You’ve been told by your parents, your friends, or even the Internet that it’s time to buy life insurance. And you agree that it makes sense to protect your family financially with coverage. But you’re worried about adding yet another debit line to your monthly bank account statement.

After all, you just spent a ton of money on a down payment for a house. And your 6-month-old kid has an unbelievably long list of expenses for someone who weighs just 17 pounds.

So is buying life insurance a realistic option for you? Can you really afford it with everything else that you have on your financial plate right now? Well, you might be surprised to learn that life insurance isn’t as expensive as you might think.

Keep reading below to learn how much life insurance costs in Canada and the key factors that affect the price of a policy.

Average life insurance cost by age

When an insurance company asks for your age, they don’t do it to get the juicy details on how old you really are. Instead, they use it to determine how likely you are to die while holding a life insurance policy (and, therefore, how likely they are to have to pay your death benefit).

You’re more likely to die within the next 10 years if you’re 45 rather than 25. So you’ll pay more for the same policy if you buy it at age 45 instead of age 25.

That’s why in the table below, you’ll see that monthly life insurance premiums increase as you age.

Age $500,000 Manulife Term Life Insurance 20 year policy for a male
20 years old $32.75
25 years old $33.36
30 years old $33.84
35 years old $35.46
40 years old $50.08
45 years old $79.83
50 years old $134.21
55 years old $244.96

Average life insurance cost by gender

Your age isn’t the only characteristic that insurance companies look at when they’re figuring out how much to charge you for life insurance. They’ll also consider your gender.

With all else being equal, life insurance costs more for men than it does for women. Why? Because men are more likely to die at an early age than women are. Insurance companies compensate for this higher risk by charging men more for insurance. Sorry, guys!

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

Age/Gender $500,000 Manulife Term Life Insurance 20 year policy for a male
40 year old, female $38.00
40 year old, male $50.00

Average life insurance cost by coverage amount

Your personal characteristics aren’t the only key factors that influence how much life insurance costs. Insurers will also consider the amount of coverage you want when they decide what to charge you in premiums.

Your coverage amount is the amount of money your beneficiaries will receive as your death benefit if you die while holding your policy. If you want your insurer to cough up more money in the event that you die, you’ll have to pay more for coverage.

Here’s how life insurance costs change on average as the coverage amount increases:

Coverage Amount Manulife Term Life Insurance 20 year policy for a 35 year old male
$100,000 $13
$200,000 $13
$300,000 $25
$400,000 $32
$500,000 $35
$600,000 $42
$700,000 $48

What if you can’t afford the amount of coverage you need to cover all of your expenses? Buy a policy with a smaller coverage amount. It’s much better to leave your family with a smaller financial safety net than it is to leave them with no safety net at all.

Average life insurance cost by policy length

The cost of life insurance in Canada also depends on the length of your insurance policy. You’re more likely to die while holding your policy if you buy a 30-year policy instead of a 10-year policy. This means that if you want a longer policy, you’ll have to pay more for it.

Check out the table below for details on how life insurance costs vary by policy length.

Policy Length $500,000 Manulife Term Life Insurance policy for 35 year old male
10 years $27
20 years $35
To age 65 $66

If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to start with a 10-year policy because it’ll let you pay one of the cheapest rates available for insurance. In most cases, you’ll be able to renew your policy or apply for a new one when your current policy expires. And by then, fingers crossed, you’ll probably be more settled in your career and financially stable.

How to get your price for life insurance

Okay, so now you know about the key factors that affect life insurance costs. And you’ve seen how each of them individually affects the price of monthly premiums. But how do you put all of this information together to determine how much you’d pay for a policy depending on your particular age, gender, coverage amount, and policy length?

All you have to do is fill out a simple online form that asks about your age, gender, smoking status, coverage amount, and policy length.

You’ll then get quotes from some of Canada’s top insurers. Yup, it really is that simple.  

Of course, these quotes will be estimates of how much you’d pay for a policy. The final price will depend on additional information that your insurer will collect from you, such as your medical history and lifestyle, if you apply for coverage.

But the estimates you’ll get from our calculator will still give you a general idea of what a policy will cost. And they’ll help you determine how the cost of life insurance fits into your current budget.

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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