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Disability Insurance

Maintain your lifestyle and financial security if you're unable to work

If you become disabled, your ability to earn income may be compromised, and your ability to pay bills or save for retirement may decline. Our disability insurance plan is designed to help you meet your income requirements so you can concentrate on recovering from your disability and returning to an active life.


The peace of mind from income protection is available for professionals, business owners, business executives, and full-time, part-time or home-based workers. Whether you need to secure your main source of income or to supplement the coverage you receive from your employer or an association, we can help by providing you with a comprehensive and portable plan you can rely on throughout your working years.

There are two major types of disability coverage:

Short term disability (sometimes referred to as Weekly Indemnity)provides an income for the early part of a disability. A policy may pay benefits for two weeks up to two years. Short term disability is often included as part of an employee benefits package.

Long term disability
helps replace income for an extended period of time, usually ending after five years or when the disabled person turns 65. Some people have long term disability insurance provided by their employers; others purchase it individually.

Income Replacement: Your disability plan pays you a regular income each month during your disability. Your basic coverage and premiums are linked to your occupation, income and other sources of insurance.

Non-Cancellable: This means that once the policy is issued, and premiums are up-to-date, the amount of your coverage and premiums are guaranteed for the life of your policy.

Flexible Terms: Depending on your needs and occupation, you can purchase insurance that covers you for one, two or five years, or until you turn 65.

When Are You Considered Disabled?

The definition of disability can vary depending on the policy you have. For example, some plans pay when you are unable to engage in your own occupation while others pay when you are unable to engage in any occupation for which you are reasonably suited based on your training or experience.

It's common to use an own-occupation definition for two years, three years or even longer, with an any-occupation definition thereafter. Many disability plans require that you not be gainfully employed while you are collecting benefits.

Some policies will pay you a portion of your monthly benefit if you have lost a part of your income due to a disability. This is usually referred to as a residual or loss of earnings benefit.

Some policies include a rehabilitation benefit that pays some or all of the cost of a course of occupational rehabilitation approved by the insurer.

Keep in mind that many policies will not cover disabilities caused by suicide attempts, drug abuse, war, or attempts to commit a crime. Pre-existing conditions are also frequently excluded.

Benefits Start Date

Long term disability plans have a waiting period before benefits begin accumulating. The most common waiting period is 90 days. However, you usually can get as low as a 60-day waiting period, as well as 180-, 365- and 730-day waiting periods.

How Long Will Benefits Be Paid?

In most disability income plans, you can elect the maximum time your benefits will be paid. The most frequently offered benefit periods are two years, five years and to age 65.

You normally should plan on replacing at least 60% of your net after-tax pay and preferably 80% if you can afford the additional coverage. Small business owners have special concerns and should consider talking to an expert about overhead expense policies and other special considerations.

To correctly determine the actual amount of coverage you would need if you became disabled, ask yourself how much monthly income would cover your living expenses. Would these expenses go up or down if you became disabled?

These expenses must be carefully considered. Work-related expenses will go down. Medical expenses may increase. Education expenses may increase as you retrain. Some insurance policies may have premium waivers

Outside disability insurance, what are your alternatives?

The following may help you cope financially through a time of disability. However, they may not be enough to allow you to return to a full and active life with your financial security intact.

  • Worker's Compensation - only for industries that are covered and disabilities that are work-related
  • Employer, Union or Association Plans - often group plans which provide short-term and/or long-term disability protection
  • EI Benefits - pays a 15-week benefit if you can't work due to an illness or an accident, provided you've contributed for a specified number of weeks within the past year
  • Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (CPP/QPP) - you might qualify for limited disability benefits under these plans
  • Savings & Assets - you can sell personal property or use your savings to pay bills
Spouse's Income - if you have a spouse, you may be able to rely on that income

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