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Personal Insurance > Health Insurance > Critical Illness Insurance

Critical Illness Insurance

The coverage you need to help protect your lifestyle and recover from a serious illness or condition

Facing a critical illness can be one of the most difficult challenges in life. There is so much to consider—making decisions about your care, remaining financially stable, meeting your family’s day-to-day needs, coping with the emotional stress and more. Critical illness insurance from RBC Insurance® is designed to help you when you need it most.

You are on: Overview

Why do you need critical illness insurance?

While healthy lifestyle choices can be your best defence against some health risks, a critical illness such as cancer, stroke or heart disease can strike anyone at any time. Consider the following:

  • One in three Canadians will develop a life-threatening cancer(1).
  • One in two heart attack victims are under 65 years old(2).
  • Each year, 50,000 Canadians suffer a stroke. Of all stroke victims, 75% will be left with a disability(2).

Expenses such as private nursing or modifications to your home or vehicle to improve your mobility won't be covered under your provincial health insurance plan and may not be covered under typical employer-sponsored health plans. Then there are the other challenges that critical illnesses bring—such as finding the best medical care, meeting day-to-day needs (like caring for your children), and managing the stress and anxiety.

Critical illness insurance from RBC Insurance provides a lump-sum benefit to help support you financially, if you are diagnosed with and survive a covered critical illness. You can use this benefit payment to supplement your health insurance plan and any group disability coverage you may have:

  • Reduce your financial burden: Pay off or reduce your mortgage, credit cards or other debts. Help keep your business running.
  • Maintain your independence: Modify your home or vehicle to improve your mobility. Hire domestic help during your recovery. Fund a leave of absence for yourself or your spouse.
  • Access cutting-edge medical services: In Canada, pay for medications and treatment not covered by provincial health plans. Outside Canada, pay for treatment that may not be available at home, in addition to your family’s travel and lodging expenses.
  • Assist in your recovery any way you choose: Spend more time with your family or use the benefit in other ways that can help you focus on getting well.

What's more, with critical illness insurance from RBC Insurance, you may not have to go into debt or withdraw money from your retirement savings to remain financially stable and independent during your recovery.

How much critical illness insurance do you need?

Going beyond financial assistance

Our critical illness insurance does more than provide a claim cheque. In addition to a lump-sum payment, it provides valuable assistance services to help you and your family cope with a critical illness. Our plans include:

  • Best Doctors services, which offers you access to health care resources, specialists and world renowned experts who will review your medical records to confirm your diagnosis.
  • A daily living assistance benefit, which provides unlimited access to a care coach who will help you manage day-to-day activities
  • "Healing the Whole Person" kits, which can help you deal with the fear and anxiety associated with being diagnosed with a critical illness and help address the needs of the mind, body and spirit

Explore your plan choices:

You are on: Plan Choices

You are on: Critical Illness Recovery Plan™ Policy

Coverage for a wide range of illnesses and conditions

Our Critical Illness Recovery Plan™ policy is available to individuals between the ages of 18 and 65.

This plan provides a lump-sum benefit amount between $25,000 and $2 million and valuable assistance services to help you and your family cope with the financial and non-financial challenges of more than twenty serious illnesses or conditions(3).

You are on: Critical Illness Insurance Plan

Affordable coverage for the three most common critical illnesses

Our Critical Illness Insurance Plan is available to individuals between the ages of 18 and 50.

This cost-effective plan provides a lump-sum benefit amount between $10,000 and $75,000 and valuable assistance services to help you and your family cope with the financial and non-financial challenges of the three most common critical illnesses(3):

  • Cancer(4)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

For higher benefit amounts or coverage for more illnesses, please see our Critical Illness Recovery Plan Policy.

You are on: FAQs

Questions and Answers about Critical Illness Insurance

Below are answers to the most common questions asked about our critical illness insurance plans. Don't see your question? Call 1-866-262-7920 to talk with an RBC Insurance® advisor.

Applying for Coverage

Expand How do I apply for coverage?


Expand Who is eligible to apply for coverage?

Expand Are any medical questions or exams required to apply?

Coverage Details

Expand How does critical illness insurance work?

Expand Which critical illnesses and conditions are covered?

Expand What is the survival period?

Expand Does time spent on life support count toward the survival period?

Expand What happens if I die within the survival period?

Expand What is the difference between the survival period and the 90-day waiting period for cancer?

Expand If I'm diagnosed with cancer during the 90-day waiting period, would coverage remain in force?

Expand What happens if I become disabled?

Expand What happens if I suffer a critical illness outside of Canada?

Expand Will I still be covered if I move away from Canada?

Expand Does my critical illness benefit get smaller if I receive a payment under the Early Assistance benefit?


Expand How long will I pay premiums?

Expand Will my premiums ever increase?

Expand What's the difference between a non-cancellable plan and a guaranteed renewable plan?


Expand How do I file a claim?


Take the Next Step – Contact Us Today

Learn more about the coverage you and your family would need to help cope with a critical illness. Call today and let us customize the critical illness insurance plan that is right for you.


1) Canadian Cancer Society,

2) Heart and Stroke Foundation,

3) Benefit is paid when you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, as defined in the policy, and satisfy the survival period, as defined in the policy.

4) Cancer is defined as a definite diagnosis of a tumour, which must be characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells and the invasion of tissue. Types of Cancer include carcinoma, melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, and sarcoma. The diagnosis of Cancer must be made by a specialist. The following forms of cancer are excluded: Lesions described as benign, pre-malignant, uncertain, borderline, non-invasive, carcinoma in-situ (Tis) or tumours classified as Ta; Malignant melanoma skin cancer that is less than or equal to 1.0 mm in thickness, unless it is ulcerated or is accompanied by lymph node or distant metastasis; Any non-melanoma skin cancer, without lymph node or distant metastasis; Prostate cancer classified as T1a or T1b, without lymph node or distant metastasis; Papillary thyroid cancer or follicular thyroid cancer, or both, that is less than or equal to 2.0 cm in greatest diameter and classified as T1, without lymph node or distant metastasis; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia classified less than Rai stage 1; or Malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) and malignant carcinoid tumours, classified less than AJCC Stage 2.

5) Applicants with certain skin cancers other than melanoma or certain early state cancers may be eligible for coverage. In addition, some forms of testicular cancer may be considered for coverage five years after successful completion of treatment.

6) If colon polyps are present, coverage is not available. If colon polyps have been removed and a biopsy performed, coverage may be available depending on the medical details.

BEST DOCTORS and other trademarks shown are trademarks of Best Doctors, Inc. Used under license.


Contact Us

Talk to a licensed RBC Insurance® advisor about critical illness insurance today: