Did you know, on average, over 50% of Canadians are looking to buy life insurance online, instead of in person?

It’s not a huge surprise.  Think about how many industries are building their online experiences and how people are embracing it. 

That’s where PolicyMe comes in. We created a product that allows you to get life insurance coverage online completely at home – and most people are instantly approved. 

It’s easy to try and there’s no commitment on your end to see a quote. Why not give it a go? 

Here’s a step-by-step guide through our Life Insurance Checkup, which will lead you to our Life Insurance Calculator. It’ll take no time to go through and, hopefully, make shopping for life insurance just a little bit easier. 

Notes to Start

If you decide to go through our full life insurance checkup, set aside around ten minutes. You can do this while watching a show or listening to music – it’s that easy!

You will be asked some personal questions on topics like your health, financial situation, and family planning. Rest assured, everything you share is 100% confidential. Your information won’t be shared with anybody unless you go through the process and decide to apply. At that point, it will only be shared with the parties necessary to process and complete your application.

It’s also important to note that you can go through the process without providing an email. The quote calculator is free to use!

Step 1:  Start Where You Are

Rate calculator - step 1

Are you still figuring out what you need, or are you ready to apply? Select the stage that matches yours.

If you’re ready to apply, you can get an instant quote based on three factors: your age, gender, and whether or not you smoke. It’s that easy! 

No worries if you’re unsure of your coverage amount. We’ll take you through a few questions to get a better picture of where you’re at and what you need. These questions look into your family background, lifestyle, and the state of your finances. 

In going through this assessment, don’t worry about entering exact dollar amounts – ballpark figures would be fine. 

Step 2: Tell Us About You & Your Family  

Rate calculator - step 2

Single or married? Are kids in the future plan?

Because life insurance is all about protecting the people you love, it’s important to indicate whether there are people in your life who are reliant on your income. This helps us determine who you’ll want to protect, should anything happen to you. 

If you’re expecting, congrats! Simply indicate that you have a child – or children if you’re expecting twins or triplets – and specify age ‘0’ in the fields that appear. If you have other children as well, simply ‘Add Child’ accordingly and indicate their age. 

If you’re planning on having children, we recommend indicating ‘no’ for the time being. 

At this stage, you’re assessing how much life insurance coverage you’ll want to get and how much you’ll be paying for that coverage. Until you have children, you don’t want to be paying for coverage you don’t currently need. 

If things change and you welcome a new member of the family before you sign, simply revisit this Life Insurance Checkup to get a re-assessment of your coverage needs. If you already have a policy and are concerned you need to make changes based on an additional family member, you can contact us! We’ll help with that. 

We’ll also ask if you intend to fund your children’s post-secondary education. This gives us a better picture of what your long-term financial picture will look like. We want to make sure your family will have enough money to cover these costs in the future, in case you are no longer around. 

Step 3: Tell Us About Your Lifestyle

Rate calculator - step 3

We’ll then ask for background basics including age and gender, which insurers take into account. Men and women, for example, have different life expectancies, while younger individuals have lower risk of death. These factor into the pricing of life insurance policies. 

Do You Smoke? 

Like age and gender, health and lifestyle impact the price of your insurance policy as well.

The good news is that if you haven’t smoked in the last 12 months, it doesn’t matter how many packs of cigarettes you went through per day once upon a time. You can enter ‘no’ and your policy will be assessed as that of a non-smoker. 

Do You Have Pre-Existing Health Conditions?

We’ll also ask if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious health condition. Someone who has suffered from a heart attack, for example, may pay higher premiums compared to someone who hasn’t. These conditions have different implications on your life expectancy, which then impacts your insurance rate. 

That said, pre-existing health conditions don’t keep you from being eligible for life insurance. If there’s something you’re unsure about or want clarifications on, you can always get in touch – we’re here to walk you through this process and answer any questions you may have.

Step 4:  Tell Us About Your Finances

The next few questions will give us a better understanding of your current financial picture. This section includes numbers surrounding your income, daily expenses, savings, and financial projections. 

As life insurance is meant to protect your family financially after you’re gone, we want to ensure we get an accurate look at what they might need to maintain their current lifestyle should anything happen to you. Don’t worry about things like inflation – that is considered in our calculations for you. 

At the end of the day, we don’t recommend getting more life insurance coverage than you need. This helps keep insurance costs low, and prevents you from being unnecessarily ‘overprotected’.

Annual Income

One of the things we ask for is your annual income, including your partner’s, before taxes. Don’t include income generated from investments, or passive income that isn’t tied to your work. Those are covered later. 

Renter or House Owner?

Are you renting or buying? If you’re renting, we’ll request your monthly rent. If you own, we’ll ask about your mortgage and monthly payment. 

We recommend holding off a future home if you’re planning to buy, and stick to your rental costs. The costs of buying a house – from its sale price to mortgage payments – are several factors that also impact the price of your premiums. You don’t want to have to pay for these until you own the house, when you’re certain of how much these things will cost. 

Similarly with children, you can revisit our life insurance checkup if your circumstances change before you sign a policy. If you have a policy in place and your home status changes, contact us and we can help you assess if your life insurance needs have changed. 

Existing Life Insurance Coverage

Rate calculator - step 4

If you have any existing life insurance, we’ll simply deduct that coverage from the policy we’re recommending. This means you’re presented with reduced coverage (unless you decide to cancel the current one). This ensures that the total amount of coverage you’re getting from all policies are in line with what you need. 

Savings

This includes retirement and non-retirement savings. Non-retirement savings include the value of your business, if you have one, and assets and savings within the corporation. This kind of savings have large tax implications upon withdrawal, so it’s best not to assume you’ll be getting that full amount. For the purposes of this Life Insurance Checkup, multiply business-related savings figures by 80%. 

Debt

Debt repayment is a huge part of your family’s future expenses. If anything happens to you, you don’t want to leave your family unprepared for all the debt you’re currently repaying. Here, we’ll ask for any credit card debt that you pay monthly (leave this blank if you pay your credit card bills in full every month), student loans, home equity loans, and lines of credit. 

Monthly Expenses

Rate calculator - step 5

This rounds out our picture of your current finances: how much do you need to cover your monthly needs, from housing and phone bills to groceries and transportation costs to child care and leisure to gifts and other expenses? We’ll ask for a rough breakdown of these expenses, so it’d be ideal to have a sense of how much each category costs you every month.

And that’s it!

Step 5: Get Your Recommendation

Rate calculator - step 6

After going through the assessment, we’ll recommend an insurance policy coverage amount and policy length based on the information you’ve just shared.

The coverage amount is the total amount of money your family will receive from your insurance company – tax-free  – if you pass away. This amount will allow them to maintain their present lifestyle even if anything should happen to you. Note that the higher the coverage amount, the more expensive your policy will be, which is why we emphasize the importance of getting quality and honest advice on what you need – no more, no less. 

The policy length refers to the length of time your family might need the support of the insurance payout. This duration covers the period of your life insurance policy; it’s how long you’ll be paying monthly insurance premiums, and if you pass away within this time or by this age, the insurance company will pay out your coverage to your family.

We also unpack how we arrived at these recommendations, and outline what’s included in your policy.

Simple, isn’t it? 

Meet our Life Insurance Calculator

When you click ‘See Prices’, you’ll find our Life Insurance Calculator. This lets you personalize your policy by modifying your coverage amount and term length. There’s also the option to add a life insurance policy for your partner, which is as simple as entering their age, gender, and whether or not they smoke.

PolicyMe's Life Insurance Calculator

From here, you have the option of returning to these recommendations at a later date or getting started on your application. 

Like we said earlier: easy!

Step 6: Start Your Application

Applying for a life insurance policy through PolicyMe is just as simple and easy as going through the Life Insurance Checkup, if a little more thorough. This process will take between 10 and 20 minutes, and at the end, you’ll receive either instant approval or a notice of an extra step or two. More than half of our applicants are instantly approved.

Here, we’ll ask more specific and detailed questions about your background; personal and family health histories; lifestyle, including participation in dangerous hobbies and the use of nicotine as well as cannabis products; and finances. 

Also: there are no upfront fees or any obligations to filling out this application. You can get started, and change your mind anytime. 

Toward the end, we’ll ask you to specify your beneficiaries and let you review a fine print of your life insurance policy. 

Then we’ll ask you to ‘eSign’ this document. This means you can do everything right from your computer – no hassle of printing! 

Rate calculator - step 8

Only then will we require you to enter your credit card details and select a monthly or annual payment plan. Once done, we’ll charge that credit card immediately to kickstart your policy.

In the case you don’t receive instant approval, we’ll outline the intermediate steps we’ll take to verify any health conditions, personal background details, or documents you’ve shared. 

And again, if you change your mind, don’t worry! You can stop filling out this application anytime. However, you’ll have to start from the beginning if you come back later. 

We hope this guide helps you with your life insurance shopping journey. If you’re ready to get started, head this way to our Life Insurance Checkup.

Laura McKay

COO & Co-Founder

Laura brings 7 years of experience working in insurance & strategic operations as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman, after experiences at Manulife and Munich Re. In 2017, she launched a successful initiative for the World Economic Forum focused on innovation in insurance, working closely with insurers, tech pioneers, and policy-makers.

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