Affordable critical illness coverage for Canadians

The best protection against critical illnesses — at a competitive rate.
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Sun Life
Based on publicly available rates for a 45yo non-smoking female with $50,000 in coverage over a 10-year term.

What is critical illness insurance in Canada?

Critical illness insurance coverage provides a living benefit for Canadians with critical illnesses such as heart attacks, stroke or cancer. Our insurance also covers you from select early-stage conditions that are detected early so that you can focus on your recovery. You can use the cash to help replace your income while you take time off work or to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Benefits of critical illness insurance with PolicyMe

44 conditions covered

27 critical illnesses and 17 early-stage conditions – the most in Canada

More coverage options 

Get covered for $10K to $1M, from 10 to 30 years

Extensive coverage for early-stage cancers and cardiac illnesses

With multiple payouts possible

Backed by giants

Federally regulated, backed by industry leader Canadian Premier

Genuine advice, no pressure to buy

Our licensed Canadian advisors don’t get commission

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What does PolicyMe's critical illness insurance cover?

27 fully covered conditions
17 partially covered conditions

How does critical illness insurance work with PolicyMe?

20-30 conditions covered, on average

Other Companies


Typically: a call or meeting with an advisor and a paper application.
Online process. Get approved and covered in 20 minutes, on average.

Number of Conditions Covered


Fully Covered Severe Conditions

Partially Covered Early-Stage Conditions

Payout Details

Locked-In Rate?


Can I apply with my partner?

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Coverage Amounts

$25,000 to $2.5M, on average
Usually 10 or 20 years, or until age 70 or 75
24-26 severe conditions, on average
0-8 early-stage conditions, on average
Lump-sum tax-free payout
No, others require separate applications
44 conditions covered
$10,000 to $1M
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
27 severe conditions
17 early-stage conditions
Lump-sum tax-free payout
Yes, one online application for both partners

Term Lengths

See how affordable critical illness insurance can be with PolicyMe

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Who needs critical illness insurance in Canada?


Employees without critical illness coverage


People without supplemental health coverage

Canadians without an emergency fund

Employees without critical illness coverage
People without supplemental health insurance
Canadians without an emergency fund

You may need critical illness insurance if you have people in your life who depend on your income. Being seriously ill often means taking time off work or paying for medical expenses that are not covered by provincial health insurance.

Critical illness insurance provides a financial cushion during that difficult time.

How much critical illness coverage do I need?

How much critical illness insurance coverage you need depends on the size of your emergency fund.

Experts usually recommend having three to six months' worth of post-tax income. You may not need critical illness insurance if you have this much available in cash.

Do you have enough saved up to replace what you contribute? What about your spouse or partner? Even if you’re not the breadwinner, your family may still depend on your salary or free labour such as childcare.

 Critical illness insurance quotes

Get a critical illness insurance quote online

Check your price: no commitment, no personal information collected.

Apply online when you're ready.

Get personalized advice

Licensed Canadian advisors are available by phone Monday to Friday.

Give us a call at: +1 (866) 966-7457

Our advisors don’t receive commission, so there’s no pressure or upselling.

Critical illness insurance 101

What does critical illness mean?

Critical illness means being diagnosed with a serious health condition that is often life-threatening. 

Insurance companies have different definitions of what a critical illness is and what conditions qualify. Common conditions such as stroke, cancer and heart attack are usually covered in critical illness insurance policies. 

What is the purpose of critical illness insurance?

The purpose of critical illness insurance is to provide financial support to an individual that has a serious disease or illness. Public health care in Canada may not cover all medications, travel for treatment and homecare. You may also not have an employer group benefit plan or other private coverage to rely on. A critical illness may also mean unpaid time off work and/or additional costs like child care or retrofitting your home.

The lump sum payment you get from critical illness insurance helps to offset these expenses and provide additional financial security during this difficult time.

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

Illnesses typically covered by critical illness insurance in Canada include heart attack, cancer, paralysis, stroke, organ transplants, Alzheimer's, kidney failure and multiple sclerosis.

Canadian insurers have different definitions of what a critical illness is, but it is essentially a life-threatening illness. Some insurers will only cover serious illnesses like heart attack, while others will also cover early-stage diseases such as early-stage breast cancer.

In Canada, PolicyMe recently introduced the most complete critical illness insurance that covers 44 conditions: full coverage for 27 conditions and partial coverage for 17 conditions. Sun Life and Equitable offer the next best coverage options with 34 conditions covered: full coverage for 26 conditions and partial coverage for 8 conditions.

Curious to see how PolicyMe stacks up against other Canadian critical illness providers? Learn more about the best critical illness insurance in Canada.

What’s the waiting period for critical illness insurance?

Some conditions specify an amount of time that has to pass after you are diagnosed before you qualify for a critical illness payout. This differs by insurance company and by the condition that is covered. Usually, cardiovascular conditions (like heart attacks) are most likely to have a waiting period. That said, most of PolicyMe's covered conditions don't have waiting periods to qualify.

How much does critical illness insurance pay out?

Critical illness insurance typically pays out between $10,000 to $1M in Canada. You choose your coverage amount when you apply for and sign your critical illness policy. If you want a higher coverage amount, your monthly premium will also be higher, though this rate is also determined by your health status, age and other factors.

How is critical illness insurance paid out?

Critical illness insurance is always paid out as a single lump-sum amount.

Can you cancel critical illness insurance?

Yes, you can always cancel your critical illness insurance with any Canadian provider.

With PolicyMe, you get a full refund on any premiums you have paid if you cancel within 30 days of the date your critical illness policy became active.

If you cancel after this 30-day period, you will only receive a pro-rated refund of any premiums you have prepaid. You won’t be charged any cancellation fees or penalties.

Can I get critical illness coverage only?

Yes, you can buy critical illness insurance by itself in Canada. At PolicyMe, you can buy critical illness coverage by itself, you can buy it with term life insurance or you can add it on to existing term life insurance coverage after the fact.

Am I eligible for critical illness insurance if I have a history of high blood pressure?

You might still be eligible for critical illness insurance if you have a history of high blood pressure. But you may not be eligible if you’ve had an abnormal ECG or have had heart surgery. You might also be ineligible if you’ve been diagnosed with or have experienced symptoms of:

  • Heart attack

  • Transient ischemic attack

  • Stroke

  • Coronary artery disease

Make sure to read your policy carefully to see what other exclusions may apply.