PolicyMe content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.
Term life insurance policies typically come in 10, 15, 20 or 30-year lengths.
You should pick the term length that best lines up with when you'll have dependents and/or big debts.
In general, shorter terms are ideal for those nearing retirement and longer terms are better for younger Canadians.
Let's dive into what the perfect term length may be for you.
Your life insurance term should be as long as you have significant financial obligations, such as a mortgage balance, minor children or student debt.
The average PolicyMe customer has a 20-year term life insurance policy.
Shorter term lengths are better for:
Longer term lengths are better for:
Term life insurance is a life insurance product that covers you for a preset number of years. You can choose how long it will last, making it a flexible and affordable option for the majority of Canadian families.
PolicyMe offers some of the most affordable term life insurance in Canada, making it easier to say "yes" to the term length you want.
Life insurance for seniors over 75 in Canada may be something that older individuals would want to look into.
Term length in life insurance refers to how long your coverage will last.
So if you purchase a 20-year plan, your life insurance policy will protect you for the next 20 years. This is the term length of your policy.
Canadian life insurance companies offer different options for term lengths:
PolicyMe offers term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years, which is standard for the life insurance industry.
This allows you to choose the best term for your needs without having to round up or down the coverage you need.
You will need term life insurance for as long as you have significant financial obligations.
In other words, your life insurance term should last as long as you have significant debts and until your children are grown.
Term life insurance works to protect your family financially, so the surviving partner or kids can cover:
At some point, you’ll have paid off your mortgage, your kids will move out and become independent. You’ll hopefully have saved and invested enough money to take care of the expenses you have left.
That's the main advantage to a term life insurance policy.
So, it’s best to choose a term length that will bridge the gap between where you are now and where you’ll be in the future when you have taken care of these financial responsibilities.
Not sure exactly how long that gap will be? Try our online life insurance calculator and get three recommendations for term length and coverage.
When it comes to term life insurance, age isn’t the most relevant factor. Some people in their early 20s need it, and some in their late 60s or older do too.
The most important thing to consider is whether you have people who depend on you financially” to cover their expenses, pay your shared debts and support the kids. If you do, you should have life insurance until you’re no longer responsible for these obligations.
There's a lot to consider when buying life insurance. It’s best to choose a term for your life insurance that will cover your family for the years they depend on your income the most. This is often while you’re paying off your mortgage and debts while supporting your children and/or partner.
Decide on a term and find out how affordable term life insurance can be through PolicyMe. Get an online quote in minutes. We recommend looking at multiple medical insurance companies as well prior to picking one to stick with.
After 20 years of term life insurance, your term will end if that is the length you have chosen for your coverage. In some cases, you may be able to renew your policy and extend the length if you still need protection. You can reach out to your insurer to determine your options.
If your term is longer than 20 years, nothing happens! You’ll continue to be covered until your term ends.
The best duration for your term life insurance should be as long as you have major financial responsibilities.
So if you have children, a mortgage, or a partner who depends on your income or any other major debts, you should have protection until most of these obligations have been paid off or managed.
At the end of term life insurance, you don’t get your money back. However, whole or permanent life policies do offer a cash surrender value. These plans will pay back a portion of your premiums if you cancel your coverage.
That being said, there is a cost, literally. Whole life insurance premiums can be up to 10x as much as term life policies. Because your cash surrender value is only a small percentage of the total money you paid into the plan, you’ll likely save money going with term life versus a whole life policy. Joint life insurance Canada may also be a policy for you to look into.
If you're already ill and need a policy to help cover final expenses or mortgage payments critical illness life insurance is an ideal solution.
Recommended reading: How much term life insurance should you buy.