Life insurance helps you feel secure about your family's financial well-being in the case of a tragedy. Whether or not you are
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Frequently asked questions about life insurance
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a legally binding contract between you and a life insurance provider. In it, your life insurance provider agrees to pay out a specified amount of money to the people you've named in your policy, called beneficiaries, in the event of your death. In order to keep your life insurance policy active, you agree to pay your life insurance provider a specific amount of money, called your premiums. Many life insurance providers give you the option to pay for your insurance premiums monthly, annually, or semi-annually.
How does life insurance work?
The purpose of life insurance is to protect your loved ones from financial hardship if you were to pass away unexpectedly. Some people get life insurance to replace all or a portion of their income during a period of time such as until their kids become adults. Others get it as a tax efficient way to pass on their wealth to loved ones after they die.
What is term life insurance?
Term life insurance provides coverage for a defined period of time or until a specfic age outlined in the policy. Common terms range from 10 to 30 years. At the end of the term, you have the option to renew your policy for another term, or in some cases, convert it into a permanent life insurance policy. With term life insurance, your premiums will likely increase upon renewal or if you convert it into a permanent policy.
What is permanent life insurance?
Permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire life, no matter when you die. A permanent life insurance policy is typically more expensive than a term policy with comparable coverage. However, the cost of your premiums will remain the same. As long as you never miss a payment, eventually you will satisify your premium payment obligation. In that case, you will no longer have to pay premiums but your coverage will remain in effect. If you stop paying your premiums before you have fulfilled your total payment obligation, your policy will be cancelled and you will no longer have coverage. Many permanent life insurance policies offer a cash value benefit, which allows the policy to be sold if needed or used as a savings vehicle. As the value of the policy grows over time, policy holders may be able to withdraw funds or borrow against it.
How much life insurance do I need?
Generally, you should have enough life insurance coverage to maintain your family's standard of living after you're gone. Many people choose enough life insurance coverage to: cover funeral costs, settle outstanding debt, pay off their mortgage, and take care of their chidlren's education costs. Use our Life Insurance Calculator to find out how much life insurance coverage you need.
How much does life insurance cost in Canada?
The cost of your life insurance premiums depends on several factors such as your age, health status, the type of insurance policy, and amount of coverage. The younger you are when you get life insurance, the less expensive it will be. The longer you wait, and the older you are, the more expensive it becomes.
Is life insurance taxable in Canada?
In most cases, when life insurance is paid out to your named beneficiary after your death, the money they receive is tax-free; it is not considered taxable income. However, in some cases a life insurance death benefit is paid out to the estate of a deceased person rather than a beneficiary. In that case, the death benefit is taxable.
Can a life insurance policy expire?
Term life insurance expires if it reaches the end of the term and you choose not to renew. As long as you fulfill your payment obligation, permanent life insurance remains in effect until you die, no matter when that is. If you stop making payments before you have fulfilled your payment obligation, your life insurance policy will be cancelled and you will no longer have coverage.
What's not covered in a life insurance policy?
There are some cases when a life insurance provider will not pay out the death benefit when the insured person dies. Each life insurance policy will identify specific death benefit exclusions. Common exlcusion include, but are not limited to: suicide within the first 2 years of the policy, death from a pre-exisiting condition, death while committing a crime, death from reckless behaviour, etc. Life insurance policies do not pay a benefit for a disability or critical illness that renders you unable to work. You can add disability or critical illness insurance as an add-on to your life insurance policy.
Should I insure my child?
Purchasing a life insurance policy for a child is a personal choice. Life insurance is designed to protect your dependants from the financial impact of your death by replacing a portion of your lost income. Children do not have dependents or generate income. However, some parents choose to insure their children because the emotional impact of losing a child may render them unable to work for a period of time. In that case, a child life insurance policy can act like income protection for the parent, allowing them time to grieve. In other cases, affluent parents may choose to purchase a life insurance policy for their child as a tax-advantageous way to transfer wealth to their children.