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Get the best critical illness insurance quotes in Canada

Compare critical illness insurance quotes from Canada's top providers with us today – your best rate is only a few steps away.

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How to get critical illness insurance with

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself

    Critical illness insurance is specific to you, so we'll need a few details to customize your policy.

  2. Speak with an insurance broker

    We'll show you quotes from multiple providers, so a broker will be in touch to help you choose.

  3. Finalize your policy selection

    You may need a medical exam to finalize your policy, but you'll be guided through the process.

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What is critical illness insurance?

Critical illness insurance is a type of life insurance product that covers you financially in the event you're diagnosed with a serious illness. While the list of illnesses you'll be covered for will depend on your policy, common examples include cancer, heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, and major organ failure.

Unlike a conventional life insurance policy (such as term life insurance or whole life insurance), this type of product is designed to protect you during your lifetime. When faced with a significant health challenge, the last thing you want to worry about is your finances – and that's where critical illness insurance steps in. 

How does critical illness insurance work in Canada?

After selecting the right plan from the right insurer, you'll be paying regular premiums (either monthly or annually) to keep it active. Your insurance rate will depend on several individualized factors, such as your age, health status, and coverage amount.

Oftentimes, there is a waiting period for critical illness insurance. This is a set period of time after your policy becomes active (e.g. 30 days) in which you won't be able to make a claim, even if you're diagnosed with a covered illness. The idea behind this is to prevent policyholders from taking advantage of critical illness coverage for a pre-existing condition – it's designed to protect you from unforeseen circumstances. 

Upon diagnosis of a condition that meets your policy's criteria (after the waiting period), you'll be paid out a lump sum of money to assist with your financial implications. This is a predetermined amount that was selected when you first purchased your critical illness plan. The money can then be used for pretty much anything you desire – medical expenses, income replacement, mortgage payments, or even a much-needed vacation.

What does critical illness insurance cover?

While the list of protected medical conditions will depend on your policy and your insurer, here are some common critical illness insurance coverages. A basic, more affordable plan may only cover you for cancer while a comprehensive, more expensive plan can cover you for much more – so be sure to research all your options carefully to choose the best one for your needs.

  • Cancer

    2 in 5 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime (Canadian Cancer Society).

  • Heart attack

    As the second leading death cause, 2.4 million Canadians have heart disease (Canadian Institute for Health Information).

  • Stroke

    Over 100,000 strokes occur each year in Canada – about 1 every 5 minutes (Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada).

  • Kidney failure

    Over 50,000 people are being treated for kidney failure in Canada (The Kidney Foundation of Canada).

  • Multiple sclerosis

    Canada has one of the highest MS rates globally – over 90,000 Canadians live with the condition (MS Canada).

  • Organ transplant

    Over 4,300 people in Canada are currently waiting for an organ transplant (Government of Canada).

What can a critical illness insurance policy be used for?

The insurance payout can be used for anything you wish – medical payments, specialist consultations, alternative treatments, home modifications, outstanding debts, income replacement, child care services, and more.

Get free critical illness insurance quotes today.

In the market for critical illness insurance? We'll connect you with a verified life insurance broker to help guide you through the process of obtaining the coverage you need.

How much does critical illness insurance cost?

Below is a table outlining monthly critical illness insurance rates from Manulife and CAA, based on age, gender, and smoking status. Premiums are representative of $25,000 in coverage for five common conditions. Keep in mind, however, that this should just be used as a baseline – compare critical illness insurance quotes with us today to find the lowest price you could be paying. 

What factors affect my critical illness insurance quote?

The more risk you bring as a policyholder, the more expensive your insurance will be. And choosing a plan with broader coverage terms will also increase your premium, of course. Let's take a look at some notable factors that have an impact on your critical illness insurance quote. 

  1. Age & gender

    Cost of coverage increases as you age. And men and women are statistically more likely to develop different illnesses in different life stages (which will show in your premium).

  2. Health status

    Pre-existing conditions can lead to higher premiums or exclusions. And a history of family health issues can also increase your rate.

  3. Smoking status

    For obvious reasons, smokers face more expensive critical illness insurance rates than non-smokers.

  1. Lifestyle

    Insurers may offer you higher rates if you live a lifestyle that increases your chance of developing a critical illness (e.g. you're a firefighter).

  2. Policy term

    If you're able to lock down a rate for a set term (e.g. 5 years), longer terms can lead to higher rates – but this may also save you money in the long run.

  3. Coverage amount

    The more coverage, the higer the price – this goes for both the dollar amount and the number of conditions you're covered for.

How much critical illness insurance do I need?

The amount of coverage you should purchase is dependent on your own needs as a policyholder. While there is no one-size-fits-all figure, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine the right amount. For more guidance, be sure to consult a licensed life insurance broker in Canada.

  • Financial obligations

    How much money would my loved ones need to be supported if I'm unable to work?

  • Outstanding debts

    What debts would I need help paying off (e.g. mortgage, credit card) if I'm unable to work?

  • Medical expenses

    What medical expenses would I face (that aren't covered by my health insurance)?

  • Lifestyle changes

    Would I face expenses for home modifications, equipment, and transportation?

  • Existing coverage

    Do I already have an emergency fund or existing coverage from other policies?

  • Risk tolerance

    How much risk am I willing to take on? How does this weigh against my current budget?

Ready to get critical illness insurance coverage?

We can help – compare critical illness insurance quotes and connect with a licensed life insurance broker today.

Critical illness insurance pros and cons

Let's take a look at the various advantages and disadvantages of critical illness insurance – this can help you determine if the coverage aligns with your needs and your financial situation.

Tax-free payout – Like other life insurance products, the lump-sum payout you receive from a critical illness insurance policy is paid out tax-free.

Family protection – Critical illness coverage doesn't just pay for your medical needs. It can help protect your family if you're unable to work for income.

Guaranteed premiums – While premiums can increase as you age, you may be able to lock in a cheaper rate for a set term (e.g. 10 years) while you're young.

Peace of mind – You might not need the payout, but having it in your back pocket can provide you peace of mind, knowing you'll be financially protected.

Critical illness insurance vs. disability insurance

Another life insurance product you may be interested in is disability insurance. This type of coverage protects you financially in the event you become disabled and are unable to work. Let's take a look at a few key differences in the table below. 

Frequently asked questions on critical illness insurance

What is the best critical illness insurance in Canada?

Does health insurance cover critical illness?

Is a critical illness insurance payout taxable in Canada?

What is a waiting period for critical illness insurance?

Does critical illness insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?