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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Insurance has always been a product about the probability factor: something is going to happen to someone else not me.

But the fact is it could happen to you. These are unprecedented and very stressful times. 

And more Canadians may be starting to recognize this. Interest in disability insurance has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a poll from RBC Insurance, with 25 per cent saying buying disability insurance is more important now since the pandemic hit. 

“When confronted with a disability, be it physical or mental in nature, the last thing that should be on your mind is worrying about finances,” Maria Winslow, senior director of life and health at RBC Insurance, said in a release.

“The good news is more Canadians are taking the initiative of protecting themselves from the risk of financial hardship should they have to take time off work because of disability.” 

COVID-19 has many Canadians feeling stressed amid the threat of a second wave, concerns about job security, and ongoing uncertainty regarding a recession. These are extremely challenging times.

While 51 per cent of Canadians see depression and anxiety as a disability, not all have taken time off work, the poll found.

Those who recognize this is an illness and had taken time off in the past were more likely to take time off now (59 per cent) compared to those who haven't taken time off or don't know someone who has (39 per cent), according to RBC.

In the past, Canadians didn't like to talk about their struggles. But today, 77 per cent said they would, compared with 73 per cent polled last year. For those who are still uncomfortable sharing, it often comes down to privacy, fear of being treated differently, and stigma, according to RBC.

Sadly, it took a pandemic for Canadians to recognize the need to protect themselves should an illness of any sort strike. If you haven’t already, tip the odds in your favour by exploring the need for disability insurance even if you never need to use it.

I've said it before and I will say it again: “Insurance of any kind is best if never used and invaluable if you need it.”