Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Critical Illness Insurance Coverage in Ontario and Who Needs it!

Critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario protects individuals in the event they suffer a heart attack or stroke, are diagnosed with cancer, blindness, hearing loss, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, a major organ transplant, Alzheimer’s disease and more. 

When you die you are gone, but suffering a critical illness is a life altering event. Not only will it change the quality of life for you and your family but it also impacts your income and will trigger a number of new expenses. Believe it or not, even in Ontario where we have “free” health care, once suffering a critical illness you may quickly realize that the health care you receive is not sufficient to service your needs. You may require supplemental health care services and you may even want to pursue treatment options not available in Canada. Expenses such as private in-home nursing and modifications to your home or vehicle to improve your mobility will not be covered under your provincial health insurance plan. If you have disability insurance with your employer, they also may not be covered under a typical employer-sponsored health plan. 

Critical illness in Ontario is a very real problem that Canadians face every day and impacts individuals young and old.

In Canada, one in three Canadians will develop a life-threatening cancer, one in two will suffer heart attacks under the age of 65 and each year 50,000 Canadians will suffer a stroke and 75% of them will be left with a disability. 

When arranging any insurance coverage, time is your enemy. The older you are, the higher the insurance premiums you will have to pay. In addition, changes to health can occur at any time. A change to your health may impact your ability to qualify for critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario and may also cause your critical illness insurance premiums to skyrocket. Considering critical illness insurance coverage when you are young and healthy enables you to achieve the most cost savings. 

You can arrange critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario one of two ways; through a term policy or through a whole policy. A term policy carries a term and no cash value, whereas a whole critical illness policy provides tremendous incentives. Whole policies for critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario not only guarantee the critical illness coverage for life but also have a side financial benefit. When you purchase a whole critical illness insurance policy, once 15 years has passed if you have not suffered a critical illness, you are entitled to receive 100% of your premiums back. This means that not only are you protecting yourself in the event you suffer a critical illness but you are also betting on good health too. 

Critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario has become an essential insurance that everyone should have and in the optimal circumstance should be arranged at a young age. Critical illness insurance has become very popular because of all the events that it covers, in addition to the value that a whole critical illness insurance policy carries. 

For more information about critical illness insurance coverage in Ontario please visit or call Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Buying Life Insurance in Ontario Under the Age of 40 – Is it Necessary?

When we are young, energetic and full of life the last thing we think about is death or buying life insurance. With so many things to plan for like purchasing a home and planning a family, it’s hard to think about planning to forecast death. It is not likely that you will die any time soon but it is important to start your life insurance planning now and there are many reasons why. 

First, life insurance premiums are lowest when you are youngest and healthiest. Purchasing life insurance when you are younger will save you 10’s of thousands of dollars in premiums over time. 

Time is not your friend. Each day that passes we risk changes in our health. This could range from significant health problems to non-visible disabilities. Your life insurance premiums take into consideration your health. If you have medical problems one of two things can happen: your premiums will be significantly higher or some causes of death may be disallowed from your policy. Because a life insurance policy is a contract, if you initiate the contract and rate of premium at a time when you are young and healthy, the insurance company cannot increase your premiums. 

Further to the above two points, many of us plan on starting a family in the future. This alone carries a landslide of new expenses to the household. Once you have children, you will also want to protect them. If you wait to start life insurance planning once you have children and it becomes more of a priority in your mind, the issue of the increased premiums you will pay because you waited, will become very real. 

When children enter the equation, there are many life insurance options in Ontario that can enable you to leverage your life insurance to build savings and plan for your children’s education. While term life insurance in Ontario carries no cash value, whole life insurance does. This means that the premiums you pay for insurance will not only protect your children but will also contribute to savings that can be used when your children are ready to go off to college or university. 

Whether it’s now or when you have children, you begin to build a life with your spouse; the life you build will generally rely on both of your incomes. This includes payments to debt and mortgage. If the unforeseeable happens and you passed unexpectedly, you want to ensure that you have made the necessary financial arrangements so that your spouse is not left with debt and mortgage payments while losing your income. 

At the end of the day the primary reason that it is crucial to think about buying life insurance in Ontario is cost. All of the examples outlined in this article lead to the same issue that if you wait, it could cost you big time. Time could be the difference between you paying less than $100 per/mo. for life insurance in Ontario and paying hundreds of dollars per/mo. for life insurance in Ontario. Over the course of years these amounts add up to 10’s of thousands of dollars that you wouldn’t have had to factor into your budget had you started planning when you were younger. 

For more information about buying life insurance in Ontario please visit or call Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Disability Insurance Coverage in Ontario – Can I Get It If I’m Not Working?

In Canada, approx. 3.6 million people have disabilities (according to the TDSB website In Ontario, approx. 1.5 million people have disabilities. The disability rate increases with age and is expected to increase with the aging population. 

Over half (54 percent) of working age adults with disabilities are either unemployed or not in the labour force. Ontarians with disabilities reported an average income of $22,543. Only nine percent of adults with disabilities have a total income of over $50,000 – this number likely represents individuals who had disability insurance coverage before becoming disabled. Eighty-four percent of women with disabilities and sixty-five percent of men with disabilities reported income of less than $30,000. Forty-six percent of adults with disabilities in the labour force make less than $15,000 a year. These are some scary numbers. 

Why are these numbers important? They’re important because they demonstrate why it is crucial to have your own disability insurance coverage in Ontario even if your employer offers you disability insurance coverage.  

Disability insurance in Ontario often insures your earned income against the risk that a disability will make working uncomfortable (this includes psychological disorders), painful (as with back pain), or impossible (as with coma). It includes paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits, and long-term disability benefits. 

Many people in Ontario purchase their own disability insurance policies on the open market. People make this choice for a number of different reasons. Where an employer is paying for part of your benefits or WSIB is involved, many Canadians have reported incidences where: 

1.       They have been pressured to return to work even when they felt that they weren’t ready.
2.       Had a doctor other than their personal physician, rather, a physician hired by the insurance company making the final determination as to when they should return to work.
3.       Were pressured to participate in employer sponsored programs.
4.       When returning to work was given a completely different job.
5.       Saw their benefits decline over time and more…

When you purchase your own disability insurance policy in Ontario there are a number of benefits: 

1.       You are the customer and may receive improved service from the insurance company.
2.       You can arrange a policy over a term, guaranteeing your premium and coverage.
3.       Your premiums won’t increase with age.
4.       You can arrange a policy where your income won’t decline over time.
5.       You will not lose your disability insurance coverage if you lose your job or become unemployed. 

Point numbers 4 and 5 above are very important because disability premiums can increase significantly with age, and time can be your enemy because if a disability occurs, it will impair your ability to qualify for disability insurance coverage in Ontario. In addition, disability insures income, so you must be employed or have provable income to qualify for disability insurance coverage. If you are not employed and have limited or no income; you won’t qualify for disability insurance coverage in Ontario.  

Individuals who rely on disability insurance coverage provided by an employer take considerable risk because when their employment ceases, so does their disability insurance coverage. For example, if a 30 year old individual had a job with a company for 10 years and then lost their job, they would not be able to qualify for disability insurance coverage in Ontario until they found another one. In addition, if they decided to purchase their own disability insurance coverage upon gaining new employment, their premiums would be considerably higher than had they purchased a term disability insurance policy even 5 years sooner.

There are many good and valid reasons that an individual should have their own disability insurance coverage. The last thing you want to do is wait until you become one of the over 3 million people who have a disability in Canada to find out that you have no options. For more information please visit or call Independent Financial Concepts Group at 416-849-1653.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What is Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance in Ontario and What is the Difference?

Life insurance in Ontario can be complicated but it doesn’t have to be. Life Insurance in Ontario is a contract with the insurance policy holder (you) and the insurer (an insurance company). In the event that the insurance policy holder passes away, the insurance company then has to pay an agreed sum of money to the beneficiary. The beneficiary is designated by the insurance policy holder at the time the insurance policy is arranged.  

This can be dicey where a bank is arranging a mortgage protection policy or life insurance coverage to protect a mortgage in the event of the death of the mortgagee because in most cases the bank will want to name themselves’ as the beneficiary. For this reason you are better off to arrange your own mortgage life insurance coverage through an Insurance Broker if you are taking out a mortgage, because you will have more authority as it relates to naming a beneficiary.                       

Life insurance is typically arranged for 2 reasons; protection or investment. Life insurance contracts tend to fall into two major categories:

1.       Protection policies – designed to protect loved ones in the event of a death.

2.       Investment policies – designed facilitate the growth of capital.  

The two most common types of life insurance are: term life insurance and whole life insurance. What is term life insurance and whole life insurance in Ontario and what are the differences between the two? 

Term life insurance coverage in Ontario carries a specified term. The policy does not accumulate cash value. The term life insurance premium will buy life insurance protection in the event of death and nothing else. Another common type of term life insurance is mortgage life insurance, which if arranged by the mortgage holder (bank) will generally only cover the amount of the mortgage and names the bank as the beneficiary in the event of death. Individuals often purchase term life insurance to “protect” their loved ones in the event of death.

What is whole life insurance and how is it different from term life insurance? Whole life insurance provides lifetime life insurance coverage. When purchasing a whole life insurance policy there is no term. Part of the insurance contract mandates that the life insurance policy holder is entitled to a cash value reserve. This cash value can be accessed at any time through a loan against the life insurance policy and are issued income tax free.

There are many advantages of whole life insurance that include: guaranteed death benefits, guaranteed cash values, fixed, predictable annual premiums and mortality and expense charges that will not reduce the cash value of the policy.  

Term life insurance and whole life insurance both carry their respective benefits but the right life insurance coverage for you will depend on your age, the size of your family (do you have dependants), the life stage of your family and your long term financial goals. Your best bet when trying to figure out what life insurance coverage is best for you is to deal with a local Insurance Broker who works with all of the different insurance companies because they cannot only help you determine which product is the best for your personal circumstances but also who is offering the best deal.

For more information about term life insurance coverage and/or whole life insurance coverage in Ontario, please visit or contact Gary Mandel at l Independent Financial Concepts Group by calling 416-849-1653.