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Customer number: 176794923 Username: brianso1987@gmail.com_1 In20sura18nce!

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Cannabis and Life Insurance

We will be exploring the legalities of what insurance company can do to a cannabis user, as well as other ways in which cannabis use, either medically or recreationally can affect a customer’s policy.

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Bill to prohibit genetic discrimination is now law

On May 4, 2017, Bill S-201: An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination received Royal Assent and became law. The bill prohibits any person or insurance company from requiring an individual to undergo a genetic test or requiring an individual to disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition of obtaining insurance.

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Marijuana users may be eligible for non-smoker rates

Users of marijuana applying for life insurance will no longer be treated as smokers by several life insurance companies in Canada. These include Sun Life, BMO Insurance and Assumption Life, although their policies regarding the classification of marijuana usage differs.

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Disability insurance exclusions

If you read the fine print for any insurance policy, you will notice a section on exclusions. These are situations that the insurance company does not cover and will not pay a benefit. Disability insurance is no exception, and anybody who owns or is considering purchasing it should be aware of its exclusions. Below are some of the typical disability insurance exclusions found in policies.

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Which disability insurance riders should you get?

Unlike built-in benefits of disability insurance policies, which are provided at no extra cost, riders are optional features that can be added onto a an insurance policy for a price. We’ve talked about some common life insurance and critical illness insurance riders before. Here we want to address some common disability insurance riders, and whether or not you should add them to your policies.

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Maximum issue limits for disability insurance

The maximum issue limits for disability insurance is the maximum coverage you can purchase based on your age, occupation class, and income. Disability insurance is designed to replace a portion of your income, up to a maximum amount. By basing the benefit on income and replacing up to a certain amount, disabled individuals do not suffer financial hardship, and at the same time maintain the incentive to return to work.

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Disability insurance elimination period

The disability insurance elimination period, also known as the waiting period, is the period of time that must elapse in a disability before benefits are paid. Benefits begin at the end of the month after you have satisfied the elimination period. For example, a disability insurance policy with a 90 day elimination period will have benefits start after 90 days of disability have passed. Along with the benefit period, the elimination period is the most common option for customizing the premium of your policy.

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Disability insurance benefit period

The disability insurance benefit period is the length of time that benefits will be paid while you are on a disability claim. Benefits begin at the end of the month after you have satisfied the elimination period and will be paid until the end of the benefit period. The most common choices are two years, five years, and to age 65. Note that this is the maximum benefit period for a claim. If the duration of the disability is shorter than the benefit period chosen, then payments will stop when the disability ceases.

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Built-in benefits of disability insurance policies

Although not as prominent as the main features of disability insurance policies, built-in benefits are nevertheless vital to these policies. They supplement the main features and help enhance the policy. Many built-in benefits form a part of every disability insurance policies, although the definitions may vary among insurance companies. Below is a list of commonly found built-in benefits of disability insurance policies.

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How occupation class affects disability insurance

The type of duties a person performs and the nature of the industry they are in have a tremendous impact on the risk of disability. For example, an arm or leg injury may only disable an office worker for a week or two, but the same condition could cause a construction worker to be unable to work for a considerable period. Therefore, an insured’s occupation class is essential in determining the premium rate for the policy and its available riders.

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Is the premium for a disability insurance policy guaranteed?

Because of the non-static nature of mortality and morbidity rates, insurance companies have to revise the premiums offered by their life and disability insurance policies once in awhile. But what about policies which are already in force? Are the premiums for a disability insurance policy guaranteed, even in the face of increased claims? Or can the insurance company make changes to its premium, provisions and riders at the time of renewal?

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Can you claim for benefits if you have a partial disability?

Last week, we had an in-depth look at the different definitions of total disability and how it affects your claim and the price of a disability policy. But not all injuries or illnesses result in total disability. Sometimes, your ability to perform the duties of your occupation may only be partially hindered. You may not be able to perform some of the tasks, or may only be able to do them for a shorter duration. You may even suffer a loss of income because of your partial disability. Does that mean your disability insurance policy won’t pay you any benefits? It depends on the partial disability clause in your policy.

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What is the definition of a disability?

Unlike the relatively straightforward process of qualifying for the death benefit with life insurance, qualification for disability benefits can be difficult to understand. In order to receive benefits from a disability insurance policy, you must meet the definition of disability as outlined in the contract. But what is the definition, how does it affect premiums, and does it vary from one insurance company to another?

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How much can you earn in your lifetime?

Have you ever wondered about your potential earnings over your lifetime? You may be surprised to learn that most of you have potential earnings of over a million dollars. Depending on your income, some of you may have earned multiples of millions of dollars by the time you reach age 65.

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3 ways to supplement your group disability insurance with an individual policy

If you have group disability insurance through your employer, there will be times when coverage is inadequate. Employers often limit the coverage to control the cost. While many people depend entirely on their employers for disability benefits, they may find that when it comes time to claim, their group disability insurance does not provide sufficient benefits.

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Limitations of group disability insurance

Last week, we explained the features of group disability insurance in detail. It is used in conjunction with government programs such as EI or WCB to provide financial support during disabilities. Due to limitations in benefits, there are times when it does not provide sufficient coverage. Let’s go over some of the limitations of group disability insurance and how they may affect you.

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Features of group disability insurance

Besides government disability insurance programs, employees may also have coverage through their employers. Disability insurance forms the basis of many benefits plans offered by employers. It’s a valued part of a comprehensive benefits package that often includes life insurance, extended health care and dental coverage. Group disability insurance provides short-term coverage for 4.6 million Canadians and long-term coverage for over 10 million Canadians.

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Workers’ compensation benefits

The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is a program designed to prevent economic hardship caused by work-related injuries or diseases for disabled individuals. While the legislation for WCB is created by the provincial government, it is administered by the provincial government and funded entirely through employer contributions. Although each province and territory has its own legislations, they all share the same concepts known as the Meredith Principles.

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CPP disability benefit

Besides the retirement pension, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) also pays out a monthly benefit for Canadian workers who are unable to work due to a disability. While the Employee Insurance sickness benefit provides short-term financial assistance, the CPP disability benefit is reserved for disabilities that are longer term and more severe in nature.

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Employment Insurance sickness benefits

EI is a program administered by the federal government to provide financial assistance for employees experiencing a short term absence from work, such as in the case of involuntary unemployment, parental leave and caring for a family member with a significant illness.

Although recognized for its benefits for recently unemployed individuals, EI also provides benefits for workers suffering from a short term disability. Benefits should provide employees and their families with financial relief while they recover. Emphasis should be placed on short term, so disabilities of longer lengths will require other forms of reimbursement.

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In the news: Sun Life improves its term insurance policy

Sun Life is the third largest life insurance company in Canada in terms of revenue in 2014. Even with its success, Sun Life understands that life insurance is a competitive market. Therefore, it recently announced that starting on February 2, 2015, it will be making improvements to its term life insurance policy, also known as SunTerm.

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Types of government disability insurance programs

We turn our attention to disability insurance after our series featuring critical illness insurance. A disability can be a traumatic event that robs you of your ability to earn a living. Disability insurance protects against this by paying a periodic benefit whenever you are unable to do your job. Although you may purchase your own individual disability insurance policy, most Canadians are provided coverage by either their employer or government programs. Here is an overview of the different types of government disability insurance programs.

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Should you buy critical illness insurance?

Over the past few months, we’ve focused our attention of the blog on critical illness insurance. We went into detail about the origins of it, how much it costs, which riders are worth getting, and how underwriting for it differs from life insurance. One question remains: should you buy critical illness insurance?

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Critical illness insurance definitions

The CLHIA benchmark critical illness definitions were developed in 2007 in an effort to standardize the definitions, providing a single source for insurance companies to adhere their products to, while ensuring there isn’t a large discrepancy amongst them. Benchmark definitions also help consumers by removing some of the perceived complexity around critical illness definitions.

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In the news: Manulife upgrades its critical illness insurance policy

The critical illness insurance marketplace is highly competitive, with most insurance companies offering some sort of product. It’s becoming increasingly simple for consumers to acquire coverage with competitive rates and flexible riders, and Manulife has fallen behind its competition with its critical illness insurance product, Lifecheque.

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How to make a claim for a critical illness insurance benefit

An important part of purchasing any type of insurance is knowing how to make a claim when you are eligible. For life insurance, the beneficiary will have to submit a claim form, death certificate and a doctor’s report. While life insurance claims are usually straightforward, claims for critical illness insurance can be much more complicated.

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Which critical illness insurance riders should you get?

Riders are optional features that can be added onto a an insurance policy at a cost. We’ve talked about some common life insurance riders before. Here we want to address some common critical illness riders, and whether or not you should add them to your critical illness insurance policies.

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How much does critical illness insurance actually cost?

One of the reasons holding Canadians back from applying for critical illness insurance is the scarcity of online quotes. Unlike life insurance quotes, which are prevalent on many insurance brokers’ websites, critical illness insurance quotes are not nearly as easy to obtain. To give you a better picture of the premium to expect for critical illness insurance, here we present four premium comparison tables, one for each of the following categories: male non-smoker, male smoker, female non-smoker and female smoker.

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Critical illness insurance underwriting

Underwriting is the process that insurance companies use to evaluate the risk of an individual applying for insurance coverage. Underwriters look at factors that are relevant to the likelihood of the payout of a claim, such as smoking status, physical build and medical history. With the information, they can determine whether or not to approve an application and the premium to charge that reflects the applicant’s risk. Although underwriting for critical illness is similar to underwriting for life insurance, some differences are apparent enough that they merit attention.

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Protect your retirement plan from the cost of a critical illness

A major health event is more common than you may think. 2 out of 5 Canadians will develop cancer during their lifetimes, with 69% of new cancer cases occurring between age 50-79. 9 in 10 Canadians have a risk factor for heart disease or stroke. Fortunately, our chances of surviving a major health event is greater than ever. What we may not be prepared for is the elevated financial stress following the event and the impact it will have on our retirement plans.

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The history of critical illness insurance

Dr. Marius Barnard, the heart surgeon who was part of the team that performed the first human-to-human heart transplant in South Africa in 1967, was also the person credited for inventing critical illness insurance. No, an insurance company did not come up with the concept of critical illness insurance. Rather, it was a doctor who saw the financial difficulty of his patients who survived heart surgery. As a heart surgeon, he helped many patients make a full recovery from their illnesses, but at the same time saw them suffer financially in the years to follow.

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What to do with your term insurance policy as you head into retirement

It’s no secret that life insurance becomes more expensive as we age. Premiums are related to the mortality rate and the decrease in our life expectancy as we get older is reflected in the increased premiums. What you may not realize is that this risk is not represented by a linear line. If you graph the probability of death from an actuarial life table, you would notice that the probability of death increases exponentially as we age. What this means for term insurance is that renewal premium also rises exponentially, such that they become unaffordable during retirement. So, what are your options for your term insurance policy as you head into retirement?

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How you can save money by layering your life insurance

While life insurance is an integral part of a comprehensive financial plan, we’d all like to pay as little as possible for the protection. Life insurance premiums are often much lower on the priority list than bills, groceries and other mandatory expenses, so people skimp on the coverage to fit it in their budget. But coverage should be the last thing you reduce when trying to save on life insurance, since having enough coverage is the main objective for purchasing life insurance in the first place. For those of you who are looking for other ways to save on life insurance, layering your life insurance may be a strategy you can use. Here we’ll introduce the concept of layering your life insurance, and how it saves you money long term.

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Should you consider joint first-to-die life insurance?

Life insurance can be bought in several different configurations. The most common is on a single life, where a death benefit is paid out when the insured dies. Other configurations include joint last-to-die, where the death benefit is only paid on the last death of 2 or more insureds. The third most common configuration is joint first-to-die, in which the death benefit is paid upon the first death of 2 or more insureds. Joint last-to-die is suitable for estate planning strategies, but what is joint first-to-die life insurance used for?

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How a joint last-to-die life insurance policy fits into your estate plan

Last week, when we mentioned that life insurance can serve a certain need in retirement, we specifically noted the use of permanent insurance. Since all term policies expire at age 80 or 85, they cannot be relied upon to pay out a death benefit. Therefore, a permanent policy must be used to ensure that the funds will be available when needed. Many of the estate planning goals do not require a benefit to be paid on each death. Instead, the goals can be achieved by having a single death benefit paid on the last survivor’s death. An effective and relatively inexpensive life insurance policy that covers two people but only pays on the last survivor’s death is called joint last-to-die life insurance.

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Do you need life insurance in retirement?

Last week we looked at insuring the different stages of life, with emphasis on the importance of life, disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance at each phase. Here, we want to elaborate on life insurance during retirement. While some people believe that life insurance is absolutely necessary even in retirement, others argue that it’s a waste of money. We won’t comment on which group is right and wrong, since everybody’s situation is different and there is no right or wrong. However, we will present the arguments of both sides so you can make your own decision.

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Insuring the different stages of life

As we travel through the journey of life, our financial needs and obligations undergo constant change. For example, your financial obligations increase once you are married, and continue to do so as your family grows in size. It should come as no surprise that insurance varies in importance at different stages of life. Proper planning at each stage of life is necessary to ensure that you and your dependents are protected. Without knowing the risks and a plan to minimize the risk, you are potentially exposing your family to a financial disaster. Here are which types of insurance you should be aware of at each stage of life.

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In the news: Disability more common than Canadian workers believe

According to a recent survey by RBC, Canadian workers are underestimating the importance of disability insurance. Out of 1,000 employed Canadians polled, 45% believe disabilities occurs infrequently. However, current statistics indicate that 1 in 7 adults are currently disabled, and 1 out of 3 adults will become disabled for longer than 90 days before the age of 65.

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Term insurance renewal options

Between term and permanent life insurance, term is usually the product of choice when it comes to breadwinners providing protection for surviving dependents. The main reason being that term offers the greatest amount of coverage for the lowest initial cost. Although term has a low initial cost, its premium rises at the end of the term when it is up for renewal. Besides simply renewing the term and paying the increased premium, there are several other term insurance renewal options that you can employ.

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How to prepare for a life insurance medical examination

When you’re applying for life insurance, an underwriter will assess your risk level and determine whether or not you’re eligible. The underwriting requirements that you have to go through depends on your age and amount of coverage, but one of the them that most applicants have to undergo is the paramedical examination. The purpose of the paramedical is for the underwriter to gain insight into your current health status. For example, a blood test will reveal blood sugar, cholesterol and other lipid levels. Results that are within the averages would reflect positively upon the applicant, while results that lie outside the range would be a cause for concern.

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The role of Assuris in protecting your insurance policies

Life, disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance represent a significant commitment by consumers to protect themselves and their families in the event of a disaster. They’ve put their trust and money in the insurance companies with which they signed the contract. In return, they expect their beneficiaries to be able to collect on the claim when the time comes. But what if the insurance company becomes insolvent? There is a chance that it may happen, since benefits are usually paid many years down the line, and anything can happen in the meantime. Even large insurers are not immune to insolvency. Much like the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation protects investors from deposits held at banks, Assuris protects policy owners from the failures of insurance companies.

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How much does life insurance actually cost?

One of the reasons holding Canadians back from applying for life insurance is the perceived cost. Many don’t feel like they can afford what they deem to be an adequate amount of coverage. We’ve mentioned in the past that many consumers cited costs that were three to four times higher than the actual premium. With that big of a discrepancy, it’s no wonder many of us are underinsured. In order to paint a clear picture of the true cost of life insurance, we’ve put together several tables with the best rates in the industry to show you how much life insurance actually costs.

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Life insurance quiz: do you know the basics?

As part of the mandate of Life Insurance Awareness Month to raise awareness for all things related to life insurance, we want to do our part to educate our readers on the different aspects of life insurance. There aren’t many better ways of education than a knowledge test. Therefore, below is a short quiz on life insurance. Since the purpose of the month is awareness and not about passing the LLQP, the questions will be geared towards beginners.

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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Life insurance can mean the difference between a family being dependent on the government for financial support or becoming self-sufficient after the provider of the family passes away. Many families who loses a loved one are not able to recover from its financial implications. Immediate expenses such as burial costs and legal fees coupled with the long term income requirement for living expenses can devastate a family financially. It may take years for the survivors of a family to recover from the death of the breadwinner of the family. Oftentimes, full recovery is impossible as a single parent is unable to keep up with the cost of raising a family alone. They may need to downsize their home, take out additional loans, cease contributions to education and retirement savings plans and do other things that reduce their standard of living just to get by.

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Transferring wealth to the next generation using life insurance

In Canada, income is taxed using a marginal tax rate system, where high income earners are taxed more heavily on each dollar they earn than a lower income earner. Tax planning strategies usually involve some kind of tax splitting with lower income earners of the family, such as a spouse or child under 18. The government restricts the benefits of income splitting with attribution rules, which are designed to attribute income back to the high income earner of the family.

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How to keep your estate intact

Many people assume their life insurance needs decrease as they become more successful financially. They believe that their dependents can survive on their accumulated wealth, so life insurance is no longer necessary. While this is true to a certain extent, other life insurance needs will arise as their net worth increases.
Some people have built up a significant amount of wealth over their lifetime. They’ve worked hard and have put their blood, sweat and tears into accumulating their assets. What is most important to them, after they have achieved their retirement goals, is to keep their estate intact for the next generation. In Canada, the biggest impediment to this is taxes. There are several options available to Canadians for funding this tax liability. Which method is the best?

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Life insurance policy changes

When you conduct a review of your life insurance, you may find that there is no need for change. On the other hand, your situation may have changed so much that your current policy isn’t suitable for you anymore. If this is the case, you’ll have to make some adjustments to the policy. As a last resort, you can replace your policy. This should only be done if there is nothing that can be changed in the current policy to make it fit your needs. Here are some of the common changes that you can make to your policy.

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Lifetime gift annuity

What if there was a way to give a birthday present to your child or grandchild every year, even after your death? A method that doesn’t involve costly trusts or confusing clauses in a will? With a lifetime gift annuity, you can ensure that your child or grandchild will have you in his mind as his birthday comes along. A lifetime gift annuity pays out a tax-efficient annual income for the rest of his life. Like the insured annuity, the lifetime gift annuity is another strategy used as a solution for some of the common problems facing Canadians today.

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In the news: Assumption Life launches simplified issue critical illness plan

On Monday, July 28, Assumption Life launched Critical Protection, a simplified issue critical illness product. Critical Protection is Assumption Life’s first foray into critical illness insurance, having previously offered only life insurance. Let’s take a look at Critical Protection and how Assumption Life plans to target this product.

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Taxation of life insurance

Understanding the taxation of financial instruments is imperative to financial planning. Imagine planning for your retirement without consideration for taxation of investments during the accumulation or drawdown phase. Your assumptions will be off target and you are unlikely to reach your goal. The same principle can be used to explain why taxation of life insurance is so important as well. There are many different interactions within a policy that can trigger tax, but the first step to understanding taxation of life insurance is knowing the difference between exempt and non-exempt policies.

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Creditor protection and life insurance

There are many reasons to purchase life insurance. The death benefit can be used for income protection, to pay off debts such as the mortgage or provide for final expenses. Some permanent life insurance policies also have cash values that can be accessed throughout life for many purposes. Although these are the primary uses of life insurance, there are other features that accompany a life insurance policy. One potential benefit is creditor protection.

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Do you qualify for preferred underwriting?

In an earlier post, we discussed the different underwriting decisions that can be handed out to applicants of life insurance. One of the outcomes is an approval at preferred rates. As the name implies, these policies have a lower premium attached to them, rewarding the applicant for a healthy lifestyle. Qualifying for preferred underwriting is one of the most effective saving methods for life insurance, although it is also one of the hardest to achieve. How exactly is eligibility for preferred underwriting determined? This post will review some of the criteria that insurance companies look at when applying preferred rates.

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What are the odds of a tragedy occurring?

We face many risks in our lives on a daily basis: the risk of being in a car accident, the risk of a snow storm grounding our flights, the risk of a home burglary, just to name a few. While some of the risks are a minor nuisance and not of financial significance, others have a catastrophic effect on our finances. The purpose of insurance is to transfer some of the risk to an insurance company in exchange for a fee known as the premium.

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Charitable giving using life insurance

Charitable giving is an important part of many people’s lives. Charities depend on benevolent individuals and corporations for funding so that they can improve our communities and help those in need. As a donor, you are contributing to an organization you feel strongly about and ensuring that it can continue to enrich people’s lives. In Canada, you are also rewarded for your gesture with the charitable donations tax credit. The tax credit provides tax relief for donors and incentive for them to give.

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In the news: Price of disability insurance drops across the board

The three main players in disability insurance in Canada have all within the last year announced premium decreases for their products. Starting with Manulife in late 2013, followed by Great-West Life and its subsidiary Canada Life in April, and now RBC Insurance. The reasons cited were to remain competitive in the individual disability insurance marketplace and changing morbidity trends. Morbidity is the rate of disabilities among the general population, similar to how mortality is the rate of death. The lowering of premiums means that morbidity is decreasing.

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Should you replace your life insurance policy?

Last week we looked at when you should perform a life insurance review. One of the suggestions that was brought up during a review was to replace your current policy if a new one would better serve your needs. How do you determine if a new policy is more suitable for you? In which way is it better? Worse? Is there a cash surrender value in the old policy that would trigger tax if you cancelled it? Would you qualify for a new policy for the same or better rate? These are all questions that you need to ask before replacing a life insurance policy.

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When do you need to review your life insurance?

Some people buy life insurance and have a ‘set it and forget it’ attitude, opting never to look at their policy again. After all, they’ve done their research, and are certain they have the most suitable policy. Why should they have to change anything? The reason of course is that life is never static. Circumstances change – sometimes abruptly – which may call for a life insurance review. You may find yourself wondering if you have enough coverage, or if you should renew the term or not, among other similarly tough decisions. It’s recommended that you perform a life insurance review whenever the following events occurs.

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In the news: Canadians need life insurance, but fewer are buying

Most Canadians understand that life insurance is an integral part of a sound financial plan. The death benefit helps pay off debt and provides an income for the survivor and should be top priority for the average Canadian. Despite this, in a new article published by Investment Executive, statistics show that fewer Canadians are purchasing life insurance compared to three decades ago. Although the percentage of people who have life insurance is on the decline, the need for life insurance is not. What can be done to reverse this trend?

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Why does the Medical Information Bureau have your medical history?

Whenever you apply for a life or health insurance policy, you have to sign the application form indicating that you allow the insurance company to obtain information from the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). What is the MIB? How does it have your medical history? Is your information safe with it? Continue reading for answers to these and other related questions.

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How dangerous avocations affect your life insurance premiums

Did you know that besides your health and medical history, life insurance premiums are also dependent on lifestyle activities? These activities, termed avocations, are hobbies that people engage in with their spare time. In the rest of this post, we will discuss what constitutes a dangerous avocation and how participating in it will affect your life insurance premiums.

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Understanding life insurance ratings

Have you ever been given a quote for life insurance, applied, and was approved with a higher price? If this has happened to you, it means that your policy was rated and you were classified as a substandard risk. What is a life insurance rating? Will the rating last for the life of the policy? Should you even accept the policy? These are questions that only you could answer, but by reading this post, you should have a better understanding of life insurance ratings and your choices.

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13 tips to save on life insurance

There are many reasons to buy life insurance: for final expenses, to provide and income, to leave an inheritance, and more. But life insurance can be a very costly commodity. It has to be for the insurance company to be viable. You are purchasing hundreds of thousands and in some cases, over a million dollars of coverage, in exchange for (give or take) one hundred dollars a month. While the cost may seem astronomical especially since your household already has other fixed living expenses, life insurance is a must if you have a family dependent on you. Since the cost is unavoidable, the next best thing is to find ways to reduce the cost. Here are 13 tips to help you save on life insurance.

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Underwriting requirements for life and health insurance

When you apply for a life, disability, critical illness or long-term care insurance policy, the insurance company that you’re applying to will want to know as much detail as they can about you. They will need to assess your risk in a process known as underwriting. Having an abundance of medical, financial, occupational and lifestyle information about you will help the underwriter determine if you are eligible for insurance, and if so, at what rate. Applicants considered high risk will have their policy rated, while applicants with lower than average risk may be rewarded with a preferred rate.

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Product review: Humania’s P.A.G.E.

A few posts back we reviewed Manulife’s Synergy, a 3-in-1 solution that encompasses life, critical illness and disability insurance. While it’s a simple product that covers the major risks in life, there isn’t much customization associated with it. Every Synergy policy must be comprised of the three types of insurance, with no way of mixing and matching the type of protection you want. That doesn’t mean there is no product with more customization available. Humania, a company based in Quebec, came up with a solution that satisfies all your customization needs by allowing you to mix and match to your heart’s content. The product is called P.A.G.E., and it’s short for ‘Protection for the entire family, Affordable rates, Global coverage, Easy application.’

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Product review: Foresters’ Quit Smoking Incentive Plan

Are you a smoker who wants to kick the habit? Chances are, if you currently smoke, that thought has crossed your mind. Besides the health benefit of quitting, there are also financial incentives. The obvious one is saving the money you used to spend on cigarettes. According to Preet Banerjee’s new book, Stop Over-Thinking Your Money, a teenager who pays $9 for a pack of cigarettes would have amassed over $375,000 if he instead would have directed the money to an investment yielding 3%. Now, Foresters has another financial incentive for you to quit smoking. In this week’s product review, we will look at Foresters’ Familylife participating whole life insurance product and its automatically included rider – Quit Smoking Incentive Plan. Chances are you haven’t heard of Familylife before. That’s because it launched in April of 2013, so it’s a brand new product in the insurance industry, and it’s one of a kind in the Canadian marketplace.

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Product review: Assumption Life’s FlexOptions

Last week in our product review series we talked about Desjardins’ Life and LTC Advance, a permanent life insurance policy with a monthly long-term care benefit. While most of the product reviews we’ve done so far involved multiple benefits under one policy, there are some that only serves one purpose. One such product is Assumption Life’s FlexOptions. What is FlexOptions and who is it designed for? Let’s get into the features and pricing so you can decide if it’s the right product for you.

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Product review: Desjardins Life with LTC Advance

Last week we talked about Manulife Synergy, a combination insurance that incorporates life, disability and critical illness insurance. As part of a series reviewing insurance products from Canadian insurance companies, this week we will focus on Desjardins Life with Long-Term Care Advance. Don’t be put off by its long name, as it may be just the right product for you. As implied, its a type of combination insurance that incorporates life and long-term care insurance. We’ll begin by summarizing some of its features.

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Product review: Manulife Synergy

In our first product review, we looked at an alternative product to term and permanent life insurance called LifePhases and LifePhases Plus, from Assumption Life. Last week, we analyzed Industrial Alliance’s Child Life and Health Duo. To continue the series, this week we’ll review Manulife’s Synergy. Like Child Life and Health Duo, Synergy is a type of combination insurance. On top of the life and critical illness that the former provides, Manulife Synergy is a 3-in-1 product that includes disability insurance. The main selling points of Synergy is the fact that you receive insurance protection from the three most important common types of insurance: life, critical illness and disability. It’s unique in that there are no other products like this in the Canadian marketplace. Let’s examine the features of Manulife Synergy.

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Product review: Industrial Alliance’s Child Life and Health Duo

As Canadians looking for insurance to protect our families from loss, we’re blessed with the number of insurance companies offering innovative products and solutions. Here at AAFS Insurance, we want to discuss and review these specialty products. For the most part, basic products such as term and permanent do not vary widely among carriers. So what we want to delve into here are specialty products, such as LifePhases and LifePhases Plus by Assumption Life. These are usually offered only by one carrier to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. They can be combination type insurance, mixing life and different types of health insurance together as a package. For this post we are going to talk about Child Life and Health Duo, a combination type insurance that incorporates life and critical illness insurance into one policy. Child Life and Health Duo is a unique product offered only by Industrial Alliance.

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How an insured annuity can increase your retirement income

An insured annuity is a retirement strategy that can increase your after-tax income while leaving a large estate to your beneficiaries. It makes use of a life insurance policy to provide the legacy and a prescribed annuity to provide the income. As the case study shows, using the concept of an insured annuity increases the income that you can receive over a GIC strategy.

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Life insurance application process

If you’ve never applied for life insurance before and are considering it now, you should know the steps that are taken from the moment you start the life insurance application process to the day you receive your policy. Due to the business practices of different insurance companies in Canada, your experience may be different from the steps outlined in this post. This post should give you a general idea of what to expect when applying for life insurance, including the time frame, types of questions asked on the application form, and other information obtained by the underwriter.

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5 life insurance underwriting decisions you should be aware of

Life insurance underwriting decisions affect if you’re eligible for life insurance and how much you will pay for it. Your life insurance application can be approved at standard rates, at preferred rates, at a higher premium. It can also be declined or postponed until a later date. In this post, I’ll let you know how to deal with each underwriting decision.

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Sample annuity quotes

Wonder how much income you can receive from an annuity? These annuity quotes will give you with some idea based on the 5 factors that affect annuity income: amount of money deposited, interest rate, annuitant’s age, annuitant’s sex and options chosen (joint, guarantee, etc.)

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Types of annuities you should know for your retirement

If you are nearing retirement and live in Canada, you may know that one of the options when your RRSP matures at the end of the year you turn 71 is to use the funds to purchase a life annuity. Of course, an annuity can also be bought before you reach 71 and there’s no requirement that it must be bought with registered money. There are many options for the types of annuities you can choose. In this post, we’ll sort through all the different types of annuities that are available to fund your retirement.

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Four financial risks in retirement for seniors today

As more and more baby boomers are entering retirement, they will begin to find that the retirement that they envisioned is quite different than previous generations’ versions. What used to be a simple and short retirement supported with generous government assistance is now turning into a complex experience accompanied by cutbacks, market volatility and non-guaranteed pensions. With more investment options than ever before, many seniors are struggling to find the optimal asset allocation for retirement. On top of that, many will face chronic health issues that will adversely affect their standard of living towards the end of life. Here are four financial risks in retirement that seniors face today.

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Five signs you are being “purely sold” insurance

Recently there was a post on Know Your Insurance about five signs you are being “purely sold” insurance. They were five quick warning signs that you’re talking to a insurance salesperson who doesn’t really care about you. While it was quick and to the point, we would like to expand on some of the points. Here are five warning signs that you are not working with an insurance salesperson with your best interest in mind, who instead is looking for a quick sale.

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Life insurance riders: why you shouldn’t overlook them

The essentials of life insurance are the coverage amount, premium and length of the term. These are built into every policy and their specifics usually draw the most attention with potential buyers. As well they should, because they are the most important aspects of any life insurance policy. But something that shouldn’t be overlooked is life insurance riders. Life insurance riders are optional features that one can choose to enhance their coverage at an increased premium. Here are some of the most common riders you will find on life insurance policies.

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Do you need to insure your children?

Last week we looked at if insurance was necessary for the elderly, so we’ll follow it up this week with the same question applied to children. Children are the pride of our lives. They bring joy and smiles to their parents’ faces. But they’re obviously not the breadwinner of the family – that role belongs to the parents. Still, as we explained last week, that is not the only qualifier for whether or not to have insurance placed on a family member. Are there other reasons for you to insure your children?

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Insurance for the elderly: What you need to know

When people talk about life insurance, they immediately think of the working class with a family that depends on them for their income. The loss of their lives would have a devastating effect on their families’ finances, and life insurance on their lives is common to prevent such a loss. While that may be the most common demographic that requires insurance, the elderly segment of the population should not be neglected. In this post, we will discuss the types of insurance seniors need.

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Ten reasons why you should avoid mortgage life insurance

Ten reasons why mortgage life insurance is not a good deal for you. After you read this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of deal you will be getting with mortgage life insurance. If you already bought it from your lender, it’s not too late to make a change. An individual policy, whether term or permanent, is an ideal replacement for mortgage life insurance.

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Should you buy individual life insurance if you already have group coverage?

If you are one of the millions of Canadians whose employer offers a group benefits plan with life insurance coverage, you may be thinking if individual life insurance is still needed to protect your family. In this post I’ll outline some of the basic differences between the two products so that you will have a clearer picture on whether or not you should buy individual life insurance.

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Life Insurance: How much do you need?

Most people with a family dependent on their income know that life insurance is an important part of their overall financial plan, but few know how much coverage they actually need. Some life insurance agents swear by a formula, such as 8 times of salary, or a flat rate of half a million for everybody. But it’s most likely that these ‘methods’ of determining your life insurance needs are inaccurate. Instead, they are fabricated by the agent to simplify his life by not having to perform the calculations manually. So what is the right amount? Thanks to software provided by the life insurance companies, all it takes is a few minutes to determine the life insurance coverage that you need. They are typically all very similar, prompting you to input cash and income needs at death, and sources of cash at death. It then adds these amounts together to output your total coverage required.

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LifePhases: an alternative to term and permanent life insurance

The main argument against term insurance is that premiums often increase dramatically at renewal, becoming up to five times as expensive at the first renewal and up to one hundred times the initial premium at the final renewal. The premium increases do not reflect the increase in an individual’s income. On the other hand, permanent insurance is likely to be too expensive initially, beyond the means of the average consumer. There appears to be room for an intermediate product that has neither the outrageous renewal increases of term nor the staggering initial costs of permanent insurance. PPI Solutions, along with Assumption Life, came up with a solution, called LifePhases and LifePhases Plus.

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Term versus permanent life insurance: which one is right for you?

When it comes down to purchasing life insurance to protect your family in case anything should happen to you, it really comes down to two options: term and permanent. While the last couple of posts focused on what the common uses of each are, this one will apply an objective view to pit term versus permanent life insurance to see which one is most suitable for you. The debate between term versus permanent life insurance continues here.

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Permanent life insurance: 5 most common uses

Permanent life insurance has long been compared to term life insurance in terms of suitability and usage. While some favour term, permanent has its own set of benefits and uses. In this post we highlight permanent life insurance and its 5 most common uses: final expenses, investment/insurance hybrid, legacy, estate equalization, business applications.

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Term life insurance and its 5 most common uses

Most people, when they think of life insurance, don’t picture a policy with cash values, investments, and so forth. They envision life insurance simply as straight forward as paying premiums in exchange for a death benefit when they die. This is exactly the principle of term life insurance. As part of a series of posts covering the basics of life insurance, in this week’s topic I will cover the 5 most common uses of term life insurance: final expenses, specific family need, income replacement, business applications, conversion to permanent.

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5 important points to consider when purchasing life insurance

Five important points to keep in mind when thinking about purchasing life insurance. Know why you’re buying it, how much coverage is needed, whether to buy term or permanent, choosing additional options and affordability. There is no “perfect policy” that is suitable for everybody. The only perfect policy is one that is in force at the time of death of the life insured. Start by discussing with your family what your objective is for purchasing life insurance, and speak to a licensed insurance professional about your different options.

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