February 2, 2016

New research uncovers misconceptions about the financial impact a critical illness can have on the well being of Canadians and their families

London, Ontario, Feb. 2, 2016 . . . New research uncovers a considerable gap between the likelihood of a serious illness and planning for the financial implications such an illness could bring to the average Canadian family.

More than eight million working Canadians are at risk of going into debt, delaying retirement or downsizing their home in order to survive financially if faced with a serious illness.

Though Canadians understand the severe impact a serious illness can have on their lives, few seem to have a well-thought out plan to manage it. This became clear through findings from a recent surveycommissioned by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life to understand what Canadians think about serious illness and the emotional and financial impact it could have on them and their families.

Canadians typically take out insurance to protect themselves from damage to their cars or homes, but less commonly take action to protect their livelihood if they or a loved one suffer a serious illness. Yet 60 per cent of working Canadians are concerned about loss of income, and 55 per cent are concerned about an inability to meet living expenses should they be impacted by a serious 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,” says Kelly Swanson, Assistant Vice President, Insurance Marketing. “Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life undertook this research to understand what Canadians are most concerned about when it comes to serious illness. The survey results are available on CriticalUncovered.ca, our new interactive public website, developed to raise awareness about not only the physical but the financial and emotional implications of a serious illness.”

For survey results or more information, please visit www.CriticalUncovered.ca.

The information contained above has been compiled by Head Research and is based on research conducted by Head Research which was commissioned by The Great-West Life Assurance Company and affiliates.

About Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life offer a broad portfolio of financial and benefit plan solutions, and serve the financial security needs of more than 12 million people across Canada. Together, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are leading providers of individual insurance for Canadians.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Marlene Klassen, APR, Great-West Life
204.946.7705
marlene.klassen@gwl.ca

Jessica Goldberg, Citizen Relations
416.934.8081
Jessica.Goldberg@citizenrelations.com