Reasons people need critical illness coverage generally fall into one of three categories:
- medical needs,
- financial obligations, and
- adapting to a new lifestyle.
To truly appreciate why you need coverage, you have to imagine yourself actually suffering from a disease like cancer or MS. Not because medical expenses or meeting financial obligations are difficult to understand but because what you must appreciate is this – a critical illness also changes peoples’ lives forever. And if you have a friend or relative living with a critical illness, you’ll know that’s the truth.
Depending on their illness, the first reasons people need critical illness coverage is to take care of their medical needs. You may have to purchase a wheelchair or scooter. Upgrades may have to done to your home – wheelchair ramps built, a new bedroom or bathroom on the main floor. And then there may be home and daycare expenses to be paid. If a spouse stays home, CI coverage can be used to compensate for their lost time or income.
Most people want to be able to pay off their financial obligations or debt with their CI money. That includes paying off any existing mortgages on your home, credit card debts and car payments. If you have children, establishing an education fund for each one makes sense if you want to assure their opportunities for a higher education.
A critical illness alters the way you view your life and the way you want to live it. This is a time of great emotional stress. When people learn of their critical illness, medical professionals and clergy tell us they suffer a gamut of emotions. Their first reaction is often denial. “There must be some mistake. This can’t be happening to me.” There is questioning. “Why me? I’m a good person.” Then anger. “This is completely unfair!” Some plead or barter with God. Ultimately, there is acceptance.
With acceptance, life can move on. The process of adapting to a new lifestyle begins. You may need cash for a leave of absence or a trip to recover, at least emotionally. Some illnesses may require you to relocate to a new climate. If a high-pressure job caused your first heart attack, it would be insanity to return to it. Consequently, you may need funds to make the transition to a less stressful but lower-paying job. You may even want to go back to school or start your own business. If you’re close to retirement, you might even use your critical illness funds to provide an income for five or ten years until your retirement income commences.