What is Term Insurance – The Basics

Term insurance is one type of life insurance that provides coverage for a specific period of time (the term). When the term is over there are typically several options, terminate the policy if you no longer needed the coverage, reduce the amount of coverage you have on the policy if you still need some insurance, renew the policy at a much higher premium (typically more than double) if you still need the insurance coverage but can’t qualify for a new policy because of a health condition, or convert the term insurance policy into a permanent insurance policy if the policy contract allows it.

The Term
The term typically is as short as 10 years and can go on to age 75 or 85 depending on what the insurance company you choose is willing to offer. Keep in mind that if you decide you don’t need the insurance any longer you can cancel the policy any time, most insurance companies will ask for 30 days’ notice to ensure they don’t pull a premium payment from your bank after you have asked to terminate the policy.

Death Benefit
If the insured person dies while the term insurance policy is in force (currently paid up to date) there is a one time tax-free payment made to the listed beneficiaries.

Premium Payments
Premiums for a term policy are guaranteed for the term and then typically increase drastically if you want to keep the policy in force after the term is over. Term Insurance is normally the most affordable type of insurance available in the Canadian marketplace.

Benefits of Term insurance
1. Term policies are typically going to be much more affordable than their permanent insurance counterparts making them the policy type of choice for many Canadians.
2. Term insurance is good for insuring a specific liability or debt such as a mortgage or childcare expenses if the event one of the household income earners passes away.
3. Term insurance is simple and easy to understand.
4. You will get the highest amount of insurance coverage for the lowest premium.

Draw Backs of Term Insurance
1. Premiums will drastically increase when the term is over.
2. No Cash Value – All premiums paid for the term policy are essentially gone unless there is a claim.
3. If you have had a health concern such as cancer, or heart attack come up during the term of the policy you may not qualify for a new policy or to have the renewal premium reduced, meaning you are stuck paying much higher premiums than you anticipated if you need to continue coverage.

Summary
Term insurance is a great option for those looking to have coverage for a specific amount of time or, looking to get the most coverage in place for the smallest premium.

Authorized distributor for The Canada Life Assurance Company, Equitable Life Insurance Company, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, Pacific Blue Cross, and Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company. Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license.

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