Critical illness insurance offers help paying costs associated with life-altering illnesses. If you become sick with an illness covered by your policy and survive the waiting period (usually 30 days), you receive a lump sum cash payment - you decide how to spend the money.

The policy may also be structured to pay out regular income and the payout may also be on the policyholder undergoing a surgical procedure, for example, having a heart bypass operation.


The contract terms contain specific rules that define when a diagnosis of a critical illness is considered valid. It may state that the diagnosis need be made by a physician who specialises in that illness or condition, or it may name specific tests, e.g. EKG changes of a myocardial infarction, that confirm the diagnosis.

There are a wide range of insurance companies in Canada who offer a critical illness policy. The terms and conditions will vary from company to company, but the following conditions are insurable by virtually all insurers (Base Coverage):

  • Breast Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Other life threatening cancer​
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Coronary Bypass Surgery

In Addition, the following conditions are insured, depending on which insurance company is chosen (Enhanced Coverage):

  • Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Paralysis/Paraplegia
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Severe Burns
  • Aorta Graft Surgery
  • Balloon Angioplasty
  • Benign Brain Tumour
  • Blindness in both eyes
  • Coma
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Valve Surgery
  • Pre Senile Dementia (Alzheimer's)
  • HIV through Blood Transfusion
  • HIV Medical Profession
  • HIV Assault with Needle
  • Loss of Hearing
  • Loss of Independent Existence
  • Loss of Limb
  • Loss of Speech
  • Motor Neurone Disease

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