Mike Ellis says he'll never forget that day. The phone rang and the doctor told him his daughter Chloe, was ill. Earlier, Chloe had blood work done. The results showed her blood sugar levels were sky-high. He knew his daughter wasn't well, but he had no idea how serious it was. "When the doctor called, he said to go to the closest emergency room immediately."

Mike rushed his daughter to the hospital. There they found out Chloe had type 1 diabetes. Mike and his spouse took time off to be at the hospital with Chloe until she was able to go home.

Not sure what type of insurance you need to best protect your family?

A Sun Life advisor can help you understand the different products available.

What is child critical illness insurance (CII)?

Like the Ellises, many parents take time off work when their child is sick. But many people have limited paid sick leave. And self-employed and contract workers don't have the benefit of any paid time off. Employment insurance allows for a parent to collect while caring for an injured/ill child. Employment benefits are not the only source of income. Consider adding CII to top up lost income.

Mike's daughter was in the hospital for one week. But children diagnosed with other illnesses may have to stay in the hospital for months at a time. During that time bills can pile up quickly.

Mike says having critical illness insurance for Chloe made taking time off work to be with her less stressful. "Knowing that there was a lump sum of cash to help us cover expenses gave me peace of mind."

Sun CII includes coverage for children (i.e., child CII). Child CII provides you with a lump sum if your child is diagnosed with one of the illnesses covered by your policy. At Sun Life, the Sun Critical illness insurance product (referred to as Sun CII) covers a range of illnesses. They include:

  • life-threatening cancer
  • stroke
  • acquired brain injury
  • major organ failure

It also covers five childhood illnesses up to age 24:

  • type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • cystic fibrosis
  • congenital heart disease
  • cerebral palsy
  • muscular dystrophy

After turning 24, your child will continue to have coverage for a long list of illnesses. This includes deafness, blindness or loss of limbs for the life of the policy. See a full list of the covered illnesses.

Note: Waiting periods vary for different illnesses. Consult an advisor for more details.

What are the benefits of child critical illness insurance?

Here are 4 reasons parents and grandparents protect their little ones with CII:

  1. You can use the money to cover incidental medical expenses. These are costs not covered by your provincial or private health coverage. For example, out-of-pocket costs for medications, devices and treatments.
  2. It allows you and your partner to take time off work without having to worry about lost income.
  3. The funds you receive can pay for non-medical costs. This includes hospital parking, taxis or hotel accommodations if you have to visit out-of-town specialists.
  4. Premiums are low and guaranteed, and coverage continues into adulthood. That means your children can continue to receive coverage as adults. They'll pay a lower rate than if they applied for CII as adults.

What happens if you never make a claim?

As a parent, you hope you'll never have to claim for a CII benefit for your child. If you don't make a claim, some insurers may return some of your premiums. With Sun CII for children, one of the return-of-premium options returns 75% of premiums you've paid either:

  • when your child turns 25 or
  • on the policy's 15thanniversary, whichever is later.

Coverage will continue. And Sun Life returns the rest of the premiums if you cancel the policy or if it expires. (Note that this an optional benefit that you would add when you purchase the policy.)

Can coverage continue after your child turns 18?

In short, yes. With Sun CII, you can add the long-term care conversion after age 18 option to your child's policy. With this optional benefit, you can convert some or all your child's coverage to long-term care insurance.

Parents like Mike say preparing for the worst can protect your family during times of crisis. "Life is unpredictable, so it's valuable to research ways to protect your family," says Mike. "I look at it like my daughter was going to get sick whether I had the coverage or not. But because I had coverage, we were able to breathe a bit easier during a time of turmoil."

Get critical illness insurance for your child with one of these 2 options:

  1. Apply for critical illness insurance online. 
  2. Find an advisor. Talk to a Sun Life advisor who can help you understand your options. 

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