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 Remove the financial stress.

The Value of Critical Illness Insurance

What Can it Do for you?

The critical illness benefit provides you with freedom of choice and control over the treatment you receive. It allows you to seek alternative or out of province treatments that may not be covered by our provincial healthcare system. More importantly, it allows you to focus on your recovery rather than how you are going to pay for the significant direct and indirect expenses that can occur as the result of a serious illness.

To take the time to fully recover before you return to work Having cash on hand enables you to decide for yourself when to return to work, so you aren't forced back too soon by cash shortages and lifestyle compromises that can delay, and even endanger, your full and complete recovery.

Supplement your income
If you are able to return to work, it is likely that you will suffer a loss of time and/or productivity. A critical illness benefit provides funds that can be used to supplement your income so that you can make a smooth transition back to work. Over the long term, it may be in the best interest of your health to not work as hard or as long.

Control over treatment, recovery and rehabilitation
Many of the latest treatments are not available locally or funded by government health plans. Consequently, as highly regarded as our Canadian health care system is, it cannot help patients recover their financial footing if they are not prepared in advance for the financial consequences of a critical illness. Also, you may need extra cash for new lifestyle and recovery demands such as housekeepers, private nursing, physical therapy and medical equipment.

To have the money to cover job-search time or retraining if you face a modified career, relocation or career change
You may need the financial resources to meet your financial obligations until you have found a job suitable to your new lifestyle or until you have retrained.

Have a spouse take time off from work to help you recover
Achieving greater closeness with family is an important part of a full recovery. Having the ability to have your spouse take additional time away from his or her job is an invaluable asset.

Pay off/pay down/continue mortgage payments
The critical illness benefit may be used to pay off or pay down your mortgage or provide the cash necessary to keep up with your monthly payments while you focus on your health.

Peace of mind knowing that you can focus on getting better, rather than how you are going to pay for it
Recovery and rehabilitation will be your first priority. The critical illness benefit can remove the financial stress that can accompany a serious illness.

Insurance products and services are offered through Arca Financial Group Inc.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?


A New Product for Changing Times

Critical Illness insurance was created over 20 years ago in South Africa by Dr. Marius Barnard, the brother of heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christian Barnard. The idea behind this "dread disease" protection was to help people finance their recovery from serious illness without having to deplete their financial resources, re-mortgage their homes, or borrow funds from family and friends.

Critical Illness insurance (CI) pays a lump sum benefit, tax free, upon diagnosis of a life threatening condition. Most comprehensive plans now cover between 20 and 24 such conditions and some offer partial benefits for less threatening illnesses. Claims experience from various Canadian insurers tells us that most claims are for one of the "big 3" - cancer, heart attack and stroke. The proceeds are tax free and can be used in any way you wish - for recovery, rehabilitation, alternative treatments, modifications to your home or vehicle, to pay down debts or your mortgage, to provide your spouse the opportunity to take time away from work to help you recover and so on.

Take action now to protect yourself and your finances from the effects of a life threatening or life altering illness.

Insurance products and services are offered through Arca Financial Group Inc.

Your Safety Net


With today's amazing medical advances, the chance that you will survive a very serious or life altering illness is now not only possible, but probable. Keeping this in mind, an important, yet often overlooked, part of every financial plan is the consideration of a family's financial survival and recovery when faced with a potentially life threatening illness. Critical Illness insurance is available to anyone under the age of 65 who has no history of serious illness. It provides a substantial lump sum tax free benefit upon the diagnosis of a heart attack, cancer, stroke, or one of several other conditions. This benefit is paid out 30 days after diagnosis and in the event that death occurs before the 30 day waiting period is satisfied, the premiums that have been paid into the policy are refunded to the estate.

Benefits range from $25,000 to $2,000,000


Insurance products and services are offered through Arca Financial Group Inc.

Critical Illness Coverage


As determined by contracts, most comprehensive plans cover between 20 and 24 conditions in total. The most commonly occurring conditions, in terms of claims, are heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

Typically, comprehensive critical illness insurance policies cover most or all of the following conditions:

Alzheimer's DiseaseLoss of Limbs
Aortic SurgeryLoss of Speech
Benign Brain TumourMajor Organ Transplant Recipient
BlindnessMajor Organ Transplant Waiting List
CancerMotor Neuron Disease (ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease)
ComaMultiple Sclerosis
Coronary Artery Disease requiring surgeryOccupational HIV Injury
Heart AttackParkinson's Disease
Heart Valve ReplacementSevere Burns
Kidney FailureStroke


Arca Financial Group provides critical illness insurance from the following major Canadian insurers:

Manulife Financial         Sun Life Financial         BMO Insurance       

Canada Life                    Standard Life                 RBC Insurance

More Common Questions


1. What happens if I do not survive the 30 day waiting period?
The premiums that you pay into the policy will be refunded to your estate. Some insurance companies offer this feature as a standard component of their policies, while others offer it as an optional feature.

2. What if I never make a claim?
Most policies offer a "return of premium" feature whereby you will get most or all of your premiums refunded to you after a specified period of time, usually 10 to 15 years.

3. I have long-term disability coverage through my employer. Is Critical Illness insurance necessary?
Disability coverage will provide you with income during your disability after a specified waiting period. The payment is calculated as a percentage of your after tax income and is only paid for a limited time, regardless of your needs or expenses. It does not compare to the substantial tax free cash you will receive from critical illness insurance.

4. I have life insurance - why do I need this?
Life insurance pays a benefit when you die. Critical Illness insurance is about you surviving a serious illness and recovering. It will provide you with money to use for treatment, recovery, debts, rehabilitation, or any way you see fit.

5. Is this coverage based on my income or my ability to work?
The amount of coverage you can buy needs to be reasonable for your circumstances, but is not dependent on your ability to work.

6. What if I die in an accident before making a claim?
Most policies will refund all of your premiums to your estate.

7. What if I need coronary angioplasty? Is this a covered condition?
Many policies do not cover coronary angioplasty as a full benefit, but some offer a "partial benefit" in the event of coronary angioplasty, and early stage prostate and breast cancer.

8. Does it matter if I am a smoker?
As with other types of insurance (life, disability), smokers pay higher premiums than non-smokers.

9. My mother had a heart attack. Can I still get Critical Illness insurance?
Most likely. Family medical history is an important component of the qualification process, however, unless 2 or more immediate family members (mother, father, sister, brother) have had the same condition or illness, you should still qualify for critical illness insurance. The insurance company may charge a higher premium or exclude certain illnesses based on your family history.

10. Will my premiums ever increase?
This depends on the type of policy that you buy. Policies can have guaranteed premiums to either age 75 or life, or there are 10 or 20 year renewable programs, where the premiums increase every 10 or 20 years. Your Arca advisor will help you determine which type of policy is best for you.

11. Does it matter how old I am when I apply?1.
Typically, coverage is available from ages 0 to 65. The younger you are, the lower the cost, and less medical evidence is needed.

12. Do I have to have medical tests done?
The amount of medical evidence you have to provide depends on your age and how much coverage you want. Most plans require a paramedical, blood and urine test.

13. Why should I buy this now when I am young and healthy?
Critical Illness insurance providers indicate that guaranteed premiums may not be around for much longer and some features may be removed from typical plans altogether. Given that premiums also increase with age, it makes sense to buy coverage while you can still lock in today's lower guaranteed rates. Besides, our health and that of our family, can change quickly, so it is important to apply while you are still eligible.

14. Do I have to spend the cash on my health care?
The critical illness benefit is tax free money that can be used for any purpose.

15. What if I want to go to a private clinic or to the United States for treatment?
Freedom of choice is one of the major benefits of this plan. Critical illness insurance provides you with the cash to make these options available to you. This gives you control over your treatment, recovery and rehabilitation.

16. Aren't all of my medical expenses covered by the government?
Some new drugs and alternative treatments are not covered by our provincial health care system, and there are certainly many "indirect" costs associated with having a critical illness. Modifications to your home, loss of income, travel expenses and home care are examples of expenses that may not be covered by the government.

17. What if something happens to me when I am away from home?
Typically, you are covered as long as the condition is diagnosed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Canada or the United States. You are also covered if your diagnosis is made in another jurisdication, subject to certain conditions outlined in the policy contract.

18. What if I need help finding the right treatment?
Most Critical Illness insurance plans offer a service called Best Doctors which will help you locate the top professionals and medical facilities relating to your particular illness or condition.

19. What if I need money before the 30 day waiting period?
Some plans offer a Recovery Benefit which is an advance of up to $10,000, paid to you as soon as your claim is received.

20. If I decide to cancel my coverage, can I get my money back?
Most policies offer a "return of premium" feature whereby you get most or all of your premiums refunded to you after a specified period of time, usually 10 to 15 years.

21. What if I am off work on disability and cannot afford my payments?
Most plans offer an optional waiver of premium feature that will cover the cost of your premiums while you are disabled.

Insurance products and services are offered through Arca Financial Group Inc.