More than half (55%) of Canadians are concerned about their inability to meet living expenses should they become impacted by a serious illness, according to new research.

Great-West Life’s Critical Illness Insurance report found that 62% of working Canadians said they would have to get into debt, delay retirement or downside their home in order to cope with a critical illness.

Some 57% of respondents said the financial impact of either themselves or their partner suffering a critical illness would be very serious, with 37% saying they are very worried about the financial impact that becoming critically ill would have on their family’s future.

Read: Canadians worried about family finances after death

Yet misconceptions and confusion about critical illness coverage are still an issue, with 58% of respondents saying they have heard of critical illness insurance.

Many working Canadians think that government funding covers hospitalization (74%) and medical treatments (50%) for critical illness.

“Overall, Canadians feel uneasy when considering the impact of a critical illness and have some understanding of the risk, but lack awareness of and preparedness for the financial implications,” said Kelly Swanson, assistant vice president, insurance marketing at Great-West Life.

Read: The new generation of health risk assessments

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