Even the young and healthy get sick

Many of us are health conscious. An entire industry has been born out of our desire to eat better, be more physically fit and generally improve our wellbeing. These are all welcomed developments and have contributed immensely to our quality of life, particularly as we age. And yet, even the most balanced lifestyle can’t completely prevent the sudden onset of serious illness.

Taking better care of ourselves is important, but we must still be realistic. According to a recent study by Head Research, 61 per cent of Canadians believe that leading a healthy lifestyle is the main reason they feel their risk of experiencing a serious illness is lower than average.*

Being more frequently engaged in physical activity can bring its own set of risks. Falls and sports-related injuries are some of the most common causes of acquired brain injury.

Known as the “silent epidemic”, acquired brain injury – defined as damage to the brain that occurs because of a traumatic or non-traumatic event – has flown under the radar as a leading cause of disability for Canadians under the age of 35. Acquired brain injury is 44 times more common than spinal cord injuries, 30 times more common than breast cancer, and 400 times more common than HIV/AIDS.

By acknowledging the randomness of life, we can take steps to mitigate risk. Having a serious brain injury could prevent you from working altogether and can cause financial strain. An acquired brain injury can lead to unexpected expenses like specialized medical equipment and home nursing care, which may not be covered by provincial health plans. Fortunately, some critical illness insurance policies cover acquired brain injury, relieving financial stress associated with the recovery process.

Talk to your advisor about whether or not critical illness insurance is right for you. It could add financial stability to your existing healthy lifestyle.

* Source: Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life™ commissioned Head Research to conduct Critical Illness insurance thought leadership research in August 2015.