According to The Canadian Cancer Society a staggering 40% of all Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime.

I was never good with numbers, however it seems to me these days that an alarming number of Canadians are being diagnosed with one form of cancer or the other and the disease doesn’t appear to discriminate. During the months of October, November and December 2014 our brokerage delivered critical illness insurance claim cheques totaling over $1Million to Canadians who were diagnosed with cancer, and the demographic ranged from young children under ten years old, to teenagers, to middle aged men and women, to the elderly.

We can speculate and can make predictions based on facts, figures, trends etc., but the truth is nobody knows for sure who will develop cancer or any other disease for that matter. One thing I do know for sure, as a professional who also sells life insurance, is that more people are becoming seriously ill than there are people dying. In fact our health care system is so awesome that people are living longer. This is reflected in the fact that critical illness insurance is typically about 3 times the price of term life insurance; the incidence of cancer is greater than the incidence of death and insurance companies are paying out more per year in critical illness claims than they do in death claims.

I don’t know if the number is 40%, 50% or 60% percent of Canadians who may develop cancer, nor am I sure that the percentage of Canadians that will develop cancer is the question that needs to be answered. The fundamental question you should be asking yourself is “if I or a family member got diagnosed with cancer, would serious financial stress ensue?” If the answer is yes then you should seriously consider adding critical illness insurance to your financial fitness program.

Critical Illness insurance pays out a tax free lump sum to you provided you survive 30 days of a diagnosis of cancer, stroke, heart attack (to name a few of the covered conditions). It is insurance that pays you while you are alive, and if you remain healthy and never have a claim (meaning you are not included in the 40%) you can receive a partial or full refund of your premium depending on the policy you purchased.

Thinking that you won’t develop cancer is the Elephant in the Room; deflate it today by making sure you are financially prepared in the event you do fall into the 40%

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 @marmacinsurance on Twitter or on Facebook.