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Every individual has different needs when it comes to life insurance. Some need to find premiums that they can fit into their budgets, others need to make sure that their families' standard of living will not be affected, or, just want to lock in a low rate while they are young. To secure the proper coverage for the best price, it is important to understand the options available.

How much coverage do you need?

The difficulty many people encounter when purchasing a policy is deciding on how much coverage they really need. Obviously, it is desirable to obtain enough coverage, but a policy that exceeds your needs can be a waste of money. Higher coverage means higher monthly premiums, so you'll want to pick a coverage amount that walks that fine line of giving you want you need yet is affordable. For those struggling to save for their children's education, build a retirement account or just meet monthly expenses, being "cash-poor but insurance-rich" may not be the best option.

When determining the amount to purchase, it is critical to first decide what the policy needs to achieve. For example, a senior with no dependents may only want enough coverage to pay funeral costs; a young couple with children may need enough insurance to pay off the mortgage and/or to cover college expenses for their children; some people might want to provide a little extra to a parent or favourite charity; an individual with a non-wage earning spouse may want to see that their partner has the financial support needed to get on their feet, or they may want to guarantee that the spouse can continue to remain at home with the children.

Many times, the motivation for obtaining coverage is a combination of several factors. To obtain preliminary quotes for rate comparisons, shoppers might want to begin with a life insurance coverage number that is between five and 10 times the amount of the pre-tax annual income of the individual to be insured. Another method is to add up the total bills, such as credit cards, mortgages, car payments, loans and funeral costs, while also estimating and anticipating future bills (the need for a new car, tuition for your children, inflation etc.) If the goal is to simply replace an income, as might be the case when both spouses are professionals, the estimate should be based on the annual income multiplied by the number of years of income that you want the life insurance to cover.

Figuring our how much is enough sounds complicated doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. The Life Insurance Calculator can help you find out roughly how much you'll need to have in order to ensure that your family is covered in the event of your death. The calculator only takes a minute.

Our Calculator is not a replacement for the advice of a licensed broker, but it can serve you as a guide for determining the amount of life insurance you may need.

  • Funeral arrangements: We recommend allocating around $15,000.
  • Future education for your children: We recommend allocating around $10,000-$15,000 per child per year
  • Estimated inflation rate: We recommend playing with the numbers but 3% is probably reasonable
  • After-tax investment yield: Again, we recommend trying different numbers but 5% is a reasonable expectation.

Once you have the results from the calculator, you're ready to compare quotes.

So you've run the numbers through the Life Insurance Calculator but are curious to know what other potential policyholder's are doing when figuring out how much life insurance is enough and how much they're getting when comparing life insurance quotes? In the article, "How much life insurance is enough life insurance?" questions are posed designed to get you thinking about all what you want your policy to cover: estate taxes, funeral costs, and the like. 

The article goes one step further too; based on all of the quotes obtained online through in 2016, it details how much coverage individuals sought when comparing quotes and how much couples sought. The bulk of both individuals and couples sought life insurance quotes that ranged in price from $250,000 to $500,000. Is this how much you should consider?

*Based on $450,000 in coverage for a 30-40 year-old male non-smoker buying Term 10 life insurance through