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Getting life insurance in Saskatchewan: the basics.

Life insurance provides crucial financial support to your family after you pass away.

To have active life insurance, you must pay a fee called a premium in order for your benefit to be distributed to your beneficiaries once you die.

Your premium is based on your age, health and how high-risk the insurer deems your lifestyle to be.

In 2018, around 630,000 people in Saskatchewan and 22 million people in Canada had life insurance, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

Your questions about life insurance in Saskatchewan, answered.

What type of life insurance is available in Saskatchewan?

There are two main types of life insurance available in Saskatchewan: term and permanent.

With term life insurance, you are covered for the length of your term, which comes in increments of 10, 20, and 30 years, and more. At the end of your term, your policy is renewed and your coverage continues to be in force. If you let your insurance lapse, though, your coverage is withdrawn and your beneficiaries do not receive your death benefit.

Term life insurance is the most widely-held type of insurance policy in Canada and offers less expensive premiums than other types of life insurance.

Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, covers your whole lifetime. This way you don’t have to worry about renewing your policy — you can rest assured your beneficiaries will be paid when you die.

One positive of permanent life insurance is it builds up a cash value: a portion of your premiums are paid into a savings account, which can be invested. You can access your policy’s cash value while you’re alive. And, if you cancel your policy, you will get some cash back — it’s your money. Another use for your policy’s cash value is as collateral when applying for a loan.

Term insurance has no cash value.

Major providers of life insurance in Saskatchewan include CAA, TD, Blue Cross, Manulife, IA, Solutions Financial, CIBC, RBC and Great-West Life.

How much life insurance do you need in Saskatchewan?

To ensure your loved ones are financially stable, it is important to determine the cost of living in Saskatchewan first.

According to Statistics Canada, the average income in the province was slightly under $50,000 in 2017, with an average debt of close to $25,000, according to TransUnion. The average property value in the province is close to $293,000 in 2019.

According to a 2016 CLHIA survey, the average individual life insurance policy in Saskatchewan covers a little over $250,000. That is compared to an average of a little over $450,000 for a household in the province.

That is enough to almost buy a home in the province, or at least to make monthly mortgage and debt payments if the beneficiary also has a monthly income.

How much does life insurance cost in Saskatchewan?

While it would be nice to put a number on how much life insurance costs in Saskatchewan, it isn't really possible; it depends on each individual’s circumstances.

Age and health are the most important factors insurers look at when determining your premiums — the older you are, likely the higher your premiums are, and the same goes if you are not in good health. Geography does not play a big role.

The good news is there are a wide variety of insurers in the province, which means rates will remain competitive.

Get a quote to see how much life insurance might cost you given your circumstances. Websites such as LowestRates.ca are a good resource for comparing quotes to find the cheapest rate.

A quote request on LowestRates.ca revealed that a 65-year-old who doesn’t smoke found an average rate of around $345 per month, whereas for a 29-year-old it is around $23 per month (see how it changes?)

Being a member of a union, association or club can also help you get a special lower rate for group coverage, but coverage often ends when you’re no longer a member of the group.

Male, 30, non-smoker

Location: Saskatchewan

Coverage amount: $400,000

Term 30: $40 - $83 / month

Whole life: $220 - $340 / month

Female, 30, non-smoker

Location: Saskatchewan

Coverage amount: $400,000

Term 30: $29 - $70 / month

Whole life: $200 - $330 / month

What other factors might impact my life insurance rates in Saskatchewan?

The type of insurance policy you choose can affect your life insurance rates — premiums for term insurance are lower than for permanent life insurance.

Your occupation can also affect your rate — if it is high-risk, such as mining, forestry or working in the oil sands, expect your premiums to go up.

Engaging in extreme hobbies, such as skydiving or motorbiking, or unhealthy activities like smoking will also raise your premium.

How is life insurance regulated in Saskatchewan?

Saskatchewan has the Saskatchewan Insurance Act that provides a legislative framework for the life insurance industry in the province. Companies must comply with the act or else face action from the Life Insurance Council of Saskatchewan (LICS), which oversees life insurance companies.

Complaints about life insurers can be made to the LICS, which has the authority to conduct investigations and can be reached at (306) 757-1988. You can also fill out an online complaint form with the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan.

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