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Domenic Ravenna

Insurance Broker

Do I need life insurance?


What would happen if you died prematurely?  Odds are your dependants or significant other would be in financial ruin.  When insured, you can avoid potential financial disaster for your loved ones and sleep better at night.

What life insurance product is right for me?

There are two to choose from either term or permanent insurance.  Term insurance provides coverage for a specific period of time and premiums are guaranteed for the term of the contract.  Many carriers provide a convertibility option from term to permanent insurance without evidence of insurability or in other words a medical.  Permanent insurance provides coverage for a lifetime and premiums are guaranteed for the duration of the contract so long as the policy owner continues to keep it in force. 

What is the difference between whole and universal life insurance?

Whole life insurance is permanent life insurance.  The premiums or cost of insurance can be spread out over your lifetime or for a specific period of time or to a specific age.  A portion of your premium pays for the cost of insurance with the remaining portion creating a policy or cash reserve.  This reserve can be taken as cash for surrender of the policy or non-forfeiture option, i.e. automatic premium loan (APL), extended term insurance (ETI), reduced paid-up insurance (RPU) or a policy loan.

Universal life insurance is also permanent life insurance.  However, it is a unique combination of insurance and investment that offers flexibility unlike any other type of insurance.  There are three separate parts to a universal policy, insurance, investment and expenses.  The separation of these features is called unbundling and is unique to universal life.  The investments within this product grow on a tax deferred basis. 


Do I need disability insurance?


Disability insurance is also referred to as “paycheck” insurance.  Your greatest asset in life is your ability to earn an income and enjoy the lifestyle you’ve earned and deserve.  If you became seriously ill or disabled your income would be negatively impacted.  This type of insurance will provide a steady stream of income when you need it most.  


What is critical illness insurance?


Critical illness insurance provides a lump-sum tax free benefit should you become afflicted with a critical illness as defined in your policy.  The funds can be used to pay down your expenses or take a dream vacation, this benefit can be used however you choose.


Can I buy independent health insurance?

Yes you can.  Each carrier offers their own unique combination of coverage's such as dental, prescription drug, physiotherapy, homeopath and much more. 


What is long term care?

Most of us hope to live to a ripe old age.  The question remains, who will look after you if you can no longer function independently in life?  Will you be able to pay for a live in nurse?  Will your children or significant other take care of you?  Can you afford to pay for a nursing home?  Should you be unable to perform two of the five activities of daily living (called ADL’s) bathing, eating, dressing, toileting or transferring of the body or develop a cognitive impairment (inability to think, perceive, reason or remember) long term care insurance will provide a weekly or monthly benefit that will help pay for the attention you need.


Do I need travel insurance?


If you’re planning on leaving the country or province on business or vacation, there’s a good chance you’ll need travel insurance.  Travel insurance will provide peace of mind while away from home in the event of a medical emergency.  Don’t leave home without it!


What about group insurance?

Group insurance is provided to employers, professionals, associations, unions and alumni groups.  Group insurance has lower premiums for the same amount of coverage provided on an individual policy since the risk is shared among the group members.  Group plans can be customized based on client need.


What is a segregated fund?

Segregated funds have many similarities with mutual funds however a segregated fund is an insurance contract governed by the Uniform Life Insurance Act while mutual funds are governed by provincial securities laws.  Only segregated funds offer a maturity and death benefit guarantee, bypass of probate, creditor protection, bankruptcy protection, the reset feature and favourable tax treatment.  


What are the benefits of having an independent insurance policy vs the one offered simultaneously with my mortgage?

There are several benefits to having a standalone insurance policy.  Such as, you get to pick the beneficiary, you own the policy, premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for the life of the contract, coverage amount remains intact even as you pay down your mortgage, your policy will remain in force should you decide to switch lenders and comfort, as your policy is underwritten upfront. 


I’ve got some health issues and I’m afraid I won’t be approved for insurance

I understand your concerns, however you may still have options available to you.  As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.