According to The Canadian Cancer Society a staggering 40% of all Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime.

I was never good with numbers however it seems to me these days that an alarming number of Canadians are being diagnosed with one form of cancer or the other, and the disease doesn’t appear to discriminate. During the months of October, November and December 2014 our brokerage delivered critical illness insurance claim cheques totaling over $1Million to Canadians who were diagnosed with cancer, and the demographic included clients who were members of the LGBTQ community.

We can speculate and can make predictions based on facts, figures, and trends, but the truth is nobody knows for sure who will develop cancer or any other disease for that matter. One thing I do know for sure, as a professional who also sells life insurance, is that more people are becoming seriously ill than there are people dying. In fact our health care system is so awesome that people are living longer. This is reflected in the fact that critical illness insurance is typically about three times the price of term life insurance; the incidence of cancer is greater than the incidence of death and insurance companies are paying out more per year in critical illness claims than they do in death claims.

I don’t know what percentage of Canadians will develop cancer, but I do know that members of the LGBTQ community do develop cancer and are included in the 40% that the Canadian Cancer Society thinks will develop this disease. The fundamental question you should be asking yourself is “if myself or my partner got diagnosed with cancer, would serious financial stress ensue?” If the answer is yes, then you should seriously consider adding critical illness insurance to your financial fitness program.

Critical Illness insurance pays out a tax free lump sum to you provided you survive 30 days of a diagnosis of cancer, stroke, heart attack (to name a few of the covered conditions). It is insurance that pays you while you are alive, and if you remain healthy and never have a claim (meaning you are not included in the 40%), then you can receive a partial or full refund of your premium depending on the policy you purchased. You can qualify for critical illness insurance even if you have serious medical conditions. Don’t assume that you won’t qualify because you have other medical conditions.

Thinking that you won’t develop cancer, and not being screened for cancer, is the Elephant in the Room. Deflate it today by getting screened by your doctor and make sure you are financially prepared in the event you do fall into the 40%.

About the Author

Karl Marshall is President of (a division of Marmac Financial Services Limited) and specializes in serving the insurance and financial needs of the LGBT Community. On Saturday nights he hosts The Party Mix on G98.7 FM in Toronto. You may reach him at 416-554-0892,, @insurance4lgbt on Twitter or on Facebook.