Life Insurance in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a city of 2,116,585 (2006 Census). Of that almost half the population is over 35 years of age. The average life expectancy is 78.5 years for men and women live almost five years longer on average to 83.1 years of age (2004), in both cases about one year longer than the Canadian average.

According to this demographic information, male Vancouver residents especially should seriously consider getting life insurance to be certain that their partners and families will be well taken care. If you enjoy outdoor adventure sports as many people in Vancouver do, make sure that your sports are covered in your life insurance. Not all life insurance policies do.

If, as the insured, you die while engaged in high risk sports, such as those common to Vancouver and the rest of the province of British Columbia like skiing, heli-skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing or ATVing, you may not be covered under lifestyle grounds. Many policies have lifestyle exclusions that cover activities of higher risk like extreme sports, so consult your life insurance broker before purchasing a policy if you’re a person who engages in extreme athletic activities.

One of the broker’s you may want to speak to is Tim Doubroff, a life insurance broker specializing in working with hard to insure clients on the lower mainland, he will tell you that  the most common reason people give him for wanting to purchase life insurance is “in case something happens.”

For many people who purchase life insurance, while they do not want to think about the possibility of their passing, they do want to ensure that those they leave behind aren’t left in a lurch.

One of the many reasons why life insurance is necessary is its ability to help you prepare for the future. According to Tim, you could use it as a form of “income protection, or for a business, it could be used to facilitate a buy-sell arrangement between business partners or for estate planning purposes.”

For example, if a person had no children or relatives and wished to leave something, they could arrange in their will for the money from the insurance to be given to charities or set up scholarship funds. In cases like this, life insurance becomes a way to leave a legacy behind.

When you need coverage, the first thing you need to figure out is whether you need it for short-term or long-term purposes. Using the example of a mortgage, Tim explains it this way:

if a person only needed the coverage to pay off their mortgage, which is for the span of 15 years, then a term 15 policy would be their best bet. However, if a person were looking for something to pass on (say, to their grandkids) then in that case, it would be better to opt for either permanent life insurance or a mix of both.

Of course, cost and affordability are a big factor for a lot of people in determining what life insurance policy they are going to buy. There are two main types of life insurance policies: term insurance and permanent insurance. Term life insurance is just that — life insurance coverage for a set period. You can purchase it in year increments such as 10, 15, or 20 years — the longer the term, the higher the per-monthly premium.

Permanent insurance is coverage that extends for the life of the insured person. The three main types of permanent are whole life, term 100 (which is a policy that expires when the person turns 100), and universal life insurance, each one with its own unique features. When asked what the difference between these three are, Tim explained it like this.

Both universal and whole life plans build up cash values within them that policy holders can use, take out a policy loan against, or cancel have those values returned. You can find more information on this here.

Term 100 doesn’t build up cash values within the policy. If a person cancels the policy, the most they can expect returned are premiums paid and perhaps some interest.

Term insurance, because it is for a shorter period, can often be cheaper in the short run. However, after the policy expires, the person wanting coverage will find their rates have increased — often drastically — when it comes time to renew, and there are no cash values in the policy. Permanent insurance, on the flip side, is more expensive per month. However, the rates will not change as a person ages.

As we age, the reasons why life insurance is necessary increase — but so to do premiums. The reason why premiums are generally higher the older the insured gets is because the risks associated with them get higher too. That’s why many insurers recommend that people purchase policies as early in life as possible, or for their children. The younger a person is, the lower their premium. But for those who are not young or in good health, there are other factors or options to look into.

Preferred rates: When asked about these rates, Tim explained that they are determined by the underwriters and what they do is give someone a better-than-average rate on life insurance.

They include things like your height and weight falling within certain parameters, having no family history of certain illnesses, or low blood pressure. For example, if a 45-year-old man who has never smoked, and who’s in good health with no prior health issues, wanted to get a quote on a $500,000 life insurance policy, according to Tim’s calculations, in this scenario, this man would be looking at $89.55 per month for a Term 20 plan, $509.85 per month for a Term 100 plan, and $565.65 per month for permanent coverage through Desjardins Insurance.

Things like guaranteed issue life insurance are available for those who wouldn’t qualify for life insurance due to existing health problems because there are no health questions or medical tests with guaranteed issue policies.