Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
As Canada’s fifth most populated city, Edmonton has some large life insurance requirements. Even though Edmonton doesn’t have the same number of active life insurance companies as bigger cities like Toronto or Montréal, locals still have plenty of options.
That said, living in Edmonton only has a minor effect on your premiums. Your personal circumstances like your health, age, and gender all play bigger roles when it comes to determining your coverage.
As such, getting the right policy should start with getting several life insurance quotes in order to see what you’re eligible for. Aside from that, read on for details about life insurance in Edmonton.
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As the capital of Alberta, Edmonton has the population to support plenty of life insurance companies, from the big three (Manulife, Sun Life, and Great West Life) to the big banks. More specifically, 63 life insurers are active in Alberta. More providers generally means more choice, so Edmonton residents have a large range of types of life insurance available to them.
Of any Canadian province, life insurance in Alberta has the highest average individual life insurance coverage. As of 2019, the average individual coverage in life insurance in Alberta is $314,000, while the national average is $222,000. Interestingly, the percentage of Alberta’s population covered by life insurance is only 50%. That’s lower than the national average of 59%, and well below Quebec’s 77%, the highest in Canada.
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Your coverage needs are somewhat explained by where you live. That's because your debt and asset profile are important factors. Average debt and assets can vary significantly between different cities. Generally, additional assets mean a higher tax bill on your estate, which requires additional coverage to pay. Similarly, extra debt requires extra coverage, so that your debts aren’t passed on.
That said, don’t decide how much coverage you need based only on debts and assets. Factors like how much money you want to leave to support your family are probably even more important! Learn more about those in our article ‘How much life insurance do I need?’.
Here are some insights on the median debts and assets of Edmonton residents, based on 2019 data from Statistics Canada:
- Total Assets: $486,500. The median total individual assets is $477,000.
- Mortgage: $225,000. The median Canadian mortgage size is $190,000.
- Student Loans: $11,000. The median student loan debt in Canada is $12,000.
- Total net worth: $308,800. The national median net worth is 329,900.
There are a few interesting numbers here. Edmonton residents have slightly higher total assets than the average Canadian, trailing only Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. However, the amount of debt Edmontonians hold is far more than average and certainly much higher than you might otherwise expect from a city of this size.
As higher assets and higher debt can both result in higher coverage needs - depending on how the debt is structured - this financial profile of Edmonton could go some way toward explaining Alberta’s much higher than average individual life insurance coverage amount, especially when combined with Calgary, which has a similar profile.
These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Debt and assets are important elements in determining your life insurance coverage you need, but there are lots of other factors to consider.
Edmonton life insurance premiums are subject to Alberta’s 3% insurance premium tax, which is higher than most other provinces. However, it’s not as high as Quebec’s rate of 3.48%! You typically won’t see this cost on your policy, as it’s paid by your insurer, but it does change the price of your premiums. The tax was raised in 2016 by Alberta’s short-lived NDP government.
Alberta does not charge retail tax on group policies, which some provinces do - most notably life insurance in Ontario and Quebec.
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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 full bio
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