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BMO Study: Three-Quarters of Canadians Have Some Form of Life Insurance, But Most Not Confident with Their Level of Coverage

- Seventy per cent of Canadians are not fully confident with their amount of life insurance coverage

- Eighty-eight per cent are not very familiar with the different types of life insurance options available

- Almost two-thirds believe that you should buy a life insurance policy as early as possible to take advantage of low premiums

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 16, 2014) - BMO Insurance today released a study revealing that while 74 per cent of Canadians have life insurance either through coverage they have bought themselves or through work, 70 per cent are not fully confident that their life insurance policy will provide enough money to take care of loved ones in the case of death.

Further, the study revealed that 88 per cent of Canadians are not very familiar with the different types of life insurance options available to them. This finding could play a role in the low levels of confidence that Canadians feel towards their amount of life insurance coverage.

"Learning about the various kinds of life insurance and choosing which is best for you and your family can be a challenge," said Rocco Casullo, Head, Direct to Consumer Insurance, BMO Insurance. "While there are many choices available, it's critical that you take the time to learn what is out there and go through your options step by step. Canadians need to make sure that they are well protected with life insurance coverage that suits their specific needs."

Mr. Casullo noted that there is no magic number for the dollar amount of life insurance coverage needed. There are many factors that determine this, including age, family status, health, level of debt and income. For those who are unsure of the amount they need, it is important to start with the basics. For instance, BMO Insurance offers a variety of easy-to-use online resources to help customers understand coverage levels and product options specific to their situation. For those who would like a bit more help, convenient over-the-phone guidance and sales support from a Licensed Insurance Advisor is available.

It's never too early

When asked when they think is the 'right time' to buy life insurance, 63 per cent of respondents stated that the best time to buy is as soon as one can afford it, to take advantage of low premium rates.

The study also examined the top reasons why Canadians get life insurance:

  • They do not want to burden their family financially after death (53 per cent)
  • They have a sense of responsibility to buy it (49 per cent)
  • They were told by family and/or friends that they should have it (16 per cent)

"We can't control unexpected life events, but we can control if we have developed a plan," said Mr. Casullo. "BMO Insurance offers an array of affordable coverage options to fit your needs. We have suitable coverage for everyone, from new parents who want to protect their growing family to retirees looking for that added sense of security."

How to choose the policy that's right for you

Mr. Casullo provided the following insights to Canadians who are considering purchasing a life insurance policy:

  • Understand your options: Take the time to learn and understand the types of insurance available.
  • Work within your comfort zone: Whether buying online or with the help of an Advisor, there is no shortage of resources and purchase options available.
  • Know what is important to you: Insurance is not only about making sure that you have enough coverage to take care of financial commitments, it is also about ensuring that the plans you made for the future are still achievable.

Regional Breakdown

Region % who have a life insurance policy % who are not confident with current coverage % who are not very familiar with types of life insurance % who think it is best to buy life insurance as soon as it is affordable
National 74 70 88 63
Atlantic 72 63 90 72
Quebec 85 72 94 69
Ontario 71 66 85 63
Prairies 84 64 82 57
Alberta 70 77 85 61
B.C. 62 74 95 55

For more information on BMO Life Insurance:

Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia.

The BMO Life Insurance Survey was conducted by Pollara between July 2nd and 4th, 2014, with an online sample of 1,005 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $582 billion and more than 45,500 employees at April 30, 2014.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Jennifer Feeney, Toronto

Ronald Monet, Montreal