The moment Mirza Baig first walked out of the viewing for the four-bedroom open concept home he now owns in Markham, Ontario, he turned to his agent and said, "this is it."
According to Baig, the house was his dream come true. It was just the right size for Baig, his wife, and their three kids. It was located on a good-sized lot with a backyard and was situated about a half-block away from a high school and elementary school for his kids.
Baig and his family moved into the house in 2007 after selling their previous property.
At the time Baig's family was living off a single income (his own), but as the kids grew, so did their expenses. To help provide some additional money when needed, they applied for and were approved for the TD Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to help with their bills.
However, Baig was only prepared to do so after making another important decision.
Protecting Canadian families with TD Line of Credit Protection
"I also got creditor insurance immediately," said Baig about applying and being approved for TD Line of Credit Protection.
"At the time, we were living off a single income and I wasn't going to take any chances in not having proper coverage for the family home if we found ourselves in a vulnerable situation like an illness or something else."
After being diagnosed with cancer in May of 2020, Baig said he is glad he had the foresight to get TD Line of Credit Protection. TD Line of Credit Protection can pay off or pay down your outstanding line of credit balance in the event you pass away or are diagnosed with a covered critical illness. And for Baig, this coverage ultimately enabled him to retain ownership of the family dream home in Markham.
"The diagnosis was a shock. Absolutely. When I was able to gain a little normalcy in my thinking and started wondering how we would manage, it was comforting at least to know that the biggest thing in terms of finances on my mind was taken care of," said Baig.
"You never think you'll end up having to deal with bad news like this and initially I was numb and then overwhelmed in every way. After the diagnosis I wasn't sure if I would be healthy enough to continue working to provide for my family which was another worry," said Baig, who works as a cybersecurity professional.
Canadian homes: Their most important asset
In a June 2022 survey by polling company Leger and commissioned by TD, nearly half of Canadians surveyed (1,501 Canadians) said they would take significant action to save their homes after an unexpected event. In the same survey, 31% of the respondents said they would cash-out major investment assets – including a retirement fund or TFSA – to help pay for their home, while 11% said they would sell other high-cost assets such as technology, art, and jewelry.
According to the survey, many Canadians are taking steps to help protect one of their most valuable assets. However, liquidating high value items and investments to make loan payments could be avoided in the event of an unexpected covered health event with the purchase of creditor insurance.
In a separate 2021 survey conducted by The Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII), 65% of respondents said they are more likely to obtain Credit Protection Insurance for a mortgage or Home Equity Line of Credit now, compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend Baig said he greatly encourages.
"The emotional impact of uncertain events like critical illness and the added expenses take a toll on you and your family. With so many uncertainties and the added time I needed to get paperwork together during the pandemic because the hospital was so overwhelmed, having my house and property insured has really given me some peace of mind so I can focus more on my health."
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