Groups seeing the benefits of critical illness

Despite low individual numbers critical illness insurance is becoming popular with this segment.

Groups seeing the benefits of critical illness
Critical illness insurance may be struggling to find traction with individual customers, but it’s doing well as a part of a group benefits plan.

“It’s interesting to see how CI is beginning to become more important in the benefit reviews,” said Robert McCullagh, a financial advisor at Benefit Planners Inc. “I see it more regularly offered, as a broker, to offer to the client.”

With CI insurance still a relatively new product, advisors have struggled to get Canadians to see the benefits of the product. A recent BMO survey found the penetration of critical illness among Canadians was at 16 per cent, while an Edward Jones study found only 11 per cent of respondents had ever purchased the product.

Not so when it comes to group coverage.    

“I’ve been finding great reception at being able to group it together as a product and we’ve had very good success with that,” said McCullagh.

And starting in March, advisors will be aided in their efforts to sell the product after group insurance leader SSQ Financial Group announced it launching exclusive new critical illness insurance options.

The new product will feature three separate coverage options, making it the most generous, comprehensive, and flexible group insurance product available in Canada: basic (six illnesses), complete (24 illnesses) and total (40 illnesses).

This will make SSQ Financial Group the only insurer in Canada to cover auto-immune diseases and 40 critical illnesses, in addition to requiring a survival period of just 14 days.

"SSQ Financial Group's critical illness insurance lineup is a testament to our core values and commitment to developing products tailored to the needs and realities of today's consumer," said Carl Laflamme, SSQ's senior vice-president of group insurance.