12/02/2013 05:28 EST | Updated 02/01/2014 05:59 EST

Do Your Future Self a Favour and Plan for the Worst

Last night for the second time in a month, our Internet provider gave us a "courtesy call" to inform us that we would be without our Internet service, again, for about three hours this morning. Access to my Internet service, as a business owner is crucial because that is how I keep the money coming in to pay the bills and the home fires burning.

The call last night got me thinking about this from a different perspective. There is something much more sinister that can disrupt my ability to keep the money coming in but unfortunately, it does not give one a "courtesy call" before it shows up. What am I talking about you ask? I am talking about a critical illness that can strike at any time without warning and bring you to your knees so quickly you will think you have collided with a freight train.

When someone becomes critically ill, it can become very difficult or next to impossible for them to do the day-to-day things they need to in order to run a successful business. Often an illness can be so debilitating one might require round the clock care that could necessitate a family member stepping in to share the load. What happens if the task falls to one's partner and they cannot go to work themselves because they are caring for their loved one? Worse than this, what if the person is single and has no one they can call on. Who is going pay the bills now?

One does not recover from a critical illness overnight; it takes time, treatments and a lot of rest and tender loving care. The last thing a business owner or anyone needs is to add more stress to the situation because they are worrying about how they are going to keep the roof over their heads from caving in because there is no money coming in. However, all is not doom and gloom, there is a solution to this situation but it needs to be in place before someone becomes critically ill not after and it is called critical illness insurance. I sometimes hear the business owners and individuals that I coach say to me when I bring up the subject of critical illness insurance, "but I can't afford to pay for it." My response to them is you cannot afford not to pay for it! The money one pays for the peace of mind this coverage brings when an illness strikes is priceless.

There are a number of companies in Canada that sell critical illness insurance and it is beyond the scope of this blog to outline all of the different plans available today. However, here are some things to think about using critical illness coverage for in the event that an illness strikes:

  • To allow your partner to take a leave of absence from their employment to help you recover
  • To pay off or reduce your mortgage or other loans
  • To supplement reduced income or replace permanently lost income
  • To allow you to take time to focus on your recovery
  • To replace a co-owner or key person in a business situation if they have to cut back on their work activity or give up their position
  • To hire someone to keep a small business running while you are out of the office

In the last five months alone, I know of three families where if critical illness insurance had been in place it would have been a complete game changer. Good health buys personal insurance, not money, so I urge you to give yourself a "courtesy call" today and connect with a financial advisor to put this invaluable safety net in place to allow you, to claim your life.


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