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Term life insurance pays a death benefit if the person insured dies within a specific period of time or before you reach a certain age. The length of your coverage can be either for:

  • a fixed period of time, such as a term of 10 or 20 years
  • until you reach a set age, such as 65 years old
If you die within the duration of the policy, your beneficiaries will be paid the death benefit. Once the term ends, the coverage ends and your beneficiaries don’t receive any payment. Term insurance policies don’t include cash value. This means you can’t borrow against your policy and you won’t get any cash value back if you cancel your policy. Some term policies can be renewed. Generally, your insurance company will establish your premiums, or the fees you pay, for the length of the term. Your premiums may increase when you renew the policy. For example, premiums would increase every five years on a five-year renewable policy. If you don’t pay your premiums, your insurance company may cancel your policy. Term life insurance premiums are generally less expensive than permanent life insurance premiums when you first buy the policy.

Term life insurance options for couples

When considering buying life insurance as a couple, look at what coverage you may already have through your employer or that you may have bought when you were on your own. If you decide to purchase insurance, make sure you consider all the options available to you as a couple. Make sure to consider the pros and cons of each.

Joint first-to-die term insurance

  • Insures two people under one joint policy
  • Pays the death benefit when the first partner dies
  • Gives each partner the same coverage
  • Is usually less expensive than two identical single policies
  • Is sometimes less flexible than single policies if the couple separates or gets divorced
  • Usually can’t be divided
  • Usually pays only one death benefit, so if one partner dies, the other needs to apply for a new policy to continue coverage

Single term insurance

  • Provides each partner with their own policy
  • Gives each partner their own coverage amount
  • Is usually more expensive in total than a joint first-to-die policy
  • Makes it relatively easy to change the beneficiary, if you separate or divorce

Reference: https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/insurance/life.html

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