Questions and Answers about Critical Illness Insurance
Below are answers to the most common questions asked about our critical illness insurance plans. Don't see your question? Call 1-888-884-9520 or 403-354-4444 to talk with an L&Y Insurance advisor.
Applying for Coverage
How do I apply for coverage?
You can apply for one of our critical illness insurance plans in a way that is convenient for you:
- Call 1-888-884-9520
- Find an L&Y Insurance Branch or Advisor
Who is eligible to apply for coverage?
You are eligible to apply for critical illness insurance if you:
- Are between the ages of 18 and 65, and
- Are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident/landed immigrant who has been in Canada for more than 12 months, and
- Have not been diagnosed with, or have been treated for certain medical conditions
Note: If you are between the ages of 51 and 65, you are eligible to apply for our Critical Illness Recovery Plan Policy only.
Are any medical questions or exams required to apply?
Possibly, yes. Depending on your age, the plan you choose, and the coverage amount you are applying for, you may need to complete a telephone interview and medical exams, as well as provide certain medical documentation.
How does critical illness insurance work?
Critical illness insurance pays a lump-sum benefit that you can use any way you wish when you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, as defined in the policy, and satisfy the survival period, as defined in the policy.
In addition, our critical illness insurance provides a range of additional benefits and assistance services to help you and your family find the best medical care, meet everyday needs and cope with the stresses of a critical illness.
Which critical illnesses and conditions are covered?
The plan you choose determines the critical illnesses and conditions that are covered.
The Critical Illness Insurance Plan lump-sum benefit is payable if you are diagnosed with any of the following covered critical illnesses or conditions, as defined in the policy, and satisfy the survival period, as defined in the policy:
- Heart attack
The Critical Illness Recovery Plan policy lump-sum benefit is payable if you are diagnosed with any of the following covered critical illnesses or conditions, as defined in the policy, and satisfy the survival period, as defined in the policy:
- Alzheimer disease
- Aortic surgery
- Benign brain tumour
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Heart attack
- Heart valve replacement
- Kidney failure
- Loss of independent existence (not included with all plans, but can be added as an optional benefit)
- Loss of limbs
- Loss of speech
- Major organ failure on waiting list
- Major organ transplant
- Motor neuron disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Occupational HIV infection
- Parkinson disease
- Severe burns
What is the survival period?
The survival period is the number of days you must survive, following the diagnosis of a covered critical illness, before a benefit is payable. The minimum survival period for most covered conditions is 30 days, although some covered conditions require a longer period before benefits are payable. For complete details, please see a sample policy.
There can be a difference in the number of days that need to pass before a person is considered to be “critically ill” according to the definition in the policy. For example, in the case of coma, you must have been in a state of uninterrupted unconsciousness for at least 96 hours in order to meet the policy definition, and must then wait for the 30-day survival period to pass before being able to qualify for benefits.
Does time spent on life support count toward the survival period?
No, as you are not considered to be alive (as defined in the policy) while receiving nutritional, respiratory and/or cardiovascular life support.
What happens if I die within the survival period?
For benefits to be payable, a Return of Premium on Death rider must be in force. If you have a Return of Premium on Death rider and die during the survival period or from a condition or event not defined in the policy as a critical illness, we will pay a Return of Premium on Death benefit to you or your estate as long as the coverage is in force and there is no critical illness benefit payable or pending. The Return of Premium on Death benefit is equal to the sum of all premiums paid for the policy. If death is a result of any of the exclusions listed in the policy, no Return of Premium on Death benefit is payable.
What is the difference between the survival period and the 90-day waiting period for cancer?
The survival period is the number of days you must survive, following the diagnosis of a covered critical illness, before a benefit is payable. The minimum survival period for most covered conditions is 30 days, although some covered conditions require a longer period before benefits are payable.
The 90-day waiting period for cancer means that once the policy is in effect (or reinstated) there is no coverage if the insured is diagnosed with cancer during the first 90 days. A diagnosis of cancer must be made 91 days or more after the effective date to be covered under the policy.
If I'm diagnosed with cancer during the 90-day waiting period, would coverage remain in force?
If you are diagnosed with cancer during the first 90 days after the effective date or reinstatement date of coverage, the policy will have a permanent exclusion for any future cancer claims but your policy can remain in force.
What happens if I become disabled?
If you are under age 65, become disabled for 90 consecutive days, are unable to work due to your disability, and have added the Disability Waiver of Premium rider to your policy, RBC Insurance will waive your critical illness insurance premiums throughout the period of your disability in accordance to the policy provisions.
If the Disability Waiver of Premium rider has not been added, premiums will continue to be payable in the event of disability.
What happens if I suffer a critical illness outside of Canada?
Contact us for additional details regarding the conditions under which a benefit would be payable. When reviewing your claim, we will determine whether the diagnosis and treatment were within Canadian standards. Submitting your complete medical records for our review will help us assess your claim.
Will I still be covered if I move away from Canada?
Yes, your coverage is portable, provided you were a resident of Canada at the time we issued your policy.
Does my critical illness benefit get smaller if I receive a payment under the Early Assistance benefit?
Your policy includes an Early Assistance benefit that is equal to 10% of the critical illness benefit you purchased, to a maximum of $50,000. Payments made under the Early Assistance benefit have no effect on your critical illness benefit. Your policy will continue in force for any future claim you may make, provided that you continue to pay premiums in accordance with the terms of your policy.
How long will I pay premiums?
You will pay premiums until you reach age 65, 75 or 100, depending on the policy you purchase.
Will my premiums ever increase?
This depends on the policy you purchase.
Our Critical Illness Recovery Plan policy offers the following premium and term choices:
- Level premiums to age 100 (non-cancellable): We will not change the plan benefits or premiums from those stated in the policy.
- Level premiums to age 75 (non-cancellable): We will not change the plan benefits or premiums from those stated in the policy.
- Level premiums to age 65 or 75 (guaranteed renewable): We will not change the plan benefits, but the premiums may be subject to change. However, we cannot change the premium unless we do so for an entire group of policyholders sharing similar characteristics.
- 10-year term renewable to age 75: Premiums are regularly scheduled to change every 10 years.