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How much does life insurance cost in Canada? – Updated Feb. 2024

SUMMARY

The cost of life insurance depends on a lot of factors. Age, gender, health, lifestyle, and smoking status influence your price for a life insurance policy. Policy type, insurance provider, and coverage amount will also directly impact the cost of life insurance premiums. In general, you can expect to pay around $10 a month for $100,000 in coverage for a 10-year term policy if you are young and healthy.

IN THIS ARTICLE

Life insurance can cost anywhere from $10-70 per month. There is no one-size-fits-all policy with a standard price. Life insurance is customized to your life and financial goals— the insurance companies take your personal and policy details into account and then determine the price. So, how do you know if you’re getting a good deal?

To get a general idea of how much you can expect to pay for life insurance, read on and find out average life insurance rates based on coverage and age, and learn more about how your policy is priced.

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How much is life insurance in Canada?

The average cost of term life insurance in Canada is about $10 per month for $100,000 in coverage for a 10-year-term policy, if you are young and healthy (30-40’s, non-smoker). However, the actual price of life insurance is dependent on the type of policy you get and your personal demographics.

How much does life insurance cost?

Life insurance rates by age in Canada

Age plays a big factor in the cost of life insurance. Check out the quoted prices for each age group in the tables below.

Age $250K $500K $1MM
30 $18/month $30/month $52/month
31 $18/month $30/month $52/month
32 $18/month $31/month $52/month
33 $19/month $31/month $53/month
34 $19/month $31/month $54/month
35 $19/month $31/month $54/month
36 $21/month $33/month $59/month
37 $22/month $36/month $65/month
38 $24/month $39/month $71/month
39 $26/month $42/month $78/month

This quote is for a 20-year term for an individual in good health and a non-smoker, organized by gender.

Age $250K $500K $1MM
40 $27 $45 $84
41 $30 $49 $93
42 $33 $54 $102
43 $36 $59 $113
44 $39 $65 $125
45 $43 $72 $138
46 $47 $80 $153
47 $52 $89 $171
48 $57 $99 $191
49 $63 $111 $213

This quote is for a 20-year term for an individual in good health and a non-smoker, organized by gender.

Age $250K $500K $1MM
50 $70 $124 $236
51 $79 $133 $257
52 $88 $152 $294
53 $99 $172 $331
54 $112 $192 $368
55 $125 $214 $407
56 $141 $257 $495
57 $158 $283 $560
58 $177 $325 $639
59 $199 $359 $703

This quote is for a 20-year term for an individual in good health and a non-smoker, organized by gender.

Age $100K $250K $500k
60 $224 $403 $787
61 $248 $447 $876
62 $275 $496 $970
63 $304 $550 $1,075
64 $337 $611 $1,191
65 $374 $675 $1,283
66 N/A N/A N/A
67 N/A N/A N/A
68 N/A N/A N/A
69 N/A N/A N/A

This quote is for a 20-year term for an individual in good health and a non-smoker, organized by gender. Please note that coverage for a 20-year term is only available up to age 65. 

Age is one of the biggest factors for life insurance as it’s closely related to your health and life expectancy. Find out more about life insurance for seniors.

Life insurance rates by coverage amount

The table below has common life insurance death benefit amounts and how much they cost depending on your age.

Age Non-Smoker Smoker
30 $37 $77
35 $37 $84
40 $49 $124
45 $75 $211
50 $114 $348
55 $188 $614
60 $375 $980
65 $666 $1,732
Age Non-Smoker Smoker
30 $22 $43
35 $23 $48
40 $28 $68
45 $42 $114
50 $63 $203
55 $98 $339
60 $201 $557
65 $360 $911
Age Non-Smoker Smoker
20 $9.65 $9.73
25 $9.71 $9.73
30 $10.08 $10.15
35 $10.47 $10.87
40 $11.47 $13.86
45 $13.00 $20.47
50 $17.51 $31.27
55 $24.70 $49.77
60 $36.94 $77.89
65 $56.43 $117.54

To quickly see how much term insurance would cost for you, use our life insurance calculator. You can get a personalized, no-obligation estimate matching your financial security needs in minutes.

Check out PolicyAdvisor's life insurance calculator.

What is the cheapest life insurance? 

The cheapest form of coverage is term life insurance. This type of life insurance policy provides coverage for a set amount of time or term.

Because you’re only covered for a short amount of time (10, 20, or 30 years, etc), a life insurance company will charge you less than a policy that lasts your whole life (more on that below).

How much does term life insurance cost?

As mentioned above, term life insurance generally costs about $10 a month for $100,000 in coverage if you are young and healthy. But you may need more or less coverage, and maybe your health circumstances are different.

Check out the table below for general term life insurance rates, based on age and term length.

Term life insurance quotes in Canada*

Age 10-year term 20-year term 30-year term
20 $22/month $29/month $34/month
30 $22/month $30/month $45/month
40 $28/month $45/month $88/month
50 $62/month $117/month $239/month
60 $180/month $380/month Not available

*Quotes based on $500k in coverage for a non-smoker in regular health. 

How much does whole life insurance cost?

Permanent insurance or whole life insurance policy prices are generally a more expensive type of policy because it provides coverage for your entire life. Additionally, whole life insurance policies have a cash value which your elevated premiums also contribute to, and can be accessed in the form of policy loans or a policy dividend.

Learn more about how permanent insurance policies work and the cost of whole life insurance.

To get a general idea of how much whole life insurance costs, check out these whole life quotes below.

Whole life insurance quotes in Canada*

Age $100K coverage - non participating $100K coverage - participating
20 $47/month $54/month
30 $65/month $75/month
40 $92/month $110/month
50 $149/month $164/month
60 $245/month $263/month
70 $462/month $444/month

*Quotes based on $100k in coverage for a non-smoker in regular health. 

How much does life insurance for kids cost?

The price for children’s life insurance is cheaper than if you bought it as an adult—in some cases children’s life insurance costs a little as $3 per month. But it depends on how you buy this coverage for your child.

You can purchase life insurance for a newborn child – or even older children – in two ways.

1. Add a child rider to your insurance policy

This typically adds a few more dollars to your monthly insurance premium and provides a modest death benefit should a dependent child pass away while your policy is still active.

2. Buy a separate whole life policy

Children’s whole insurance is guaranteed to remain in force for the covered child’s entire lifetime (including into adulthood) and can generate dividends during this whole period. Whole life insurance also accrues a cash value, which the child can later withdraw from – like a savings account – or use as collateral for a loan from a financial institution.

Learn more about life insurance for children.

What affects the cost of life insurance?

The cost of life insurance is determined by two types of factors:

  1. Your personal health and lifestyle
  2. The details of your insurance policy
list of factors that affect the cost of life insurance

1. Personal factors that affect your life insurance cost

When you fill out a life insurance application, you will have to disclose some personal details so the life insurance company can assess the risk to insure you. Some personal factors that affect the cost of your life insurance are:

Age and birthday

The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance will be. The cost of life insurance premiums rises as you age – statistically, you’re more likely to die or get sick the older you are. If you’re older, you may want to read more about the best life insurance for seniors.

The monthly cost of life insurance is determined by your age at your nearest birthday. If you are turning 40 within the next five months, an insurance provider will consider you 40 right now, not 39.

Actual age: the age you are right now.

Issue age: the age that the insurance company issues your policy, which is your closest birthday.

Gender

Gender affects the cost of life insurance. Women are less likely to die at an earlier age. The average life expectancy in Canada is 4 years higher for females.

Smoking status

It’s no secret that smoking is terrible for your health and increases your likelihood of developing a long list of diseases.  Because of this smoking will impact the cost of your life insurance premiums significantly, usually doubling the cost of life insurance as you age.

You are considered a smoker if you use any of these products:

  • Cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Cigarillos or Cigars less than once a month*
  • Vapes
  • Nicotine gum or patches
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Marijuana more than 3 times a week*

*every company will have its own rules for who they consider a smoker.

If you prove that you quit smoking for 12 months, you may no longer be considered a smoker. Though, you will probably need to submit another blood sample to prove this fact. That said, the cost savings can be another motivating factor to kick the habit!

Learn more about life insurance and smoking.

Health history

Insurance providers like healthy people – the healthier you are, the less likely they’ll have to pay out the death benefit. Insurance companies base your health status on key parameters like:

  • Height and weight (bmi)
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Previous diagnosese (cancer,  stroke, high blood pressure, mental health, etc.)
  • medications
  • history of alcohol or drug use

If a medical exam determines your BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, history of disease, alcohol and drug use are in a good place, your cost of life insurance and monthly premiums will most likely be much lower. If you refuse a medical exam, or your exam reveals your health isn’t the best, you can still get coverarage…but at a much higher cost.

Simplified issue life insurance skips in-person life insurance medical exam and instead only asks some simple questions about your medical history and health.

Guaranteed issue life insurance also skip the medical exam and health questions altogther.

Though it is easier to qualify for this coverage because of the quick underwriting process, of these policies they is typically much more expensive than a fully underwritten insurance policy.

Learn more about no medical life insurance.

Family medical history

Family medical history impacts your life insurance cost as well. Many medical conditions are hereditary. It’s common for family members to end up developing the same conditions, be it cancer, heart disease, or rarer illnesses. Despite your current health, any critical illnesses or related deaths in your family history will affect your life insurance rate.

Lifestyle 

Regardless of your health status, if you live an extreme lifestyle, you may be charged more. If you have a poor driving record (tickets, accidents, drunk driving charges) or you regularly engage in dangerous activities like sky-diving, race car driving, or mountain climbing, the life insurance company will consider you risky—this is because these activities are statistically linked to shorter life expectancy. Depending on the risk factor the insurer…

  • will raise your life insurance rate
  • suggest some coverage exclusions
  • in extreme cases deny your coverage altogether

Occupation

Just like extreme sports enthusiasts make insurers nervous, so do those who work dangerous jobs.  This could include:

  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Military
  • Pilots
  • Alaskan crab fishermen
  • MMA fighters

If you have any of these occupations you may face a higher life insurance rate (or may not even qualify for life insurance) because of the risk that comes with the job.

Foreign travel

Do you have a well-stamped passport? What you gain in worldliness may end up costing you on your insurance premiums. If you regularly travel for extended periods to high-risk nations, you may also elevate your life insurance cost (or altogether denied coverage).

Learn more about travel and life insurance.

Current and past risk classification

Based on all the information above, insurance underwriters place you in risk categories and charge them accordingly. The more risky you are according to the insurance company, the higher the rating and higher the price. Each company names its categories differently (e.g. Regular, Premium, and Premium Plus – kind of like gas).

Learn more about risk categories and life insurance ratings.

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2. Policy factors that affect your life insurance cost

Length and type of life insurance policy

One of the biggest factors in the cost of life insurance is the length of coverage. The longer you’re covered, the higher the price. So, if you have a short-term policy, it will be a lot cheaper than a whole life policy.

It’s important to consider your life insurance needs when picking a policy, not just the cost. Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it will fit all your needs. For example, a one-year renewable-term policy might not be appropriate for your long-term investment goals, but maybe a permanent life insurance policy would.

Learn more about different types of life insurance.

The amount of the death benefit

The more coverage you ask for, the more expenseive the policy will be. This is why it’s important to know what your life insurance needs are so you don’t over-insure yourself.

If premium costs are a real concern, make sure you’re accurately filling out a online life insurance calculator and keeping your family’s future financial requirements realistic. If you can lower your death benefit, while still confidently protecting your family, some savings on the cost of life insurance can be found.

Learn more about how much life insurance you need.

Policy options and riders

Anytime you add on the bells and whistles, it’s going to cost more. Things like convertibility, guaranteed renewability, critical illness, disability and long-term care insurance riders, waiver of or return of premium clauses, child term riders, and more, can drive up life insurance costs.

Learn more about life insurance riders

Is life insurance paid monthly?

Yes. Most people opt to pay their life insurance premiums on a monthly basis. However, like any payment plan, you will save money if you choose to pay annually.

For some permanent plans, you can also choose to condense your payments so that you only pay for your life insurance during your highest-earning years. This is called a limited-pay life insurance plan. This means you might pay your premiums for 10, 20, or 30 years, but get to keep the policy for the rest of your life. Premium installments would, of course, be higher. But it means you won’t have to worry about monthly payments in retirement.

How can I lower the cost of life insurance?

There are some ways you can lower your insurance premium.

1. Change your payment method

While insurance premiums are generally paid monthly, you can get a discount by opting for an annual premium.

2. Don’t skip the medical exam

And as mentioned above, fully medically underwritten policies, including an in-person medical exam, typically have lower insurance premiums than simplified or guaranteed life insurance policies.

3. Shop around

You’re allowed to shop and find a better policy. Perhaps the one you have doesn’t meet your needs anymore, now that your life has changed. Perhaps your bank didn’t offer the most affordable price to you. Luckily, we have a solution! Our life insurance quoting tool allows you compare prices and get life insurance quotes from over 30+ Canadian providers.

Get help figuring out life insurance costs

You don’t have to do all the research to find out the cost of term life insurance coverage alone. Our life insurance quoting tools can help you find out the exact life insurance costs from some of Canada’s top life insurance companies.

Need help?
Call us at 1-888-601-9980 or book time with our licensed experts.
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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The cost of your life insurance policy will depend on personal factors and policy details
  • Age, smoking status, and health conditions are some of the biggest personal determinators of your life insurance rate. Policies are less expensive when you are younger, not-smoking, and in good health
  • Policies are less expensive when you are younger, not-smoking, and in good health
  • Generally, a term life insurance policy costs less than a whole life or permanent policy

By Jason Reynold Goveas
Senior Insurance Advisor, LLQP
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