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 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


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

Who Takes Care of Professionals?

A plan that works when you can’t. You’re a millionaire in the making.

If you’re 40 years old, earning an annual income of $200,000 today, you could earn $8,780,541 over the next 30 years. Disability insurance can be that plan that works when you can’t.

The sky’s the limit

Success in your profession didn’t happen overnight. It required hard work, passion and a drive towards excellence. Now, there’s no telling how high your income could soar.

You earn an income worth protecting

You might think your most valuable asset is a vacation property or luxury vehicle. You’ve likely even insured this assetDisability for Professionals in case the worst should happen.

Have you considered your most valuable asset is actually you?

Your lifestyle and plans for the future depend on income you generate with your specific skills, knowledge and expertise. The time to insure your most valuable asset is now.

Meet Mike

Mike is 30 years old. He’s starting his career as a physician and is currently making $90,000 per year. He’s hoping to retire when he’s 65 and decides to talk to his advisor about planning for his future.

Mike is on track to earn almost $5 million over the course of his career. His advisor points out Mike’s future financial goals depend on his ability to keep working. Every year of missed earnings may put these goals increasingly at risk. For example, if at age 40 a disability stopped him from working, he would have earned only $1 million as a physician – meaning he could miss out on almost $4 million in potential earnings. Mike is uncomfortable with this level of risk, knowing he has a wife and new baby. He decides to purchase disability insurance to help protect his family’s quality of life.

How much are you worth?

Consider how much you could earn over the rest of your working lifetime (to age 65) based on your current income and age.

What would happen if an accident or illness kept you from working?

Properly insuring your high earnings lays the groundwork for you to continue meeting your financial goals and to maintain your lifestyle, even if a disability prevents you from working.

One in four people will be disabled for 90 days or longer at least once before they turn 65.1

  • Would your high level of earnings continue?
  • Could you maintain your lifestyle?
  • Could you continue to meet debt obligations?
1 Source: Calculations prepared by Great-West Life using a blend of occupation classes, genders and age ranges based on data obtained from the Society of Actuaries – Individual Disability Experience Committee (IDEC), 2012 IDEC Claim Incidence Rate Table.

Keep your earnings uninterrupted

Disability insurance is a plan that works when you can’t. If an accident or illness prevents you from working, disability insurance provides monthly income to help pay ongoing expenses. It can replace a per cent of your earnings – short term or long term.

Common causes of claims

More than three-quarters of active claims are due to:

  • Injuries such as fractures, dislocations or sprains
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer 2
2 Based on Great-West Life disability insurance active claims at Dec. 31, 2013

Personalized disability insurance coverage that fits your budget

The cost of disability insurance is based on the extent you customize it to suit your personal circumstances.

  • Premium for personal coverage typically ranges from one to nine per cent of gross earnings.

Individual disability insurance can offer guaranteed level rates until at least age 65, unless you adjust your coverage.

Protect your future millions with disability insurance from Great-West Life. It works even when you can’t. Call me at 519-860-4223

Protect Your Future

An exclusive offer for professional graduatesDisability for Professionals

Disability insurance is particularly important for you. That’s why Great-West Life, Manulife, RBC and others will offer you a special program.

With the disability insurance graduate program for professionals, you can protect your income as you build your career – and if you act now, you’ll receive a special disability insurance offer that could potentially save you thousands of dollars over the course of your policy.

The offer:

  • Annual premium savings of up to 30 per cent
  • Coverage without having to provide proof of finances
  • One-time qualification that may include the option for up to $1,000,000 of term life and $100,000 of critical illness insurance
  • Waived annual policy fee

Don’t ever make a claim? With the return-of-premium option, you can receive money back.

This offer is available for those in select professions or programs of study. For more information about these products and this special offer, speak with 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.

Did You Know: Group Benefits Insurance Plans

As a business leader, you can ensure your valued employees have the needed protection for themselves and their families with a group benefits plan.

Did you know that these plans:Employee Benefits

  • Are available to companies with as few as 3 employees?
  • Cost about 3–6% of annual payroll?
  • Are fully tax-deductible?
  • Offer diverse coverage for your employees and their dependants?
  • Are able to pay an employee who is unable to work due to injury or illness?

Developing the right group benefits plan for your employees starts with the right advice. Don’t lose your best talent to the competition.

  • Develop a plan that is cost-effective and tailored to your specific needs
  • Look at the marketplace to ensure your plan is placed with the right provider
  • Conduct employee meetings to review the benefits provided
  • Enroll the group and set up administrative procedures
  • Service your group plan and all your business needs

Find out how I can help you grow your business by attracting and retaining the best. Give me a call 519-860-4223 to see how your business can benefit from group insurance.