When Should You Get Life Insurance? Here's What to Know

Posted on March 25, 2019

Insurance in Canada offers protection to more than 28 million Canadian residents. Are you among the protected? 

If you don't have life insurance, your family could end up in a difficult financial situation. It's easy to think that life insurance is something for other people, not for you. But if you miss out on buying life insurance at the right time, you also miss out on a valuable opportunity to protect your loved ones.

When should you get life insurance? In this guide, we'll give you the information you need to answer that question for yourself. Keep reading to learn how to get the timing right!

When Should You Get Life Insurance? The Factors to Consider

If we could give you a number and say "This is the best age to buy life insurance," this post would be much shorter. But when it comes to buying life insurance, it's most important that you consider your individual situation. Here are the factors that should influence your timing.

1. Your Health

Many people don't start thinking about life insurance until they start having health problems. But by then, it's often too late to get good, affordable insurance. The best time to buy life insurance is actually while you're still healthy.

Health issues aren't predictable, and you can never be totally certain that your good health will continue. However, many life insurance providers won't work with someone who has certain health conditions. This is a powerful incentive to get your insurance right now.

Even if you can get life insurance, certain health problems will make your rates much higher. To increase your value, get life insurance now. Otherwise, you'll end up paying much more or unable to get insured at all.

2. Your Income

Life insurance might seem like something only the wealthy can realistically get. However, a low income doesn't mean you shouldn't get life insurance. In fact, it often gives you an even greater reason to get insured.

If your income is low, you probably aren't setting aside much money in a savings account. This can leave your family entirely without a safety net if you pass away. Even if you don't have dependents, keep in mind that funeral costs often reach thousands of dollars.

Can your family afford that?

Life insurance protects against these unexpected financial hardships. And the longer you wait, the more expensive your premiums tend to be. Getting life insurance sooner makes good financial sense and helps you stretch a small budget farther.

3. Your Age

Younger people also get better deals on life insurance. You might want to lock in a good premium now, rather than waiting for a pricey one when you get older.

You'll never again be as young as you are right now. You also don't know that your health will continue to go well as you age. But you can use your age to your advantage by getting a low price that will benefit you years into the future. 

Life insurance premiums for young people tend to be incredibly affordable. The best time to get life insurance is while you're as young as possible, so what are you waiting for?

4. Overall Life Expectancies

The factors that affect life insurance rates aren't all about you as an individual. It's also a great time to get life insurance when life expectancies are going up, as they have been in recent years.

As people live longer, life insurance rates go down. Take advantage by cashing in on the current low prices with a life insurance policy of your own.

Of course, you might be thinking that as life expectancies go up, the rates will continue to go down. This is likely but doesn't mean you should wait to get your policy. Lots of other factors also influence the cost of life insurance. There's no guarantee that today's low rates might go up due to a different factor in the future. 

5. Your Debt

If you hold debt, getting life insurance is actually more important than if you're debt-free.

When you pass away, any debts you hold become the responsibility of your family. Life insurance ensures you won't stick them with this financial burden. Get a policy now, while premiums are as low as possible, so you can have peace of mind.

Even if you aren't financially providing for your family, any surviving members could get held liable for your debts. Having life insurance to protect them is the right thing to do.

6. Your Policy Replacement Options

Worried about getting locked into a policy now that's not right for you in the future?

Don't be; you can easily replace a policy that's no longer working for you when you need to.

For example, maybe your health isn't optimal right now. This doesn't mean you need to wait to get healthier before you get life insurance. You can replace your policy for a less-expensive one when your health situation changes, while still getting covered for the moment.

Even if you don't have drastic life changes, you still have the option of applying for a new plan from time to time to see if you can get lower rates. If you find better rates, there's nothing stopping you from canceling your current plan and switching over.

Ready to Get Life Insurance Today?

It's never too late to get life insurance, but experts agree: the sooner, the better. The best answer to "When should you get life insurance?" is right now!

In fact, even children can get life insurance -- and many should. Wondering why life insurance for children is a good move for families? Learn more here

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