A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness

Mental health itself is nothing new. However, the ways in which we understand and approach issues related to mental health in society, and in the workplace, are constantly evolving. This is especially visible in the insurance industry, where mental health challenges account for a high percentage of long-term disability (LTD) claims, and are therefore a costly expense for many businesses (1).

Much can be said for the progress made up to this point, by individuals and organizations working together to address challenges to mental health such as social stigma, education, access to support and treatment (2). However, plenty of work remains ahead, perhaps starting with how we think about mental health in the first place – not as something separate and independent from other aspects of our well-being, but as something completely intertwined with, and dependent upon them. In fact, medical, physical, financial, social, and occupational health all factor into mental health. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association:

“Mental health and physical health are fundamentally linked. People living with a serious mental illness are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Co-existing mental and physical conditions can diminish quality of life and lead to longer illness duration and worse health outcomes. This situation also generates economic costs to society due to lost work productivity and increased health service use. (3)” Continue reading “A Case for Holistic and Proactive Employee Wellness”

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A Holistic and Proactive Approach to Your Employees’ Wellness

Our Advisor Community: Nick Hounsell

As a father of three, Nova Scotia Advisor Nick Hounsell, an independent Advisor affiliated with PPI, knows how important it is to encourage kids and provide them with the confidence they need to become strong leaders – leaders who then affect meaningful change within their own communities. Kids are bright, energetic, and full of potential, but sometimes they just need the right tools to help them move forward with strength and determination.

For over 6 years, Nick and his wife Anna have worked with and supported the Catapult Leadership Society. Catapult provides students who have displayed natural leadership skills but are experiencing difficult life circumstances, a chance to reach their full potential through world-class leadership programs, volunteerism and ongoing mentorship and guidance. What started with camp sponsorships turned into hosting a series of singer-songwriter concerts, with all proceeds going directly to support Catapult. Nick believes that all kids should have the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve success. For many kids, the lessons learned, and experiences garnered from their time with the Catapult Leadership Society are transformational, creating a lifetime of impact – because sometimes all that it takes is a helping hand and someone to believe in you.



Catapult Leadership Society Continue reading “Our Advisor Community: Nick Hounsell”

Life vs. Living Benefits Underwriting: Consider the Differences

A look back in time helps demystify insurance underwriting

Life insurance underwriting has been around a long time. Since the first life insurance policy issued in 16th century England, the practices supporting fair and competitive life insurance risk selection have evolved often apace with emerging technologies, but the principles that undergird underwriting remain remarkably unchanged.

Living benefits, via disability and critical illness insurance, are considered relative newcomers to the marketplace. Still, the earliest forms of these coverages have been available for a long time. The second American president, John Adams, signed the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen in 1798 (1). The law required seafarers to put aside twenty cents per month from their wages in order to fund medical care for other sailors who fell sick or became disabled. This group of seamen were so vital to trade and commerce, that the law created a provision for the building of hospitals for sick seamen. This is perhaps one of the earliest examples of what we now consider accident and sickness and disability insurance.

Critical illness is the youngest member of the life and living benefits insurance family. It was the brainchild of South African Dr. Marius Barnard who launched the first version in 1983 under the ominously titled Dread Disease Insurance. The premise was groundbreakingly simple: get diagnosed with a covered illness, survive 30 days and collect the claim payment. Critical illness made its way to our shores a few years later and remains a powerful protection tool that continues to benefit Canadian insurance buyers, often in ways that have been described as life changing and life saving. Continue reading “Life vs. Living Benefits Underwriting: Consider the Differences”

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Life vs. Living Benefits: Consider the Differences

Our Advisor Community: Aubrey DeLima

One of PPI’s core beliefs is in the essential value of Advisors in helping their clients, and in the meaningful work they do within their communities. Aubrey Delima, an independent Advisor affiliated with PPI, is one of those Advisors. For over a decade, Aubrey and her family have worked with Canuck Place, a pediatric palliative care provider for kids in BC, to raise funds. Her mission began after she lost her 9-year old daughter Lauren to congenital heart disease. Lauren taught everyone around her how to truly love and live life to the fullest. Aubrey’s eldest daughter Jenna, also diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, received support from Canuck Place too, and is thankfully now doing well at the age of 22. Our hearts are with the Delima family as they continue to raise funds for this incredible hospice and keep Lauren’s memory alive. A true inspiration.



https://my.canuckplace.org/teamlauren Continue reading “Our Advisor Community: Aubrey DeLima”

SMART TALK…about digital assets

Your client has been fairly savvy about their physical assets – they’ve made detailed lists and secured a representative to handle these assets when they are no longer here. However, have they considered their digital assets? Your client’s bank accounts, their social media and online family photos are valuable and need to be protected.

Watch this video, part of our SMART TALK series, and share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of safeguarding digital assets. Continue reading “SMART TALK…about digital assets”

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SMART TALK…about digital assets

Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

There are so many different options when it comes to insurance, and the stage of life that your clients are in will most certainly determine the types of conversations that you will want to engage in with them. Generally speaking, there are two types of insurance conversations that you will have with your client.

The first conversation will typically take place when your client is in their younger years and revolves around their need for income replacement. Your client’s insurance needs involve a somewhat simple snapshot of current possible risks to their loved ones’ financial situation today. The main focus of this conversation is to illustrate how insurance can help your client’s family maintain the same standard of living in the event of an unexpected occurrence.

That second conversation tends to occur when your client is a little older, a little more financially stable and it’s all about asset protection. In fact, your client will have less of an actual need for something and more of a desire to build wealth and facilitate their estate and tax planning.

But what if you could offer your client both in a single policy – the income protection they need today and the chance to build their assets for the future? We’re constantly encouraged to live in the now, which is great. But when it comes to insurance planning, is “now” the best viewpoint for your client? Term insurance, although a solid option, tends to be short sighted and does not take your client’s long-term needs – their assets, tax and estate planning – into account. As an Advisor, your role is to help them see the big picture, not just the short-term solution with an option to convert to a permanent solution at a later time and at a higher cost. Continue reading “Insurance Solutions for Today and Tomorrow”

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Choosing Insurance that Grows with You

Helping your Business-Owner Clients Thrive in the Pandemic and Beyond

If you have a client who owns their own business, now is the time to talk to them about group employee benefits.

Employees are the very heartbeat of any business and it is in your client’s best interest to make sure their employees are happy and healthful, helping them be healthy, engaged, loyal and productive employees. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, employee care is essential.

Share this video with your client, highlighting the PPI Benefits Thrive benefits plan, which helps them to activate healthy, positive change in the lives of their employees. Continue reading “Helping your Business-Owner Clients Thrive in the Pandemic and Beyond”

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Thrive in a Pandemic: Delivering More Value to your Employees with Group Benefits

Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market

2020 was a volatile year for investment portfolios – and for life in general. While we hope the worst is behind us, we know that market volatility is nothing new. Remember the Y2K tech bubble, the sub-prime crisis of 2007/2008 and the Chinese stock market turbulence in 2015/2016? Each of these events saw index declines as great or greater than what we experienced in Q1 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This sort of market volatility can be extraordinarily distressing for your investor clients, particularly those in or nearing retirement.

Segregated (seg) funds, an investment product (invested in one or more underlying assets,such as mutual funds or ETFs) combined with an insurance contract, can be appropriate for investor clients who are concerned about volatility, market corrections or long-term bear markets, but don’t want to forsake the possibility of higher returns. By offering guarantees of all or a portion of the principal, seg funds protect invested capital while providing upside exposure. If, during the life of a seg fund contract, the value of the underlying assets grow, your client, or in the case of death their beneficiary, will reap the gain. However, if upon maturity, or the death of the contract holder, the market has fallen, losses can be capped or wholly eliminated. And 100% death benefit guarantees are available to your client investors up to the age of 90 (without medical review requirements). It’s no surprise that seg funds experienced increased popularity in 2020. Continue reading “Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market”

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The Best of Both Worlds: Segregated funds in a volatile markets

Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

When we first visited the topic of the novel coronavirus in March 2020, just over 100,000 cases had been reported worldwide. At this time, in late March 2021, the World Health Organization reports well over 120 million cases and regrettably, the loss of nearly 3 million lives. The global pandemic that is COVID-19 has affected 223 countries. In Canada, we are closing in on 1 million cases and almost 24,000 deaths (1). We have already discussed the economic and social devastation wrought by the virus. The good news has been both a new and renewed understanding of containment and mitigation to halt the spread of human-to-human viruses and the unprecedented speed of delivery of what appears to be highly effective vaccines. Mass vaccination should help usher in a new era of normalcy.

But what about our children? How have our kids fared during this time? Let’s look at COVID-19 and its’ impact on the youngest members of our society. First, the most obvious question: can children get COVID-19? Yes. One study out of Europe reports 14% of cases in those aged 0-19 years. Early in the pandemic, household transmission was likely predominant. With return to school, even on a limited basis, inconsistent safe distancing and mask wearing, along with poor ventilation in older school buildings, have contributed to child-to-child transmission rates. This is especially the case with the emergence of the more highly transmissible variants such as B117, now likely to become the dominant variant and increasing the need to accelerate mass vaccination programs (2). Continue reading “Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?”

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Children and COVID-19 – Are the Kids Alright?

The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client

If your clients dabble in the world of investments, they should know about the power of compounding interest on their investment accounts. That is, the money they invest today – let’s say $100 at a 5% annual interest rate – will earn them $105 in one year. Likewise, if they take that $105 and re-invest it yet again at 5% the following year, your client will earn $110.25, and so on, year after year.

Yes, it is a fairly simple concept but one that your clients should be aware of. The key reason for your client to invest is to earn money on that investment. However, when those savings are increased via monthly deposits or PACS (pre-authorized cheques), they can help your client save on an even larger scale. Continue reading “The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client”

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The Power of Compound Interest