Legalese is killing CI in Canada

Critical illness definitions written by lawyers are making the product difficult to sell for advisors.

Legalese is killing CI in Canada
American actor Will Rogers once famously said, “The minute you read something that you can't understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.”
Advisors know that quote can all too easily be applied to critical illness definitions, a product that advisors have taken some flak for lacklustre sales.
“The definitions are written by lawyers,” said Christopher Dewdney, financial security advisor at DWL Financial Services. “When you sit down and tell a client, prostate cancer is not covered unless it’s this type of prostate cancer, and melanoma, but only if the melanoma is below two millimetres. So cancer is not just cancer and heart attack is not just heart attack, it needs to be specific as per the definitions in the contract.”
In 2008 the industry introduced benchmark definitions; five years later the parameters were revisited to win consistency with the most common and up-to-date treatment modalities and to ensure they reflected “critical” illnesses.
They still aren’t any easier to understand.
“A lot of times advisors have a hard time explaining those definitions and at the same time clients [have a hard time] understanding,” said Dewdney. “What ends up happening is, they say, is this thing going to pay out? or what does it take for this thing to pay out because they don’t have a medical background?”
It turns clients off from what is a great product when an advisor is talking to a client and has to explain that a claim for a heart attack isn’t so simple because it has to fall within the insurer’s definition of “critical.”
“It’s written in such a fashion that it’s kind of hard to translate back to the client because they’re in their head saying if I’m paying for this premium I want to make sure it pays out, he said.”