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BMO Study: Canadians Believe They Need an Average of $266 Thousand in Life Insurance Coverage

- Married/common law Canadians with children feel they need an average of $321 thousand in life insurance while singles feel they need $187 thousand

- Two thirds of Canadians believe that developing a critical illness or becoming disabled would have a significant financial impact on their or their family's standard of living

- Only 16 per cent of Canadians have purchased insurance policies that cover death, critical illness and disability

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 25, 2014) - BMO Insurance today released a study which found that Canadians feel they need an average of $265,607 in life insurance coverage paid out upon their death to ensure that funeral expenses and debt are covered and that their dependents are supported financially.

This amount, however, varies depending on one's personal situation. According to the study:

  • Those who are married/common law with children said they need an average of $320,974
  • Those who are married/common law without children said they need an average of $290,962
  • Single individuals (without children) said they need an average of $186,629
  • Those who are single with children said they need an average of $106,517

"The dollar amount of insurance that people need depends entirely on their personal situations - if they're married, if they have kids, if they're single, if they have coverage through work and so on," said Rocco Casullo, Head, Direct to Consumer Insurance, BMO Insurance. "However, while many people tend to focus on making sure that their family is supported financially if they were to die, it's also important to take into account that illnesses and accidents can happen as well. These types of unexpected events can put a tremendous amount of financial stress on both the affected individuals and their families."

According to the study, 65 per cent of Canadians believe that developing a critical illness or becoming disabled as a result of an accident would have a significant financial impact on their or their family's standard of living. Further, more than half (55 per cent) believe it would take fewer than six months for them to start feeling financially strained if they became seriously ill or were disabled; more than a third (38 per cent) would feel financially strained in fewer than three months.

Preparing for the Unexpected

The study also found that only 16 per cent of Canadians have purchased all of life, critical illness and disability insurance. When asked why they have not bought all three types of insurance, the top reasons Canadians identified were:

  • It is too expensive (38 per cent)
  • I am in good health (27 per cent)
  • I feel that I already have enough coverage through work (26 per cent)

To provide peace of mind for Canadians, BMO Insurance has introduced insureNOW Plus, an innovative insurance product that offers one stop coverage including life, critical illness and accidental disability insurances. It provides fast, convenient and affordable coverage for those aged 18-49 with a simplified application process that does not require a medical test. If you experience a critical illness or become disabled as a result of an accident, you receive a portion of your total policy value and the balance of your coverage remains as life insurance.

"It's clear that Canadians want to provide for their loved ones and take the necessary steps to ensure that any and all outstanding bills will be covered in the case of death, illness or disability," said Mr. Casullo. "While we can't predict the unexpected, putting a comprehensive and easy solution in place when you're young and healthy will help ease the financial stress associated with events that could happen later in life."

Regional Breakdown

Region Average amount ($) of life insurance Canadians think they need % of Canadians who believe that a critical illness or being injured/disabled would have a significant financial impact on their family % of Canadians who have life, critical and disability insurance % of Canadians who have not purchased all three types (life, critical and disability insurance) because it is too expensive
National 265,607 65 16 38
Atlantic 184,579 69 15 29
Quebec 93,188 61 19 36
Ontario 418,879 68 15 38
Prairies 136,840 61 17 38
Alberta 174,456 62 20 37
B.C. 298,177 63 13 43

For more information on BMO Insurance:

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The survey results cited in the BMO Insurance survey, conducted by Pollara, are compiled from a random sample of 1,002 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 22nd and October 24th, 2014. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted using the latest Canadian Stats Can data to be representative of the general population.

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 more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Jennifer Feeney, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224