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.
Cancer of specified severity
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Heart valve replacement or repair
Acquired brain injury
Benign brain tumor
Dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease
Motor neuron disease (incl. ALS)
Parkinson's Disease and specified atypical Parkinsonian disorders
Occupational HIV infection
Loss of limbs
Loss of speech
Loss of independent existence
Major organ transplant
Major organ failure on waiting list
Endovascular aortic surgery
Implantation of a permanent cardiac pacemaker
Implantation of a permanent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia – stage 0
Breast Cancer: Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast or lobular carcinoma in situ of the breast
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST)
Prostate cancer – stage T1a or T1b
Malignant melanoma – stage 1
Primary cutaneous lymphoma
Papillary thyroid cancer or follicular thyroid cancer – stage 1
Neuroendocrine tumours (including carcinoid tumours)
Carcinoma in-situ (non-invasive cancer)
Carcinoma in-situ (CIS) of the breast treated with total mastectomy
Prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Critical illness insurance is always paid out as a single lump-sum amount.
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.
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.
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:
Transient ischemic attack
Coronary artery disease
Make sure to read your policy carefully to see what other exclusions may apply.