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.

July – Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians!

During the rest of the summer, many of us will be going on vacation. Here are a few financial tips to help make your trip planning easier!

  • Travel insurance: check your group benefit booklet to find out the amount of coverage and how long you are covered for. If you need more, buy it online here.
  • Travel budget calculator online
  • Heading to a major city? Check out these handy guides for places like London and New York City.
  • Driving? Check out the distance calculator and the fuel cost estimator.
  • Finally, always ask for a discount when booking the hotel. And ask again when checking in for a room upgrade, discount, etc. If inquiring for three nights, ask about two nights and if there is a discount for booking for three.

Happy travels!

Travel insurance: will a volcano ruin your trip?

Some of you may have seen the ad for travel insurance with the young woman holding a pair of designer jeans that cost her over $28,000. How so? She decided to do a little cross-border shopping at the outlet stores in Washington state. She bought a pair of designer jeans for $32! What a steal! She wore them immediately. Shortly after her purchase, she fell down some stairs, busting her knee and having surgery at an American hospital. Travel insurance? She didn’t get it for the day.

Besides the medical aspect of travel insurance, you can also get trip interruption (during the trip) or trip cancellation (if something happens before the trip). These are good options to have if you’ve paid in advance for a cruise, all-inclusive tour or expensive plan tickets to Dubai. If a sickness, accident or illness should occur to you or an immediate family member, you can postpone your trip without great financial repercussions. If your trip is interrupted while you’re abroad, trip interruption insurance can help.

The Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada has great news and updates that should be checked before departing on a trip. For instance, did you know that if you are traveling to Cuba, you are required to have proof of health insurance coverage (this includes provincial plans) when entering the country?

Natural events such as the Icelandic volcano eruption in April can drastically affect your travel. Most insurers would cover this but you need to check your policy and understand what would or would not be covered and how you would make a claim.

Being prepared for your trip can make a huge difference and give you piece of mind.

Bon voyage!