Life insurance

You probably have some form of life insurance. Maybe you purchased it when you got married, started a family or bought a new home. Maybe it was included with your employment package. Your policy, however, should be updated as your life changes. An out-of-date policy could leave you without enough coverage or paying for more than you really need.

That's where we can help. A Vancity Insurance Service representative can give you a clear, impartial assessment of your insurance needs. Specifically, we'll:

We'll also explain the options available to you and make recommendations. What we won't do is try to sell you something you don't need.

Do I need life insurance?
Life insurance is a good idea if you have children or dependants who depend on your income. An insurance policy eases their financial burden in the event of your death.

What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance company and you, the person who bought and who holds the policy. This contract requires the insurance company to pay a specified amount in the event of your death. It also specifies a beneficiary, or the person who will receive that payment.

How much life insurance do I need?
Calculating how much life insurance you need is something that you can do yourself. Or one of our life insurance agents can help you with a needs analysis.

The first step is determining how much money your family will need if you die prematurely. Your calculation should include all the expenses that arise in event of your death. These include funeral costs and legal fees and such liabilities as mortgages, lines of credit and credit cards.

You also need to calculate your family's ongoing expenses, such as for groceries, clothing, utilities, day care and other living costs. In addition, you may want to include the cost of sending your children to university.

The sum of all these expenses is the amount of life insurance coverage you'll need.

How much does life insurance cost?
There is no set price for life insurance. Insurance companies consider a number of factors when calculating your annual premiums. They consider the amount of the policy and its type. Your age and sex and your health and smoking history are also factors.

Types of insurance

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

Term insurance

Term insurance is best suited to cover short-term expenses. These include paying off a mortgage or paying for your child's education. Term insurance gives protection for a specific amount of time, typically of 1, 5, 10 or 20 years or until the policyholder reaches age 65 or 70. Premiums remain constant during the term of the policy but increase if the policy is renewed. Benefits are paid only if the policyholder dies during the term of the policy.

Permanent insurance

Permanent insurance offers the best coverage for long-term expenses, such as replacing income lost to your family should die prematurely. There are several types of permanent insurance: