Simplifying critical illness insurance for Canadians

by Leo Almazora29 Apr 2020

The coronavirus crisis may be keeping large portions of the economy shut down, but that hasn’t stopped Canada Protection Plan from continuing on its mission to provide accessible and easy-to-apply-for life and critical illness insurance.

Mere weeks after the company officially made its eApplication and ePolicy processes available for all its offerings, it has expanded its catalogue with four new critical illness insurance products.

“As a known leader in no-medical and simplified issue medical insurance, we want to try to offer insurance to as many Canadians as possible, including those that have suffered from various illnesses,” said co-President Michael Aziz.

Two big C’s
As Aziz explains, many companies offer critical illness insurance that cover 20 to 25 conditions, but the vast majority of CI claims arise from just eight of those. That suggests an opportunity to maximize value to consumers by providing advisors with targeted solutions.

“Why focus on occupational HIV infection, coma, deafness, or some of these other conditions that you’ve got a low probability of making a claim on?” he said. “We wanted to focus on the conditions that are really afflicting most Canadians.”

That boils down to the two big C’s of CI: cardiovascular conditions and cancer. Under those two umbrellas are eight events that Canada Protection Plan has chosen to concentrate on, namely heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic surgery, heart valve replacement or repair, cancer, life-threatening aplastic anemia, and benign brain tumors.

“Those eight conditions alone account for 93% of CI claims,” Aziz said.

The first five conditions are covered by Cardiac Protect CI, while the last three are covered under Cancer Protect CI: each of those plans offer a one-time tax-free payment of up to $50,000.

Canada Protection Plan also offers those plans in combination as Cardiac AND Cancer Protect CI, which provides for two tax-free payments of up to $50,000, effectively one payment for each plan. After the policyholder makes a claim for one event, the premiums they pay are reduced based on the portion of the plan they’ve already benefited from.

Another bundled solution, Cardiac OR Cancer Protect CI, offers coverage for either cardiac or cancer events, with a one-time payment of up to $100,000 to address whichever event comes first. Once the policyholder has made a claim, the policy is terminated.

Making financial security more accessible
With the world still firmly in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians with critical illnesses are facing serious challenges getting coverage through the traditional process. As physical distancing protocols remain in place to curb the threat of the virus, getting access to a medical professional who can issue an APS is challenging to say the least.

Fortunately for consumers, Canada Protection Plan offers a no-medical electronic application process for all four CI products, which asks a maximum of eight questions. Those who are approved will receive a downloadable e-policy via email, which makes it easier for both the advisor and the consumer.

“We’ve also made coverage accessible for more people by offering our critical illness insurance plans as unbundled products,” Aziz said. “Unlike many other plans out there, our cancer protect plan doesn’t prevent otherwise healthy individuals who’ve suffered a heart attack from getting coverage, and someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer can still qualify for our cardiac protect product.”

One additional benefit, currently available on a non-contractual basis to all Canada Protection Plan policyholders, is free access to an online document preparation service called LawAssure. Offered through Foresters Life Insurance Company, it helps members in any Canadian province except Quebec to prepare a will or power of attorney based on the prevailing laws in their jurisdiction.

“Based on their answers to a series of questions, they can create a will and have it authorized by a notary or someone else with the power to do so,” Aziz said. “Now they have a will that they can store with LawAssure, or they can download it in a PDF or Word Document. That’s another layer of reassurance for people, to be able to determine what happens to them or who will have the power to make decisions on their behalf in case the worst happens.”