How Much Is Life Insurance in Canada? [Average Rates for 2022]

Before you even apply for life insurance you probably want to know: can I even afford it?

Good news: life insurance is more affordable than you think, though rates vary based on what kind of policy you choose.

The average cost of life insurance per month is between $15-$100 in Canada, according to PolicyMe advisor Erik Heidebrecht, and upwards of $200+ a month if you're in your late 40s+ and/or higher risk. 

Read on to learn how much life insurance costs in Canada for men and women at different ages and health tiers, across different coverage options.

How much is life insurance in Canada? Average rates for 2022

The average cost of life insurance per month in Canada is about $13 for $100,000 in coverage if you're a healthy 30-year-old requesting a 10-year term life insurance policy with PolicyMe.

If you're a 60-year-old smoker, your premiums will be over $100 per month for the same amount of coverage.

How much life insurance costs in Canada depends on a few factors including gender, age, health status, family history and lifestyle choices (yes: a sky diving habit will raise your rates).

If you're of average health for your age and your risk factor is low, your premiums will be lower, too.

The chart below looks at term life insurance rates by age from five leading Canadian life insurers.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Term life insurance price comparison chart

Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of March 2022. Terms and conditions may apply.

Curious to see what your price is? Get an instant quote online from PolicyMe.

How monthly life insurance rates are determined

How much life insurance costs is primarily based on your age. Generally, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your monthly life insurance premiums will be.

Unlike other types of insurance, where you live in Canada does not impact how much life insurance will cost. 

Here's the main factors Canadian life insurance companies look at to determine your price:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Smoking status
  • Health
  • Family health history
  • Risky job or lifestyle

Every life insurance company in Canada weighs these factors differently, which is why you'll get different life insurance rates from different providers.

Monthly rates can also depend on a life insurance company's expenses and number of past claims, as well as the type of policy you buy (term or permanent), how much life insurance you get and your term length.

At PolicyMe, it's our mission to make life insurance more affordable, without compromising on quality of coverage.

PolicyMe has simplified the traditional life insurance process with technology and we pass those savings down to you.

Bonus? Couples save an extra 5% each year, so you can put those savings towards RRSPs, tuition, or better yet, that long overdue vacation.

New to life insurance? Read our simple guide to what life insurance is and how it works. Or check out our reviews of the cheapest life insurance in Canada (and pricier options too).

The cost of term vs. permanent life insurance in Canada

The type of life insurance you pick will factor into your monthly cost.

There are two main types of life insurance policies available: permanent and term life insurance. Term life insurance tends to be more affordable than permanent life insurance (also called whole or universal life insurance). 

  • Permanent life insurance policies provide coverage for your entire life and sometimes collect cash value through investments, but the premiums are much pricier. Permanent life insurance policies cost 5 to 10 times more than term.
  • Term life insurance policies provide coverage for you during the years you really need it, like when the kids are young or while you’re paying off debt. Terms typically come in the 10, 20, 30 year time frame. Unlike permanent life insurance, term life insurance doesn’t have an investment component.

But life insurance is best used to replace your income if you pass away. It's not necessarily well-designed to help you invest your money. So the cash benefits from a permanent life insurance policy are inefficient at best.

There are many more profitable ways to invest your money other than through a whole life insurance policy. Investment options like RRSPs and TFSAs will make more money for your loved ones after you're gone. 

Below, you’ll see a breakdown of how whole life insurance (a type of permanent policy) investment measures up against having a term life insurance policy and making regular investments to your RRSP and TFSA.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Whole life versus investing chart

We provide accurate, honest quotes and will never oversell you on more coverage than you truly need. By streamlining the inefficient processes of traditional life insurance providers, we’re able to offer the lowest rates in Canada on term life insurance. 

Use our simple online life insurance calculator to find out your estimated monthly cost of life insurance with PolicyMe. And instead of waiting weeks, most applicants receive an instant decision.

If you apply for coverage, the final price for your policy will depend on additional information that your insurer will collect from you, such as your medical history and lifestyle.

Below, we’ll take a look at average life insurance costs by age, gender identity, coverage amount, policy length and insurance company.

What is the average cost of life insurance in Canada?

The average cost of term life insurance in Canada is $22 per month for a non-smoking, 40-year-old woman. This is an average rate for $250,000 in coverage over a 20-year policy.

For a non-smoking 40-year-old male, the average cost of term life insurance in Canada is $28 per month with the same policy length and coverage amount. 

Keep in mind that these average costs are for PolicyMe as of Oct 2021. By cutting out unnecessary admin and processing costs, we’re able to provide coverage at a better price than our competitors. 

And as a general rule, the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be. But remember, what you pay for life insurance depends on your situation and needs.

Some of the major factors that go into life insurance premiums include your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Coverage amount
  • Policy length.

Coverage amount refers to the payout your beneficiaries would receive if you passed away during your policy length. Policy length is the amount of time you are covered for; they usually range from 10 to 30 years. 

Average life insurance cost by age

Life insurance companies provide rates based on life expectancy and risk. As you age, the likelihood of your insurer having to pay out your policy increases, so your rates will also increase. That’s why it’s always more beneficial to purchase life insurance when you’re young.

The chart below shows how your age influences your monthly life insurance rates.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Average cost of life insurance by age chart
Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of March 2022. Terms and conditions may apply.

Generally, the cost of term life insurance will increase every year you get older, so the younger you are, the less your monthly premium will be. Even though term life insurance has a fixed cost per month once you start your coverage, the cost of life insurance substantially increases during your late 40s, so the earlier you start, the better.

The cost of life insurance for children in Canada 

The cost of life insurance for children at PolicyMe is free for a coverage amount up to $10,000. Policyholders with children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old will receive a $10,000 lump-sum payment in the event of their child’s death. It’s free because we’re focused on protecting Canadian families with the coverage they deserve.

If you would like to get more than $10,000 of coverage, life insurance plans are available for children in Canada. Plans work similarly to life insurance for adults and include term life insurance, whole life insurance and a child term rider.

However, for the average Canadian family, we’d recommend against purchasing further coverage until the child is 18 and can have their own policy. Why? There are a few reasons: 

  • Kids rarely have their own dependents, so it rarely makes financial sense for them to have a “traditional” life insurance policy.
  • Most parents would be better off taking the money they’d spend on extra child coverage and investing it in other areas to benefit the child.

A child term rider is a plan that adds a fee to their parent's existing plan and provides coverage until the child is an adult. With PolicyMe, children are covered under their parent's term life insurance policy for free up to $10,000. We make kids' coverage effortless, because we know that parents don’t have time to waste. So this coverage is applied automatically to each new policy. 

The cost of life insurance for couples in Canada

Individual life insurance allows you and your partner to pick different policy lengths and coverage amounts. It tends to be more expensive but provides flexibility in your policy. At PolicyMe, you can bundle your policy with your partners and receive a 5% discount off your monthly term life insurance rate. 

There are two main types of life insurance for couples: individual and joint life insurance. To learn more, read our blog post on life insurance for couples. 

Term life insurance rates for seniors 

Term life insurance rates for seniors are $240 for a non-smoking, 65 year-old-female with $250,000 of coverage over a 20-year policy with PolicyMe.

For a 65-year-old non-smoking male, it would cost $357 per month for the same policy length and coverage amount with PolicyMe.  

As you get older, your circumstances change, and so do your needs for life insurance. Even though we’ve stated the younger you are, the cheaper the life insurance, this does not mean you cannot afford good coverage once you are older. 

You may have less debt or require a smaller coverage due to your older age. Even though your monthly rate may rise, a lower policy length and coverage amount can almost offset these costs making your coverage close to the same amount as someone half your age. 

Life insurance for seniors can often be used for funeral expenses, paying off any debts, and helping your beneficiaries once you have passed. At PolicyMe, term life insurance can only be purchased when you are about 65. At 70, you may only get a 10 or 15-year term, while at 75 you are only eligible for 10 years of coverage. 

Whether you need to start new coverage or renew your previous term life insurance, it is never too late to get the coverage you need. 

Average life insurance cost by gender identity

Your gender identity plays a small but important role, too.

According to a study by Harvard Medical School, women statistically live longer than men. Because of this, women pay less for their life insurance premiums.

Usually, typical policies are based on your self-identified gender instead of your gender at birth. There’s currently no established protocol on gender for transgender applicants. 

The following table illustrates how monthly insurance premiums vary by gender.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Average cost of life insurance by gender chart
Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of March 2022. Terms and conditions may apply.

Average life insurance cost by coverage amount

The amount that would be paid to your beneficiaries is known as your policy’s face value or death benefit. The more coverage you have, the more you’ll pay in premiums.

The most common coverage amount is $500,000, but not everyone needs the “Cadillac” of insurance. 

You should have the right amount to provide for your loved ones if you pass away. However, even if funds are tight, providing your family with a small policy is better than nothing at all.

Here's how life insurance rates vary as the coverage amount increases:

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Average cost of life insurance by coverage amount chart
Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of March 2022. Terms and conditions may apply.

Average life insurance cost by policy length

Term life insurance policies are typically available for a 10-, 20- or 30-year period. The shorter the policy length, the more affordable the life insurance.

When you renew at the end of your term, the cost of your annual premiums may increase

The following chart details how policy length can affect the monthly cost of life insurance. 

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Average cost of life insurance by policy length chart
Pricing based on publicly-available rates as of March 2022. Terms and conditions may apply.

Other factors that impact the cost of life insurance

Besides your age, gender identity and policy details, your lifestyle and health history can also determine the cost of your insurance.

If you’re a smoker, your premiums will increase significantly, costing you double or triple a non-smoker’s rate. The same goes for if you have a dangerous occupation (such as a driver, roofer or miner) or take part in higher-risk hobbies, like skydiving or scuba diving.

This would leave your beneficiaries without the ability to make a claim and receive your death benefit.

Real-life examples: cost of life insurance

Mike and Samantha live in Burlington, Ontario. Like many other millennials, they balance their student loan debt with other financial commitments, including their mortgage. 

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost: Couple sitting on couch looking at each other

As they start to think about having a family, they realize the importance of taking out a life insurance policy. They want to ensure that their children will be taken care of financially if something happens to them.

Because he’s both a man and a smoker, Mike’s premiums are quoted as being over double the rate compared to Samantha’s. Even so, the couple was surprised at how affordable life insurance actually is. For a 20-year term, their monthly premiums will be less than their cell phone bill!

  • Mike’s approximate premium: $33.30*
  • Samantha’s approximate premium: $14.78*

*These premiums are based on PolicyMe rates.

They also realize that they likely won’t need the same $500,000 coverage amount upon renewal since they’ll owe less on their mortgage. This should help lower the renewal amount for their new policy term and keep it affordable for their family.

In summary: how to get a rate for life insurance

We’re intentional about the life insurance products we offer. That means we choose to sell an affordable product that works best for most Canadian families: term life insurance. 

Term life insurance gives you financial security during the years when you really need it – at the right price. And we are the only Canadian provider to offer free coverage for your kids when you get coverage with us.

With PolicyMe's online application, you can receive a decision in just a few minutes. By removing unnecessary steps throughout the application process, we have the most affordable rates, without compromising on coverage. Keep in mind that the quotes you receive are estimates only.

We provide life insurance in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and 8 other Canadian provinces and territories.

FAQ: the cost of life insurance in Canada

What is the average life insurance cost per month in Canada?

The average cost of life insurance is only $22 per month. Although many Canadians believe life insurance isn’t affordable, for $500,000 of coverage over 20 years, your premiums are usually cheaper than your typical cell phone bill. For younger people, rates are especially affordable.

How much does a $100,000 life insurance policy cost per month?

A $100,000 life insurance policy will cost about $13 per month on average for a 35-year-old man with a 20-year term life insurance policy.

How much is life insurance in British Columbia 

The cost of life insurance in British Columbia is about $22 per month on average. The same as any other province or territory in Canada. 

PolicyMe provides life insurance in Alberta, Ontario, B.C. and 8 other provinces and territories. Using our life insurance calculator can provide you with a monthly price for life insurance anywhere we offer our services.

Do I need to get a medical exam to get life insurance?

Some life insurance companies, like PolicyMe, offer instant approval. 

We don’t require a medical exam for most applicants. If we do request a medical exam, you will find out instantly. And the time you wait for insurance is only weeks, not months.

Read more about no medical life insurance.

How much is life insurance for a single person?

An average 30-year-old man and woman will pay $18 per month and $15 per month respectively for a $250,000 20-year term life insurance policy.

What is the cost of a one-million-dollar life insurance policy in Canada?

A million-dollar term life insurance policy will cost $82 for a 30-year-old, non-smoking male with 20 years of coverage at PolicyMe. For a 30-year-old non-smoking female with a 20-year policy length, the cost per month is about $60 at PolicyMe. 

Laura McKay

COO & Co-Founder

About the Author

What to read next