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.

Protection from the unexpected

When it comes to cancer, heart attack or stroke, you may think: “That couldn’t happen to me.”

The risk of experiencing a life-threatening illness is very real.

But the truth is, the risk of experiencing a life-threatening illness is very real. Did you know:Protect Family from a Critical Illness

  • Two out of five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime?1
  • Every four minutes, someone in Canada is diagnosed with cancer?1
  • More than 400,000 Canadians live with the long-term implications of a stroke?2
  • Your financial security plan can include protection for the unexpected?

Chances are you know someone who’s experienced cancer, a heart attack or stroke. Most of us have. A critical illness can affect almost anyone – including people who are in otherwise perfect health.

While it’s not fun to think about what might happen if you, your spouse or child experience a critical illness, it’s important to have a plan in case the unexpected occurs. This plan should help ensure you/your family can:

  • Pay important bills (mortgage, hydro, gas)
  • Cover medical expenses not covered by government or workplace health benefit plans
  • Afford alternative treatments to help with recovery
  • Avoid dipping into retirement funds or savings to cover expenses
  • Concentrate on recovery, rather than worry about finances

I can help you create a plan – including critical illness insurance – to help protect yourself and your family from any financial, or non-financial issues that might come up.

1 Canadian Cancer Society, “Cancer statistics at a glance”,

2 Heart & Stroke Foundation, “Statistics”,

Group CI vs Individual Non-Cancelable Critical Illness Coverage

Compare your Group Critical Illness Insurance vs Individual Non-Cancelable CI Coverage

Group Critical Illness vs. Individual

Important areas to consider Group Individual
Benefit amount Ranges from $10K – $250K Ranges from $10K – $2 Million
Underwriting NEM’s up to $100K, medically underwritten above NEM’s Medically and financially underwritten
Covered Conditions 3 or 4 base, ~23 w/ enhanced coverage 3 base, ~26 w/ enhanced coverage
Flexibility Extremely limited.  ER decides Tailored to meet individual needs ie. return of premium, decreasing benefit, second event, graded premiums, etc.
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 Renewable type contract.  Premiums are not guaranteed.  Annually renewed based on demographics and volume of the group Non-Cancellable contract.  Premiums are guaranteed never to change for the lifetime of the contract
Contract Renewable type contract. Not guaranteed. Non-Cancellable contract.  Guaranteed never to change, unless requested by owner, up to age 65
Taxability Benefits are received tax-free Benefits received are tax-free
Supplementary Benefit None 15% of benefit amount up to $50K for listed conditions
Portability No.  Coverage is lost when insured leaves that employer/association Yes, fully portable.  Stays with owner for life of the contract
Waiting Period 30 day survival, 90 day Paralysis & LOIE 30 day survival, 90 day Bacterial Meningitis, LOIE, Paralysis, 180 day Loss of Speech
Dependent Coverage Available under covered ee – $10K spouse, $5K child Only available as individual contract

Protect Your Business from the Loss of a Key Person

Like many smart business owners you’ve insured your assets from theft or damage.

What would happen if you or one of your key people died prematurely or suffered a life-threatening illness?

Every Company has Key PeopleKey Person Insurance

You probably don’t have to look far to identify people essential to your company’s success.

These are people with:

  • Proven ability to grow sales
  • Highly specialized technical skills
  • Personal relationships with valued customers
  • Responsibility for major projects

Whether it’s a valued employee, a business partner or yourself, each key person brings energy and expertise that can be difficult and costly to replace.

How would losing a key person impact your business financially?

Consider the effects of a key person’s critical illness or premature death.

  • Could it affect your short-term or long-term profits?
  • How much will it cost to replace the key person?
    • Recruiting $     ?
    • Training    $     ?
    • Relocation $     ?
  • Will creditors shorten payment terms or call in loans?

Insurance on you and your key people can help prevent an unexpected loss from financially harming – even destroying – the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

Key Person Protection – It’s Simply Good Business

Two proven building blocks for key person protection are life insurance and critical insurance.

Your business can use the insurance funds to:

  • Pay debts and expenses to help keep operations running
  • Find and train a suitable replacement
  • Increase cash flow to compensate for lost revenue
  • Assure creditors and suppliers that funds are available to meet commitments
  • Show customers that the business has the means to continue

Determine the value of your key people

Ask me how you can implement key person protection as part of your business plan. 519-860-4223

Life is full of surprises

Critical illness insurance can help you keep more of your money

You’ve achieved success by working hard and making wise financial decisions. It means you can enjoy your wealth how, and when, you want.

But have you considered how an unexpected illness might affect your financial security planning? Your carefully managed plans could change and your money may not be used how you intended. We can help youCritical Illness Protection prepare for the unexpected and keep your plans intact.

What if there was a way you could use someone else’s money instead of your own – wouldn’t that make good financial sense?

Whose money would you rather use during a critical illness – yours or ours?

You can use insurance to transfer some of the financial risk of a critical illness from you to us. This can help you continue to make the most of your money, giving you the flexibility to keep your plans intact.

Critical illness insurance from Great-West Life can help prevent your hard-earned money from being spent on medical bills and associated costs that can arise from an unexpected illness.

One in three people will be diagnosed with critical illness in their lifetime.

Return-of-premium benefit that allows you to receive up to 100 per cent of the premiums you’ve paid back.

Keeping your money in your pocket

No one plans on getting sick, yet one in three people will be diagnosed with a critical illness in their lifetime. 1 That’s where critical illness insurance from Great-West Life comes in. This coverage pays you a one-time lump-sum benefit – which you can use however you choose – if you experience a covered critical illness.

Your coverage, how you want it

When you buy a critical illness insurance policy, you can add an optional return-of premium benefit that allows you to receive up to 100 per cent of the premiums you’ve paid back, at a designated point in time, if you don’t make a claim on the policy.

Use our money, instead of yours, to help manage the financial risk of a severe illness.

Not interested in paying premiums for your entire lifetime?

Talk to me to learn more about how critical illness insurance may make financial sense for you. The return-of-premium benefit gives you even greater flexibility if you purchase a critical illness insurance policy that provides lifetime coverage. For example, if you’re eligible to receive all of your money back in 20 years, rather than ending your coverage and getting your money back, you can use the return-of-premium benefit to pay for the rest of your policy.* This means you pay for your coverage sooner and free up more of your cash.

Not only do you have a way to help keep your plans intact, but you can also have lifetime coverage without having to pay for it for life.

Spend less to get more

With critical illness insurance you’re often spending less to get more. If you become ill with a covered critical illness within a few years of purchasing coverage, the amount of money you’ve paid for the policy – versus how much you’ll receive through the benefit – will be substantially less.

This means your wealth and financial security plans may not be affected by the costs of an unexpected illness. Instead, the money you receive from the insurance coverage can help take care of those costs for you.

We can help keep your plan on track

Leave your hard-earned money where it belongs: working and growing for you.

Don’t let surprises jeopardize your financial security plans. Choose how and when to spend your money. Proper planning with critical illness insurance can help you do just that.

Talk to me to learn more about how critical illness insurance may make financial sense for you.

Helping you recover from a critical illness with a plan

Coverage when it counts

You have a bright future ahead and big plans for what you want to achieve, but unexpected events can throw you off track. One of those challenges could be a severe illness. Advances in medicine mean more people survive illnesses like cancer and stroke than ever before, but recovery can be stressful.

Having a plan in place is important so if you’re faced with a severe illness you don’t have to worry as much about your finances and can focus on your recovery.

One in 2.2 men in Canada will develop cancer in their lifetime*

One in 2.5 women in Canada will develop cancer in their lifetime*

The good news is that more people are surviving illnesses than ever before.

Coverage For Uncovered Expenses

A critical illness diagnosis is stressful. It affects not only your health but the costs of a critical illness may be Critical Illness Coveragefelt financially as well. With the public medical coverage offered in Canada, you might think an illness won’t affect you financially. However, there are a number of costs that may not be covered, such as: Travel costs to get to a treatment facility gas, hotel, meals Existing expenses home and car payments, food Costs for a prolonged illness housekeeper, home care, prescriptions, renovations or residence in a long-term care facility Understanding these costs can make you better prepared for a critical illness.

Freedom to focus on recovery

A critical illness doesn’t have to change your financial plans and goals. Critical illness insurance provides a one-time payment you can use however you want. This gives you flexibility to help keep your finances on track so you can focus on recovery.

A few ways you might use the money include:

  • Supplement lost wages due to time away from work (for you or your spouse)
  • Keep up on everyday costs (mortgage, savings, food, vehicle costs)
  • Access private or out-of-country medical treatment
  • Maintain your children’s activities and pay for childcare
  • Cover operating expenses of your business

Offers coverage that may provide you with a lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with one of the following critical conditions:

• Heart-attack • Stroke • Life-threatening cancer • Alzheimer’s disease • Aortic surgery • Aplastic anemia • Bacterial meningitis • Benign brain tumour • Blindness • Coma • Coronary artery bypass surgery • Deafness • Heart valve replacement or repair • Kidney failure • Loss of independent existence • Loss of limbs • Loss of speech • Major organ failure on waiting list • Major organ transplant • Motor neuron disease • Multiple Sclerosis • Occupational HIV infection • Paralysis • Parkinson’s Disease • Severe burns

Beyond financial support

A critical illness diagnosis can affect many areas of your life. You’ll likely need more than just financial support, which is why we offer access to medical support provided by Best Doctors, and emotional support through Shepell. These services can help reduce the stress of an illness so you can focus on recovery.

Best Doctors

This service provides you access to Best Doctors’ network of 53,000 physicians to help you get an expert medical opinion to find the right diagnosis and treatment information. Best Doctors can also help you find specialists both locally and internationally and ensure that your medical questions are being answered by the top specialists in that condition.


The stress of a critical illness can be a lot to handle. Shepell offers professional counseling, family support services, registered dietitians, and more, to help you deal with the emotional impact of your condition.***

Let’s keep your plans on track

We can help you stay on track financially even if the unexpected happens. If you become ill, worrying about your finances is a stress you don’t need. Oasis, the critical illness insurance from Great-West Life, can provide financial support through a lump-sum payment, and the freedom to use that money however you’d like. You can focus on your recovery and on becoming mentally and physically well again.

For more information, call me today. 519-860-4223 

Young & Single – Why Do I need Life Insurance?

You’ve made all the right moves and have finally been rewarded. All that hard work at school has helped you land the job that launches your career.

Proper money management is the key to becoming financially independent – it gives you the power to make the decisions that shape your life. Long-term thinking inspires you to create and follow a financial security plan that covers the next 40 years or more of your life.

If you haven’t sought professional help in designing your financial security plan, chances are the only insurance you have is automobile or tenant insurance. But why bother? You’re single and don’t have kids. Surely, there’s no need for personal insurance. Or is there?

The importance of insuring your financial future

A solid financial security plan revolves around your current and future income. In devising such a plan, it’s important to think about your financial goals, like owning a house, having kids and enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Getting your investments up and running at an early age is vital to growing wealth. A fast start could translate into owning your home years earlier. Investing with a long-term vision and diversification helps mitigate risk.

Why do I need Life Insurance?


Being prepared for unexpected health events

Accidents happen and they could prevent you from working for a few months or even years. A serious health issue could also put you on the sidelines. The probability of either situation happening to you in your lifetime is greater than you might think.

Individual disability and critical illness insurance can address those risks. If you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury that is covered by your policy, disability insurance provides a stream of replacement income. If you experience a critical illness that’s covered by your policy, critical illness insurance pays a one-time lump sum amount when you need it most, allowing you flexibility and choice to help fund uncovered healthcare expenses, seek the best medical care possible and replace lost income. Both types of insurance can be important parts of your financial security plan and help you continue to achieve your goals if something unexpected happens.

Some considerations about workplace insurance

Many of today’s young people know they face a different career path than their parents. Rather than working the same job for decades, the expectation is that people will switch employers every few years. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does mean you’ll likely lose the insurance provided by your employer each time you change jobs, and a new employer may not offer the coverage you require.

It’s also important to remember that the insurance you get through your workplace normally provides basic coverage and benefits from a set menu of options. As a result, unless you supplement your insurance coverage, it could be significantly short of your actual needs. The human resources department at your place of employment can give you the low-down on your workplace insurance coverage, and your financial security advisor can help you determine if it’s adequate to meet your needs.

  • Getting started when you’re young and healthy can provide many advantages, like lower costs and guaranteed insurability.

The advantage of buying insurance while you’re young

Why do I need life Insurance? Buying personal insurance at a young age generally means you’re getting the lowest possible premiums, since risks increase with age. Moreover, many policies allow you to renew your coverage without additional medical exams. Better still, coverage is guaranteed and, as long as premiums are paid as required, only you can cancel a policy.

Why a permanent life insurance policy may be right for you

Without a spouse or kids, it may seem odd to purchase life insurance. However, there are compelling reasons to buy this kind of insurance coverage while you’re young and single.

Consider participating life insurance (one type of permanent life insurance), a powerful tool for retirement and estate planning. Yes, there’s a death benefit but also a guaranteed amount of money that grows inside the policy, combined with the investment performance of the participating account that can increase the value of your death benefit or help pay for future goals like an education fund, starting a new business, or supplementing your retirement income. Keep in mind what you take out is subject to tax.

Permanent life insurance can play a central role in a financial security plan. I have the expertise to help you decide if this route is right for you.

Keeping dependants in mind

People are depending on you, even if you don’t have a spouse and kids. Take your parents – if they don’t have adequate finances, you and any siblings may eventually be responsible for their health and long-term care.

Here are some other instances where life insurance makes sense:

  • You have a family member with special needs
  • You took out a personal or business loan that a family member co-signed
  • You want to leave a legacy to loved ones
  • You want to bequeath a large donation to a charity or cause

Your decision to start and follow a financial security plan at an early age can help put you on track to financial independence. The right insurance will help ensure you stay on that path.

Protect Your RRSP with Critical Illness Insurance

You’ve got a plan

You’re well on your way to meeting your retirement goals. You’ve taken the steps needed to build a retirement plan, including setting up a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). By contributing on a regular basis, you’re helping to secure funds for your retirement. You may already have an idea of how you’ll use those funds and what you’d like life after work to look like.

Heart Attack, Stroke or Cancer

What if illness interrupts your plan?

Some people think of an RRSP as the key to retirement and a safety net for unexpected events. However, what would happen to your financial security if you became critically ill? A life-threatening illness can affect your family, your ability to work and your future, well beyond recovery.

A serious, life-altering illness strikes one in three Canadians in their lifetime.*

Cancer, heart attack and stroke account for 85 per cent of critical illness insurance claims paid up until 2013 in Canada.*

*Source: Munich Re, Individual Insurance Survey, 2013

Would you need to withdraw from your RRSP early?

If you had to withdraw funds unexpectedly, how much would the money from your RRSP be worth? It might be less than you expect after taxes and applicable fees if it’s withdrawn earlier than planned. You’d also miss out on accumulated long-term growth.

Could you get back on track?

If you’re unable to work because of a critical illness and have to withdraw money from your RRSP to cover expenses, what would you do once you recovered?

Ten years of retirement savings could quickly disappear in just one year. How would you get your retirement plan back on track? In this situation, you could:

  • Retire with less and change your retirement lifestyle,
  • Work longer and retire later

Help protect your retirement

By protecting your retirement now, you’re helping to ensure you have the retirement lifestyle you
want. Creating a safety net will help protect your retirement savings so your long-term financial plans aren’t interrupted by a serious illness.

With Great-West Life critical illness insurance, you’ll receive a one-time payment if you are diagnosed with a critical illness as defined in your policy and the survival period (usually 30 days) has been satisfied.* You can use these funds however you want—supplement lost income, pay for private nursing or cover mortgage payments.


The choice is yours.

How critical illness insurance can work for you

Let’s say you have invested $50,000 in an RRSP and contribute $500 a month. You expect to retire with $359,274.** However, your savings at retirement could be very different if you become critically ill. To understand how you can help protect your family, lifestyle and retirement savings, let’s look at how critical illness insurance could work for you.

Retire with$359,274

  • No critical illness insurance
  • No critical illness
  • Contribute to RRSP as planned

Retire with $333,847

  • Buy critical illness insurance with return-of-premium
  • Reduce monthly RRSP contribution
  • Never make a claim
  • RRSP grows to $286,067
  • At retirement premiums returned ($47,780)

Retire with $314,152

  • Buy critical illness insurance with return-of-premium
  • Reduce monthly RRSP contribution
  • Get $100,000 insurance benefit if sick
  • Return to work, continue RRSP contributions

Retire with $105,825

  • No critical illness insurance
  • Critical illness (cancer or heart attack)
  • Withdraw $166,667 from RRSP
  • Taxes are $66,667
  • Return to work, continue RRSP contributions
The above example is for illustrative purposes only. Situations may vary according to specific circumstances. Based on the example above, if you suffer a critical illness, aren’t protected and dip into your RRSP to cover expenses and replace income, when you recover, you’ll retire with only $105,825. But if you become ill* and are protected by critical illness insurance, you could still retire with $314,152.
  These scenarios do not take into account the tax savings at time of RRSP contribution.

**Case assumptions: Male, 38, non-smoker, standard risk earning $120,000 per year with $50,000 invested in an RRSP, making RRSP contributions of $500 per month, plans on retiring at age 65; marginal tax rate of 40 per cent, and interest rate of three per cent. Where critical illness options are indicated, premiums are $147 per month for 27 years, based on a policy that includes a return-of-premium rider (age 60+). Critical illness insurance policy is Oasis level benefit lifetime, paid-up at age 100, with $100,000 benefit.

Source: Great-West Life’s living benefits illustration (version 5.4).

Plan for a safety net

By taking part of your regular RRSP contributions and purchasing critical illness insurance, you’re creating a backup plan that could help protect your retirement but doesn’t restrict your lifestyle. Your retirement is worth protecting. Isn’t having a safety net worth it?

Protect your retirement with critical illness insurance

Help cover unexpected financial expenses that can arise due to a critical illness with Great-West Life critical illness insurance.

What if you never make a claim?

Enjoy the added benefit of setting up your policy so that if you never make a claim, you can get back up to 100 per cent of the money spent on premium. Either way, protecting your retirement pays off.

Talk to me to understand how critical illness insurance fits with your retirement plan.

Support retirement planning with RRSP options and Oasis critical illness insurance from Great-West Life.

At Great-West Life, we take pride in our history of serving the financial security needs of Canadians. For more than a century, we have helped clients develop their financial security plans.

Founded in Winnipeg in 1891, Great-West Life is a leading Canadian insurer. We offer a wide range of investment, retirement savings and income plans, as well as life, disability, critical illness and health insurance for individuals and families.

At Great-West Life, personal service is the key to helping clients find the right solution to their financial security planning needs. We are committed to providing the highest quality service, backed by our history of strength and stability. Great-West Life is a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies.

The information provided is based on current tax legislation and interpretations for Canadian residents and is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Future changes to tax legislation and interpretations may affect this information. The information provided is general in nature and is not intended to be legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult with your professional tax and/or legal advisor about your particular circumstances.