Caring for caregivers

A Quebec City insurance company is launching "compassion insurance," a group insurance product that will cover those who take time off work to care for loved ones who are seriously ill.

In the 1940s, Twentieth Century Fox had Betty Grable's legs insured for US$1 million and in 1993, food critic Egon Ronay had his tastebuds insured for £250,000 ($440,000). Now you can insure your — compassion.

A new group insurance product, known (not surprisingly) as compassion insurance, is being launched by Quebec City's SSQ Financial Group. Under the plan, those who take time off work temporarily to care for a loved one who is seriously ill will receive compensation for lost wages. As the company puts it, "Insureds can be completely devoted to helping their loved ones without putting their own ... health in jeopardy."