Don’t Chance It: Canadians Not Prepared For Illness or Serious Injury

Almost half would have to adjust their retirement goals to make ends meet: RBC Insurance Poll

TORONTO, September 10, 2008 – Many Canadians would need to delay retirement or dip into their nest egg in the event of a serious injury or illness, according to an RBC Insurance/Ipsos-Reid Survey.

The poll found 3-in-10 Canadians have no personally purchased disability insurance and of these, more than half (51%) say they would have to work longer in the event of a serious injury, while 45% would use their retirement savings to pay the bills.

“It’s surprising that so many Canadians are unprepared to deal with a serious illness that would require time off work,” said John Young, president and CEO, RBC Life Insurance Company. “Failing to prepare for an illness or injury can put a serious dent in your financial future and may lead to difficult lifestyle changes.”

In addition to dipping into retirement savings and working longer, one-in-five indicated they would rely on family members for money. In fact, over three quarters (76 per cent) agreed they would have to change their lifestyle and live more conservatively if they were hurt or became ill and unable to work.

With Statistics Canada reporting that 14.3 per cent of Canadians living in households have a disability, preparation makes good sense. “A disability can impact prime wage earning years,” added Young. “A comprehensive disability insurance plan can provide benefits to help you manage expenses in the absence of a working income due to your illness or injury.”

The RBC Insurance survey found that over one-third (38 per cent) of Canadians, without personally purchased disability insurance, don’t feel that they would have sufficient money to replace their total income if they were hurt or ill and unable to work.

Many Canadians also assume they are covered through government-sponsored or employment-based disability insurance programs. These types of plans may limit the amount of benefits and can leave you without coverage if you leave your employer or change jobs.

For information about life, disability, critical illness, and long-term care insurance, visit, or a local RBC Insurance branch, or call 1-800-991-0707.

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Life Insurance Company, provides a wide range of life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products as well as creditor services to more than five million North American clients. As a leading provider of individual living benefits and life insurance products in Canada, RBC Life Insurance Company offers a comprehensive portfolio of individual and group life and health insurance solutions, including term and universal life insurance, group benefits, disability, critical illness, and long term care insurance as well as segregated funds. These products are distributed through more than 17,000 independent brokers affiliated with producer groups, financial planning firms and stock brokerage firms, as well as through direct sales and a network of career sales representatives. For more information, please visit

About this survey

These are the findings of an RBC Insurance/Ipsos Reid survey conducted through Ipsos Reid’s telephone omnibus, August 28 to August 30 and September 6 to September 9, 2007. The poll was based on a randomly selected sample of 2,002 adult Canadians who were interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within �2.19 percentage points, 95 times out of 100, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.