“It will never happen to me…”

It was spring 2003, when my insurance advisor called me to set up an appointment to meet me at my office.  I had thought to myself, I have life and disability insurance what more do I need.  Being self employed and raised in a family where insurance was a priority, had me agreeing to meet to see what I was missing.

My advisor of 10 years whom I had trusted, suggested I buy critical illness insurance.  After explaining the benefits to me and the realization that I was self employed without the opportunity of sick pay,  made me agreeing to his recommendations to purchase the policy,

Years had gone by and premiums were paid, when in March  2010, the disbelief had become reality.  After 2 years of symptoms and having an MRI, the diagnosis came in across the fax…”demyelination related to MS”, my heart sank and I found myself reading the results  over and over.  “Multiple Sclerosis, this can’t be, not me”.

I immediately called my advisor for guidance and he proceeded to tell me that , “yes you will receive the benefit”. I put the wheels in motion and contacted my doctor and specialist to complete the necessary forms to receive my benefit.

After mailing in the paperwork, the insurance company send me a cheque within 10 days for the full  benefit amount.  “Wow”, I thought to myself, “this really does work.”  The thought of having some financial assistance to travel outside the country to receive alternative treatment, pay bills and put money on my mortgage was a relief

At times, I feel blessed with being part of this industry with a diagnosis of MS.  It becomes real to my clients, they have the opportunity to learn firsthand how my experience of having critical illness insurance as part of my financial plan has paid off.  Pointing out that, “yes, it can happen to anyone”…but the message I can bring to my clients is, “we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do know that if it comes with surprises, we can be better prepared.”

Term or Permanent Insurance….What’s the difference?

When sitting across the table from my clients I often ask, “Do you know the difference between term or permanent insurance.” Most of time the answer is no. At this point, I highlight some of the key points…

The need for insurance has to be established…

Term-Insurance for a specific period of time. Mortgages, loans, young families with high debt ratio.

Permanent-Special needs child, Income tax liabilities, any debts to be paid at death and business partnerships.

Do premiums increase with age?

Term-When you purchase a term policy your premiums are locked in for that term and increase at renewal time. You have the option to renew it but at a higher premium.

Permanent-No, the premiums are guaranteed not to increase.

How long does someone pay the premiums?

Term-The duration of the term.

Permanent-There are a number of ways…a quick 20 year pay, till death or if you cancel the policy.

Can the policy be renewed before it expires?

Term-Yes…your policy is non cancellable and guaranteed renewable. In order to receive the best rates possible, your broker should be contacting you to establish if your financial situation has changed before the policy expires.

Permanent-Permanent insurance covers you for the duration of your life. It can pay death benefits at any time, and there is no expiration date, as long as the policy is active.

Is there a penalty for cancelling the policy?

Term-No

Permanent-Perhaps, you can cancel or surrender your policy but you may have to pay surrender charges which is like paying a back end load when you sell shares of a mutual fund.

How much does it cost?

Term-Very affordable at a younger age with premiums increasing over time.

Permanent-More expensive than term insurance but if the need is to have insurance for an extended period of time than it can be more economical.

Does any of the premium act as a savings component?

Term-No

Permanent-Builds up a cash value. A portion of the premiums are invested and offers additional benefits.

Insurance News You want to know…

The Canadian life expectancy has increased…

link: www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/02/23/life-expectancy-canada.html

Best Doctors is included in my critical illness policy, what is it, and why is it so important?

link: www.bestdoctors.com/canada/home.php