Sun Life Financial helps Canadians protect savings from long term care costs

Toronto, Ontario – August 30, 2005 – Sun Life Financial announced today the introduction of Sun Long Term Care Insurance, aimed at protecting the assets of Canadians who require care due to accident or deteriorating health.

Caring for loved-ones is increasingly becoming a financial concern for Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, more than one third of caregivers aged 45 to 64 incurred extra expenses as a result of their care-giving duties; 14 per cent had to reduce their hours of work. With the seniors population expected to almost double in the 20 years between 2001 and 2021 according to a Health Canada study, the financial risks of needing or providing care are likely to increase, putting retirement savings at risk. And Canadians are worried. In a 2001 LIMRA survey 68 per cent of Canadians said the cost of long term nursing care was a financial concern, ranking it among the top five. In the same survey, 53 percent of Canadians said caring for aged parents was a financial concern. It is not just the elderly who are likely to need care. Younger adults are also faced with the financial risk associated with requiring care. Statistics Canada figures show that one third of Canadians who received home care in 1998-99 were under age 65.

“Requiring care–whether it’s in retirement years or earlier in life–can have a devastating effect on financial security,” said Diana Deverall-Ross, Vice-President, Individual Health Insurance for Sun Life Financial Canada. “Beyond the financial toll, the entire family is affected, with adults taking on the additional role of caregiver to a parent or spouse, or incurring the cost of in-home or facility care.”

In addition to developing industry-leading products, Sun Life Financial is the only company in Canada that has a dedicated team of Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) Specialists who work directly with clients exclusively on evaluating their long term care insurance needs. Sun LTCI Specialists often come from a healthcare background and provide expertise on various healthcare issues, the range of private and public care options available in their region, and the features and benefits of the company’s Long Term Care Insurance.

“Care options run the range from facility care to 24-hour in-home nursing care. With the vast differences in cost, and the varying levels of government funding available in each province, planning for the cost of long term care is complex,” said Deverall-Ross. “We’ve invested significantly in our Specialist network because we strongly believe in the need for this product, and we recognize that our Sun LTCI Specialists are integral to helping people determine their needs and select the appropriate coverage.”

The LTCI Specialist model has been successful. At the end of 2004, Sun Life Financial held 71% market share of new Canadian sales for long term care insurance, according to LIMRA survey results. In the six years since the original product was introduced, Sun Life Financial has built its distribution channel to 150 Sun LTCI Specialists across Canada and has paid more than $1.5 million in claims.

Sun Life Financial’s Clarica sales force refers clients to the company’s Sun LTCI Specialists, and Sun Life Financial also has a referral agreement in place with Investor’s Group. Sun Life Financial expects to add new referring partners in 2006.

With input from Sun LTCI Specialists and customers alike, Sun Life Financial saw the need to provide greater flexibility and benefit choices for long term care insurance to meet the growing needs of more Canadians. Sun Long Term Care Insurance is the next generation of this product in Canada? an evolution of the product introduced in 1999.

About Sun Long Term Care Insurance

  • Flexibility to design plans with varying lengths of comprehensive income benefit, facility care income benefit, or combination of the two.
  • Available from issue age 21 to 80.
  • Two inflation protection options are available at the time of purchase.
  • Optional 20-year paid-up feature, or for younger ages, to age 55, whichever is later.
  • Claim eligibility for both benefits is the same, and is based on the inability to perform activities of daily living, such as feeding and bathing. The facility care benefit also requires the insured person to be admitted to a qualified facility.

Sun Long Term Care Insurance is issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of wealth accumulation and protection products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2005, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $377 billion.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.