Beginners Guide: Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Welcome to our guide to all that you need to know about life insurance in Canada

30 Minute read

Originally published: November 30, 2022

Beginners guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Beginners Guide: Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Welcome to our guide to all that you need to know about life insurance in Canada

30 Minute read

Originally published: November 30, 2022

Beginners guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Welcome to our Beginners Guide to buying life insurance in Canada! This guide will teach you all you need to know about buying life insurance in Canada. We have tons of information for you to understand what buying life insurance entails! Remember that we can provide you insurance no matter what, this includes if you are a smoker, what your medical condition is, your credit, if you have a criminal record or anything else. There are life insurance policies out there for every lifestyle and for everyone in Canada! We will be covering topics such as the types of life insurance, if life insurance is worth it, the costs of life insurance, if you can get life insurance with medical conditions, and much more. Take a look at our blog and get educated on all you need to know about buying life insurance in Canada. 

What is life insurance? 

Starting up our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada let’s find out what life insurance is. To be exact, life insurance is a contract formed by a client (policy owner) and an insurance company which offers the client’s beneficiaries a lump-sum payout of a predetermined amount when the insured passes away. The policy owner will have to make monthly or yearly payments to the life insurance company for the term of the life insurance contract, or for life in order to keep the contract valid. 

Now let’s simplify that, basically if you apply for life insurance with a life insurance company, they will create a contract with you that offers your beneficiaries a pay out when you die. In order to keep that contract valid and to get that pay out when you die, you will have to pay a determined amount every month or year to the life insurance company. 

What are my life insurance options? 

Three forms of life insurance are available when searching for coverage: fully underwritten, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue. Each has advantages and disadvantages and is created for various uses and requirements. While guaranteed issues are normally only available in a permanent life insurance form, fully underwritten and simplified issues are available in both  term life insurance and permanent life insurance. See the table below for a great comparison between the three main types of life insurance policies.

difference of guaranteed, simplified, and fully underwritten policies
  • Fully underwritten life insurance:

    • Your complete medical history is disclosed
    • It is likely a nurse or other medical professional will visit you; or an attending physician’s statement (APS) will be required
    • Has the longest approval process taking several days or weeks to get the policy approved 
    • There is no limit on the coverage amount
  • Simplified issue life insurance:

    • No medical exam, only medical-related inquiries, note that each company differ in the questions they will ask you  
    • No nurse or doctor visit
    • Normal approval process times ranging from a few hours to a few days
    • The level of coverage varies by company, age, and medical history. Usually companies can provide up to $1M in coverage
  • No-medical/Guaranteed Issue life insurance:

    • No medical exam or medical questions asked 
    • No nurse or doctor visit
    • Very quick approval process, normally takes a few hours to a few days
    • Offers the least amount of coverage, limited by your age and each company, maximum coverage usually ranges between $25,000 and $50,000.

What types of life insurance are there?

The types of life insurance that are available to all Canadians are as follows:

It is definitely worth it to take a look at all the different types of life insurance because they each all have unique features and advantages. Continuing on with our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada – first, let’s learn about what term life insurance is and then we can take a look at permanent life insurance, ending with simplified life insurance policies.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance covers you for a predetermined period of time. Term life insurance policies have terms ranging from 5 to 40 years. The beneficiaries of these policies receive a payout in the event of your death, and you can pay for the policy monthly or yearly. When these policies are about to expire, you can either choose another life insurance policy for yourself or renew them at an updated  price. It should be mentioned that term life insurance is the most commonly used type of life insurance in Canada, and it is also the least expensive type. And, the highest amount of coverage is also found through a term life insurance policy, but keep in mind that if you want a high coverage amount and a cheap premium then you will be looking at a fully underwritten policy, so you’ll need to provide a medical exam, family health history, an attending physician’s statement (APS), and more.

Benefits of term life insurance

  • Financial security for you and your family in the event of a death or disability.
  • Significantly more affordable compared to whole life insurance policies.
  • Adaptable policy terms to best suit your needs.
  • Once you’ve locked in your policy, your rates will never change.
  • Guaranteed death benefit.
  • Peace of mind knowing your family is protected.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance does not expire, thus it will last until your death, which is the main difference between permanent life and term life insurance.The two types of permanent life insurance are whole life insurance and universal life insurance. This can be offered as a fully underwritten policy where you must complete a medical exam and receive an attending physician’s statement (APS), or it can be offered as a guaranteed life insurance policy where you don’t need an APS. Although the coverage amounts are just as high as term life insurance, permanent life insurance does have higher premiums, meaning you will pay more for your policy. A portion of your premium payment is typically allotted to cash accumulation in many universal or whole life permanent life insurance policies, which grows tax-deferred. And although loans against the cash value are an option, the interest on them frequently adds up and reduces the final death benefit. Permanent life insurance has several advantages, much like other types of insurance. 

Benefits of permanent life insurance

  • Policy stays for life with level premiums
  • Some policies offer limited pay periods for premiums (you only have to pay for a set period of time, not indefinitely)
  • You can grow an investment with the policy

Simplified life insurance

While simplified life insurance may not have the same stringent requirements as fully underwritten life insurance, it does offer large coverage amounts and reasonable monthly rates. Simplified issue insurance plans don’t require a medical exam, but you still need to provide certain medical information on the application. Despite the fact that they are more expensive than fully underwritten life insurance policies, rates are still reasonable. Different questions might be addressed depending on the insurer and whether the coverage is deferred. Simplified issue life insurance is typically provided on a term basis.

Benefits of simplified life insurance 

  • Comparable coverage amounts to traditional life insurance policies
  • Typically can accept most people who are declined from traditional life insurance
  • More affordable than no medical life insurance
  • No medical exam required

No medical life insurance/guaranteed issue life insurance

This kind of life insurance is perfect for those who are unable to receive fully underwritten coverage due to medical conditions, mental illnesses, criminal history, hazardous occupations, or a number of other situations. An attending physician’s statement (APS) or a medical examination are not necessary as part of the application process for no medical life insurance.  These are for those who struggle to get accepted by life insurance companies and might get denied by life insurance companies or just do not like the process of fully underwritten life insurance. Consequently, there are no medical life insurance policies that make it possible for persons with these difficult circumstances to obtain coverage. This coverage tends to be more costly and has a smaller coverage amount than a fully underwritten policy like term life insurance or permanent life insurance, but it provides peace of mind to those who would not otherwise qualify for any life insurance coverage.

Benefits of No medical life insurance/guaranteed issue life insurance

  • No medical examination is required
  • Reduced approval time
  • Increased probability of approval
  • Coverage for hazardous activities and occupations
  • Coverage for international travel is provided
  • Ignores previous substance addiction and/or criminal background
  • Application process is less time-consuming

Who can buy life insurance? 

Life insurance in Canada can be purchased by practically anyone who wants to have life insurance to protect their loved ones or assets. There is life insurance available for people who come from all walks of life, just take a look at this list of people who can get life insurance in Canada but keep in mind that many more people can also get life insurance even those with unique circumstances and lifestyles: 

Basically this is just the tip of the iceberg, and our life insurance brokers have found life insurance policies for people who have unique, individual situations! There are so many different life insurance companies and life insurance policies that are out there that can be perfect for you if you have a specific circumstance or if you are looking for something that is uniquely right for you. This is why we always recommend working with a life insurance broker because of the fact that you can take a look at the several different policies that are available for you all at once. Feel free to contact us for a free quote and consultation and get started at looking at the life insurance options out there for you! 

Is life insurance worth it in Canada?

Continuing our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada. Deciding whether life insurance is worth it for you could be very difficult. To be perfectly honest, it is not the best option for everyone, while it is a great option for others. To figure out if you should have life insurance, consider things like your age and any significant milestones that you have accomplished such as buying a home, having a child, opening a business etc.

Every situation is different, and it actually depends on the person and their particular circumstance. Life insurance is not necessary for everyone, especially if you don’t have children, a mortgage, or any other significant financial responsibilities. But if you do have financial obligations like: kids, a business, mortgage or home expenses, loved ones you want to protect, any kind of debts, then getting life insurance is a great idea that will give you and your family peace of mind that your loved ones won’t be financially burdened in the case of your death. 

In the end, the answer to the general question of if life insurance is worth it depends on each person’s individual circumstance. Fortunately, we can all agree that life insurance is the best option for people who have dependents or loved ones they wish to protect from financial troubles, as well as for people who have financial responsibilities like a mortgage, a business, or outstanding bills.

 If you’re still unsure if life insurance is a fit for you and your family, check out our blog: Is Life Insurance Worth it in Canada?

Talk to an advisor today.

Contact Protect Your Wealth

Cost of life insurance in Canada

Let’s continue on in our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada. As far as if life insurance is worth it financially, we think so! Take a look at the low prices that life insurance can be for 40 year old male and female non smokers seeking $250,000 in coverage, for a 20 year term: 

Cost of life insurance in Canada for non smokers

You can even get rates for less than $30 a month depending on your circumstances, that is why it is important to consider a lot of things when it comes to buying life insurance such as your gender, age, job, health, etc. 

Age

Your life insurance will get more expensive as you age. Your premiums will reflect how high-risk you are since insurance companies base their quotes on the details and risk of your individual situation. Your risk grows as you get older, and the rising cost of your insurance reflects this.

Age-related increases in life insurance premiums are typical. The biggest increases happen when you get older, typically around 60. It’s crucial to think forward when choosing your coverage and to take this into account. If you are getting a term policy, you should think about how much your premiums will rise once the term expires.

For the most part, the younger you are and the healthier you are, you can apply for extremely affordable rates with ease, as you get older or if you have health issues or any other risky factors, the more costly life insurance can get. 

Gender

Life insurance providers also take your gender into account. This is due to evidence showing that on average, women often live longer than males do. This implies that women are less risky to cover for a life insurance business, and this is reflected in women having  lower premiums than men. Although the data may be out of date, there is not yet enough information to change these established underwriting standards.

Monthly Premium Comparison for men and women, monthly price difference men and women

Smoking

The health concerns connected to smoking mean that if you smoke, your life insurance premiums will be significantly higher. Statistics showing that smokers have a 23-fold increased risk of developing lung cancer thus raise the risk of insuring you, and your insurance will cost more as a result. Smokers frequently spend between 30% and 100% more than non-smokers on life insurance. There may be non-medical insurance options that do not take your medical history into account, but these options are more expensive compared to the alternatives.

If you’ve given up smoking, your life insurance premiums can remain higher until you have stopped smoking for at least a year to then be considered a non-smoker. Over time, your insurance will become more affordable the longer you don’t smoke.

If you want to learn more about how your smoking status affects your life insurance policy check out our blog: Impact of Marijuana, Vaping, and Tobacco on Life Insurance in Canada

Health

The cost of life insurance premiums is significantly influenced by health because it is exceedingly dangerous to insure someone with certain health conditions. Typically, a fully underwritten life insurance policy will need a medical examination and will access your medical records thus it will require information about your health and medical history. Due to the hereditary factors involved, life insurance companies must take into account your family’s medical history. There may be a higher likelihood that you will be diagnosed with illnesses or diseases based on trends in the death of your close relatives.

Don’t be discouraged from getting life insurance if you do have a medical condition because you can definitely get life insurance for your medical condition or your pre-existing condition.

We always recommend that you take a look at our quick quote tool or contact our brokers to get a sense of what life insurance can cost for you and if it fits into your financial plan! 

Occupation

A hazardous profession exposes you to risky threats that the average person does not deal with. Life insurance providers may view those who work in hazardous environments as high-risk clients and charge them higher premiums as a result. If the situation is more serious, you can be denied life insurance. Having said that, your insurer may not immediately view you as high-risk just because you work in a hazardous profession. However, you might be high risk if any of the following apply to you:

  • Work high off the ground
  • Work underground
  • Work with explosives
  • Are exposed to dangerous chemicals
  • Use or are exposed to firearms
  • Are in the military
  • Travel to dangerous areas for work

It is still possible to get life insurance if you have a hazardous occupation, this being said if you are in fairly good health you might even get an affordable life insurance premium rating. A life insurance broker is essential in these cases because they can guide you towards the life insurance options that will be most fairly priced and the ones that will actually accept you so you don’t get denied life insurance. Contact us now to get a quote and also check out our blog on Applying for Life Insurance with a Dangerous Occupation.

Things to know before buying life insurance 

Before buying life insurance, there are a handful of things that you should consider, the essentials being the type of life insurance you need and the condition of your health. What many people don’t consider a lot of times is: how much coverage they actually need, if you are in need of any riders such as children’s life insurance, disability insurance or critical illness insurance, and ways to save life insurance. Let’s continue on with our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada. 

How much coverage do I need? 

Finding out how much life insurance coverage you need is one of the most important things that you should have an idea of before you buy life insurance. It is fine if you don’t know how much you exactly need because life insurance brokers will help you do a needs assessment to pinpoint exactly how much life insurance you will need, but nonetheless it is good to have a general understanding of how much life insurance you will need. There are two main ways to do this, the most accurate one being the DIME formula, this calculates your debts, income, mortgage and possible education cost for your child. 

Using the DIME formula to help figure out how much life insurance coverage you need.

Another common life insurance calculation that can give you a general number quickly is the ten times method, which is basically your income times ten. For example if you make a yearly income of $60,000 then multiply that by 10, therefore $60,000 X 10 = $600,000 so now you know that you will generally need around $600,000 in life insurance coverage which will provide your loved ones with enough income to continue their lives without financial burdens and stress in the case you pass away. 

Life insurance riders

An important feature of our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada is this section on life insurance riders. If you have taken a look at the best life insurance companies in Canada, or have checked out the life insurance company reviews we have made, you will notice that most life insurance companies in Canada will offer life insurance riders. Riders are typically add-ons to your life insurance policy which provides you extra coverage depending on certain instances and flexibility. There are plenty of life insurance riders out there but the most common ones that you will see is critical illness insurance, disability insurance and children’s life insurance. 

Critical illness insurance 

A critical illness insurance policy provides a tax-free lump sum payment in the event that you encounter a predetermined illness. Critical illness insurance covers health issues like a stroke, or need to receive treatment for one of these conditions during the predetermined coverage period. There are more than 26 critical illnesses that can be covered as part of many critical illness packages, including cancer (in all of its forms), aplastic anemia, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, and much more.

You can use the benefit amount anyway you see fit, regardless of how directly it relates to your critical illness, critical illness insurance functions similarly to life insurance. You have the option to choose from house cleaning, additional medical care, rehab and recovery expenses, income replacement for any time you may need to be off work. 

Critical illnesses are relatively common in Canada, despite the fact that not all of them have a high fatality rate. This kind of rider allows you the financial freedom to decide what’s best for your rehabilitation, your family, or making the most of your remaining time. To find out if critical illness insurance is right for you contact us now. 

Disability insurance

Disability insurance is designed to replace a sizeable percentage of your income in the event that you are sick or disabled and it interferes with your ability to work. It gives you regular monthly payments while you get better from your condition or until the end of your predetermined coverage period, whichever comes first.

Similar to critical illness insurance, the benefit can be used as you like, but the monthly payment schedule is designed to look like your paycheque and is often meant to cover your mortgage or rent as well as other living costs while you are recovering.

There are many kinds of disability insurance, but long-term disability insurance is the one that most people think of. A monthly income for a number of years may be provided with the aid of long-term disability coverage. Although they usually cannot completely replace your income, they can offer resources for your sickness or disability.

Not sure if disability insurance is right for you? Check out our in depth guide to disability insurance. 

Children’s life insurance 

The cheapest option to insure young children is likely to use a child term rider, often known as a “child rider” or “children’s term rider.” In the event that one of your insured children passes away while your policy is still in effect, you will receive a death benefit of up to $30,000.

One of the least expensive methods to insure your children if you already have your own life insurance is through a Child term rider (CTR). These riders normally provide guaranteed insurability up to a particular age, usually 21 to 25, at which once your child has reached adulthood, they can buy their own life insurance policy without having to undergo a medical test. Take a look at the pros and cons of children’s life insurance: 

This rider is an important one that can afford you the time that is crucial to you when you are grieving. To learn more, read our blog on life insurance for children in Canada, and contact our life insurance brokers to find out the right life insurance rider for you. 

Pros and cons of life insurance for children

This rider is an important one that can afford you the time that is crucial to you when you are grieving. To learn more, read our blog on life insurance for children in Canada, and contact our life insurance brokers to find out the right life insurance rider for you. Up next in our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada we will discuss what a life insurance broker is

What is a life insurance broker/agent?

A licensed professional who sells life insurance plans from multiple different insurance companies is a life insurance broker. A life insurance broker works on behalf of many insurance providers, but they focus on working with clients to find the right life insurance company for their needs. As a result, you have fewer options for life insurance with a captive agent as they only offer insurance from one provider. A life insurance broker has your best interests in mind rather than merely completing a sale because they do not get pressured as they are independent, so they are NOT pushy salesmen. And because they are independent, life insurance agents are not concerned with simply helping you buy a life insurance policy, rather the most important thing to them is that you find the right life insurance plan and you stick to it, this is because they get commissions from life insurance companies as you stick to the life insurance policy, thus life insurance brokers are rather pressured to find the right policy for you and keep your best interest in mind.

What’s the difference between a life insurance broker and captive life insurance agent

How to buy life insurance

There are several different ways to buy life insurance in Canada, and it is truly pretty simple for the most part. Now that you know about what you should know before buying life insurance, the process of how to buy life insurance really can start as soon as you want. When you want to buy life insurance we recommend that you work with a broker so you can get quotes from multiple life insurance companies at once, which is much easier than calling each company and getting individual quotes. You and our life insurance brokers can complete a needs assessment and also discuss other factors that are important to you such as riders or if you have a medical condition, etc. Furthermore, when you find the right life insurance policy for you, you can then apply for you and go through the application process. If it is an underwritten life insurance policy, this will require you to get an attending physician statement (APS), then you might also be asked other questions and they might need to do further tests and evaluations. Once they have all the information they need,  your application will either be accepted with a price or denied. If you are accepted, you are now insured, congratulations! Keep in mind that throughout this process your life insurance broker can help you with all of your questions and can help you with the application process. Life insurance brokers are here for you, remember that! 

What do life insurance companies look into when applying?

There are plenty of things that life insurance companies will be on the lookout and consider when you are applying for life insurance. The most primary things that life insurance companies will look into is your health, family health history, smoking status, BMI and your overall lifestyle. These are the primary factors that can affect your application and will determine your premiums as well as if you are approved or denied your application. 

Take a look at the graphic below to look at how the factors mentioned above will affect your life insurance application: 

Things that life insurance companies look out for when underwriting (1)

There are also some specifics which will differ from case to case. For example if you are someone who has had a sleep apnea diagnosis then this can lead to them looking into your diagnosis, your sleep patterns, your medication/treatment, and if you have been following your medication requirements/treatments. Again, this is why a life insurance broker can help simplify this process because they will let you know what to expect and they can lay out all your life insurance options in front of you. If you are worried that you will be denied or won’t find life insurance, don’t worry, there are simplified life insurance and no-medical life insurance options for those who do not qualify for fully underwritten life insurance. 

What should I do if I am denied life insurance? 

If your application for life insurance was rejected, it’s possible that you didn’t submit it to the best business for your needs and circumstances. There are steps you can take to help you find the best life insurance for you. The first step is to figure out why you were rejected for the policy. The next is to understand your options for life insurance and perhaps speak with a life insurance advisor to help you create the ideal plan for yourself. The last step is to submit an application to your ideal company.

What to do if your application was declined

Can I get life insurance if I am a newcomer?

Yes, you can get life insurance in Canada as a newcomer whether you are a permanent resident or a non-permanent resident. Immigrants with permanent residency are eligible for life insurance as soon as they arrive in Canada. You are given the same eligibility for life insurance as a Canadian citizen, therefore there are no restrictions on the types of coverage and plans available to you as a permanent resident. However, you might still need to undergo other medical tests, including a blood test. If you’ve been a resident of Canada for less than a year or if you’re looking for larger coverage limits, certain insurers will demand these tests.

In general, life insurance providers will accept applications for their life insurance from new and recent immigrants who have settled in Canada permanently. You can also get life insurance as a non-permanent resident, there are some restrictions on who can apply for life insurance coverage, however if you fit one of these descriptions, you might be qualified for life insurance depending on the insurer:

  • Open work permit
  • Students visa
  • Convention refugee status
  • Nannies or caregivers
  • Temporary, Employer-specific, or Post graduate work visa

If you fall into one of these groups and apply for life insurance, you’ll need to provide a copy of your evidence of residency (such as a work permit) and adhere to any additional medical guidelines the insurers may have.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that, depending on which non-resident group you belong to, you might only be eligible for life insurance policies like term and no-medical insurance, although some non-permanent residents may also be eligible for critical illness policies. Disability insurance is ineligible for non-residents. Additionally, the maximum amount of coverage you qualify for will vary based on which category you belong to. Let’s continue on with our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada.

Can I get life insurance if I am a smoker (vape, cigarettes, cannabis)?

Yes, you can still receive life insurance even if you smoke cigarettes, vape, or smoke cannabis. You probably stand an excellent chance of obtaining an underwritten life insurance policy, or if you have difficulties obtaining one, a fantastic simplified life insurance policy.

What classifies you as a smoker for life insurance in Canada?

This means that you must have been smoke-free for a year in order to be considered a non-smoker.  Life insurance companies frequently define a non-smoker as someone who has not smoked cigarettes, e-cigarettes, water pipes, betel nut, smoking cessation products, nicotine, tobacco in any other form, or more than 12 large cigars in the previous 12 months. Depending on how long you have been a non-smoker, certain businesses will further categorize you as a non-smoker.

Insurance companies have altered how they regard cannabis users in their plans after the legalization of the drug in 2018. In the past, premiums for recreational marijuana users would be higher since they would receive the same treatment as smokers. With certain restrictions on how much they can smoke each week, most insurers now consider cannabis users to be non-smokers. Cannabis users who use more than the insurance provider’s weekly cap may be considered smokers.

Insurance companies will regard those who use electronic cigarettes and vaping as smokers. This is due to the fact that vaping and e-cigarettes are still relatively new and that means there is less known about their effects, meaning there are still some potential health hazards associated with them. E-cigarettes can include some or all of the same carcinogens as conventional cigarettes, thus they are just as harmful to your health as smoking ordinary cigarettes, even if the ingredients vary from brand to brand.

Can I get life insurance if I have a criminal record?

Yes, you can definitely get life insurance if you have a criminal record, but there are some certain things to be aware of regarding your record. Generally speaking, anyone on probation, in jail, or awaiting trial will immediately be declined by life insurance providers. Insurers have decided that the danger is too great to cover anyone going through a criminal case and automatically deny coverage in these cases. Having said that, a potential life insurance applicant where it has been several years since their arrest and is not actively on probation would have a number of choices. Despite the fact that many insurance companies may impose a flat price per $1000 of coverage (life insurance rating), it is possible that there would be no effect at all with regard to eligibility depending on how long ago the offence occurred.

Insurance companies sorted by the years they hold criminal offenses/records in mind. Most companies will ask if you have ever been convicted, or in the past 10 years.

Can I get life insurance if I have a dangerous job?

Yes, if you are someone who has a dangerous occupation then you can still get life insurance. If an insurance company discovers anything that they believe will increase your risk of passing away, they will raise your premiums to reflect that. You might even be rejected, depending on how great a risk you pose to the business. If you apply for life insurance and are rejected, you may just need to do so with a new life insurance company or apply for a different kind of life insurance. Therefore, it may affect your ability to find inexpensive coverage if your employment contains any risks that the normal person would not have to think about. However it is possible to find some affordable rates still, ask a life insurance broker for your options now! 

Can I get life insurance with bad credit? 

Having bad credit won’t prevent you from getting life insurance. However, life insurance pays out after a person dies, and the considerations they make reflect this. Your ability to pay premiums may be reflected in your credit report, but life insurance firms frequently pay more attention to an applicant’s health and lifestyle.

Your life insurance application or rates won’t be significantly impacted by your financial background. The life insurance provider might not even run a credit check in some circumstances. Nevertheless, the traditional underwriting procedure is still a tedious process that involves going through medical testing and waiting for the findings.

When should I buy life insurance?

For the last section of our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada, let’s start thinking of when to buy life insurance. This really varies from person to person. ​​When someone is financially dependent on you, you need life insurance, or if you have something that is dependent on you such as a business or a large debt then you need life insurance. The earlier in life that you purchase life insurance, the better. That’s because becoming older significantly  raises the cost of life insurance.

Life insurance firms offer lower premiums to people who are young and healthy. Due to the level rates of term life insurance, investing early in life insurance may pay out in the long run.  This means that your monthly rates will not change during the period. Nonetheless, sometimes people buy life insurance in their later stages in life which is fine as well because you can still find affordable rates, and many times this is a stage in life where you might want to prepare your family’s financial protection in the case of your death. Let’s now look at why you should or shouldn’t buy life insurance in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s with these case studies.

Should I buy life insurance in my 20s?

Example #1: Boris, a single 22-year-old man, is now working a part-time job to help pay for some of his living costs while he pursues his bachelor’s degree in applied health sciences. He doesn’t have a child, he doesn’t have a car, he lives with his parents, and the only debt he has right now is an OSAP loan.

Due to the fact that he has few financial commitments and no dependents who would be financially burdened by his passing, Boris does not need life insurance.

Example #2: 

Raj, a 28-year-old software engineer, just bought a condo with the help of his wife and his mother co-signing the mortgage. His wife is currently only working a part-time job and gradually paying off her student debt because she is still in school. His mom is retired and had to dip into her savings to help him with the down payment. Raj and his wife both lease cars and have numerous other unpaid debts.

To Raj, life insurance is worthwhile. His mother and his wife would have too much debt if he passed away. In the event of his passing, further obligations such as his mortgage and car lease would need to be paid. Him and his wife have open debts so ideally they should both look into getting individual life insurance policies.

Should I buy life insurance in my 30s? 

Example #1: Abby is a 32 years old nurse, currently working at a local hospital. She has two young children with her 35-year-old husband, who works as an electrician. They are currently in an apartment and are renting, they also have only 1 vehicle and it is fully paid off, they are skilled with their finances and do not have any outstanding debts currently. They only recently learned that Abby is expecting again.

Given that Abby and her husband are both parents of dependent children, life insurance is worthwhile for them both. Even though there isn’t a large debt burden, the financial cost of raising three children is pricey and it is good to plan ahead for their post-secondary education. Because Abby and her husband are both young, they can get a term life insurance policy at a really good rate.

Example #2: Jose, who is 38 years old, is married to his wife, who is 37 years old; the couple has a 2-year-old daughter. They both work as teachers and have recently bought a house together three years ago. They only have one vehicle they are leasing together, Jose has been thinking about a career change and heading back to school. 

It is essential that Jose and his wife both have life insurance policies because they have large debts currently, and dependents. With Jose thinking of heading back to school and having a relatively new mortgage, the debts will add on and will not be paid off any time in the near future, so the financial burden would be too great if any of them passed. 

Should I buy life insurance in my 40s?

Omar, is a 45-year-old restaurant owner, he is married and the father of three teenagers who are all thinking of getting a post-secondary education once they complete highschool. Mahad and his wife have paid off half of their mortgage so far. Omar’s wife currently works with him in the restaurant.

Omar and his wife should both consider getting life insurance, this is due to the fact that their business is their main income source but their liabilities include the business and their mortgage. They have future expenses for both their business, debts and their children’s education. If Omar or his wife were to pass the financial burdens would be extremely severe on the family, thus they should get life insurance. Business owners can also enjoy corporate owned insurance!

Lori is a 41-year-old bank manager, and her husband is a mechanic. They do not have children, but eight years ago, Lori and her husband bought a house. They have little costs and are in good financial standing.

Lori and her husband should both get a life insurance policy because although they are in a good financial standing, in the event of one of their deaths then the surviving spouse might be negatively impacted financially. 

Should I buy life insurance in my 50s, 60s, 70s?

Even while life insurance can be more expensive as you age, it is still beneficial for Canadian seniors. If you are renewing your life insurance or are a preferred patient in good health, you may be able to find some favourable rates. Life insurance for seniors is unquestionably advantageous, particularly since some may still be making mortgage payments or may still be taking care of family members. Life insurance can be very useful to have as a senior, depending on your circumstances. The peace of mind to know that you will leave your loved ones behind with a lump-sum of money is quite important. Funeral expenses are not cheap, your grandchildren might want to get a post-secondary education, and you might have some final expenses to pay off. 

Conclusion: Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Life insurance is affordable in most circumstances and available to basically every Canadian. There are plenty of things that you get to know about life insurance before you go through with a policy, luckily our blog has covered everything such as types of life insurance, life insurance with medical conditions, if life insurance is worth it, what a life insurance broker is and more. We hope that this was an educational journey for you and you feel well prepared to know the basics of life insurance. Nonetheless we are here for you to answer all your questions about life insurance so please feel free to check out our blog which has new content weekly about life insurance, retirement planning and investing. Also, if you would like to discuss your life insurance needs, contact our team of licensed life insurance brokers who will connect with you and help you look at your options for absolutely free! Thank you for reading out Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada. 

We are here to help guide you through the life insurance purchasing process.

Now that we have finished our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada, it can be noticed that buying life insurance for the first time can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. You can even get free professional advice from an award winning broker from Protect Your Wealth to help you identify and secure the right life insurance coverage you need to create financial stability and protect your family and assets.

To schedule a consultation about your income protection goals, or if you have any questions about life insurance in Alberta, British Columbia, or Ontario, please contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Alberta, B.C., or Ontario, including areas such as Edmonton, Victoria, Toronto, Red Deer, Vancouver and Oakville.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about buying life insurance

Understanding the reason for your life insurance denial is crucial before you can decide what to do next. For example, should you hunt for a different kind of insurance plan or have your broker help you submit an application to a different company?

Check out our blog post on 6 Reasons Why You Were Denied Life Insurance if you want to learn more on why and what to do if you’ve been denied life insurance.

Outside of the conventional medical exam, simplified issue life insurance will conduct an underwriting process and ask about your health. This means that in order to be eligible for low rates, you must be in good health. On the other hand, guaranteed issue life insurance does not need an underwriting process and does not ask any health-related inquiries. Compared to simplified and traditional life insurance coverage, no-medical life insurance is expensive.

The simplest and cheapest type of life insurance is called term life insurance. You pay a premium for a set period of time, usually between 5 to 30 years, and if you pass away within that time, your family receives a cash payout (or anyone else you name as your beneficiary). This is helpful because many people only buy term life insurance for 20-30 years because they want to have coverage for as long as their child is not financially independent. 

Based on a variety of considerations, you should choose the best sort of life insurance for you. The main distinction between term and whole life insurance is the short duration of protection provided by term insurance. If you can keep up with the premium payments required by life insurance providers for this insurance, whole life insurance offers lifetime protection. The price differential for the same amount of death benefit can be as much as nearly 15 times. Thus term life insurance is the cheaper and more popular option

  • Term life insurance is better if you:
    • Only want life insurance to cover a short-term need
    • Want the most affordable coverage
    • Think you might want permanent life insurance but you can’t afford it right now
    • Don’t want to use life insurance as a possible investment vehicle
  • Whole life is better if you:
    • Can comfortably afford the higher premiums
    • Want to leave money for your heirs
    • Have a lifelong dependent life a child with disabilities
    • Want life insurance that builds guaranteed cash value

You should purchase life insurance for a variety of reasons, but the major one is to shield your loved ones from financial hardships in the case of your passing, serious illness, or disability. Fortunately, life insurance in Canada has excellent rates, special plans that can fit your lifestyle, and inexpensive options. The fact that life insurance can have excellent riders, such as critical illness riders and disability riders, is another justification for purchasing it. These riders are crucial to have because unexpected events happen in life and it is always wise to be protected.

Many different Canadian life insurance firms offer a package of protection known as family life insurance. Family life insurance is essentially a standard term life insurance or permanent life insurance policy plus extra riders like kid insurance, critical illness insurance, and disability insurance.

Your annual income multiplied by seven or ten will typically provide the amount of life insurance coverage you require. This number shows how much your family will need to be able to maintain their standard of living and be shielded from financial difficulties with the assistance of this number. 

The DIME formula, which essentially adds your debts, income, mortgage, and education costs together, and is also the most accurate estimate you can make by taking into consideration all the financial obligations you have now and expect to have in the future.

This is merely a rough calculation; the best approach to determine a reliable level of coverage is to speak with a life insurance broker and have them evaluate your needs, wants, assets, and liabilities.

Fully underwritten life insurance is examined by an underwriter who will look into any health issues or policy exclusions. This type of insurance is also referred to as fully underwritten insurance or traditional insurance. When applying for a fully underwritten policy, a doctor visit will be needed for a medical examination.

You can use a type of life insurance called burial insurance or funeral insurance to assist your loved ones in covering your final expenses. Because its sole purpose is to cover funeral and burial costs, it offers a lower benefit amount than traditional term life insurance. To know more about funeral insurance check out our blog! 

Now that you have read our Beginners Guide to Buying Life Insurance in Canada. Talk to an advisor today for FREE.

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