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Disability Insurance 101

What is disability insurance?

A disability - whether it’s sudden or because of a degenerative condition-can rob you of your ability to earn a living. Disability insurance is a type of coverage that gives you protection against the chance of losing income if you become disabled and you are not able to pay your expenses.

Why should you purchase disability insurance?

Most people recognize the need for life insurance, but many do not understand the need for disability insurance. The fact is, when you are disabled because of an illness or injury, your income stops - but your bills don’t.

Did you know that:

1 in 3 people, on average, will be disabled for 90 days or more at least once before they reach age 65? A disability can last for months or even years? And 95% of disabling accidents and illness are not work related, so Workers Compensation does not cover them.

Consider these situations:

  • A person spends months recuperating from a car accident.
  • A carpenter breaks an arm while skiing and can’t work for eight weeks.
  • An overworked doctor must “take it easy” after a heart attack.
  • Chemotherapy saps the energy of a busy store manager.
  • A stroke affects a computer programmer’s ability to reason with numbers.
  • An individual has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder following a traumatic event. 
  • YOU ARE OUT ENJOYING YOUR SEA TO SKY LIFESTYLE AND YOU FALL OFF YOUR BIKE, OR A CLIFF, OR A MOUNTAIN, OR A PADDLE BOARD, OR...YOU GET THE PICTURE ;) 

If you’re like most Canadians, your savings would not maintain your standard of living for very long. And even though the federal government provides disability benefits through the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), the average payment is just under $800.00 a month. That’s probably not enough to live on, especially if you have dependents. Consequently, an illness or injury could cause a catastrophic financial impact on your life, in addition to the emotional and physical effects you may suffer.

The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offers a Long Term Disability (LTD) benefit that provides 24 hour coverage for you and your employees. An income is paid to employees who face lengthy absences from work due to an injury or illness.

Enjoy every second of your Sea to Sky Lifestyle with peace of mind.

Call us to talk about your disability coverage. 

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Best Doctors has an App for iPhone and Androids!

When you or someone you love is faced with illness or injury, you want to have access to the very best medical expertise available.

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I didn’t have to worry about a thing with Best Doctors.
— Plan Member

When faced with a health issue, whether it is a chronic condition or a serious diagnosis, having access to medical guidance and information from healthcare experts can provide a sense of reassurance.

Best Doctors provides Plan participants with the support and assistance they need to make informed decisions about their health care when it matters most.

With the mobile app from Best Doctors, you can initiate a case right from your mobile device at any time – day or night. You’ll be connected to an online case submission form. Simply answer a few questions and they’ll take care of the rest.  A Member Services Representative will quickly contact you so you can get the help you need to make a more informed medical decision.

Chamber Plan members who wish to reach Best Doctors by voice call or who experience difficulty with the app can also call 866-904-0910.

Download this free app to your device.

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Have you ever felt unsure about a diagnosis?

Have you ever felt unsure about a diagnosis? Or maybe you’ve left your doctor’s office with unanswered questions after your time is up? Or perhaps you’ve wanted a second opinion on a treatment plan?

The Chamber Plans Best Doctors benefit can help you with all of these scenarios and more, even if you’re on a leave of absence, such as sick leave or parental leave. As long as you continue to be covered under your employee bene ts or insurance plan, you still have access to Best Doctors services.

You can take advantage of 'Best Doctors' services no matter where you are—all you need to do is contact Best Doctors online or by phone. With access to the top medical specialists around the world, Best Doctors can help you resolve any medical uncertainties and empower you to make the best decisions regarding your health care.

  • Gain confidence: With Best Doctors’ InterConsultation service, you receive an Expert Second Opinion of your medical condition, providing you with greater certainty about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Best Doctors’ medical specialists will analyze your medical records, and you’ll receive the expert’s findings in a detailed, but easy-to-understand report.

  • Find the right doctor: The FindBestDoc service can help you locate a specialist within your geographic area, and the FindBestCare service can help if you are seeking a specialist outside of Canada. We will search our database of over 53,000 global, peer-nominated medical experts to nd the specialist right for you.

  • Navigate the health care system: Best Doctors 360° provides you with the right resources and tools to help you understand your medical condition, no matter how complex. The service also o ers advice and wellness support, such as assistance locating support groups for diabetes or nding care and residency for elderly parents.

  • Get answers to all your questions: Often a 15-minute visit with your doctor isn’t enough time to get all your questions answered, but Best Doctors’ Ask the Expert service can ll in any gaps. A leading medical expert who specializes in your condition will answer all your questions, providing you with the information and peace of mind you need.

    Whether you want to ensure you have the right diagnosis, are trying to locate a specialist in your area, need help navigating the health care system or have unanswered questions about your medical condition or treatment plan, Best Doctors can help.

    1-877-419-2378 | customer.ca@bestdoctors.com 

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What would your family do if you became seriously ill and were unable to work?

These circumstances would be stressful for anyone; the last thing you want to deal with is financial strain at the same time.

Critical illness insurance can help cover the expenses necessary to survive a major illness or injury. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that in the event of a life-threatening illness, you and your family will be able to help pay your medical costs, basic living expenses, or whatever you choose to use the money for.

With Chambers Plan Critical Illness insurance, no medical underwriting is required, and the insured receives a lump sum payment of up to $30,000 following the diagnosis of these 25 covered medical conditions: 

  • Kidney Failure
  • Loss of Independent Existence
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Loss of Speech
  • Major Organ Failure
    (on Waiting List)
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Occupational HIV
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's
  • Aortic Surgery
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Benign Brain Tumour
  • Blindness
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • Coronary Bypass
  • Deafness
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Valve Replacement

Critical Illness insurance benefits are paid in addition to other coverage in your employee benefit plan, and unlike disability insurance, benefits are paid regardless of your income or your ability to work.  

Let's talk today to get the coverage you, your family, your employees and their families need.

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Living with a critical illness

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A critical illness can strike at any time, and it can happen to anyone, regardless of their age or gender. Although the incidence of cancer, heart disease, and stroke are rising in Canada, the odds of surviving a critical illness are better than ever thanks to medical advances.

 

But surviving a health crisis can often involve a number of financial challenges that you were unprepared for. Long Term Disability payments can help replace lost wages, but not additional costs associated with surviving a critical illness. Expenses like time off work, travel to and from treatments, home modifications or assistance at home are now added on top of your normal living expenses. That’s where Critical Illness (CI) coverage comes in.

CI insurance is designed to ease the financial pressures associated with a life-threatening illness by paying a tax-free lump sum if you become seriously ill. As a result, you can devote 100% of your energy to recovery, without worrying about how your illness has affected you financially. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance CI benefit can pay a lump sum of up to $50,000 for employees or spouses facing an initial diagnosis of one of twenty-five serious conditions including cancer, heart attack, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, major burns, coma, speech loss, coronary bypass, stroke, kidney failure, paralysis, blindness and deafness. There are no restrictions for the money – it can be used however the member wishes.

Living with a critical illness can be a physically, emotionally, and financially trying period.

The Chambers Plan Critical Illness benefit offers you simple, affordable protection, allowing you to concentrate on healing without worrying about your family, your business and your finances.

Let's talk and review your benefit plan, and make sure that it’s offering the protection that you need.

 

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Running a business isn't as easy as it looks!

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The Chamber Plan Business Assistance Services (BAS) Provides Owners the Resources to Help Manage their Business More Efficiently

 

Most small businesses can’t afford to have a team of specialists on hand to help deal with unexpected problems that require an expert opinion. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® Business Assistance Service (BAS) is designed to fill this gap.

This confidential service provides access to professional accounting, counselling, legal and human resource experts who understand the challenges small business owners face. 

The Chambers Plan BAS provides up to 9 hours of Legal, Accounting and Specialized Human Resource services combined, per calendar year.

The is a free service built into each Chamber Plan program and there are no out-of-pocket expenses, or claim forms, when accessing these services.

The BAS services include:

  • Accounting Advice – When the numbers don’t add up, advice from a professional enables owners and managers to strengthen management and control functions through expert counsel.
  • Legal Advice – When faced with a legal dilemma, this service provides practical and current interpretations of company, partnership, taxation and insolvency law, plus all relevant aspects of common and civil law.
  • Specialized Human Resource Services – When facing a technical human resource issue, from termination processes and overtime pay to legislative/labour law concerns, this service provides you answers confidentially, via telephone.

One-on-one consultation is often financially out of reach for many businesses, however through the Chambers Plan BAS, firms have access to expert advisors able to help their business grow.

and Access is simple

The Chambers Plan has retained Arete® Human Resources Inc. as the independent service provider of the Business Assistance Service.

Arete® manages a national network of professionals, ready to assist you and your employees, and a toll-free call will put you in touch with a trained specialist that will identify how best to help you.

Just call 1-877-922-8646 with your Firm and Certificate Number.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR CHAMBER BENEFITS TODAY!

 

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Dealing with debt after death

If you do have a substantial amount of debt that your spouse and family may end up being held accountable for, you should have a plan in place to pay for that. Your best bet is an insurance policy.

 

This insightful article from MoneyWise explains the types of debt we all carry and what happens to these debts if something unexpected were to happen us. It also compares Mortgage Insurance to Life Insurance and explains why Life Insurance is the best choice. Online source: https://www.ratesupermarket.ca/blog/what-happens-to-debt-after-death/


What happens to debt after death?

As the saying goes, the only sure things in life are death and taxes. And, unfortunately, the former won’t allow you to escape the latter. If you’re self-employed, for example, and die still owing outstanding installment payments, the Canada Revenue Agency will come to collect from your estate if your family doesn’t take care of it first. But what happens to your other debts, like your mortgage and credit cards, when you die? Here’s an overview.

Note that various credit card companies and lending institutions may have unique policies in place so you should consult with your specific debt-holders to verify details. The best advice for planning for your eventual death – yes, we’ll all die sooner or (hopefully) later – is to have a legally registered will. Dying without a will can be a costly hassle for your surviving family members to sort out. See also “Protect Your Family” below for information on insurance policies.

Credit Card Debt

First, the good news: any debt you have on credit cards solely in your name will typically be written off as a loss by the lending company should you die. They’re considered unsecured creditors and would be at the back of the line of debt-holders trying to collect from your estate.

If, on the other hand, your credit cards are joint accounts with your partner or spouse, he or she will be responsible for continuing to make any payments owed. (After your death, one of the many things on your survivor’s to-do list will be updating any accounts to take your name off them to eliminate the risk of fraudulent activity being carried out in your name.)

Mortgage and Car Loan Debt

Mortgages and car loans, however, are considered secured loans and the lenders will come after your estate to ensure they’re paid in full. Odds are, these larger purchases were co-signed by you and your spouse anyway so the surviving person can continue to make the payments as before. But if they wouldn’t be able to do so without your income, you need to read the next section.

Protect Your Family

If you do have a substantial amount of debt that your spouse and family may end up being held accountable for, you should have a plan in place to pay for that. Your best bet is an insurance policy.

What You Might Not Know About Mortgage Insurance

Whenever you sign up for a mortgage, you’ll be offered a "mortgage insurance" policy. Decline it. Mortgage brokers like these policies because they pocket an extra commission, and they do make it sound enticing to have your mortgage instantly wiped out should one partner die. The catch is that while the payments may be fixed, the actual value of the payout declines as you pay off your mortgage. In other words, year after year you’re making the same payment for a continually decreasing amount of money should you need to collect the insurance.

Life Insurance is the Better Option

You’re better off with a standard term life insurance policy. The payout is non-taxable and your surviving spouse is free to use it however they see fit. They could, for example, use the funds to pay off any high-interest debts, and set aside a nest egg to cover the mortgage payments and other ongoing expenses while they adjust to their new life.

Likewise, credit card companies offer insurance plans tied to their cards that cover you in the event death, illness, or unemployment make it difficult for you or your partner to make your payments. Again, this probably isn’t the best path to take. The rates are based on your outstanding balance and if you’re already having a hard time keeping up with your payments, this is just another way to keep the debt spiral swirling. You’re better off contacting an insurance broker about a disability insurance plan that covers all your living expenses – not just a single credit card bill.

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Protect the ones you love

Life insurance proceeds help ensure your family members are provided for, and can achieve their long-term goals, even if you’re not there to support them. 

If the unexpected does happen, your family can use the proceeds to: 

  • Cover funeral costs
  • Pay off large debts, like a mortgage or line of credit
  • Replace your income for at least a few years
  • Continue plans you’ve made for the future, such as an education fund for the kids

Another valuable feature of life insurance is that the benefit paid to your beneficiary is almost always tax free. 

What is Life Insurance?

The concept of insurance goes back to the days of the Romans, but it wasn’t formalized until the 18th century. Essentially, it’s a means of spreading financial risk among a large number of people who pay into a fund or pool. In this way, the cost is minimized for those who suffer an unexpected misfortune. 

Life insurance is a way to protect your survivors and dependents against financial hardship. A life insurance contract or policy is a legal agreement between you and an insurance company that guarantees payment of the face value of the policy, upon death. 

Questions to ask yourself if you want to leave your family well:

  • If you are in a personal partnership (usually marriage), how much do you contribute to the family income? If you were to die prematurely, how would your survivor(s) get by, especially dependent children? 
  • Does anyone else depend on you financially, such as a parent, grandparent, brother or sister? 
  • If you are a single parent, what level of support payments are you making or getting? How would these be kept up in the event of the contributor’s death? 
  • If you have a mortgage on your home, do you want it paid off in the event of your death? 
  • If you have children, do you want to put aside money to complete their education in the event of your death? 
  • Are there any other family members or organizations to whom you would like to leave money? 
  • Could life insurance play a role in business or farm succession plans? 

How do you figure out how much life insurance you need?

A ballpark measure sometimes used is between five and seven times current net income. But to work out the specifics of your own situation, you’ll want a financial needs analysis. It gives you a picture of the capital your survivors need when you die. It looks at assets that would be available to them, liabilities they would have to deal with, and continuing family needs for income. 

Have more questions?

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc has created this online helpful step-by-step guide that covers everything you need to know about life insurance. 

And, Scully Insurance has trusted advisors that can analyse your family's needs and work with you to build a plan to protect them if something were to happen to you.

 

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LIVE your dream lifestyle!

This video will help with RESOLUTION #4

An incredible reminder of why we LIVE in Sea to Sky Country and the endless lifestyle opportunities that are at our doorstep.

See you out there!!!

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To save the world, heroes need to take care of themselves too!

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Self Care through Energy Management

As a business owner and/or a parent, taking care of everyone and everything before yourself can become first nature. But with your business and loved ones depending on YOU, you are the one that needs to come first. Maintaining your health and energy is the foundation of the lifestyle you've created.  It may feel counter productive, but self care should be on the top of your daily/weekly/annual to do list. Here's a great tips sheet from Counsellor Marion Balla on how to Self Care through Energy Management 

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