Home and auto insurance are mandatory — what about life?

If you drive a car or own or rent a home, insurance is a given — in fact, it’s required by law and that’s a good thing. After all you’re never sure when an accident might happen and it’s comforting to know you’re protected.

The irony is, we’re going to pass on at some point, hopefully many years in the future, but many of us are resistant to getting life insurance. It’s estimated almost half of Canadians with dependants don’t have life insurance and, for those who do, only nine percent have as much as insurance experts recommend.

Maybe we don’t want to think about dying or perhaps we assume our estate will take care of the debts we owe when we do.

If you don’t take care of it, your family will have to

The reality, however, is that without an adequate amount of life insurance coverage, you’re leaving the hassle and responsibility to pay the debts you’ve incurred — your mortgage, your car loan, your credit cards, your school debt — to your family at a time when they’re likely least emotionally and financially prepared for it.

I view life insurance as a gift I’m leaving those I love most. It’s way of saying “I may be gone but I’m still taking care of you by taking care of the debts I incurred when I was alive.”

Now, it’s true that not everyone needs life insurance or a whole lot of it. If you’re young and single and have few financial responsibilities, then you’re least likely to want it or need it. But that changes fast enough as you begin adulting — buying a car, taking out a loan for higher education, getting married and starting a family, and moving into your first condo or house. And it’s also worth noting that getting life insurance when you’re younger and healthier usually ensures you benefit from faster approval and cheaper premiums.

Flexible options as you grow older

The great thing about life insurance — particularly term insurance, which provides coverage at a fixed rate for a limited period of time — is that you can buy as little or as much as you need. As your debts increase, you can boost your coverage. As you get older, you can add more protection, like disability benefits or to cover nursing home costs.

So, should life insurance be mandatory? I think so but as long as it isn’t, you owe it to yourself to make sure you and your family are protected, come what may. If you’d like to discuss insurance options, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time.


Insurance products are provided through iA Private Wealth Insurance. Only services offered through iA Private Wealth Inc., are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.