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How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

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Deciding to take out a life insurance policy is an important decision in itself, so it can be challenging to then be faced with the question of how much coverage you need. At Seniors Choice, we want to provide personalized and tailored insurance solutions, so you can find the coverage that meets your needs. After all, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve secured enough coverage to fulfill all your financial obligations, and perhaps pay for your funeral costs or leave a gift for your family. On the other hand, you don’t want to overcompensate and end up paying more than you need to month by month.   

To help you strike a balance between meeting your needs and sticking to your budget, here’s a handy guide to working out how much coverage might be right for you. 

How much coverage can I get?

With Seniors Choice, you can secure between $10,000-$250,000 of coverage depending on your age. The amount you take out will ultimately depend on a couple of factors. These factors include things like your age at the time of applying, gender, your benefit amount and much you can afford to pay each month. Part of deciding how much coverage you can get it to consider what it is that you need your life insurance to cover after you’ve passed away.

Consider your needs

The first step in deciding on the right coverage amount is to ask yourself what you would like your life insurance to help with. You might find that minimal insurance will be enough to cover your final expenses, or you might need to secure a higher benefit amount if you have larger expenses to provide for – it varies from person to person. When you pass away, your benefit amount will be paid out to a person of your choosing, known as the legal beneficiary, who could then be responsible for tying up your finances. The kind of expenses you might want to consider include:  

  • Funeral costs  
  • Mortgage repayments  
  • Outstanding loans  
  • Credit card debt  
  • Medical expenses  
  • Legal fees  
  • Taxes  
  • Unpaid bills, such as home utilities  

If you have financial dependents such as a spouse or partner, children, or grandchildren, it could also be a good idea to think about how you currently support them and how much money you would need to leave behind to cover these expenses. For example:  

  • General living costs  
  • Rent or mortgage payments  
  • Retirement expenses 
  • Nursing home fees 

Even if the above costs don’t apply to your family, you might still decide that you’d like to leave a little nest egg or gift behind for the people you love.  

Think about your estate as a whole

While it’s very important to think about debts and liabilities, don’t forget to account for your assets too. An asset could be anything with monetary value, for example, property that you own or savings accounts in your name. These are things that could help fulfill any financial obligations after your passing, especially if you have more than one life insurance policy. So, when you’re considering how much money you might need to leave behind, make sure you keep track of what you already have.

Your monthly premiums

One of the most important things to consider when buying your coverage is thinking about what you can afford to pay each month. As this is a whole-of-life policy, you’ll pay premiums for the rest of your life. You’ll also need to consider that because Canadian Seniors Life Insurance is an age-based policy the cost of your monthly premium will increase each year based on your age. This increase will take place on your policy anniversary for the duration of the policy. So, you’ll need to consider what you can afford now and in the future.   

Prices start from $14.88 per month1, but the cost of your premium will depend on your age when you’re applying, gender, smoker status and your benefit amount. While there isn’t a lot you can do about most of these factors, there are two ways you can try to secure lower premiums; take out life insurance sooner, and if you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible. The younger you are when you take out your policy, the better the rate we could potentially offer you, so it’s best to apply as soon as you’re ready.   

Premiums for smokers are usually priced higher as they are generally in poorer health than non-smokers. If you quit smoking, this could help you get lower premiums, but it’s important to note that you won’t be considered a non-smoker until you’ve gone at least a year without using tobacco products or e-cigarettes.  

For a better insight into the premium rate you could expect, contact us for a free quote, or see our guide on how much is life insurance in Canada.

Calculating your coverage 

Now that you have a better idea of what influences the cost of life insurance coverage, you can use our online life insurance calculator to get a better idea of what kind of coverage might suit you. It can be a helpful tool to assist you but if you still need some guidance, our customer service agents can talk you through your needs. They are specialists when it comes to life insurance and can help you decide on a premium and benefit amount that will work for you and your lifestyle.  

Getting started with Seniors Choice  

When you’re ready to move forward, getting covered with Seniors Choice is quick and easy. If you’re a Canadian resident aged 40-802,you’re eligible to apply and could get coverage over the phone in a matter of minutes. And for even more peace of mind, you’ll be covered from day one excluding suicide within the first 2 years, so once you’re covered with Seniors Choice, you can relax knowing that we’ll be here when the time comes. When you’re ready you can call us toll free at for your free no obligation quote. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm ET (excluding public holidays).


For a 51-year-old female non-smoker with $20,000 of coverage.


Available to Canadian residents aged 40-80 only. Not yet available in Quebec.