Permanent Life Insurance

Enables you to protect the financial security of your family while growing your wealth.

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What is permanent life insurance?

It is lifelong coverage that provides a one-time, tax-free, cash benefit to your chosen beneficiaries when you die. It is coverage that never expires, and pays a benefit regardless of at what age you die.

Permanent life is more than just insurance, as it can enable you to build value within the policy, which you can access for cash during your lifetime through a loan or withdrawal (each with respective tax implications).

Permanent insurance costs are usually guaranteed not to increase from the time you first buy the policy, and some permanent insurance plans let you pay for a limited time and then never again. Universal life and Participating life (aka Whole life) are forms of permanent life insurance that you may want to consider.

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Lifetime Coverage

Ensure the people you love are financially protected for life. Your protection does not end after a certain period.

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Tax-Advantaged Investing

A portion of your premium purchases your insurance, while the rest is invested.

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Access to Funds

Access funds in your policy during your lifetime to fund, an education, a home, a business, or supplement your income in retirement or during a time of illness.

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Estate Planning

The unique features of participating life insurance make it an ideal tool for protecting your assets and passing them on to your chosen beneficiary(ies).

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What kinds of permanent life insurance is available?

Participating life and Universal life both offer lifetime coverage and the opportunity for tax-advantaged cash growth, but are structured differently.

Participating Life Insurance

  • Lifetime coverage
  • May pay a yearly dividend
  • Fixed payments
  • Investments managed by insurance company
Learn more about Participating Life

Universal Life Insurance

  • Lifetime coverage
  • Lower cost than Participating
  • Flexible payments
  • Investments chosen by policy owner
Learn more about Universal Life

How much does permanent life insurance cost?

There are a number of factors that can affect policy pricing, including:

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Generally, insurance cost less for younger age groups, and more for older age groups

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Women live longer than men on average, so insurance may cost less than for males.

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Your unique health history, family history, chronic diseases and lifestyle can impact costs.

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High-risk occupations can increase cost. Conversely, low-risk occupations can reduce cost.

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How does permanent life work?

  • Choose coverage amount and term length: Term coverage provides protection for a fixed amount and duration. Duration is typically 10, 15, or 20 or more years. You can choose the amount of time you need.

  • Pay the premiums: The coverage will remain active so long as premiums continue to be paid. You can choose to pay monthly or annually.

  • Benefit is paid: If you pass away while your policy is active, the person(s) or charity you named as beneficiary receive a tax-free cash benefit.

  • Policy renewal: When the term is up, your advisor will contact you to review your coverage. By default your policy will automatically renew at a higher premium. Alternatively, you can convert it to permanent life insurance, or terminate if the coverage is no longer required.

Get help with your life insurance planning.

Speak with a professional advisor who can help.

Tailoring Your Coverage

How much permanent life insurance coverage do you need?

This will depend on your unique personal circumstances. Best practices are to ensure your debts are covered, as well as the financial security of your dependents. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Your income

  • Your assets & net worth

  • Your expenses and family needs

  • Your debt

  • Other insurance you may have

A professional advisor can assist you with calculating your insurance needs.

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How do the types of permanent life insurance compare?

An advisor can assist you in determining which is the most appropriate tool given your unique personal circumstances. Here is a few ways in which they compare:

Participating life insurance
Universal life insurance
Common features
  • Investment component is managed by the insurance company
  • Earn dividends within your policy
  • Fixed premiums
  • Investment component is managed by the policyholder
  • Cost effective
  • Flexible premiums
  • Lifetime insurance coverage
  • Tax advantaged investment growth within the policy
  • Can borrow against cash value within the policy
  • Guaranteed benefit payable regardless of age at time of death

Get in touch

Talk to an advisor who can understand your situation, answer your questions and help you build an insurance plan appropriate for you and your family.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to key questions about Permanent Life Insurance

How does permanent life insurance work in Canada?

In Canada, permanent life insurance provides lifelong coverage. Beneficiaries receive a tax-free payment after the policyholder's death. Certain policies also offer a cash value component, which can accumulate over time.

What is the minimum age requirement for permanent life insurance in Canada?

Residents of Canada can apply for permanent life insurance starting at age 16, except in Quebec. Minors under 18 can be insured, but the policy owner must be a legal adult, such as a parent purchasing a policy for their child.

What distinguishes permanent from term life insurance?

Permanent life insurance offers lifelong coverage, whereas term insurance is limited to a specific duration, like 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. Both provide a death benefit, but term insurance doesn't pay out if the policyholder outlives the term.

How does the cash value in a permanent life insurance policy work?

The cash value in a permanent life insurance policy is a savings component that earns interest. Policyholders can borrow or withdraw from this cash value, but it's important to be aware of potential tax implications.

When can cash be withdrawn from a permanent life insurance policy?

Cash can be withdrawn from the policy either by canceling it and receiving the cash value or by withdrawing part of the cash value, which may reduce the death benefit. Both of these options have potential tax consequences to be aware of.

Still have questions?

Please contact our office and we'll be happy to address any questions you may have.