I moved from Calgary to Lethbridge when I was 18 years old. I can’t recall exactly how many times I’ve made the trip down Highway 2, but before I had kids I remember spending much of the two-hour trip in the passing lane driving a good 20-25 km/h above the speed limit.
We think we’re invincible when we’re young. It wasn’t until my 30s, when I got married and had kids, that I consciously decided to slow down and take my time when driving on the highway.
It’s around that time when I started thinking more about life insurance and protecting my loved ones in case something happened to me. You see, life insurance was just an afterthought in my 20s when nobody was dependent on my income.
But as a husband to a stay-at-home wife who 10 years ago was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and as a father to two young daughters less than 10 years old, I have a responsibility to provide for my family in the rare chance that I die sometime soon before our kids are grown.
I’m not alone in sharing these concerns. Nearly three-quarters of 1000 people surveyed last summer said they are kept awake at night worrying about their financial situation.
Why Term Life Insurance Is Worth a Look
Despite these worries, nearly four in 10 Canadians don’t have life insurance, and relatively few Canadians are willing to forego specific luxuries or conveniences when given the option of increased financial security gained through life insurance.
Listen up, folks. The good news is that term life insurance coverage can be ridiculously affordable for a young person in relatively good health. The younger you are, the cheaper it gets.
For example, with RBC Insurance, it would cost approximately $18/month for a female non-smoker age 35; $22/month for a female non-smoker age 40 with $500,000 coverage.
What are the benefits of term life insurance?
- Choose any term from 10 to 40 years. If you pass away within this time period, your beneficiaries receive your policy benefit tax-free
- Premiums and coverage are guaranteed for your entire term. Plus, you can renew your policy at the end of your term.
- Premiums are typically lower than for other types of life insurance, making term life insurance a good option if you have a growing family.
“Hey, but I’m covered through my group plan at work.”
That’s great, but…life insurance coverage through my work was inadequate – only 2.5x my annual salary. I’ve read rules of thumb that suggest you need coverage of anywhere between 10 to 20 times your annual expenses, especially with a young family who depends on your salary.
After our first child was born I looked into topping up my life insurance coverage at work. For an extra $12 per month I was able to get an additional $300,000 in life insurance coverage through my group plan. That’s a Netflix subscription, or 5-6 coffees a week. No big deal.
Still, I feel uneasy. Three years ago one of my colleagues died when his motorcycle was hit from behind while he was turning at an intersection. Two summers ago another colleague passed away suddenly when he had a brain aneurism while driving his daughter to her swim lessons. Both men left behind a wife and children.
These tragic events make me think about my own mortality, even to this day, and whether my family would be adequately protected if something happened to me.
It dawns on me that my workplace coverage still isn’t enough. First of all, if I leave my job I can’t take my coverage with me and so it would be much more expensive for me to replace that policy. Second, I have less than $600,000 in coverage and I’m not sure that is sufficient to meet the needs of my growing family if I suddenly died tomorrow.
All this life insurance talk is pretty morbid but it’s absolutely crucial to have coverage in place soon after a major life event such as getting married or especially once you have kids.
You also need to re-evaluate your insurance needs from time to time as your family grows. In my case, we’ve become accustomed to the good life and so now I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to have $1 million in coverage.
When you’re young, even that amount of term-life insurance coverage can be super affordable.
RBC Insurance introduced Simplified Term coverage of up to $1million – the first in the marketplace to offer this. You can get an instant quote online and get protected by completing a short, simple 12-question application.
This post was brought to you by RBC Insurance. All opinions are my own.