What evidence proves that life insurance is worthwhile?


Life insurance has unlimited tactical financial uses.

Life Insurance includes cash benefit payouts arising from personal life insurance, disability insurance, group life and group disability insurance; and income from annuity payments, which together have risen to approximately 40 billion dollars per year in the first decade of the new millennium.

For a person running a business, a disability insurance policy can replace up to 75% or more of the value of a disabled person’s normal working paycheque.

“Life insurance is the first foundation of wealth preservation.”

Personally owned individual life and/or disability insurance can:

  1. Pay off a home mortgage if the family breadwinner dies.
  2. Pay debts and taxes accrued in larger estates leaving heirs with financial stability.
  3. Help small businesses using agreements pass the baton to new leaders.
  4. Fund key-man insurance to replace a leader in a small business.
  5. Help family businesses and farms stay in the family through succession planning while passing wealth (and paying off liabilities) to the next generation.
  6. Pay off capital gains taxes on second properties such as a cottage.
  7. Cover taxes due when remaining Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) holdings.
  8. Pay off large capital gains on investments at home and abroad.
  9. Equalize estates divided amongst siblings whose parents own significant business assets, where some work outside the firm.

The use of life insurance is increasingly creative the more wealth preservation becomes necessary and can assist in this important strategic area of fiscal protection. It can pass substantial sums of cash to future generations using techniques such as estate bonds.

When should you review your Life Insurance planning?

You may want to replace the income of the life insured—either you or your spouse. Ask your advisor to do a capital needs analysis. It is easy to calculate the capital needed over any short or long period of time in any situation if the life insured were to die. Many professional calculators allow advisors to prepare accurate life insurance assessments.

It may be time to review your Life Insurance at these life junctures:

  • After you have finished your career training and begin a new job, you will want to buy life insurance as you start the foundation of your goal-setting strategy to gain financial independence. Life Insurance proceeds can pay off any OSAP or car loans so that the family has no financial burden should you predecease them.
  • If you have recently married or are engaged, your finances take on a new scope of responsibility for spouses jointly planning to protect one another’s financial security. Also, review your Life Insurance needs together to protect your income if one of you die or become disabled. This is a key foundation for developing a sound financial strategy when you are young and newly married.
    • If either of you had a will, it might be revoked upon marriage unless it specifically states it was created in contemplation of marriage. When planning your Life Insurance together, consider how to set up your beneficiaries carefully. Often it is best to do so outside of a will.
  • If you work at a trade, make sure that you have Disability Insurance. This insurance is also called Income Replacement Insurance because it provides a paycheque if you become disabled. Your children and spouse are dependent upon your income. What if you became disabled – will that source of income dry up or become minimal?
  • When you have children, Life insurance is purchased to provide capital if one of the parents should die. A young mother would not be forced to work, reduce her lifestyle, or leave her children cared for by others.
  • When children go to college, many of us tap into our savings to help meet their tuition and housing expenses. We may purchase a child’s first car or provide an income for one or more years. If you die without providing continuing support, your young adult child may need to quit seeking a higher education due to a shortage of funds.
  • Suppose you have a change of executor, lawyer, accountant, or guardian. If one of these key people dies or becomes incapacitated, or is replaced regarding your estate plan, it is wise to review that aspect of your plan, which may include an entire rewriting of your will as you appoint new people.
  • If you want to establish planned giving, Life Insurance works well. If you desire to leave money, for example, to a charity, church or religious organization, an art gallery, or a school, you will need to do some estate planning. Consider using advanced life insurance planning. Life insurance can assign a beneficiary, allowing the monies to go directly to the charity or foundation. Consider that your will may need to be changed if you use Life Insurance to circumvent your will.
  • If you have grandchildren, you may want to ensure that they are provided for, perhaps through life insurance planning.
  • If you have experienced a significant change in your level of wealth, replanning may be important. If you inherit money or inherit Life Insurance proceeds, you may want to talk to your advisor about implementing Life Insurance in your own estate planning. Also, look at Disability Insurance and Long-term Care Insurance to see if financial risks can be insured to protect or enhance your wealth. If your assets decline, consider altering your bequests and newly establish this in your will.
  • If special care is needed for a loved one, make sure to plan. When a spouse, parent, or child has become disabled and needs future care, consider: Long-term Care costs are very high if you want a private room or special personal attention (such as defining when you want to take a nap or go to the washroom or bath, versus a strict schedule), for yourself, your parent, or another.
  • If you personally anticipate requiring costly long-term health care, you may want to alter the specific bequests in your will to reflect this new reality.
  • If you appoint a new or revoke a previous beneficiary, review your beneficiary designations with your Life Insurance representative and your beneficiaries.
  • If you have sold or will sell a business, your Life Insurance will need a review. If your assets become more liquid upon the sale of a business, you may want to pass that benefit along to beneficiaries or charities; or enhance your retirement. If a partner has bought or is buying your business previously bequeathed in your will, you may need to adjust your estate planning while using advanced life insurance planning for business-related solutions.
  • Replanning your Life Insurance may be necessary when you want to use or change a trustee or trust institution. You may, at some point, want to assign others to be in charge of investments within a testamentary trust directive.
  • A change of legislation can affect your plan. Changed government legislation can affect your estate planning. The validity of your will may be affected by changes such as estate taxation or probate laws.
  • Capital gains taxation on a major asset will eventually come due. When you own an asset that has appreciated, such as a cottage or business, or equity investment, make sure the tax payable will not harm the estate. Affordable Life Insurance solutions can pay off your estate liabilities after death.

How much life insurance should I purchase?

Determining, how much life insurance is necessary for your family’s financial security will require an objective viewpoint as you assess the following:

Evaluate the death benefit that you need.

Your advisor can assess the death benefit you need, by using a mathematical calculation that is referred to as a “capital needs analysis”. You may want to have enough capital to pay for your funeral, final taxes in your estate, outstanding loans or a remaining mortgage, and/or your credit card debt.

If you earn an income and support dependents, you may need to provide a significant amount of money to invest, from which your family can earn an investment income to provide a quality lifestyle. Life insurance can also provide enough money to cover a child’s education or top up the potential retirement income needs of a spouse if a breadwinner dies.


Where there are two spouses providing an income for the family, many couples purchase enough life insurance to reciprocally protect the potential income loss of one or both income sources, by covering both spouses appropriately.

Business Owners have special insurance needs

In many families, one spouse is employed, and another is self-employed. If one spouse owns a sole proprietorship business, he or she may need to consider income replacement insurance which can create a replacement paycheck in case you become disabled. There may be business-related debts and expenses, which if not paid, can create liabilities for the family.

If you are in a business partnership, you may want to look at establishing a buy-sell agreement, and/or succession planning facilitated by life insurance capital if you or a partner die; or income replacement insurance if you or a partner are disabled and can no longer work at your business.

Critical Illness Insurance

Many are also using Critical Illness insurance for personal or business planning, which can offer capital solutions if one becomes critically disabled. Once you are certain how much you need, your advisor can offer quotes and several plans most suited to your circumstance.

Can insurance protect my financial security if I have a critical illness?

Our provincial health plans do not allocate funds to help patients who face a critical illness, to recover financially. They are established, not to build or replace wealth, but to provide basic health care. If you have little or no income, these plans would pay you only a small disability benefit if you meet specific situations. 1

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1. Lump-sum benefits are paid:  Critical illness insurance offers a lump-sum payout of cash if you are diagnosed with a critical illness covered by the policy (such as stroke, heart attack, or cancer). Its purpose is to provide a considerable amount of money (referred to as a living benefit).

2. Allows time to convalesce:  The critical illness insurance capital can help you convalesce over longer periods and in the company of loved ones, without a concern that the expenses related to a previously enjoyed lifestyle must be immediately eliminated. After all, there may be an extended time necessary to recover before you can return to work.

 3. Money for exceptional health care:  Critical illness insurance can fund expensive drugs or out-of-country health care. You may need to employ a private nurse to live in your home, hire a nanny, receive physical therapy and/or renovate your home to meet accessibility needs related to the illness. Critical illness insurance can help pay these bills.

4. Critical illness insurance enables a career change:  Due to medical advances, many people totally recover from critical illnesses and re-enter the workforce. Unfortunately, many others live the rest of their lives partially disabled, unable to do the same work. There may be a need to finance training for a career and search for new employment. Before you establish a new source of income, where will your money come from? Critical illness insurance keeps you financially stable through a critical illness.

1 Canada Disability Benefits – Canada.ca