Blog post

An Informed Decision about Protection for a Brain Injury

Mark is a family friend of Douglas, who asked for a review of his life and living benefits insurance protection.

During his review Douglas identifies that Mark has Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits at work. (Douglas calls LTD a “pay cheque replacer”)

While LTD is a foundational product since without an income you have nothing, it is generally not enough to deal with the impacts of a life altering Critical Illness.

Douglas then explains that he always recommends Critical Illness Insurance (CI) as part of an overall insurance portfolio, with the caveat that family budgets must allow for the investment of family funds into this type of insurance.

Because his budget is limited at the time, Mark decides to omit the critical illness insurance,  and instead focuses on  ensuring  he has the right amount of life insurance protection. 

Several months later Mark suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).   Often said to be a “hidden disability”, there can be a range of potential impacts that result from an acquired brain injury, as given below:

Physical effects:

  • movement disorders and paralysis • dizziness and balance problems • epilepsy and seizures • eyesight, hearing, and speech problems • loss of taste and smell • headaches • chronic pain • fatigue and sleep disorders • hormonal changes • sexual changes

Cognitive effects:

  • memory problems • difficulty solving problems • poor concentration and attention • reduced ability to organize and plan • lack of initiative and motivation • lack of insight and awareness, and poor judgement • repetition •mental fatigue

Personality and behavior change:

  • irritability, anger and easily stressed • depression • slowed responses and poor social skills • impulsive behavior and/or a lack of emotional control • disinhibition • self-centeredness

Mental Health:

  • clinical depression • panic attacks

While regrettably for Mark there is no CI Insurance protection in place that provides a lump sum payment,   Mark’s family is relieved that he does have his life insurance in place,   especially since it would be difficult to obtain post TBI. (Luckily, he opted for the “Disability Waiver” on his Life Insurance, so his coverage is continuing without him having to find the money to pay his premiums.)

Unfortunately for Mark, he had also just changed jobs which left him without LTD coverage too; leaving his family to set up a GoFundMe page to help them deal with his medical costs and keep what is now a single income family afloat. (Want to help, reach out to Douglas to get the GoFundMe link.)

Critical Illness is not a replacement for LTD but can go a long way to helping when LTD isn’t available and of course is the most effective when there is LTD as that will keep food on the table while the CI will help deal with the impact of the illness itself.

This is truly a bittersweet story.   Mark regrets the timing of his job change and not having purchased the Critical Illness Insurance,  his wife & family sleep better at night knowing he has the correct life insurance protection in place.

If you’d like to help Mark’s family (we have changed his name but Mark is a real person and this is an accurate depiction of his situation) with family household expenses not covered by their insurance,  you can send Douglas a note at and Douglas will fill you in on how to do that.