CBC in Dential…mortgage insurance

The ShowMortgage insurance: Not always a sure thing
If you have a mortgage on your home, chances are good you also have mortgage insurance. The idea is that if you should become seriously ill or die before paying off the mortgage, the coverage will kick in and pay it off for you. It’s meant to offer peace of mind and to reassure you that your family will be able to stay in your home if anything should happen to you.

The reality falls a little short of that. In this week’s Marketplace investigation, we meet two families who bought the coverage and thought they were protected, only to have their claims denied when they became sick or died. In each case, the insurer said the applicant person had lied on their initial application form.

It turns out a routine test at the doctor could be reason to deny your claim, if you don’t mention it. Had a cuff inflated on your bicep? That counts as being tested for high blood pressure.

As Erica Johnson reports, the bank staffers selling mortgage insurance are unlicenced and rarely trained to explain the details and legalities of those insurance products. The result is people who pay premiums and think they are covered, only to realize later that they are not.

Alberta is the only province in Canada that requires anyone selling credit insurance, including banks, to be licensed.

The mortgage insurance application forms are similar across all the big five banks. In each, there are relatively few health questions, but each question covers a large range of medical conditions, as well as a wide range of situations (ranging from consulting a doctor, to receiving advice, to actual diagnosis.)

So Scotia Bank uses Canada Life,CIBC uses Canada Life as well…BMO Sun Life. Get the picture? Pay more, go through the middle man (banks) poor coverage…ends when you, sell or move your mortgage.