While you may already understand the importance of financially safeguarding your loved ones with a basic life insurance plan, you may not have considered how you and your family may be impacted by an unexpected illness or injury. Should this illness or injury impair your ability to work or pay your bills, you may be left with a massive hole within your financial safety net. Enter critical illness insurance which, as the name implies, can provide you with coverage. In the event that you become critically ill, you will receive a living benefit.
Of course, not all critical illness insurance plans are created equal. With this in mind, let’s look at five things that every individual should keep in mind when shopping for critical illness insurance coverage.
1. How Critical Illness Insurance Works
Before you explore your options, it’s beneficial to understand how this form of illness insurance works. Critical Illness can be a standalone plan or can act as an insurance rider on an existing life insurance policy. In both cases, critical illness benefits kick in when you are diagnosed with a critical illness that is included within the policy. This is usually defined as an illness that is severe enough to stop you from working or otherwise impairs your livelihood to such an extent that you can no longer support yourself through your usual source of income. Examples of this type of illness include cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and heart attacks.
With this form of illness insurance, you will receive a benefit (typically a lump sum) that can be used to offset these financial burdens until you are able to get back on your feet.
With a critical illness insurance plan, you may be able to:
- Eliminate the stress of making ends meet while you get back on your feet
- Replace the lost income of yourself and, in some plans, your spouse or immediate family members who take time off from work to care for you
- Hire in an in-home care worker to help you while you are recovering
- Afford new medications and medical treatments that may not be covered by your private insurance or government health insurance plans
2. The Cost-Benefit Analysis
When determining which type of critical illness insurance plan is right for you , you’ll want to account for a few things, most notably the amount of money that you can receive as part of the critical illness lump-sum payment. This can range widely from a few thousand dollars to a considerably larger amount, depending on the nature of your condition and the terms of your plan.
Generally, the greater your lump-sum payment, the larger your premiums, so you’ll want to make sure that your monthly payment fits well within your current budget and is worth the potential payout. Does your plan provide adequate coverage for your lifestyle or current circumstances? For example, if you work in a field that increases the chance of certain injuries or conditions (ie. construction sites where inhaling fumes may increase the chances of lung damage), you need to make sure your plan covers this form of illness. Ensure you choose a plan that will support you when you’re in need.
Online life insurance calculators can be a useful tool to help you understand how much coverage you require, and whether the policy you are considering will cover those needs.
3. Medical Help and Support
There is a lot more to critical illness insurance than the raw financial sum that you receive; in some cases, you also gain access to a wide range of medical help and support, including the following:
- Funding for receiving a second opinion if you find it necessary
- Counselling services to help get you through these challenging times
- Family support services
- Consultations about your financial and legal situations as necessary
Consider whether these additional benefits may be of interest to you should you fall ill. If not, it may be worth looking for a leaner plan with fewer additional perks and a lower monthly premium.
4. Affordable Rates
No one should ever find themselves unable to afford the insurance they need to keep themselves and their family afloat while dealing with a critical illness diagnosis. That’s why the best life insurance options not only offer affordable rates for their services, but also enable you to view quotes for different plans while exploring your options. Easy access to comparable rates and benefits allow you to make an informed decision about what kind of life insurance plan, critical illness coverage, or provider best suits your financial and medical needs.
5. Experience on Your Side
When faced with the unknown nature of a critical illness along with the medical and financial pitfalls it represents, you’ll want the certainty of experience on your side. Look for an insurance provider with extensive experience in providing customers with the right critical illness insurance for their needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. With their insight, you can rest assured that your selection is a good fit with your current financial circumstances, and the long-term needs of you and your loved ones.
Want some feedback from other clients to make sure you’re making the right choice? View the track record of your selected provider on review sites and see what others have to say about the viability and cost-benefit balance of their policies.
Don’t let critical illness put your financial livelihood and the wellbeing of your loved ones in jeopardy. Take out a critical illness policy and get the coverage you need when you need it most.
As a leading provider of critical illness insurance, Canada Protection Plan offers comprehensive financial protection to help you focus on getting better. With multiple no-medical critical illness insurance plans available, you may be eligible to apply, even with a pre-exiting condition.