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Discussion Starter #1
Our insurance broker is recommending Manulife's critical illness insurance, primarily, Lifecheque. Where can I get UNBIASED assessments of these products? Am I allowed company information such as the ratio of claims honoured to those denied, and for what reasons?
 

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I would actually meet with 2 other insurance agents and ask them the difference between their products and Manulife products. Then, I would go back to my insurance broker and ask them the difference between the 3 products.

You should get facts and not opinions to be able to compare each of them.

good luck!
 

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Just out of curiosity: Is your insurance broker recommending this product because you specifically asked about critical illness insurance? Or, did the broker come up with the idea himself?

Does your employer offer life insurance or permanent disability coverage? If so, you may not need critical illness insurance.
 

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Just out of curiosity: Is your insurance broker recommending this product because you specifically asked about critical illness insurance? Or, did the broker come up with the idea himself?

Does your employer offer life insurance or permanent disability coverage? If so, you may not need critical illness insurance.
Out of curiosity, why would that be?
 

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Ask why just the Manulife CI? I'm a Broker myself. Once the client and I have decided that a need exists for a type of insurance I run a comparison of all the providers of that coverage and go over the differences in cost as well as any differences in coverage. Together we come to a decision on which company and coverage to use, usually the one that gives the best coverage at the most reasonable cost.
 

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Does your employer offer life insurance or permanent disability coverage? If so, you may not need critical illness insurance.
Critical illness insurance is very different from either life insurance or disability coverage. Life insurance is a one-time payout for your dependants when you die. Disability coverage will pay part of your salary should you become disabled in a manner where you cannot work (you lose the use of an arm, leg, eye , etc). Critical illness will pay you if you get sick (from things like cancer or heart disease). There is no crossover coverage here - each coverage is for something entirely different.
 

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AndrayDomise: I said just out of curiosity because I don't have any information that will help to answer the thread starter's question! I was curious because he/she seemed skeptical of the product. That suggested to me that this might be one of those insurance products that is mostly of benefit to the seller!

Alexandra: I think that there may be significant crossover coverage. Permanent disability insurance usually covers disability due to illness as well as disability due to accidents.

Some life insurance plans also allow for an advance payment in the case of terminal illness.
 

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Critical illness insurance sounds awfully specific. As far as I know, people usually get disability insurance which covers a more wide-ranging spectrum of disabilities. Is there a reason for such specific insurance?

If you have a benefit package with your employer, the first thing you should do is to check that coverage. Many people get talked into over-insuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks for your responses, everyone. Since I posted this, I've had another unsatisfactory exchange with this agent and have decided not to do further business there.

a) I initiated the request for the quotes.
b) Being presented with quotes from only one company, I AM skeptical. I asked why and was told by the agent that no other companies offer critical illness packages equivalent to Manulife's. However, I was not given any numbers so feel that I cannot make an informed decision.
b) Our employee benefits provide for long term disability but critical care insurance provides a lump sum payment providing the diagnosis is one of those illnesses specified. Good question about the crossover between critical illness insurance and other benefits! I bet that since LTD is 'ceilinged', monies from any other source would be deducted; we'd receive no extra. Will have to check that out.
c) I've heard that, as ChrisR suggests, critical illness insurance commissions are lucratice sources for agents. Does anyone know how 'lucrative'? I don't mind anyone earning a living but I need to know that a transaction is 'fair'.
d) Canadian CC, thanks. I will approach other agents for quotes. Guess that's why i was unsettled about this.

Does anyone know whether investment firms link up with an individual insurance company for higher commissions to push products exclusively for that insurance company?
 

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I looked into Critical Illness Insurance a few years ago and was told that it only covered illnesses that I had a low risk of getting. For example, since my mother had cancer I would not be covered for this disease. Also, since I currently have a chronic illness that has the potential to affect the heart (no problems currently) I also wouldn't be covered for any heart relates illnesses

I learned there were too many illnesses that because of family history, were excluded for me and decided not to buy it.
 

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Hi All:

Let me start by saying that I am a life agent, and can and have sold critical illness. I like the product, and I think it should make up part of an overall financial plan.

Having said that though, I think, like all insurances, you must decide what your need is, and insure the need. You also have to balance your needs with your budget and your perceived risk. I offer CI through 3 different companies, and each has their ups and downs, I assess the need of each client then determine which company makes a good fit. I like the Manulife product, it seems pretty good, and have sold a few of their CI policies (I mostly place term with them – usually replacing bank offered mortgage insurance). I use Manulife a fair bit, primarily because their underwriting is efficient, and they are more tolerant of insurance ratings than some of the other companies I have tried to place business with.

In reality, you need to be adequately insured, by either topping up what your group offers, or standing on your own. I think CI is very important, the chance of contracting a critical illness is much better than collecting on term life policy. The question is how much, how long, and what options do you want included in the policy? CI gives you options, and that is something I preach to my clients – options, with options you can make good rational decisions, which when faced with a potentially life changing illness is something I would want. Do you need CI? I don’t have a crystal ball, and haven’t got a clue – the question is how much risk are you willing to take? Some will take the risk and some won’t.

Generally (and I can only speak for the companies I have knowledge of), most CI covers 22 conditions, including, cancers, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, etc. It can be expensive, and it is harder to get than term coverage, because, the insurance company is assuming more risk than with a term policy. If your family has a history of cancer, you may not qualify or be rated. Just because you were accepted for life coverage, doesn’t mean you will be for CI.

ChrisR: you asked who initiated the sale, and that was a great question. Being liceneced, we are the “experts” in the field, so we have to (and should) bring up the topic. CI is still relatively unknown by most people, and the reality is, that if we as agents don’t mention it, and one of our clients gets an illness that CI could have covered, we have opened ourselves up to a lawsuit. I can only speak for my practice, but I always mention it to clients, and allow them to decide if it is something they need to pursue. As long as I am mentioning it, and giving them the pros and cons, then it is up to them to decide if they need it.

As far as being lucrative, commissions are ok – but not stellar, I won’t be retiring off a CI policy that’s for sure. I can only speak for my company, but I don’t get any kind of incentive for offering company “a” over company “b”. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that did, as it’s not in the clients best interest, my responsibility is to the client and no one else, that might be different at other firms. One thing I can tell you is that you won’t be in business for long if you are only looking out for yourself.

I hope this is helpful and if you have any questions ask away!
 
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