Traditional critical illness providers, such as Canada Life and Desjardins, have begun offering critical illness policies for children.
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Canada Life Plan LifeAdvance
The Canada Life critical illness plan for kids is called LifeAdvance, which, like a regular critical illness policy, pays a lump sum benefit if the insured child is diagnosed with one of 24 possible critical illnesses, including five critical illnesses that can be diagnosed within childhood. The benefit is payable 30 days after diagnosis as per the terms and conditions outlined on the policy. In brief, the conditions covered include aortic surgery, loss of limbs, kidney failure, paralysis, stroke and heart attack, among others. Some of the childhood illnesses and disabilities covered are cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes and cystic fibrosis to name a few.
LifeAdvance also has several features that are unique to the policy. One is an Illness Assist Benefit, which gives you a 10% advance on the $25,000 critical illness policy without impacting the main coverage amount if the child receives a written diagnosis for ductal breast cancer, early prostate cancer, superficial malignant melanoma and coronary angioplasty. The surgery advance gives 10% of the critical benefit up to $15,000 if they’re diagnosed with a critical illness and need surgery because of this.
When the policy expires at age 25, the insured child will be able to convert the policy to a regular critical illness policy without additional underwriting two months before their 25th birthday.
Desjardins’ Harmony New Generation
Another children’s critical illness plan that’s available is Desjardins’ Harmony New Generation, which offers a $25,000 to $250,000 lump sum benefit to children between the ages of 30 days and 17 years. It has it’s own less extensive list of features, including the ability to be fully paid-up after 20 years of paying premiums and getting lifelong protection for the insured child. A premium refund is also available as long as your child stays healthy, so you can begin to put that money to a different use. The covered illnesses under this plan include various childhood diseases like autism, Rett’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis with optional coverage for cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes and muscular dystrophy. Some of the regular illnesses on the plan are Alzheimer’s disease, bacterial meningitis, benign brain tumour, blindness, cancercoma, coronary artery bypass surgery, deafness, heart attack, heart valve replacement, kidney failure, loss of independence, loss of limbs and loss of speech.
IA Excellence’s Cancer Guard
IA Excellence’s Cancer Guard also offers the same policy it does to adults to children. Of course, it only covers cancer, but it is a lot cheaper than a traditional critical illness plan and the underwriting requirements are a lot less stringent. In the case of Cancer Guard, the underwriting requires you to answer four questions – two for coverage up to $25,000, and two more to get coverage up to $100,000. These questions ask whether you have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, whether you’re undergoing testing for signs and symptoms related to cancer, whether you’re immediate family has a history of cancer and finally, whether you’ve been declined by a life insurance company for coverage in the last two years. The cost, like many critical illness policies, is based on age and, if you’re an adult, smoking status.
Reasons to get a critical illness policy for a child
So why would anyone want a critical illness policy for a child, so early in their lives? Well, the earlier you get critical illness, the healthier you are, so the cheaper it is, it gives you the opportunity to qualify at one’s healthiest. It also makes it much easier to convert to a traditional critical illness plan later in life without having to go through any further underwriting, so it’s a nice legacy to set a child up with into adulthood when their chances of contracting a critical illness go way higher.
Let us not forget however, that even though Cancer Guard only covers cancer, there are many childhood cancers, cancer is the most common critical illness at any age and, if you pay the extra amount for the critical illness rider, there are a number of critical illnesses only contractable before birth such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy that will mean life long disability if you are diagnosed. Unless you are independently wealthy, you will no doubt need help covering the costs associated with disability should something like cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy befall your child. Cancer Guard comes with a critical illness rider where a number of childhood illnesses outside of cancer are also eligible for coverage.
Go Back to Life Insurance for Cancer Patients Overview.