4 Illnesses) is the cheapest critical illness option at roughly $246/month. It’s 10-year level term critical illness insurance that is both renewable and convertible. However, this Transition T10 policy only covers 4 critical illnesses, with an option of adding 5 more juvenile illnesses.

Pros:

  • Cheapest policy among 6 options
  • Has flexible return of premiums
  • Has partial benefit payment for certain illnesses

Cons:

  • Only covers the 4 most threatening critical illnesses

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