Do You Need Life Insurance?

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Do you need life insurance?  Well, ask yourself the question: do you have anyone financially dependent on you?  This can include your partner, your kids, or aging parents (but not your shoe collection or video game avatar). If you have a loved one who relies on your income to maintain their standard of living, we recommend that you get life insurance. Why?

Let’s say, for example, that you and your partner recently bought a house. You borrowed money to pay for the house and now owe monthly payments on your mortgage. When you purchased your mortgage, you probably assumed that both of you would contribute to these mortgage payments. So without you in the picture, your partner may need to make a lot of sacrifices to make these payments. And in the worst-case scenario, he or she could even lose the house. Life insurance is there to make sure this doesn’t happen. 

Who Doesn't Need Life Insurance?

In general, if you’re single and don’t have any children, you probably don’t need life insurance. Why? Because no one is relying on your income to live.

That seems simple enough, but here’s what you may be thinking: “I'm planning to have a family one day. What if my health deteriorates before then? Should I buy life insurance now before it gets too expensive or I get sick and become uninsurable?”

In this case, is it worth it for you to get life insurance?  Buying coverage before you actually need it may seem like the best way to plan for the future (and to stop your mind from running through worst-case scenarios at 3:00 a.m.). But the reality is that if you don’t need the coverage today, the money you would spend on insurance premiums could be better used to contribute to retirement savings or build an emergency fund. If you’re someone who avoids risk at all costs, you may disagree with us. However, for most people, our advice is this: save your money for now, and come back to us in a few years when you’re married or have children. In other words, there’s no need to put the cart before the horse.

Additionally, anyone who is no longer making an income (usually those in retirement) or anyone with enough savings to cover their future family expenses doesn't need life insurance.  Remember, life insurance is used to protect those who are financially dependent on you.  If you can do that already with your savings, then life insurance is not needed.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

What does life insurance cost?  Most people think life insurance costs 3x or 4x more than it actually does. And we don’t blame them. After all, life insurance costs are a bit of a black box.

The price of life insurance is variable, depending on your coverage amount and health. You'll naturally pay more if you want $100,000 in coverage versus $1,000,000. The same logic goes towards overall health – if you're extremely healthy, you'll pay less since you have less risk of passing away. Some of the other factors that impact your price include:

  • Age: Typically, the higher your age, the higher your premium
  • Gender: Males are at higher risk, so they pay a higher price for life insurance
  • Smoking Status: If you regularly smoke, your life insurance rates can be up to 200% higher than the average applicant

Another factor is the company you choose to get your life insurance with. Check out the table below to see how the prices vary between companies.

chart comparing term life insurance quotes from PolicyMe and its competitors
Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of October 2019. Terms and conditions may apply.

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Typically, you need life insurance only if you have somebody who relies on your income. If you don't have anybody relying on you financially, life insurance shouldn't be high on your list of needs.

If you need help figuring out your life insurance needs (if you have a need!), feel free to contact us. We'll help you figure out if you need coverage at no charge.

You can also apply for life insurance with PolicyMe and find out if you're approved instantly – if you're in good health, you have a high chance of instant approval (and you're getting the most affordable life insurance in Canada with no impact on the product quality – win-win!)

Laura McKay

COO & Co-Founder

About the Author

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