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Life insurance in BC

Matt Hands

British Columbia is one of Canada’s most populated provinces, so it’s no surprise the BC life insurance industry is one of the biggest in the country. This is great if you’re a British Columbian, as more life insurance products means more choice for you. Here’s a little more about life insurance in BC, with one caveat. The most important element of your life insurance coverage is you - where you live is secondary. The best way to find the right coverage is to compare life insurance quotes and pick the one that suits you best.

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The BC life and health insurance industry

BC life insurance is part of the BC health and life insurance industry, which is the third largest in Canada, trailing only Ontario and Quebec. All data is from 2019. 

  • People with coverage: 3.6 million (national average: 2.9 million)
  • Industry employees: 16,400 (national average: 15,740)
  • Weekly benefits paid: $225 million (national average: $199.1 million)
  • Provincial tax contributions: $225 million (national average: $559.5 million)

*stats sourced from Canada Life and Health Insurance Association

British Columbia life insurance facts

There are 75 active health and life insurance companies in British Columbia (including non-profit health benefit providers and fraternal benefit societies), ahead of the national average of 67. Despite that, only 2 total health and life insurance companies have headquarters in BC. Most life insurance companies have head offices in either Toronto or Montreal. Drilling down to BC life insurance specifically, residents are generally very well covered. All data is from 2019. 

  • People with life insurance: 2.3 million
  • Average coverage per person: $278,000
  • Average coverage per household: $463,000
  • Average size of new policies: $498,000
  • Overall coverage in force: ~$652 billion (group and individual policies)

Of all the provinces, BC has the highest average size of a new individual policy, at $498,00. The next closest is Saskatchewan at $435,000, while the national average is $393,000. We take that as a sign that BC is on the up.

*stats sourced from Canada Life and Health Insurance Association

Compare BC life insurance quotes today

While living in BC can make a small difference to your premiums, the biggest factor is you. Compare multiple quotes today to get the best rates.

British Columbia life insurance premium tax

One significant way life insurance differs between provinces is the provincial insurance premium tax. This tax is paid on all premiums by life insurance companies, but is normally not seen by customers. Generally, a higher provincial insurance premium tax will mean more expensive life insurance premiums.

As of November 2019, BC’s life insurance premium tax rate is 2%. Here are all the insurance rates you’ll pay if you life in BC:

  • Life: 2%
  • Accident: 2%
  • Sickness: 2%
  • Property & Automobile: 4.4%
  • Other: 4%

BC insurance premium tax rates are fairly low for life insurance, matching Ontario’s life insurance rate of 2%, and beating Alberta’s life insurance rate of 3%, as well as Quebec’s life insurance tax rate of 3.48%. However, BC’s property and auto insurance premium taxes are some of the highest in the country. You’ll pay life insurance based on where you live, not where your life insurer is based. More information on BC insurance taxes can be found on the province’s website.

Factors that impact British Columbia life insurance prices

Remember, where you live only has a small bearing on how much you'll pay for life insurance. Much more important are your personal circumstances, like your age, health, and smoking status, as well as your occupation and hobbies. What you pay can also vary based on the life insurance product you buy, and who you buy it from.

Get started in minutes by comparing life insurance quotes from over 20 providers.


Ratehub.ca is not affiliated or otherwise associated with Hub International Canada.

Frequently asked BC life insurance questions

What are the best life insurance companies in British Columbia?


How much does life insurance cost in British Columbia?


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Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read more

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