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What is
Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance (CII) is coverage that can help Canadians or those living in Canada pay the additional costs associated with life-altering illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart attack and dementia.

Why do I need critical illness insurance?

If you’re diagnosed with a covered illness, your critical illness insurance policy can help you pay for expenses that your provincial or territorial health plan doesn’t cover. 

Many Canadians assume that their government health plan or workplace benefits plan will cover many of the medical costs associated with a life-altering illness. But these plans might not cover all the extra costs that come with managing a critical illness, like home-care costs, travel and/or accommodation, lost work wages, childcare costs, gas and meals. Over time, these expenses can add up. 

With CII, you can receive a lump-sum payment that you can use however you need so that you can focus on your recovery.


How does critical illness insurance pay out?

Let’s say you’re diagnosed with an illness covered by your policy and you meet all of the policy requirements (such as survival period).

In such cases, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment once your claim is approved. 

You can then use this money however you want and for any reason.


For example, this can cover out-of-pocket expenses that may not be covered by your provincial or territorial health insurance, such as certain prescription drugs, mortgage, rent, short- or long-term care, etc.

Survival Period: The qualifying timeline may depend on the type of illness or disease. The most common type of waiting period for CII is the survival period. In Canada, if included, the survival period is usually 30 days. This means that, in some cases, you are required to survive a minimum of 30 days after the diagnosis of the covered illness before you can submit a claim and receive the benefit. In other cases, you are required to survive a minimum of 30 days after certain types of surgery before you can submit a claim and receive the benefit. 


How much coverage can you get?

Depending on the type of Critical Illness Insurance, coverage can vary from $50,000 Canadian up to $3,000,000 per adult depending on which insurance company you go with.


What types of cancer are covered by critical illness insurance?

According to SunLife critical illness insurance products cover carcinoma, melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and sarcoma. To receive a payout, you must have a cancer diagnosis confirmed by a specialist. It’s important to note that the cancer definition has exclusions.

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