Choose your province

4 Reasons to get a Whole Life Insurance quote

  • Rates comparison across 20+ companies
  • Life protection for your whole life
  • Lowest rates and different coverage options
  • Accumulate value, similar to an investment account

Whole Life Insurance Introduction

Welcome to your whole life insurance guide. This page will give you a good understanding of whole life insurance and will inform you of savings opportunities and a number of other useful tips based on our publications. We will also help you to ind best whole life insurance quotes across more than 20 top Canadian insurers.

Whole life is a type of a permanent life insurance that covers you as long as you live. Typically, you will pay consistently higher premiums since, in the early years of your policy, it should accumulate enough value to off-set the higher insurance risk that comes in later life. Your premiums will not change throughout your life. You can also terminate the policy (or ‘surrender’ it) if you want to, and get part of the accumulated funds, or you can sometimes borrow money against your policy’s cash value.

What are whole life insurance rates in Canada?

This chart illustrates the average whole life insurance premiums across Canada based on all the records we have in our database.

Whole Life Insurance: Expert Opinion

“A whole life policy is a policy that stays with you for life, hence the name, and the premiums are generally level for life. Whole life policies also have a cash value in the policy, so if the insured needed to borrow from the policy or surrender the policy, there would be a cash value inside the policy.

Whole life policies can generally be non-participating or participating. Participating policies essentially participate in the profit of the insurance company and pay out a dividend, which is added to the guaranteed cash value. Participating policies are generally more expensive and have a higher cash value than non-participating policies.”

What factors impact whole life insurance rates?

Whole life insurance quotes can vary a great deal depending on a number of factors which include the following and their associated potential premium impact:

  1. Smoking: increase of 200%
  2. Drinking: increase of up to 50%
  3. Family history: increase of 50-250%
  4. Depression history: increase of 50-200%
  5. Physical build: increase of 25% to 200% if you are in a bad shape, or a savings of up to 25% for being in great shape.
  6. Medical history: can lead to exclusion of some diseases
  7. Driving record: increase of 25-50%
  8. Gender: decrease of approx. 25% for women

How can you save on whole life insurance?

  • Be healthy, save on insurance: If you are in a good health and have a good build when you apply for a life insurance policy, insurers will reward that with lower premiums. Insurance companies use a so called BMI index (body-mass index, a ratio of your height and weight)  to determine your premiums.
  • Women pay less: Female policyholders pay on average 25% less than male policyholders. Changing your gender will not really help – insurers consider the gender you were born with.
  • Stay Happy – otherwise it can become really expensive: Mental health matters – those with a history of depressions pay between 50% and 200% more.
  • Don’t drink excessively and reduce your low insurance rates: If you do not have any drinking issues, you can benefit from lower insurance rates – otherwise your premiums can increase by up to 50%. An intensive drinker would be considered somebody who drinks 3-4 beers a day.
  • Say no to guaranteed issue life policy: People with good health do not need a guaranteed issue life insurance policy (these are policies that do not require a medical exam but they cost more) – do a health check / exam and enjoy lower life insurance premiums.
  • Meet multi-life discount: This option is quite similar to the previous one but you still get two separate policies whereas one of them will have a significant discount.
  • Got in shape recently? Cash out!: If you already have a life insurance policy and got in shape compared to your state when you signed up for a policy (e.g. spending hours in a gym), you can request a review of your life insurance premiums.
  • Other tips: Contacting an experienced, licensed broker (see a button below) will help you to find other ways to reduce your term life insurance or whole life insurance premiums. Discussion with broker is entirely free and there is absolutely no obligations to buy.

Whole life insurance tax benefits

Cash values and policy dividends are not taxed while inside the policy. The death benefit and any paid up additions to the policy are provided tax free to the beneficiary. However, if you take a pre-death distribution from a whole life insurance policy, you pay tax on the capital gain (calculated by the distribution proceeds minus the adjusted cost base).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is coverage that, unlike term, does not expire. The life insured is covered from the date of the coverage becoming in-force, until death. Whole life insurance has the added benefit of accumulating savings. Part of the premium is directed into a cash accumulation account, which can later be leveraged by the policy owner.

Whole life insurance is ideal for everyone since it does not expire. With term, premiums go up with each renewal, and it can be hard to requalify for insurance if a health condition develops. Whole life insurance does not expire (unless premiums are not paid) and cannot be cancelled due to an unexpected health condition after it is in force. However, initially it is more expensive than term insurance.

It makes sense to purchase whole life insurance when you are young and healthy for two reasons. First, the premiums, which are locked in, will be lower. Second, there is a longer time horizon for the cash value to build.

With whole life insurance, the premium is split three ways: part of it goes to the death benefit, part to the insurer’s administration fees, and one part to the cash accumulation account. The cash value builds over time and can be leveraged by the policy owner. You can treat the cash value as a type of savings account.

There are a few ways to use the cash value after it has time to accumulate. It can be used to pay the premium on your policy, taken out as a loan at a low interest rate, or invested to continue growth for future income. Many leave the cash in the policy as part of their retirement plan.

Modified whole life insurance allows the insured to pay a lower premium for a set number of years, after which the premium will increase for the duration of the policy. The increase will offset the prior savings, meaning it will be higher than if the policy was not initially modified.

Term life insurance expires and the premiums rise with each renewal. Whole life insurance does not expire and, unless modified, the premiums remain level.

Universal life insurance has more flexibility. The policy holder can reduce the death benefit, increase the death benefit, and remove cash from the accumulation account. The cash value account’s growth is dependent on market conditions. On the other hand, whole life insurance offers guaranteed cash accumulation, but less flexibility. The death and living benefits are fixed. A policy loan is required to access the cash value.

The best type of insurance depends on your risks and needs. Term is used to cover risks with a start and end date, such as a mortgage. Whole life insurance is ideal for insuring a person’s lifespan. Term insurance is cheaper, which may better suit tight budgets (remember, however, that it will expire and then be much more expensive upon renewal). Whole life insurance, while initially more costly than term at first, can be cheaper in the long run because the premiums do not increase.