What’s your plan if you were to have a heart attack tomorrow?

Date: March 20, 2017 Author: Barry Greenberg Categories: Advice | The Insurance Edge

Chances are pretty good that sometime in your life, you will face cancer or have a stroke or heart attack. But I have good news! These are not the death sentences they once were.

Over 90 per cent of Canadians who have a heart attack and over 80 per cent of people who have a stroke now survive hospitalization and return home, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Now the bad news. The heart attack isn’t the problem, the recovery is! Because recovery takes time and time costs money — while you’re recovering from that heart attack (or stroke, or chemotherapy and radiation treatments), you’re not working and if you’re not working, you’re not earning money. So how are you going to pay the bills, eat and get healthy?

If you have a good job with good benefits you may have short and/or long term disability insurance but both are a percentage of your take-home pay. Can you live on just a portion of your weekly pay?

Critical illness insurance is the solution. Developed by Dr. Marius Barnard (the brother of Christiaan Barnard, the doctor who performed the first successful open heart transplant surgery) as a result of seeing the hardships his patients suffered recovering from cardiac treatment. Critical illness insurance pays a living benefit to someone who is diagnosed with a critical illness and survives 30 days, to offset lost income and pay expenses. In other words, you get paid to take the time you need to rest and recover without having to worry about financial obligations.

After you pay the bills, here’s what else you can do with that money.

1.     Keep your lifestyle intact.

2.     Seek alternative treatments.

3.     Pay off your mortgage and credit cards and be debt-free.

4.     Hire assistance for around the house or pay off medical bills not covered by insurance.

5.     Top up your kids’ education funds.

6.     Take that once-in-a-lifetime trip you’ve always dreamed of.

7.     Buy a Ferrari.

Maybe the fancy Ferrari isn’t the most practical choice, but the point is that your payout money can be used for anything you want — it’s yours and it’s there to help you recover in any way you see fit.

The best part is that investing in critical illness insurance is risk free because should you never make a claim, every cent you invest is returned to you. If you make a claim, you get your money, if you don’t make a claim you get your money back (after a certain length of time). And if you die before you ever get a chance to make a claim, your beneficiary still gets your money back. It’s a win-win situation — you either use the money or you get your money back.

Investing in critical illness insurance is like creating a guaranteed savings plan. And since most Canadians have a reasonable chance of developing some sort of critical illness by the time they’re 65, the most logical solution is to start planning for it now.

Who do you know who has had cancer or suffered a stroke or heart attack? What was their plan? Talk to us about your plan.