Ottawa, October 15, 2019 — The Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU) welcomed a new program launched by BMO Insurance earlier this week that will support life insureds who have a limited life expectancy and are in financial need.

“CALU applauds BMO Insurance for their leadership with this industry leading program. We have been actively advocating for solutions that support individuals with serious long-term health issues and who are in financial need. This new program is an innovative solution to the bigger problem of people outliving their savings,” said Roger Sinclair, Chair, CALU.

The BMO Insurance Financial Hardship Life Advance is a non-contractual benefit that’s available to individuals who already own a BMO Life permanent life insurance policy. Under this program, BMO Insurance Life will provide clients with a loan against their policy’s death benefit if they are faced with financial hardship and have a limited life expectancy (of five years or less).

“Canadians are sometimes faced with unexpected expenses or medical bills at a very difficult time in their lives,” said Peter McCarthy, President and CEO, BMO Insurance. He added, “Some of our life insurance clients may have very limited sources of cash to draw from and we want to ensure that we are there to provide financial support to those in this position.”

With this program, BMO Insurance can provide its clients with an advance of up to 50 per cent of the death benefit of their policy up to a maximum of $250,000 (payable in annual instalments over 5 years). In addition to the Financial Hardship Life Advance, BMO Insurance’s Compassionate Benefit Program also includes a Terminal Illness Life Advance, a non-contractual policy benefit that provides terminally ill clients (with a life expectancy of 12 months or less) with a lump sum advance of 50 per cent of their policy’s death benefit (up to a maximum of $250,000).

“Many Canadians have the mistaken belief that their long-term care needs will be met through programs and services funded by governments,” said Guy Legault, President and CEO, CALU.

“While government programs aimed at assisting Canadians with long-term care needs currently exist, these programs vary by jurisdiction and at least partly dependent on the income and/or assets of the infirm person. Based on future funding requirements for long-term care, it is anticipated that Canadians will become responsible for an increasing portion of the overall costs, either directly or through increased taxes,” he added. “In this respect, compassionate benefits programs such as those now being offered by BMO Insurance can help offset the costs of care in the final years of life.”

“We will actively engage with others in the insurance industry and with the federal government to ensure that Canadians, particularly seniors, are properly prepared for the potentially significant costs associated with living with chronic disease and long-term care,” Mr. Sinclair concluded.

About CALU

CALU is the only national professional organization dedicated to advanced planning issues related to life underwriting, tax planning and wealth management. CALU’s 665 industry leading members include insurance and financial advisors as well as accounting, tax, legal and actuarial experts. Through a strategic partnership with Advocis we advocate on behalf of more than 13,000 advisors in support of fair and competitive public policies to grow and preserve the financial well-being of Canadian business families.

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