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Buying Life Insurance in Canada

Life insurance is a sensitive topic that not many people are interested in dealing with.  It’s incredibly important for financial planning.  There are many areas of life insurance that Canadians have questions regarding.  The most common questions are:

  1. What is the amount of life insurance that I need?
  2. If I have children, how much coverage do I need?
  3. What are the best life insurance companies in Canada?
  4. What type of life insurance policy is right for me?

What is the amount of life insurance that I need?

When selecting coverage amount for your life insurance policy, it’s important to determine the areas that you require protection for your loved ones.  Things to consider include:

  • Income replacement in the event of your death.  How much money does your family require to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?
  • Assets that you still owe money on – for example mortgage or car loan.
  • Any outstanding debt including line of credit or credit card debt.
  • Final expenses – funeral and burial.

Many Canadians choose life insurance under $500,000.  It’s important to speak with your life insurance company or broker representative to understand your life insurance needs.  You may require more coverage if you have children.  There are many things to consider for the future, including education.

If I have children, how much coverage do I need?

There are several areas that you will need to calculate when it comes to your children.  A recent survey indicated that the overall cost to raise one child until the age of 18 is $244,000.  This means that your expenses will be approximately $1,000 per month.

Keep in mind that in the event of your death, your children will require food, clothes, health care (e.g. dental), personal care, education, recreation activities, transportation, housing and child care (depending on the child’s age).

What are the best life insurance companies in Canada?

There are a number of life insurance companies in Canada that offer excellent products that meet the needs of Canadians.  A few of these companies include:

There are also online quoting sites that will provide life insurance quotes, making it easier for you to shop for quotes. Take the time to do your research and select the policy that best suits your needs.

What type of life insurance policy is right for me?

In Canada, there are many types of life insurance offered by insurers.  These types cover the needs of Canadians.  Here is a description of the types of life insurance in Canada:

Term Life Insurance

Life insurance protection that provides coverage for a specific period of time (typically a 5, 10 or 20-year term); this type of policy does not accumulate any cash value.  It simply protects you for the term that you select.  It’s a cost-effective solution if you’re looking for protection for a set term.

Universal Life Insurance

This type of insurance combines both life insurance and investment components.  Some of your premium amount goes into your account, and is invested at a guaranteed rate of return.  It typically costs more to insure this type of policy; but you will be receiving a cash value that can be used towards your premium, or withdrawn as well as taking a loan out against it.

Whole Life Insurance

Similar to universal life insurance, a whole life insurance policy has both an insurance component as well as an investment.  The insurer decides how the investment is invested and it’s also typically more expensive.  This policy provides both coverage for your family and yourself (with tax benefits and the ability to withdrawal from your cash value).