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Term Life Insurance

Between an insurer and a policyholder, a life insurance contract is created. A life insurance policy guarantees that, in exchange for the lifetime premiums paid by the policyholder, the insurer would pay a predetermined sum to specified beneficiaries in the event of the insured’s demise.

In order to enforce the contract, the life insurance application must completely and truthfully list all of the insured’s past, present, and high-risk actions.

Types of Life Insurance

To meet a range of needs and tastes, there are numerous solutions for life insurance. According to the needs of the person who will be insured, either short-term or long-term, the essential choice of temporary or permanent life insurance must be taken into consideration.

Permanent Life Insurance

As long as the premium payments are made to the insurance company, Permanent life insurance continues to be effective.

Whole life insurance

The policyholder who purchases cash-value life insurance has a number of options for how to use the cash value, including as a source of loans or cash or to pay for insurance premiums.

Universal life insurance

Permanent life insurance with an interest-earning cash value component is known as universal life (UL). Premium options are adjustable with universal life. The premiums can be generated with either a level or rising death benefit, unlike term and whole life insurance, and are therefore more flexible.

Indexed universal (IUL)

A predetermined or equity-indexed rate of return can be obtained by the policyholder of an indexed universal life insurance policy through the cash value element of the policy.

Variable universal

The cash value of a variable universal life insurance policy may be invested in a readily accessible separate account. It can be constructed with either a level death benefit or an escalating death benefit, and its premiums are variable.

Term life insurance

Time life insurance, often known as pure life insurance, guarantees the payment of a certain death benefit in the event that the insured person dies within a predetermined term. Following the expiration of the term, the policyholder has three choices: they can continue the coverage for another term, switch to permanent coverage, or let the term life insurance policy lapse.

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How Term Life Insurance Works

When you apply for term life insurance, the insurance provider calculates your premiums depending on your age, gender, and health in addition to the policy’s value. It could be necessary occasionally to have a medical exam. The insurance company could inquire about your driving record, list of prescribed drugs, smoking habits, occupation, interests, and family background.

If you pass away within the term of the policy, the insurance company pays your beneficiaries the face amount of the insurance. Your cash benefit could be used by your beneficiaries to settle debts including credit card balances, mortgage loans, funeral and medical costs, and more. It is generally not taxed.

Term life insurance products are only worthwhile for the assured death reward. There isn’t a savings component like there would be with whole life insurance.

Because it only delivers a death benefit and has a limited benefit period, term life insurance is typically the least expensive option. For instance, a healthy 35-year-old non-smoker normally pays $20 to $30 per month for 20-year level-premium insurance with a $250,000 face value.

The premiums for purchasing a whole life equivalent would be significantly more, maybe ranging from $200 to $300 per month or more; this depends on your provider. The overall risk accrued to the insurer is smaller with term life insurance than with permanent life insurance since a large percentage of term insurance policies expire without paying a death benefit. Because of the decreased risk, insurers are able to lower premiums for their clients.

Premiums can also be impacted by interest rates, the insurance company’s financial health, and state requirements. At “breakpoint” coverage levels of $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000, businesses typically provide better rates.

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Term Life Insurance Types

The best choice for you will depend on your unique situation and one of the many various forms of term life insurance available.

Level premium policies

These provide protection for, on average, ten to thirty years. The premium is comparatively more expensive than that of annual renewable term life insurance since actuaries must take into consideration the rising expenses of insurance during the policy’s effectiveness.

Yearly Renewable Term (YRT) Policies

Plans that renew annually without requiring evidence of insurance rates are known as annually renewable term plans. The annual premiums vary, and they rise as the covered person becomes older. Although there is no set term, as people get older, premiums can become unaffordable, making the coverage an undesirable option for many.

Decreasing Term Policies

The death benefit of these plans decreases annually in accordance with a predetermined timetable. The policyholder makes a fixed, recurring premium for the duration of the insurance. Decreasing term plans are typically used in conjunction with mortgages in order to match the coverage with the decreasing mortgage principle.

Once you’ve decided on the plan that’s ideal for you, don’t forget to properly investigate the companies you’re considering to make sure you’re getting the most affordable term life insurance.

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Factors that affect a term life insurance rate

The amount of term life insurance and the term duration that you purchase will affect your premiums. Other elements that influence life insurance quotations consist of:


One of the key considerations for determining the life insurance premium is age. Life insurance companies categorize the population into age groups with comparable death rates. Your life insurance premium cost is influenced by the mortality rate. Your term life insurance premium will go up as you get older because the mortality rate rises with age Thus, buying term insurance early in life will ultimately be more cost-effective.


In terms of mortality, women generally live longer than males do across all age categories. As a result, if you’re a woman, your term insurance premium will probably be less expensive than a man of the same age.


Your living situation and health are largely defined by your occupation. Different jobs involve different levels of physical stress. Different life expectancies between age groups may be caused by physically demanding jobs.

Residential region

Rates of mortality may vary by region. The cost of life insurance in that region might change if the difference is significant enough. So, the entire life cover premium directly reflects area prices.

Your life insurance premium will probably be higher if you live in a neighborhood that frequently experiences earthquakes, floods, or tsunamis.

Health & Lifestyle

Your life expectancy and, consequently, the cost of term insurance are both impacted by lifestyle choices including smoking, using other tobacco products, and drinking alcohol. A healthy lifestyle will therefore not only result in a better life but also result in a less expensive insurance policy.

Similar to this, your life insurance premium is influenced by your current health status and your family’s medical history. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical problems, and it can eventually cause a wide range of additional illnesses.

If you currently have a health issue, your term insurance premiums can increase. However, if the condition is unstable, the insurer might still offer coverage after excluding deaths brought on by the illness.

Policy term

When estimating premiums, the policy term is crucial. Typically, a level premium that is applied throughout the policy duration is charged for life insurance coverage. After the policy start, this premium is applied regardless of your age.

The additional premiums from the following years will transfer to your current year the longer you want the coverage to last. Keep your premiums constant throughout the policy’s term. Your premium may be impacted by a wide range of additional factors.

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Choosing the Length of Term Life Insurance

Consider the length of the debt or circumstance you want to cover while deciding on the optimal term for a life insurance policy. For example, if you’re buying a term life policy to pay for the nine years until your children graduate from college, you might choose to go for a 10-year term policy. You are probably considering 30-year term life if you recently purchased a home and took out a 30-year mortgage.

The standard term lengths for life insurance are 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. Some businesses provide 35 and 40-year terms.

When to Buy Term Life Insurance in Canada

Due to its affordable possibilities, it is well-liked by those on tight budgets. This kind of life insurance is appropriate for Canadians in many different situations. It is frequently chosen by newlyweds with kids since it offers adequate coverage at affordable costs.

Additionally, it appeals to those who only require it temporarily. For instance, you only require coverage for ten years, after which you will be able to rely on other financial resources.

In general, before the term insurance policy’s expiration date, you can renew it or convert it to permanent life insurance. However, this temporary necessity may last for many years.

Here are some instances of when to purchase a term insurance policy:

If you have a loan: Term life insurance may be able to provide your family with the funds they require to pay off the loan in the unlikely event that you do not have mortgage life insurance.

In case you have little kids: If you pass away, term life insurance might help support your young children and pay for their future education.

If you require coverage prior to retiring: A term insurance policy may be able to offer you the protection you require. For instance, a term insurance policy with a 25-year term that starts at age 40 can provide coverage for the crucial period when raising children and paying off a mortgage.

When a partner is going back to school: If only one member of your household makes a living, term life insurance can be extremely beneficial. Five-year term insurance can be a wise choice in this situation.

Term Life Insurance Provider Selection

Are you a Canadian and you are thinking of picking out of many term life insurance companies in Canada? Before coming to a decision, there are certain things to think about. To begin your search for life insurance, it is a good idea to compare prices. You might be tempted to pick an insurer just based on price. However, the top term life insurance providers will provide advantages that allow you flexibility at a competitive price.

Check for the following coverage features:

Are there living benefits? You can use these to receive your death benefit in the event of a critical sickness. The funds are available for use in paying for anything, including medical costs.

Is renewal of the policy guaranteed? As a result, after the level term period expires, you can renew the insurance (at a higher cost). If you still require life insurance at the conclusion of the level term period but have health issues, it may be helpful.

Can the term policy be changed to a permanent policy? You will then be eligible to change to a permanent life insurance policy. However, there is typically a deadline for doing it, so be sure you are aware of the window of opportunity before switching to a permanent policy.

Can the policy face amount be changed? Can you amend the amount of coverage if your future life insurance needs to change? Usually, you have just a downward adjustment.

Additional advice on purchasing term life insurance

Laddering Life insurance: You can save money by combining multiple life insurance policies if you require coverage for different amounts of time. For instance, if you have a child yet to graduate from college, you may purchase a 30-year policy to cover your mortgage and cover the period till your child becomes a graduate. You avoid combining all requirements into a single lengthy policy in this way.

Temporary insurance: By submitting a check for the first premium payment with your application, you may frequently lock in coverage beginning on the day of your application. A month or longer is usually required to process an application. This provides protection while you are applying. Before you file the application, find out more from your agent about this “temporary coverage”.

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Why Term Life Insurance is Popular in Canada

Term life is a rather simple concept. Whether you purchase a term or permanent plan, you will leave your loved ones a sizeable sum that is also tax-free if you pass away suddenly.

Permanent coverage often costs more than term insurance. Due to the lower cost when many are still trying to make a name for themselves, you can buy it in your twenties and thirties. The insurance provider cannot reduce the amount of coverage it granted you if you purchase life insurance when you are young and healthy and never let it lapse.

Term life insurance appeals to the great majority of Canadians due to its simplicity. Term life insurance is reportedly purchased by 60% of customers with individual policies, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Term Life Insurance


  • Straightforward: Term life insurance is simple, and the contracts are simple to comprehend. You don’t have to be concerned about cancellation fees, additional costs, or other hazards that are typically buried in the fine text.
  • Price: For the same level of coverage, term life insurance can be 6–10 times less expensive. For term insurance, the average monthly cost is under $30, compared to over $150 for whole life insurance.
  • Flexibility: Terminating term life insurance is always an option.


  • Expiration: Term life insurance finally comes to an end. After that, if you still want coverage, you’ll need to look about for new insurance. The good news is that the majority of term life insurance policies come with options that allow you to keep your coverage after the term has ended without having to provide further medical documentation or undergo an additional medical underwriting. You are somewhat protected against getting sick as a result because your renewal is assured.

What happens when you outlive a term life insurance policy

You can renew the insurance each year at a higher cost after your initial level term period which could be at the end of 10, 20, or 30 years expires. Your payments would not be reimbursed if you did not acquire “return of premium” term life insurance. Whole life insurance ensures that the death benefit will be paid as far as premiums are paid.

For Canadians in a range of scenarios, this type of life insurance is preferable. Getting quotations for new insurance is a smart idea before paying the increased renewal premium. You might discover a better value in a new coverage even though you’re older and possibly in less good health.

Some people quit paying before the term is over because they determine they no longer need life insurance. Verify that you no longer require life insurance before taking this course of action. If you cancel a policy and later find that your circumstances have changed, you can regret not keeping the policy.

Finding the Right Term Life Insurance in Canada

When choosing the sum and term of life insurance in Canada, a number of criteria are taken into account:

Annual Expenses

If your family or other dependents were no longer reliant on your salary, how much cash would they need annually to maintain their current standard of living?

Scope of needs

How long would your loved ones need a source of income to replace yours If, for instance, your main worry is that your spouse won’t be able to afford the payment of the mortgage but the loan is still 15 years away? You could just require coverage for that time period. Similarly, if you anticipate that your children will be adults and capable of supporting themselves in 20 years, you might not need coverage after that point.

Premium costs

As previously stated, premiums rise with term length. However, such premiums are fixed for the duration of the period. A shorter term will have lower premiums, but at the end of that period, you will either have to renew at higher rates or be in good enough health to be eligible for insurance from another carrier who might be able to give you a better bargain.

Health outlook

In terms of cost and insurability, a longer term might be the ideal choice if you have a higher chance of contracting an ailment and want coverage for a longer period of time.

How to Buy Term Life Insurance in Canada

Depending on the firm or broker you choose, getting term life insurance has different procedures. Typically, as a Canadian, your search for a term insurance plan that meets your needs would begin with comparison shopping. You would get in touch with the business, insurance agent, or broker once you’ve decided on the coverage you want to apply for.

Basic details like your name, address, marital status, gender, and age are required, as well as information on your medical history and current health conditions. There can also be a need for a medical exam. You can sign your policy documentation and begin paying premiums once you’ve been approved.

Term Life Insurance Alternatives

Life insurance comes in many different forms than term. Permanent life insurance plans come in numerous variations.

Permanent life insurance, in contrast to term life insurance, lasts for as long as you continue to make your payments. Therefore, a perpetual life insurance policy assures beneficiaries of a death payout. These insurance contracts also accrue monetary value, allowing the insured to access the money at any moment during their lifespan.

Listed below are several permanent life insurance plans:

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance ensures that the death benefit will be provided as long as premiums are paid. Additionally, it ensures you will receive a guaranteed death benefit that won’t decrease, level premiums, and a minimum rate of return on the cash value.

Universal life insurance

The cash value that is frequently built up in universal life insurance policies is tax-free and provides lifelong coverage. Within specific restrictions, you might be able to modify the death benefit and your premium payments.

A universal life insurance policy can be any of the following:

  • Guaranteed universal life: The most economical choice for universal life insurance is Guaranteed Universal Life. Cash value is typically provided by a guaranteed universal policy, though it may not be much. It does not, however, provide the same degree of flexibility in terms of premium and death benefit adjustments as some other universal life insurance policies.
  • Indexed universal life: An index, such as the S&P 500, is used to determine how much cash value an indexed universal life insurance policy has. With some restrictions, you can modify the premiums and the death benefit.
  • Variable universal life: The cash value of a variable universal life insurance policy is based on sub-accounts, which may include equities and bonds. The policy’s cash value depends on the performance of the chosen investments. Changes can be made to the premiums and death benefit at your discretion. The investments in a variable universal policy must be managed by the policyholder, and depending on your decisions, you could make gains or lose money.
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How to increase your term life insurance in Canada

Some term life insurance companies allow you to acquire riders, or extended coverage, to protect you from certain events. Here are a few instances:

  • If you are diagnosed with a condition that could end your life, the critical illness will pay you (e.g. cancer, stroke).
  • You can modify your insurance to include a children’s rider, which pays out if your child passes away.
  • If your death was due to an accident, accidental death receives an additional benefit.
  • If you become disabled, you can cease paying your premiums thanks to the disability waiver of premium option.

Term Life Insurance vs Permanent Life Insurance

The three key distinctions between a term life insurance policy and a permanent insurance policy, like universal life insurance, are the duration of the policy, the creation of a cash value, and the price. The ideal choice for you will depend on your demands; however, there are several things to consider that are listed below:

Cost of Premiums

For those who want coverage that is both more affordable and comprehensive, term life insurance is the best choice. Whole life insurance policyholders pay more premiums for a smaller amount of coverage, but they are guaranteed lifetime protection.

Despite the fact that term life insurance is more affordable for many consumers, this comes at the expense of paying premiums over a long period of time and providing no benefits after the term has expired. Age-related increases in term life insurance rates upon renewal may eventually make coverage unaffordable.

Availability of coverage

If a policyholder contracted a serious disease before the policy’s term was out, the insurance provider might decline to renew coverage unless it has been guaranteed renewable. For as long as payments are paid, permanent insurance guarantees long-term protection.

Investment Value

Because permanent life insurance plans can include a savings or investment component, some consumers choose them. Each premium payment includes a part that goes toward the cash value, and growth is guaranteed. Some plans offer payouts that can either be distributed or deposited inside the policy. The increase in cash value might eventually be sufficient to pay the policy’s premiums.

Significant administrative costs frequently reduce the rate of return as well. Thus, the saying “purchase term and invest the difference” became popular. Despite this, the performance is reliable and tax-favored, which is helpful when the stock market is unpredictable.

Other factors

The controversy between term and permanent insurance cannot be resolved in a single, universal way. Additional considerations include:

  • Does the rate of return on investments offer adequate persuasion?
  • Does the permanent policy have any other features, such as a loan provision?
  • Does the policyholder intend to run a business that needs insurance now or in the future?
  • Will life insurance provide a tax shelter for a big estate?

Term Life Insurance vs Convertible Term Life Insurance

The rider ensures the opportunity to change term insurance that has not expired or is about to expire into a permanent plan without undergoing underwriting or proving insurability. You ought to be free to convert to any permanent policy that the insurance provider provides without limitations if the conversion rider is present.

The key advantages of the rider include letting you decide when and how much of your coverage to convert, as well as preserving your term policy’s original health rating upon conversion, even if you subsequently experience health issues or lose your eligibility for coverage. Your age at conversion determines the cost of the new permanent insurance.

Being more expensive than term life insurance, whole life insurance will certainly see a large increase in price. The assurance of acceptance without a medical evaluation is a benefit. Health issues that arise during the term life period cannot raise rates. But the company can require partial or full underwriting if you want to add more riders to the new policy, such as a long-term care rider.

Other types of insurance

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Life Insurance in Newfoundland and LabradorLife Insurance in Nova ScotiaLife Insurance in OntarioLife Insurance in Prince Edward Island
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September 25, 2022
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FAQs about Term Life Insurance

Can I sell my term life insurance policy in Canada?

No, but you can cancel to stop paying premiums moving forward. It is difficult, illegal in some areas, and usually only permitted for permanent life insurance policies to sell life insurance policies in Canada.

Can I cash in your term life insurance?

No, a term insurance policy does not accrue cash value the way a universal life insurance plan does. You could attempt switching to this kind of insurance, but until you make payments into it, the policy won't begin to accrue money.

Can a term life insurance policy expire?

The answer is yes because the period you choose will terminate when your term life insurance policy expires. If you buy 10-year term insurance, you will only be protected by your life insurer for ten years unless you opt to renew or convert the coverage for a longer period.

What will I do if my term life insurance expires?

If you still wish to give your loved ones financial security, you can take into account the following options:

  1. Continually renew the term insurance policy (before the coverage expires)
  2. Term insurance is converted into permanent insurance (before the coverage expires)
  3. Purchase a brand-new life insurance policy.
For further information about your particular situation, make sure to speak with a professional life insurance broker. Because new plans frequently have higher rates due to aging, if you opt to buy brand-new coverage, compare term life insurance quotes to be certain you're receiving the best value.

Can I renew my term life insurance policy?

Most contracts have a clause about renewal. You can therefore renew it. Your plan will often automatically renew for a predetermined time. You might anticipate an increase in your premiums at renewal.

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