Protection can be critical – Sun Life Financial introduces enhancements to Critical Illness Insurance

Includes first-in-Canada coverage for Acquired Brain Injury and ground-breaking long-term care conversion option

TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2009 – For Canadians who want to protect their savings from the financial impact of a serious illness, Sun Life Financial has taken a leadership role with innovative enhancements to its Critical Illness Insurance product that are unique to the industry.

Canadian first – Acquired Brain Injury covered by Critical Illness Insurance

  • Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is damage to the brain that occurs after birth by traumatic injury, anoxia (absence of oxygen), or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Known as the “invisible disability” it can result in prolonged or permanent impairments such as short-term memory loss.
  • Sun Life has researched this illness for more than a year, and covering this illness is an important advancement in the protection provided by Critical Illness Insurance.
  • Working with its medical team and partners who have experience with ABI plans in the UK, Sun Life developed a policy definition and insurance coverage guidelines for this illness.

Ground-breaking long-term care conversion option

  • The long-term care conversion option allows customers who have Critical Illness Insurance to convert this coverage to Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI). Their future insurability for Long-Term Care Insurance is protected and guaranteed, regardless of their health.
  • The Long-Term Care policy also offers an unlimited benefit period, which means lengthy claims are covered.
  • If the Critical Illness Insurance policy includes the return of premium on cancellation option, customers can receive the amount they have paid in Critical Illness Insurance premiums when they convert to the Long-Term Care product.

“Today’s markets have caused Canadians to think about their savings in a new light, and finding ways to protect the money they’ve worked so hard to save is higher on the list than ever before,” said Kevin Strain, Senior Vice-President, Individual Insurance and Investments, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Protection from volatile markets is a high priority, but a serious illness can have an impact on your finances and Critical Illness Insurance is another way to provide increased financial security.”

Additional product enhancements include:

  • Loss of independent existence – an inability to care for oneself either physically or as a result of cognitive decline – has been added as an optional benefit. This is to protect against events not included in covered illnesses, but that prevent someone from carrying out the routine activities of daily living.
  • Sun Life offers the most comprehensive stand-alone policy available for children, with the minimum issue age lowered to 30 days old. This unique plan “grows” with the child, with automatic loss of independent existence and Acquired Brain Injury coverage at age 18, and automatic return of premium beginning as early as age 25.

According to Sun Life Financial’s Canadian Unretirement Index, nearly two-thirds of working Canadians between the ages of 30 and 65 are not very confident they will be able to take care of their medical expenses during retirement. With Critical Illness Insurance, customers achieve a greater sense of financial security knowing the extra costs associated with the life changing experience of suffering a critical illness are covered. Different levels of coverage are available, from four basic illnesses – cancer, heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery bypass surgery – to coverage for 22 or 24 illnesses. For more information on Critical Illness Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance and other protection, retirement and investment solutions, visit

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation 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, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2008, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of CDN$389 billion.

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