CIBC Run for the Cure got me thinking about Critical Illness Insurance
Because there is no cure for breast cancer (yet) Critical Illness Insurance protects women
With the news about another successful year for CIBC Run for the Cure and the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer, and all the news reports around diseases like breast cancer, it got me thinking about the real value of owning critical illness insurance. One striking statistic from the TV news was that 1 in 9 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That is staggering! Just one disease of the many, many health risks we all face holds that much influence over the lives of women. Yes, we should all be walking to end breast cancer and other women’s cancers.
Breast cancer the #1 claim for all critical illness insurance policies
We have known for a very long time that breast cancer is the #1 claim for all critical illness insurance policies. Of all claim factors out there, 70% of critical illness insurance claims come from cancer. And, of those, over 30% are breast cancer. That means over 21% of ALL critical illness insurance claims in Canada are due to just one disease – breast cancer.
Canada has the second highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the world (after Russia). Researches don’t know why breast cancer rates are so high among Canadian women. The overall health of women in Canada is one of the best in the world, with average life expectancy of women higher than age 83. Why then is breast cancer so common? It might have something to do with awareness and our universal health care. Women get regular mammograms and checkups with their doctor to screen for breast cancer and other women’s cancers, so the rate of early detection and proactive medical treatment has also gone up in Canada. This has led to a much higher survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer today.
Improved early detection and survival rates for breast cancer
The improvements in early detection for breast cancer have saved many lives of Canadian women. Awareness of the disease and training in self examination has led to many women finding breast cancer “lumps” in their earliest stage and dealing with them. Even though breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in Canada, with over 23,000 new cases diagnosed in 2010, it IS NOT the #1 cancer killer of women. That honour belongs to lung cancer (smoking). Unfortunately, of the 23,000 diagnosed cases of breast cancer 5,400 women are estimated to die from the disease. That is still over a 23% mortality rate.
The good news is that almost 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer today will beat the disease. The heroic stories of breast cancer survival can hope can be on the Weekend to End Women’s cancer website: Walker Stories.
The financial impact of breast cancer on a family
When dealing with any serious, life altering illness there is a financial cost to pay. Breast cancer, or any women’s caner, has its own unique costs that you might not think of until you are in the situation. There are the usual costs for specialized prescription drugs to treat the disease. What most people don’t know is that the constant research into cancer treatments means there are new cancer fighting drugs coming onto the market all the time. These new drugs take time to be included into the provincial healthcare system and to be covered by your prescription drug plan. If you need a cutting edge cancer drug in order to survive breast cancer you will find a way to pay for it, even if it means liquidating your RRSPs or refinancing your home. Remember, cancer drug therapies are only paid for by provincial healthcare while you are admitted to hospital. Once you are discharged, the cost of prescription drugs becomes your responsibility.
There are also many other unforeseen costs. If the woman being diagnosed with breast cancer is a wife and mother, there is a lot of work she does in the home that costs a small fortune to replace. The cooking, cleaning and child care all add up to a lot of money if you have to pay for it. How about the husband taking time off work to be with his wife through the roughest parts of her treatment? That would mean financial hardship too. And then there are the little things, like paying $20 per day to park your car at the hospital for the husband to be at his wife’s bedside.
These many costs can be managed with a critical illness insurance policy, which pays out a lump sum living benefit 30 days after a diagnosis of cancer, like breast cancer, and over 20 other major illnesses and injuries. You can use the money from a critical illness payment in any way you chose. Ultimately, it aids the breast cancer survivor and their family keep life on track financially and not let this very common disease destroy their retirement plans and lifestyle today, even if she is a breast cancer survivor.
To find out how much critical illness insurance you might need, please use our online critical illness analysis tool.
Find out more about critical illness insurance – financial protection against breast cancer
Critical illness insurance has even been referred to as “breast cancer insurance” because it is so common. At Life Guard Insurance we believe in the value of owning critical illness insurance as a fundamental part of your personal insurance plan. Please feel free to contact us today to learn about this valuable risk management tool, especially for women, to be protected against life altering illnesses like breast cancer.
The article was written by Mitch Reynolds. If you found this article interesting or it made you think, please feel free to share your comments below. Liking us on Facebook, giving us a +1 on Google or Tweeting this article about Breast Cancer and Critical Illness Insurance would be very much appreciated.