The best life insurance in Canada: your complete guide


If you’re looking for a family plan, it is important to know this type of policy is actually a basic form of insurance with modifications and riders (amendments), such as a child rider. Since it is composed of different insurance products already, you may as well get it exactly as you need it.

Maybe you are self-employed, or maybe your group benefits from your employer aren’t going to cut it. Whether you pay for your policy or your company does, ensure that it includes short-term and/or long-term disability insurance. If you didn’t ask about it when signing your employment contract, it’s not too late to ask the HR department. Critical illness is another type of coverage to consider. It offers you a single payment if you are diagnosed with a condition or disease such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or paralysis.

Return to the top

Buy the best life insurance: how Canadians can prepare

You’ll need to prepare a few things before you buy life insurance in Canada. In addition to having an idea of what kind of policy you would like to buy (term or permanent) and whether you need any additional coverage or riders (children, disability and/or critical illness), think about how much you can reasonably spend on premiums each month or each year. And you should also have a good sense of how much money you need to leave to your family, loved ones or even a charity that’s important to you. You’ll be better prepared to answer the questions for an insurance quote. You will also be asked health-related questions, like if you smoke, if you’ve had certain conditions, and what’s your family history of illness.

Depending on whether you go through a broker or an online broker or directly through an insurance provider, you will be given a range of quotes to choose from. (This is how brokers have access to different policies and providers and how they get paid.) And once you are ready to apply, you will need proof of the following: identity (driver’s licence, social insurance number, birth certificate, passport), income (paystub, letter of employment) and address (property tax statement, mortgage bill, lease, letter from your landlord). You will also need to set up automatic payment of your premiums. You will be given a life insurance policy and illustration, which outlines your agreement, as well as projections for the value of the policy. You can request to have both digital and paper copies of your policy to keep for reference.

Return to the top

Get personalized quotes from Canada’s top life insurance providers.All for free with Let’s get started.*This will open a new tab. Just close the tab to return to MoneySense.

Is life insurance taxable?

You set your loved ones (or even a charity) up as beneficiaries to make lives easier, so it makes sense to want to know if the money they will receive from your policy will be a hassle tax-wise. The good news is that most of the money received from a life insurance policy is not taxable. But you may be hanging off that word “some.” There are fees that accrue tax that will come out of the money left for them, and they include probate fees, estate planning fees and more. To read the full list and learn how to make receiving life insurance payouts more efficient for your beneficiaries, read the article: “Is life insurance taxable in Canada?”

Return to the top