Should you rely on group insurance alone?

How individual insurance can complement your group insurance

Your employer may offer group insurance coverage – for example, life insurance, critical illness insurance or disability insurance as part of a benefits plan.

It’s a basic way to help protect you and your loved ones.

But what if you could do more than just cover the basics? Your lifestyle is important to you and your family, so what if you could complement your group benefits coverage with individual insurance and help keep the lifestyle you’d want for your family, if you died or became too sick or injured to work?

Knowing the details of your group insurance plan is crucial. You want to make sure you have the right type of insurance, and the right amount of coverage, to cover all your bases when dealing with the unexpected.

Individual insurance, such as life, critical illness and disability insurance is coverage you can get outside of work. They typically offer more control and choice based on the needs of you and your family. And it’s all about you: you own it and you choose the products and options you want that are customized for your needs.

Together with your group insurance, they can help protect you, your family and your lifestyle from unexpected events that could jeopardize your financial goals and keep you from meeting your obligations.

Uncover your needs to find out if your group insurance is enough

Does group insurance cover your needs? Consider the following questions:

1. If something were to happen to you or a loved one would you be able to:

2. Does group insurance coverage include the types of insurance you and your family need?

  • Will your insurance protection last a lifetime?
  • Does your partner have group insurance coverage through their work?
  • If you’re too sick to work, would your coverage give you a lump-sum payment to help with recovery?
  • Can you increase your coverage if your needs change?

Better together: Group and individual insurance

For some people, group insurance is enough, but an individual insurance plan can complement your group insurance benefits. I can help sort out the details and fill in any existing gaps.

Group benefits are an investment in your company and employees’ well-being

As a small business owner, you rely on your employees to help build your business. You have a great team behind you, so how do you protect your employees and build employee satisfaction and loyalty?

Offering wellness programs may be one way to retain employees, but over the long term may not be seen as important. Giving your employees a pay increase is another option, but is it the most cost-effective compensation method?

Group benefits are an investment in your company and employees’ well-being.

Consider a group benefits plan – an attractive overall compensation package. Health care and dental care benefits within your plan can help your employees bridge the gap between provincial health insurance and the coverage theyGroup Benefits to Attract and Retain Employees need.

Group benefits are an investment in your company and employees’ well-being. At any time, employees may be dealing with mental health concerns, serious illnesses, and physical ailments or finding the right work-life balance. These issues can lead to reduced productivity, growing absenteeism, disability, rising costs, and workplace accidents. Group benefits are a key element to building employee satisfaction, improving morale and can help support the physical, mental and financial needs of your organization and your employees.

According to a 2015 Sanofi Canada Healthcare survey, 77 per cent of respondents say they would not move to a job that did not include health benefits1.

Attract valuable employees

An employee benefits plan can help you maintain a competitive position in the marketplace by helping you retain good employees and attract new ones.

A group benefits plan is an important part of your business’s financial security plan. Flexible and innovative benefits plans – featuring benefits like health care, dental care, disability and employee and family assistance plans – can be tailored to fit the specific needs of your company, whether it’s large or small.

Talk to me about the options available and how you can add value to your business.

15 Advantages of Offering Group Benefits to Employees

Group broker services

A group insurance broker acts as an intermediary between the client and insurer. The group broker’s responsibility is to match those seeking group benefits with insurance companies that most closely meet the client’s needs.

Group brokers can seek the group benefits plan best suited for their client, from a variety of sources.

In this situation, Freedom 55 Financial, a division of London Life Insurance Company, is a subsidiary of Great-West Life – the market leader in group benefits plans nationwide.

While I’d recommend Great-West Life as a provider of group benefits solutions, they may or may not be the best fit for your company. My responsibility is to work with you to find the right fit.

Companies whose group benefits products I can offer include:

  • Great-West Life
  • Manulife Financial
  • Sun Life Financial
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Standard Life
  • Equitable Life
  • Empire Life
  • Desjardins

Additional services I provide

Plan design and implementation

  • Work with you to design a group benefits plan that suits the needs of your corporationGroup Benefits
  • Solicit quotes from group benefits suppliers that best meet your organization’s needs
  • Engage in a full review of each quote to establish the best fit for your company

Plan reviews

  • Annual review of service rates, employee changes and industry or government developments
  • When appropriate, I will take your group benefits plan to market to make sure the rates and benefits continue to be competitive
  • Strategic approach to market comparisons

Ongoing consultation and support

  • When necessary, I’ll hold employee meetings to communicate and refresh your group benefits material for new and existing employees
  • Answer questions and handle concerns regarding claim payments
  • Help ensure payments are handled efficiently

Individual employee consultations

  • Individual consultations for every employee and their family, if requested
  • Opportunity for your employees to discuss important personal and specific planning needs and to understand how their group benefits plan integrates with their individual financial security plans
  • Convenient, flexible, no-cost consultations

Additional services

  • Retirement planning
  • Life insurance planning
  • Critical illness protection
  • Disability protection
  • Educational saving
  • Mortgages
  • Estate planning
  • Savings plans

15 advantages of group benefits

  1. Life insurance and disability insurance can provide a corporate policy in the event of an employee’s death or injury/illness.
  2. Accidental death and dismemberment benefits can provide a lump sum payment to help ease changes in lifestyle as well as unexpected deaths.
  3. Provides 24-hour coverage for all benefits, including disability insurance.
  4. Health and dental coverage helps keep medical costs down for plan members.
  5. Provides out-of-country emergency care for business or pleasure, so the need for individual travel insurance is reduced.
  6. Drug coverage is available by submission of receipts or through convenient pay-direct drug cards.
  7. Employee assistance programs provide 24-hour counseling services.
  8. Employees get guaranteed levels of coverage without having to submit medical evidence.
  9. Conversion privileges are available for both life and disability insurance products, in some cases.
  10. Less expensive than a raise because there are no additional increases in CPP, EI or WCB payments, and premiums can be tax-deductible.
  11. Helps attract and retain key employees.
  12. Can increase productivity, morale and the quality of employees’ work.
  13. Healthier employees reduce turnover and absenteeism.
  14. Employees and employers receive benefits without having to belong to an association, where membership fees are usually required.
  15. Group benefits are an investment in a company’s well-being, rather than an expense.

Other group benefits solutions for a diverse workplace

In addition to the standard products covered under a group benefits plan, there are a number of other healthcare benefits that are available to meet the growing needs of the Canadian workforce.

Provincial health insurance replacement coverage

For companies who look outside of Canada to enhance their personnel, this product is designed to temporarily replace provincial health coverage until the plan member and their dependants are eligible for government coverage.

Coverage for U.S.-based employees of a Canadian organization

This coverage is available for U.S.-based plan members who reside full-time in the United States. It includes a full complement of benefits, from life insurance to full health and dental coverage.

Coverage for Canadian organizations with employees working abroad

Coverage is available for expatriates, including rotational workers and third-country nationals, who are plan members of Canadian organizations working outside Canada or the United States. It also includes a full complement of benefits, from life insurance to full health and dental coverage.

Employee assistance plans (EAPs)

A healthy workforce is essential in maintaining an edge in today’s competitive marketplace. An employee assistance plan can help your plan members and eligible family members cope with difficult personal situations before they spiral out of control.

An employee assistance program can help prevent absenteeism, reduce stress and poor emotional health and enhance workplace effectiveness.

Group critical illness insurance

Statistics show the chance of contracting a serious illness is more common than most people think. The financial support offered by group critical illness insurance allows plan members who become critically ill to focus on recovering and managing their illness.

Group LTD vs Individual Non-Cancelable Disability Insurance

Group Long Term Disability vs. Individual Non-Cancelable Disability Insurance

Group LTD vs Individual Disability Insurance

Important areas to consider Group Individual
Benefit amount Based on T4’d salary (excludes bonuses, commissions, shift premiums/overtime, corporate profits), capped at 85% (non-taxable benefit, 80% if taxable) by “All Source Maximum” Includes all sources of income (bonuses, other contract work, commissions, corporate profits), not capped by “All Source Maximum”
Income at claim time Cannot continue in the event of total disability, otherwise there will be a $ for $ reduction in the LTD benefit payable Can continue during total/partial disability without impact to benefits received from insurer
Definition of disability at claim time Disability based on 2 year regular occ, then any occ for the remainder of the benefit period Disability based on regular/own occ for the entire benefit period
Definition of disability options Limited to total disability Includes total, partial and residual disability
Ownership of plan Owned by the company, you’re the “certificate” holder Owned by the individual
Deductibility of premiums Employer can deduct premiums An incorporated business can deduct premiums for individual coverage
Premiums Premiums are not guaranteed.  Annually renewed based on demographics and volume of the group Premiums are guaranteed never to change up to age 65.
Contract Not guaranteed.  Annually renewed Guaranteed never to change, unless requested by owner, up to age 65
Taxability If employer paid, benefits received are taxable, if employee paid benefits are tax-free Benefits received are tax-free
Flexibility Limited.  Employer chooses plan design for entire group. Tailored to individual needs with various options (ie. COLA, partial disability, future savings protector, future earnings protection, return of premium)
Portability No.  Coverage is lost when insured leaves that employer/association Yes, fully portable.  Stays with owner for life of the contract
Waiting Period Consecutive days of total disability (usually 121 days) Accumulated days of total/partial disability
Benefits offset with other sources Offset with CPP, Auto Insurance, WSIB, subrogation, child benefits, other association disability coverage No offsets for 4A and 3A occupational classes.  2A, A, B occupations offset with WSIB and Auto Insurance