Financial Literacy

Nearly half of Canadians don’t have money to cover emergencies, says study

By: Dominic Licorish on March 7, 2017

About half of Canadians don’t feel they have enough money to cover unexpected expenses, says a new Edwards Jones study.

It points to a general lack of financial preparedness as a major problem throughout the population. Some 48% said they lacked financial preparedness if faced with an unforeseen life event, such as a serious illness prohibiting them from working.

Another 23% of respondents reported not being prepared financially if they passed away unexpectedly. Only 16% have purchased a life insurance policy to make sure their mortgage payments are covered in the event of their death.

While 63% of Canadians have some form of insurance, that leaves more than a third of the population without any coverage in the event of unforeseen life events.

According to the release, only one quarter of Canadians have personal term life insurance, 18% have personal whole or universal life insurance, and fewer than 10% have critical illness or long term care insurance.

The study concludes that few Canadians are taking enough time to review their insurance and financial needs. Other studies have shown many Canadians don’t spend much time reviewing their finances.

Life insurance in particular is a low priority for people according to those studies, because Canadians may feel that coverage for assets such as their home or vehicle is practical and necessary, but life insurance feels more abstract, especially when a person is young.

Younger Canadians who have no dependents may not have considered purchasing life insurance, but it can be a useful addition to your financial toolbelt.