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Life insurance in Toronto: the basics.

Regardless of where you live in Canada, the two biggest factors that impact the cost of life insurance are your age and your health status. The life insurance application process is pretty much the same across the country, too. However, the city you live in does indirectly impact how much life insurance coverage you need.

The point of life insurance is to make sure the people who depend on your income are left with enough money to settle any outstanding financial obligations once you’re gone — and provide them with an inheritance if that’s important to you.

A married homeowner with two children living in Toronto — the city with the highest cost of living in Canada — may have more debt than a person ticking the same boxes in Saskatoon, meaning the Torontonian will need to buy a larger life insurance policy.

We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about buying life insurance in Toronto. When you’re more acquainted with the product, apply for a free quote. We’ll compare life insurance quotes from 50+ Canadian providers, showing you how much they'll charge you for the type and amount of life insurance coverage you’re seeking.

Your questions about life insurance in Toronto, answered.

What factors could influence life insurance premiums in Toronto?

High property values — the highest in Canada: If you purchased a house with someone else, life insurance is strongly recommended. Life insurance can be used to cover your mortgage so that your designated beneficiary (i.e., the person who co-owns the house with you) doesn’t default on payments. Average housing prices in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area currently sit just above the $800,000 mark.

Your household debt: In addition to the size of your mortgage, debt levels may also influence how much life insurance you buy, as your death benefit should ideally be sufficient to repay the balance any outstanding debt for which you have a co-signer.

On average, Torontonians carry higher debt levels than people in other parts of Canada. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, since 1999, debt-to-income levels in Toronto doubled to a sizeable 210%.

Your income: Your death benefit is a replacement for your income. As of September 2019, the average annual salary in Toronto is just under $60,000 and the average household income is $84,950.

In addition, the average household net worth in the city of Toronto is just over $365,100. Other cities in the Greater Toronto Area have a higher average household net worth.

Toronto is also among the cities with the highest hourly wages in Canada, with an average of $30.40. Your death benefit is not taxable, but it can be put towards any income tax that you still owe.

It’s important to consider all these factors before deciding how big a life insurance policy you need. To get life insurance quotes from 50+ of the top providers across the country, compare rates on

What kind of life insurance policy do you need in Toronto?

There are two basic types of life insurance:  term insurance and permanent insurance. 

Term life insurance: Term life insurance is the most popular form of life insurance. The policy is a contract that guarantees coverage for a predetermined amount of years. If you don’t renew it, you lose your coverage.

These are the terms available:

  • Term 10
  • Term 15
  • Term 20
  • Term 30
  • Term to 65
  • Term to 70
  • Term to 75

Term insurance allows you to pay less when you’re younger and more as you age. If you purchase a Term 10 policy, your policy automatically renews for another 10 years after it expires, but at a higher rate — and it will still cost less than if you bought a brand new policy.

Permanent life insurance: Permanent life insurance policies last for the duration of your life. They also provide a number of investment opportunities that you can take advantage of before you die. The premiums for a permanent life insurance policy are higher than that of a term policy, but they won’t ever increase.

There are three basic types of permanent life insurance:

  • Whole life: With this product, you pay premiums for as long as the policy’s active. It’s different from universal life, which gives you the option to pay off your policy, not unlike a mortgage. With whole life, you can’t ask your insurer to decrease your premiums, nor can the insurance company suddenly raise them. Your premiums will always cost the same amount. This policy has both a cash value (meaning a portion of your premiums go into a savings account) and an investment component, the returns of which are fully guaranteed by the insurer.


  • Universal life: With this type of permanent life insurance, you do have the flexibility to raise or lower your premiums — you’re even allowed to take breaks from making payments. However, skipped payments will be taken out of the policy’s cash value. Universal life comes with a cash value and investment component, too, the difference being that you have a lot more say over how you want to invest your cash value. Because of its exposure to equity markets, universal life is inherently riskier than whole life — but the risk may be worth the potential reward. Interest is also adjusted monthly to ensure your cash value will accumulate faster when interest rates are rising.


  • Term 100: While its name might lead you to believe otherwise term 100 insurance is actually a kind of permanent insurance policy. When you purchase a term 100 life insurance, your coverage is permanent and you must pay premiums until you turn 100. This kind of policy is usually less expensive than universal or whole life insurance but is more expensive than term insurance. Many people who purchase term 100 insurance want their coverage to last as long as they are alive but do not want to pay as much as they normally would with other permanent life insurance products.

Other things that contribute to your life insurance premium in Toronto.

  • Age: The longer you wait to buy life insurance, the more costly it will be for you. That’s because insurance companies assume they’ll pay your beneficiaries sooner than they would with a twenty-something client.
  • Gender: Women often pay slightly less than men in life insurance premiums because they statistically have a longer life expectancy.
  • Weight: Being overweight can increase your risk of other illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.
  • Smoking: Smokers tend to pay hefty life insurance premiums because they’re considered at a higher risk for a number of ailments, chief among them cancer.
  • Drinking: Insurers charge higher premiums for heavy drinkers.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Some preexisting conditions could cause your life insurance premiums to increase. Insurers can deny claim requests if it can be proven that the policyholder withheld information about a pre-existing condition on their application.
  • Family history: If a hereditary illness runs in your immediate family, you may pay a higher life insurance premium.

How much does life insurance cost in Toronto?

Here’s an estimate of how much life insurance could cost in Ontario. Apply for a personalized quote to get a better idea of how much you’d pay.

Male, 30, non-smoker

Location: Ontario

Coverage amount: $400,000

Term 30: $40 - $80 / month

Whole life: $200 - $300 / month

Female, 30, non-smoker

Location: Ontario

Coverage amount: $400,000

Term 30: $30 - $70 / month

Whole life: $200 - $300 / month

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