Why you should discuss long-term care costs with clients

Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Co. (a.k.a. Desjardins Insurance) will discontinue new sales of its stand-alone long-term care (LTC) insurance product next year, the company has revealed.

Desjardins will cease new sales of its Independent Living product effective June 15, 2018. The company is working to develop a new “alternative solution” for clients, according to company spokesman Jacques Bouchard.

In the meantime, Desjardins will continue to offer Life with LTC Advance — a hybrid life insurance product that enables policyholders to access a portion of the life insurance policy’s death benefit in the event LTC benefits are required.

In addition, the company said that as of February 2018, the LTC coverage integrated into its critical illness insurance offering will be enhanced.

Desjardins is one of the two largest providers of LTC insurance in Canada along with Toronto-based Sun Life Financial Inc. Desjardins experienced a small decline in sales of stand-alone LTC insurance for the first time in 2016, according to Nathalie Tremblay, living benefits products manager at Desjardins Insurance.

The company’s decision to discontinue sales follows Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp.’s announcement in early November that it would discontinue new sales of LTC insurance effective Nov. 30.

Read: Manulife drops LTC

LTC insurance has failed to gain meaningful traction in Canada, due to factors such as the relatively high cost of premiums, strict underwriting criteria and a lack of awareness. Sales of LTC insurance have also been in decline in the U.S. market.

More to come

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