One of my greatest fears...

I just listened to a webinar where a brave mama shared her story of battling breast cancer. Except she was 5 months pregnant when she was diagnosed. I mentioned the other day on facebook how one of my greatest fears is falling while holding my toddler (which happened) but that is a mini-fear compared to being told I have cancer while pregnant (I'm 6 months along now) and having to make a hard decision that affects two lives. Listening to this mom's story made me feel better (it worked out!) but I was crying within minutes. She had to wait until the last minute to start chemo and her baby was delivered by c-section 8 weeks early. She started chemo one week after her son was born (so for his first 4 weeks of life he was in NICU while mom was going to the treatment centre for chemo and then spending the rest of time with him).

Some of her costs included:

  • Hiring a live-in nanny for childcare and caregiving (in case she needed assistance)
  • Prescriptions -those not covered by MSP (ie. anti-nausea, special mouthwash, etc. if not covered by a group/private health plan or for the co-insurance). One of her injections (4x per week for 8 weeks) cost $300 per shot.
  • Wigs ($900 each)

She fortunately had Critical Illness Insurance and received a lump sum of money that lifted a huge burden off her shoulders. Not needing to worry about the immediate financial future (how to keep paying the mortgage, paying for the things above, losing her income while off work and waiting to satisfy the long-term disability requirement) was a huge burden lifted off her shoulders.

This is one of those stories that really drives home why I'm so passionate about Critical Illness Insurance [Globe and Mail article] and why I have three policies (different features) for myself and why I made sure there was coverage on the rest of my family as well.

As a Financial Planner, I look at the overall financial situations of clients and point out holes (spending too much on credit card interest; overcommitment to monthly financial commitments; lack of wills; exposure to risk in case of death, disability or illness). $1/day will get a healthy non-smoker in their 30s approximately $30,000 of Critical Illness Insurance coverage. Ask me for details for your situation so you at least have made a decision knowing your options.

Why I chose to get insurance for my baby

Why I chose to insure my baby

When I first started in the insurance industry I shared the same view as my mentor: life insurance isn’t necessary on a child as there isn’t the same financial loss as when an adult breadwinner passes away. While this is true in one sense, I now disagree - even if you don’t rely on someone for an income, the impact of their premature death can have significant financial consequences. But I don't have insurance for that reason (that as a parent, you can't even think about) - I'm thinking about the future.

When my son was born, I registered him online: applying for his SIN, birth certificate and MSP (basic health insurance) as well as registering him for the work health and dental benefits plan. When he was 30 days old I completed the applications for his Life Insurance and Critical Illness (CI) Insurance. There are different reasons why parents choose to insure their child and both made sense to me:

1. If my child got sick or passed away before me, there will very likely be a financial impact

2. By getting coverage now, no matter what my child’s health in the future, he will at least have some basic life and CI insurance.

We’ve all read the stories about families who have kids at BC Children’s Hospital and the subsequent fundraisers, charity events and donation collections. Unfortunately, in many cases, the money that comes in from generous family, friends and strangers doesn’t cover the full cost of parents taking time off work, traveling to/from the mainland, staying in a hotel or renting an apartment, childcare for other children, modifying their home after the hospital stay, comfort items (like a special chair, toys, a trip) for the child, etc. If anything ever happened to my son (and no one likes thinking about this), I would do whatever necessary to help him get better. And going to work would be at the bottom of the priority list. Receiving cash after a Critical Illness diagnosis could be a gamechanger. In the terribly unlikely event of me outliving my son, again, taking the time I need away from an office is important. So is donating money to a charity on his behalf or setting up a scholarship, as examples.

The nicer way to think about children’s insurance is the ability to have it in place for the future.

Children's insurance policies can be fully paid for in 20 years, leaving them health and life insurance that NO ONE PAYS FOR for the rest of their life. Do I think there's a pretty good chance that over the next 90 years or so, my son may suffer a critical illness? Unfortunately, statistics aren't in his favour. Do I think there's a chance he will die one day? Sadly, yes, it's still 100% (unless someone figures out how to make us immortal).

No parent wants to think about this but those that plan for their children's future are giving them a great foundation.