Life Insurance

Term Insurance
Whole Life Insurance
Universal Life Insurance
  • Term insurance is designed to last a specified amount of time such as 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or up to a certain age. At the end of this time, the policy expires. In order to continue coverage you must renew the policy for the next period. In most cases, due to the fact that the person has aged, the new premium is higher than it was a year before. Many companies impose age restrictions for term policies. Due to the fact that they tend to have a short duration of coverage, most term policies do not have cash values, or the ability to borrow against it.

  • Whole Life insurance is the traditional policy with level premium payments designed to remain in force over the entire lifetime of the insured. The way the policies work, early premiums tend to be higher than required to cover the probability of death. By doing this, the policy has a base reserve. This reserve, along with accumulated interest and the premiums that continue to be paid, cover the years later in life when the insured is more likely to die. Paying the initial higher premium enables the premium to remain level in later years.

  • Universal Life Insurance is a flexible premium, adjustable benefit policy with a current interest rate applied to most of its benefits. In one contract it blends term insurance and a savings account earning current interest rates. Unlike a whole life policy, its premiums can be increased or decreased, paid when due or at unscheduled dates or stopped entirely and restarted at the owner’s will, provided the policy value is adequate to maintain the cost of the insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-Term Care insurance provides you with the financial assistance to maintain your quality of life. Benefits can be used for the services and support required to maintain your day-to-day activities should a medical condition or cognitive impairment keep you from being able to take care of yourself. The need arises from a stroke, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, or simply from aging.

Long-Term Care Benefits

The benefits are tax-free and can be used to cover the cost of having a care provider come to your home, or for you to stay in a nursing home. Long-Term Care insurance allows you to take control of your future and maintain your financial independence. Depending on the Long-Term Care insurance plan selected, a policy could specify that benefits be paid for one year, two years, five years, or for your entire life.

Critical Illness Insurance

Medical breakthroughs, and advances in patient care mean that most people have a greater chance of surviving a critical illness. In most cases life, health, and disability insurance do not cover all the income lost recovering from a critical illness, and cannot protect RRSPs, retirement and other savings, or your business.


If you develop a critical illness you may be faced with unexpected expenses like:

  • private home nursing;
  • home renovations; or
  • medical care not covered by your provincial health care plan.

As well, your income may be reduced as a result of having to work fewer hours or making a career change due to your illness. Struggling to meet these additional expenses combined with meeting your everyday financial obligations could create a stressful situation and may even affect your recovery.


Critical illness insurance is designed to protect you from these financial risks. The proceeds from a critical illness policy are paid in a lump sum, usually 30 days after you have been diagnosed with a covered illness.


Proceeds from a critical illness policy can be used as you wish. Unlike traditional disability insurance, when you make a claim under a critical illness policy, your benefit is not based on a reduction in your income, but is paid in full according to the terms of the insurance policy.


For example, you may wish to use the proceeds to:

  • pay off outstanding liabilities such as a mortgage or line of credit;
  • provide an emergency fund for home care; or
  • supplement your income while you are unable to work.

Critical illnesses covered can include:

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Aorta Surgery
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Benign Brain Tumour
  • Blindness
  • Cancer (Life Threatening)
  • Coma
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Deafness
  • Dementia
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Valve Replacement or Repair
  • Life-Threatening Cancer
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Loss of Speech
  • Major Organ Failure on Waiting List
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Motor Neuron Disease (including ALS)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Occupational HIV Infection
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Renal (kidney) Failure
  • Severe Burns
  • Stroke

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is designed to replace income you lose if you become unable to work due to an accident or illness. Many people have some form of disability insurance, either through their employer or through government benefits such as Employment Insurance or the Quebec/Canada Pension Plan.

Long-term disability plans provided by an employer, or purchased privately, pay an insurance benefit based on a percentage of your employment income, usually 66% of your gross wages. The benefit is payable after the waiting period (usually from 30 to 180 days) has expired. The insurance company will continue to pay you this benefit for as long as you remain disabled or until the benefit period runs out, whichever comes first. Many disability programs provide benefits to age 65; however some plans have benefit periods as short as five years.

You also have to satisfy the “definition of disability” for your insurance plan. Under many disability plans, this means you are considered disabled if you are unable to perform “any occupation” for which you are reasonably trained or suited. For example, you may not be able to perform the duties of your previous position, but you may be able to work at a different job. In this case, you may not be eligible for benefits.

Health (Medical), Vision and Dental Insurance

What is Supplementary Health (Medical), Vision and Dental Insurance?

(Most of this material taken from


Supplementary Health (Medical) and Dental Insurance covers vision, dental, and medical expenses you may incur which the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) may partially or may not cover at all. To pay for medical needs and dental care that OHIP doesn’t cover, you may want to consider purchasing supplementary health insurance; also known as extended health insurance, or private health insurance, and supplementary dental insurance.


Situations you would consider purchasing your own supplementary health and dental insurance would be when:

  • You need coverage for you and your family
  • You’re self-employed or not eligible for group benefits
  • You need coverage to replace your previous group benefits
  • You’re losing coverage
  • You need to replace previous coverage
  • You’re retiring

Supplementary health and dental insurance policies are contracts between you and an insurance company. You agree to pay a yearly or monthly fee called a premium, and the company agrees to pay the benefits which are covered under your policy. Your policy will outline what is included and what is not.

What OHIP Covers and What it Doesn’t

Before you can decide whether or not you need supplementary health and dental insurance, you should have an idea about the kinds of services OHIP does and doesn’t pay for. The basic expenses covered by OHIP include:

  • Visits to doctors
  • Hospital visits and stays
  • Travel for health services for residents of Northern Ontario

For a full list visit What OHIP Covers:


What OHIP doesn’t typically cover includes:

  • Prescription drugs/medicines provided outside of hospitals such as antibiotics, painkillers, and some cancer drugs
  • Specified elective medical services such as chiropractors or massage therapists
  • Semi-private or private hospital rooms
  • Some medical exams, tests and vaccinations
  • Dental care
  • Eye glasses, contacts and eye exams

There are a wide variety of supplementary health and dental insurance plans offered by different insurance companies. While they all offer similar coverage, they can differ in the range of coverage and costs so it is important to work with a licensed professional to assist you in making the best choice for you and your family.  Some plans will offer the option to not include dental or vision needs and will also offer the option of adding travel insurance and extended medical care.


If you are looking to obtain coverage on your own, you might not need to have a medical exam, but you will have to complete a detailed health questionnaire. Be prepared to answer questions about your age, medical history and your family’s medical history. If you are leaving a group plan, there are a number of companies that can offer you continuing coverage without any health questionnaire provided you apply within 30 to 90 days of you leaving that job.

Common features of supplementary health and dental insurance:

Most policies do not cover 100 per cent of your medical expenses. You may have to pay some of the medical expenses you and your dependants incur. This is known as the deductible. Each policy is structured differently and you might have family deductibles (e.g., the first $75 in eligible expenses for any two covered family members at the beginning of each year) or per service deductibles (e.g., $5 per drug prescription).


Some plans have a co-insurance feature in addition to the deductible. That means you have to pay a percentage, or co-insure, the medical expenses on top of your deductible. It could be 10 per cent of the eligible medical expense, or higher, and it may depend on the type of medical service required.


You may also have dollar or percentage limits, or maximums placed on the amount of benefits that you can receive. Maximums can apply to specific health benefits like eyeglasses or massage therapy sessions in a specified period; typically a year, or during your lifetime.


Deductibles, co-insurance and maximums can affect the amount that you have to pay. To reduce costs, you may be able to coordinate benefits with your spouse or partner if they have supplementary health or dental insurance. Read your policy carefully to understand the expenses you are expected to cover yourself and which policy will pay first.

How much coverage do you need?

Some factors to consider when deciding how much coverage you need include:

  • How much can you afford to pay each month? Each year?
  • Do you have any other supplementary health insurance – through your employer, a parent’s group plan or a spouse/partner?
  • Do you require prescription drugs on an ongoing basis?
  • Are you willing to share a hospital room, or do you prefer a private room?
  • Do you wear glasses or contact lenses?
  • Do you receive medical services from professionals such as chiropractors or massage therapists?
  • Can you afford to pay out of pocket for ambulance fees?
  • Do you have a chronic illness that requires more extensive medical services than OHIP provides?
  • Do you have a pre-existing medical condition? Some supplementary health insurance plans do not cover this.
    Be sure to shop around to find an insurer who might.
What to Do Before You Buy

If you are a member of a group plan through work, review your employee policy to see what kind of coverage you have and if you need more.


If you have a partner, review their policy. See what coverage you have as well as what coverage you don’t have. If you both have policies, you may be able to combine (coordinate) your benefits to cover up to 100 per cent of your medical or dental expenses. There are agreements in place that determine which policy pays first. Make sure you understand how your policies would work together.


If you don’t have a policy, make a list of your medical and dental needs and consider the medical needs if you have a family over the course of one year. Do you need glasses? Prescriptions for the kids? Physiotherapy for a sports injury? Dental care? Having a list handy will help you decide what kind of policy to look for. Knowing the costs will assist in determining what level of coverage offers you the best return for the premium.

Travel Insurance


For Canadians travelling out of Province and outside of Canada for a single trip or multiple trips, for students who are studying away from home and for family or friends coming to stay for a short visit or extended period of time and require a Super Visa, Travel Insurance is a necessity to help protect you against the cost of unexpected emergencies that may occur before and during your trip and to protect those visiting you.

There are several companies that offer a
range of insurance options that may include:
  • Trip Interruption,
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Emergency Medical
  • All Inclusive
  • Covid-19
Some of the benefits will include:
  • Hospital and physician services
  • Paramedical services
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Emergency air transportation home

Some answers to your questions


Why do I need Life Insurance?

Most people can categorize their basic
insurance needs in three distinct time periods.

Learn More


How much coverage do you need?

To analyze your need, you must consider
the reasons for buying life insurance

Learn More


Mortgage VS Term Life Insurance

The differences between obtaining the bank’s
mortgage insurance
and buying your own policy.

Learn More


Charitable Giving

How to donate your life insurance to a charity and the many good reasons to do so

Learn More


Mortgage Solutions from Empire Life

Obtaining your own insurance policy
to cover your mortgage

Learn More


Long-Term Care 2021 costs

Summary of LTC costs in Ontario

Sun Life & SYKES Assistance Services Corporation

Learn More


Quick reference guide to Insurance lingo

A quick reference guide to the many terms
referred to in your insurance policy

Learn More


Your Life Insurance Medical Exam or Paramedical

What a paramedical is for and what to expect

Learn More