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Plan Members Need Benefit Plan Education, Not Just Benefits

Numerous companies move to a “Flex Program” as a means of managing rising costs for many of the typical benefits provided under employee plans.

How well are plan members educated on the various benefits available?  Do employees understand what their financial impact could be if they don’t select enough, or the right type of benefit?

When an employee is diagnosed with cancer their income can be dramatically reduced if they are required to rely on disability benefits alone. While the reduction varies by individual circumstances, for the average Canadian, where the current debt to income ratio is at an all-time high of 167.8% (source: Statistics Canada), this reduction in income during a medically difficult time could have a potentially devastating impact on an employee and their family’s financial future.

It is time for employees to learn the importance of using their benefit dollars towards true insurance, like a critical illness benefit, that helps protect them against unknown but potentially catastrophic events, such as a diagnosis of a critical condition. 

The High Impact of Cancer on Benefit Plans

We spoke a lot about cancer during our presentation for several reasons:

  1. It’s a vast disease. There are more than 100 types of cancer. Types of cancer are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form but they also may be described by the type of cell that formed them. Learn more about Cancer at the Canadian Cancer Society (English / French) sites and get a full listing of cancers1 by clicking here.    
  2. It’s a common disease. Cancer makes up 65% - 70% of Chubb Life’s Critical Illness claims. 85% of female claims are for cancer and 61% of male claims are cancer related2.
  3. It’s a growing disease. While incident rates for prostate cancer see a decline mostly due to increased education and heightened awareness in the public, we still continue to see an increase in the total number of Cancer cases annually and this is projected to continue over the next 15 years. Learn more information on the stats related to cancer by viewing the 2017 Canadian Cancer Statistics.
  4. It’s an expensive disease.  The Canadian Cancer Society says that “nine out of ten Canadian families touched by cancer report some form of financial challenge as incomes decline and household costs rise. For some, a cancer diagnosis begins a financial tailspin that pushes ordinary people over the edge resulting in debt, distress, bankruptcy and even a lifetime on social assistance...” See more information on this from the Canadian Cancer Society by clicking here

As an industry, we have an opportunity to do a better job at educating plan sponsors and their members on the value of a critical illness benefit. When someone is diagnosed with a critical condition, easing their financial burden is a huge help. Critical illness payments provide great flexibility. The insured is paid a tax free3 lump sum payment to be used however they wish!


See how critical illness effects the lives of those we love the most and how Chubb Life can assist you.

Critical Illness in Canada

The critical illness plans of different insurers in Canada are often very similar.  The often consistent features and plan design have increased understanding of the product and made it easier to distribute See the full article for some more interesting remarks about Critical Illness in Canada.

Is there an insurance gap in a group plan if Critical Illness Insurance isn’t at least offered to plan members? You bet there is! Work with your local Business Development Manager to help fill this gap for all your employer groups.

View our complete Critical Illness offering by clicking here

Coming Soon

Every Canadian should have the opportunity to be covered against the financial hardship that comes with the diagnosis of a critical condition. We will soon offer access to an online enrollment platform that allows you to distribute voluntary critical Illness to all your clients, easily!

Click here if you’d like to receive your unique URL with access to our new online platform and start providing all your clients with this impactful benefit.

1. Not all listed cancers are covered under a critical illness policy.2. Ljucovic, Vera. (April 2017). Critical Illness Insurance in Canada. Society of Actuaries, March 2017 (106), pp. 13-18. Retrieved from Based on current CRA guidelines

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