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Critical Illness Insurance (4)
The statistics behind the survival rates of heart attack, stroke and cancer victims tell us this type of insurance is extremely important. Generally life style changes are required as a result of these and other covered events. And these long-term adjustments to life style can require a significant amount of money.
With most insurance companies the answer is “yes”, but only for certain covered events. There is no health questionnaire to complete. Your policy booklet will tell you what events are portable and if there is a pre-existing health clause attached to that.
It can be. It depends on your age, your current health and your family history. The least expensive critical illness insurance is through an employer-sponsored group insurance benefit.
The definitions of the various covered events. Don’t let price be your motivating factor. Make sure your broker explains ‘when and how’ claims are paid and not just what the best price is.
Group Insurance (5)
According to the CRA rules, these types of purchases would become a taxable benefit to the employee, and the employee would have to pay income tax on these when they file their tax return.
Eligibility for employees is generally based on the number of hours worked per week. The minimum most insurance companies use is 20 hours per week. And you cannot discriminate between which part-time employees you want to put on the plan.
A Health Spending Account is 100% contributed to by the Employer, and the employer cannot discriminate between employees. An Employer can, however, offer a Health Spending Account to only certain classes of employees. For example, management-only or salaried, versus hourly paid employees.
Not all group insurance carriers are clear about this in their policy wording, however, most companies have a “stability of health” clause in them. If there has been any change to your health within 90 days of your travel departure date, it would be prudent for you to call the Travel Assist provider who’s behind your group travel insurance benefit and ask for clarification.
Generally “stable” means within 90 days preceding your departure your pre-existing condition(s) has been controlled without any change in medication, dosages or frequency. Any new medically diagnosed conditions within the same 90-day period would also not be covered. This includes any tests, investigations or scheduled exploratory surgical procedures.
This question generally comes from “first time” buyers of group insurance and the answer is, NO. For the most part, group insurance is a 30-day contract. Whenever you pay your premium you’re basically saying to the insurance company “I’ll stay with you for another 30 days.”
Individual Health and Dental Insurance (4)
Can I purchase Health and Dental insurance if I am currently taking medications on a consistent and regular basis?
Individual health and dental insurance always requires a health questionnaire. Insurance companies will not cover you, or any of your dependents, for any pre-existing health condition.
Any new health conditions would be covered under the terms of the policy.
You can’t take the exact same coverage with you. However, you can purchase similar coverage without filling out a health questionnaire. But remember, you must do this within 60 days of terminating your employment. You may get a better rate if you’re in good health and willing to answer some health questions.
Yes, you do. Although the Senior Drug Benefit Plan in Ontario will cover you for many different types of prescription drugs, there are many newer drugs that are not on their list (formulary) and, from time to time, certain drugs previously covered become de-listed.
There is no age limit restriction on the policy itself, however, certain benefits, eg. travel insurance may have a change in the coverage or be removed from the policy altogether at a certain age.
Life Insurance (4)
How much life insurance can I purchase without going through a medical examination, or any other medical underwriting requirements?
This will vary from company to company, and your age. Your responses to health questions will also be a determining factor. There is, however, one company that will go as high as $500,000 without a medical examination, needles or fluid testing.
This will depend on your life circumstances today, and what you may be able to envision for the near future.
For example, a young family might consider:
a) the amount needed to pay off a mortgage
b) a continuing income for the surviving spouse
c) future child education costs
d) credit card or other debt liabilities
e) funeral expenses, just to mention a few
Everyone’s situation is different. Talk to an insurance broker; not an insurance agent who works for an insurance company. A broker will get you the best policy at the best price.
The simple answer is, Yes.
There are a number of reasons for this answer. First, you are able to lock in a much lower premium at a younger age. Secondly, you are doing so while still in good health thereby protecting your future insurability. Health can change for anyone, and age has nothing to do with it. There is always a need for life insurance.
The short answer is: purchase Term Insurance and buy it for the longest period possible, e.g. 20 or 30 years.
Having said that, with returns on savings and investments being low these past few years, a good argument can be made for purchasing a combination of term and whole life insurance.
Travel Insurance (3)
This will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of trips you might take each year, your health situation today and your current age. For example, someone over the age 60, and with a number of health issues that could change at any time, might do well to purchase a single-trip travel plan. Most annual travel plans have a pre-existing health condition clause after you purchase the policy.
If you are young and in good health, and fully understand the medical questions being asked, then you are probably okay to purchase vacation travel insurance online. Be careful to read the policy exclusions.
However, if you want to be absolutely sure you will be covered in the event of a claim, you should speak with a knowledgeable travel insurance broker. We would recommend you not purchase this type of insurance through an agent who represents just one company.
Although the provinces have reciprocal agreements with respect to Medicare, each province will have their differences in what is, and what is not covered. For example, ambulance (land or air) is not a covered item. And to be transported by air ambulance to the nearest hospital can be very expensive. The good news is, travel insurance within Canada is not that expensive.