Term Life Insurance Costs in Canada

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Note: All rates in this article have been pulled from public rates from PolicyMe as of 2024. 

Curious about the cost of term life insurance? Let’s break down what you need to know to find the right coverage for your budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Average Cost: The average cost for a term life insurance policy in Canada can range anywhere from $15 to $75 a month depending on many factors like your health, age and smoker status.
  • Factors at Play: Your term life insurance cost relates to your age, health status, and any lifestyle changes. These adjustments ensure your coverage remains tailored to your current circumstances.
  • Renewal Premiums: When renewing your term life insurance policy in Canada, expect changes in your premiums. They're recalculated based on factors like age and health, often increasing as you get older.

What is the Average Term Life Insurance Cost in Canada?

When considering term life insurance, understanding the cost is a key factor in making an informed decision. Let’s dive into the average term life insurance costs in Canada for 2024 and compare these rates to previous years. We’ll also break down the costs by gender and smoking status to give you a clearer picture.

Average Cost for 2024

In 2024, the average cost of term life insurance in Canada remained relatively stable, reflecting the ongoing competitive nature of the insurance market. For a healthy non-smoker, a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 coverage can start at around $21.42 per month. Your exact premium might be a bit different than the average, it depends on several factors including age, health, and lifestyle.

Term Life Insurance Premiums Compared to Previous Years

Comparing the costs to previous years, the term life insurance rates in Canada have seen slight fluctuations. For example, in 2022, the same policy might have cost around $28 to $48 per month, showing a minor increase in premiums. This gradual rise can be attributed to inflation, changes in mortality rates, and adjustments in insurer pricing strategies based on Bankrate’s research.

Average Cost for Men

For men, the average cost tends to be slightly higher due to statistically shorter life expectancies. In 2024, a healthy 35-year-old man can expect to pay around $31.46 per month for a $500,000 term life insurance policy. Age plays a significant role, so younger men will find lower premiums compared to older individuals.

Average Cost for Women

Women generally enjoy lower premiums for term life insurance due to their longer life expectancies. A healthy 35-year-old woman in Canada can expect to pay around $23.57 per month for the same $500,000 policy. This cost advantage is a reflection of the lower risk perceived by insurers. But don’t forget that premiums depend on many other factors like your health, age and smoker status.

Average Cost for Smokers

Smoking can have an impact on the cost of your term life insurance. For smokers, the premiums can be considerably higher compared to a non-smoker applicant because smoking is considered a risky activity. In 2024, a 35-year-old male smoker might pay around $76.56 per month for a $500,000 policy, whereas a female smoker could pay around $59.10 per month. This higher cost is due to the increased health risks associated with smoking.

How Life Insurance Companies Calculate Term Life Insurance Cost

When it comes to determining the cost of your term life insurance, companies use a blend of factors to calculate your premium. Here’s a friendly breakdown of the key ingredients:

Mortality Rates

This is the big one. Life insurance companies rely heavily on mortality tables, which track how long people of different ages and genders typically live. Based on these tables, they can estimate how likely it is they'll need to pay a death benefit on your policy. The older you are, the higher the chance they'll need to pay out, so your premium will reflect that. Simply put, the closer you are to the average life expectancy for your demographic, the higher your premium will be.

Health History

Your health is a big indicator of your life expectancy. Insurance companies will ask about your medical history and lifestyle habits, like smoking, to get a better picture of your health risks. If you have pre-existing conditions, your premium could be higher. For example, a history of heart disease or diabetes might increase your premium because these conditions can shorten life expectancy. On the flip side, a clean bill of health can lower your costs.

Coverage Amount

The coverage amount, or the death benefit, is another crucial factor. The more money the insurance company pays out if you die, the more they’ll charge you in premiums. It's a straightforward risk-reward equation: higher coverage means higher premiums. If you're looking for a policy that pays out $1 million, expect to pay more than you would for a $100,000 policy.

Policy Type

The type of policy you choose also affects your premium. Term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specific period (like 10, 20, or 30 years), typically has lower premiums than whole life insurance, which not only provides lifelong coverage but also builds cash value. Term life is usually more affordable because it’s designed to cover you for a set period when you might need the most protection, like while raising a family or paying off a mortgage.


Insurance companies have their own costs to cover, including salesman commissions, administrative fees, and other operational expenses. These costs are factored into your premium. While this might not be the biggest portion of your premium, it’s still a piece of the puzzle that contributes to the overall cost.

The term life insurance cost is essentially a blend of your age, health, desired coverage amount, policy type, and the insurance company’s operating expenses. By knowing what goes into calculating your premium, you can better tailor your search to find the most affordable and appropriate policy for your needs.

Average Term Life Insurance Cost by Coverage Amount

When it comes to securing the financial future of your loved ones, understanding the cost of term life insurance is crucial. Let's break down the range of average term life insurance costs for different coverage amounts you can expect to come across when shopping around for policies.

$300,000 Coverage Amount

For many families, a $300,000 term life insurance policy provides a solid foundation of financial protection. On average, the cost of this coverage is quite affordable, typically ranging from $15 to $25 per month for a healthy individual in their 30s. This amount can help cover essential expenses such as mortgage payments, outstanding debts, and funeral costs.

$500,000 Coverage Amount

A $500,000 term life insurance policy offers more comprehensive coverage, providing added peace of mind. The average monthly premium for this amount generally falls between $20 and $35 for a healthy person in their 30s. This higher coverage can assist with maintaining your family's lifestyle, covering larger debts, and ensuring your children's education costs are taken care of.

$750,000 Coverage Amount

Stepping up to a $750,000 term life insurance policy means even greater financial security for your loved ones. The average cost for this level of coverage ranges from $30 to $45 per month for a healthy 30-something. This amount can provide a significant safety net, helping your family manage day-to-day expenses and future financial goals.

$1,000,000 Coverage Amount

A $1,000,000 term life insurance policy is a popular choice for those looking to ensure substantial financial protection. The average monthly cost for this coverage is approximately $40 to $55 for a healthy individual in their 30s. This substantial amount can help cover everything from living expenses and debts to long-term financial plans, such as college tuition and retirement savings for your spouse.

$1,500,000 Coverage Amount

For even greater assurance, a $1,500,000 term life insurance policy offers extensive coverage. The average premium for this amount typically ranges from $55 to $75 per month for a healthy person in their 30s. With this coverage, you can rest easy knowing your family will have the resources to handle significant financial obligations and future aspirations.

$2,000,000 Coverage Amount

A $2,000,000 term life insurance policy represents a robust financial safety net. The average monthly cost for this level of coverage is around $70 to $100 for a healthy individual in their 30s. This policy can provide comprehensive support, ensuring your family can maintain their lifestyle, cover all debts, and have funds for future investments and goals.

Average Cost by Term Length

When considering term life insurance, it's essential to understand how the length of the policy affects its cost. Here's a breakdown of the average costs for different term lengths to help you make an informed decision.

5-Year Policy

A 5-year term life insurance policy is a short-term solution that offers the lowest premiums compared to longer terms. It's ideal for individuals seeking temporary coverage for specific financial needs, like paying off a small loan or the remaining years on a mortgage. On average, a healthy non-smoker might pay around $10 per month for a 5-year term policy, for a 30-year old seeking 500,000 in coverage.

A big note to keep in mind is that a 5-year term policy is not very common. If you are looking for short-term coverage for less than 10 years, it would be best to consider a one year policy that renews annually. Although these policies are usually more affordable your rates are not locked in because you have to renew your coverage on a yearly basis. 

10-Year Policy

A 10-year term policy is slightly more expensive but still offers affordable premiums. This term length is suitable for covering medium-term financial goals, like a child’s education or paying off a car loan. For a healthy 30 year-old, non-smoker, the average cost is approximately $14.54 per month for $500,000 coverage. This policy provides a balance between short-term affordability and sufficient coverage duration.

20-Year Policy

A 20-year term life insurance policy is one of the most popular choices, providing a more extended period of coverage at reasonable rates. This term is great for ensuring your family is protected while your children grow up or for covering long-term debts like a mortgage. On average, healthy non-smokers can expect to pay between $21.42 per month for a 20-year term policy, for a healthy, 30 year-old non-smoker seeking $500,000 in coverage.

30-Year Policy

For those looking for the longest term available, a 30-year policy offers peace of mind for an extended period. This is perfect for young families or individuals with long-term financial commitments. On average, a healthy non-smoker might pay about $32.75 per month for a 30-year term policy for a healthy, non-smoking 30 year-old seeking $500,000 in coverage. 

Ways to Save Money on Your Term Life Insurance Premiums

When it comes to securing your financial future, term life insurance is a smart and affordable choice. However, even with its lower costs compared to whole life insurance, it's always good to find ways to save even more. Here are eight friendly tips to help you reduce your term life insurance cost:

1. Shop Around for Quotes: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Different insurers offer varying rates, so it’s worth taking the time to compare. Utilize online comparison tools or work with an insurance broker to find the best deal.

2. Choose the Right Term Length: Select a term length that aligns with your needs. Shorter terms generally have lower premiums. Evaluate your financial responsibilities and choose a term that covers the essential years without overextending.

3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Your health plays a significant role in determining your premium. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco can lead to lower rates. Many insurers offer better premiums to individuals who demonstrate good health habits.

4. Review & Update Your Policy Regularly: Life changes, and so do your insurance needs. Regularly reviewing your policy can help you adjust coverage to your current situation, potentially reducing unnecessary costs.

5. Bundle Your Policies: Many insurers offer discounts if you bundle your life insurance with other policies, like home or auto insurance. Check with your provider to see if bundling can save you money.

6. Pay Annually Instead of Monthly: While paying monthly might seem easier on your budget, paying your premium annually can save you money in the long run. Many insurers offer discounts for annual payments.

7. Take Advantage of Discounts: Ask your insurer about available discounts. You might qualify for savings through your employer, professional associations, or even based on your lifestyle and hobbies.

Remember, the goal is to protect your loved ones without breaking the bank. With a little effort and smart planning, you can secure the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.

Summary: Term Life Insurance Cost

  • Renewal Premiums: When renewing your term life insurance policy in Canada, expect changes in your premiums. They're recalculated based on factors like age and health, often increasing as you get older.
  • Factors at Play: Your renewal premiums hinge on your age, health status, and any lifestyle changes. These adjustments ensure your coverage remains tailored to your current circumstances.
  • Stay Informed: Review your policy terms carefully during renewal. Understanding changes in your premiums empowers you to make informed decisions about your coverage.

FAQ: Guide to Term Life insurance Rates

Will pre-existing conditions automatically make term life insurance more expensive?

Pre-existing conditions can indeed affect your term life insurance premium, but it's not always a deal-breaker. In Canada, insurers consider various factors, including the type and severity of your condition, your overall health, and how well you manage your condition. For instance, controlled diabetes might have a lesser impact on your premium compared to more severe or unmanaged conditions. Some insurers might offer coverage at standard rates if your condition is stable and well-managed, so it pays to shop around and get multiple quotes.

That said, honesty is the best policy. Always be upfront about your medical history during the application process. Omitting details can lead to denied claims later on, which is a hassle no one wants. To get the most accurate quote and avoid surprises, provide thorough information from the get-go. Consulting with a knowledgeable insurance broker who understands the Canadian market can also help you navigate your options and find the best coverage at a reasonable cost.

Do I need a medical exam to qualify for term life insurance?

In some cases, you may need a medical exam to qualify for term life insurance in Canada, but don’t worry—it’s not as daunting as it sounds. The exam typically involves a quick check-up where a nurse or paramedic will take your height, weight, blood pressure, and a blood sample. Insurers use this information to assess your health and determine your premium. It’s a straightforward process designed to ensure you get the right coverage at a fair price.

However, if the idea of a medical exam gives you cold feet, there are no-medical exam policies available too. These plans usually have higher premiums since the insurer is taking on more risk, but they offer convenience and speed. Ideal for those with pre-existing conditions or a busy schedule, no-medical exam policies can still provide peace of mind without the hassle. So, whether you opt for a traditional policy or skip the exam, there's a term life insurance option to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Do you pay taxes on life insurance in Canada?

In Canada, the good news is that life insurance payouts are generally tax-free. When a beneficiary receives the death benefit from a term life insurance policy, they don’t have to worry about the taxman taking a cut. This means your loved ones will get the full amount of the policy, providing them with financial security exactly when they need it most. It’s one of the key reasons why term life insurance is such a valuable tool for financial planning.

However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind. If your policy accumulates cash value, any interest earned might be subject to taxes. Additionally, if the death benefit becomes part of your estate rather than going directly to a beneficiary, it could be subject to estate taxes. But for the majority of straightforward term life insurance policies, you can rest easy knowing that the funds will be there for your family without any unexpected tax deductions.

What happens if I cancel my term life insurance policy?

If you’re considering canceling your term life insurance policy in Canada, it’s essential to understand the implications. Firstly, terminating your policy means you'll lose the coverage it provides. If something were to happen to you after cancellation, your loved ones wouldn't receive the death benefit.

Additionally, depending on the terms of your policy, you might not get any money back, especially if you've paid premiums on a monthly basis. It’s crucial to weigh your options carefully and consider alternative solutions before making a decision. If affordability is the concern, you might explore adjusting your coverage amount or term length instead of canceling altogether. Always consult with your insurer or financial advisor to explore your best options tailored to your specific circumstances.

What happens to my premiums when I renew my term life insurance policy?

When you renew your term life insurance policy in Canada, your premiums may change. Unlike other types of insurance, such as auto or home, term life insurance premiums are not fixed for the duration of the policy. When you renew, your premiums are recalculated based on several factors, including your age, health status, and any changes in your lifestyle.

Generally, as you get older, the cost of your premiums may increase. It's essential to review your policy terms carefully and work with your insurer to understand any changes in your premiums so that you can make informed decisions about your coverage moving forward.

Source: Our source for Guide to Term Life Insurance Cost is based on public rates pulled from PolicyMe information as of 2024.