We all know someone or know of someone who has been affected directly or indirectly by life threatening conditions including cancer. In fact, statistics indicate that more and more Canadians (including children) are being diagnosed with cancer on a daily basis.

Walks, rides, and runs aimed at raising money to fund cancer research are more common than ever, and make no mistake, I unreservedly support all initiatives aimed at supporting our hospitals and finding cures for various cancers.  However,  none of the fundraising seems to be aimed at directly assisting families that have been financially devastated by cancer.

Recently I visited a client (who is also my friend)  in the hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer and was quick to point out that the thousands of dollars he and his spouse helped raise in support of  cancer fundraisers were not available to help them in their time of need. A cheque enclosed in the envelope containing my ‘get well soon’ card made sure that money was one thing they didn’t have  to worry about.

If you are not independently wealthy, chances are  a diagnosis of cancer for any member of your family (including your children) will lead to financial hardship.

The cost of drugs and treatments not covered by OHIP  and the loss of income (especially if you are  self employed) can all add up to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. This will not only affect your income, but possibly the income of your spouse or partner who will without hesitation  take time off work to be by your side through the recovery process.

Do you need to pay yourself first? ABSOLUTELY!

Critical Illness Insurance  is a great mechanism that pays you a tax free lump sum in the event that you are diagnosed with cancer, stroke, heart attack and several other major illnesses and regardless of your existing medical conditions including cancer, HIV/Aids, heart disease, Hepatitis A,B, or C, and major depression can qualify for this important “Pay yourself first mechanism”

What also makes me really excited about critical illness insurance is many policies have a feature that allows you to get your premiums refunded if you never have a claim, so if you remain healthy your policy can actually serve as a forced saving plan.

Your chances of  being diagnosed with cancer are greater than your odds of winning Lotto 649, and many people who were diagnosed with cancer never thought it could or would happen to them, but it did.

Give me a call or contact me via my website  and deflate the elephant in the room by making sure you have a plan in place to pay yourself first.

About the Author

Karl Marshall is President of Marmac Financial Services Limited, an independent insurance and investment brokerage. He lives in the Durham Region and on Saturday nights he hosts The Party Mix on G98.7 FM in Toronto. You may contact him via email karl@karlmarshall.ca @marmacinsurance on Twitter or on Facebook.