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I purchased life insurance payable over 20 years and I found out it’s not guaranteed and it is possible that I may be obligated to continue paying.  Can you help me?

Some financial institutions indeed offer this type of product, based on returns, be it interest returns or stock returns.  You should be very careful with this type of product which is not guaranteed.  A contract payable over 20 years should stipulate: guaranteed payable over 20 years.  It’s more expensive, but it is guaranteed!!! 

I purchased 10-year term life insurance a few years ago and I now found out that my premiums will double at the end of the 10 year term.  Would it be more cost-effective for me to immediately cancel this insurance and buy another one?

Yes! You will also notice that term insurance rates have decreased, leading to large savings.  Make sure the new financial institution will accept you before you cancel your current coverage. 

My insurance representative tells me it’s pointless to shop around because, with a few exceptions, all products are the same.  What do you think?

Your representative is 50% right.  Certainly, life insurance products from one financial institution to another offer almost the same benefits; however, premiums are remarkably different.  Ask us for a quote and you will be surprised by the savings. 

Can I insure someone I don't know?

NO. The fundamental principle of life insurance is simple.  Let’s say I insure my neighbour, the question here is: if my neighbour passes away, what will my financial loss be?  Of course, the answer is none.  This is what is called the insurable interest principle.  In this example, there is clearly no insurable interest. 

Is a life insurance without a medical exam a good thing?

Yes, this product is a good one insofar as it is for you.  If you are healthy and do not suffer from serious illnesses, this product is not for you.  Simply put, this product is more expensive than other standard products and what’s more, most of these products contain an initial two year exclusion clause.  This product is often offered as term insurance only.  Therefore, you should expect a higher premium that may just floor you upon renewal.  Caution should be exercised with this type of product. 

Am I protected if and when an insurance company declares bankruptcy?

Any financial institution doing business in Québec must be registered with Assuris. The amount of protection coverage is $200,000 per person. Visit www.assuris.ca for more information.

I was refused by an insurance company for medical reasons.  Can I be accepted by another company?

Of course!  Every financial institution features their own personal risk assessors and selection criteria differ from one institution to another.  If you provide us with details of your situation, we can help you. 

Why do some insurance companies ask more health-related questions more than others? 

Insurance policies are usually designed to contain a number of questions intended to determine the client’s insurability.  If you had health problems in the past, you will possibly have to answer additional questions and you may even be asked to have a medical exam.   When an insurance policy only contains a few health questions, or even no health questions, that policy may contain more exclusion clauses.  The main one being that you are not entitled to receive any health insurance or life insurance indemnity related to health problems that existed before you purchased the insurance. 

I have a universal life policy and the company withdrew all my accumulated savings to pay for the premium.  Is this normal?

Yes.  The universal life insurance policy entails the payment of a minimum premium.  The surplus that you pay is deposited in a savings account.  It may be invested in market indexes or in guaranteed interest investments.  If the cost of your coverage increases annually but you always keep the same monthly payment, there will eventually be a time when the gap between the cost of your insurance and your deposit has to be taken care of.  The company will then take the difference from your savings. One of two things may occur, either you will have to increase the monthly payment or either the premium or the policy will be cancelled by the company.  Before buying this type of policy, ask questions and make sure the cost of your coverage is levelled, that is: fixed cost, guaranteed for life, which means no surprises.

Can I name more than one beneficiary on my policy?

Absolutely!  You must include the percentage of insurance amount you would like to leave to your heirs, after your death.

My spouse is the owner of the policy and I am the beneficiary.  Can my spouse change the policy without my consent?

If you are designated as a revocable beneficiary, your spouse can change the policy at any time without your consent.  However, if you are designated as an irrevocable beneficiary, your spouse cannot change any aspect of the policy without your signature. 

What is the difference between a life insurance agent and a life insurance broker?

Normally, an agent represents only a single financial institution and most times, only offers products from this financial institution.A broker represents most financial institutions and does not endorse any particular one.  The broker will strive to find the best product available on the market, with the lowest premium.

What is the difference between a term life insurance and a whole life insurance policy?

A term life insurance policy is ideal for when you most need enough coverage, for instance when you have young children or when you purchase a house.  Your loved ones will have the financial means to ride out the difficult times if something happens to you. The rates are guaranteed for the duration of the coverage selected: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years or 35 years.  Term insurance products are affordable even on a limited budget. Whole life insurance policies remain in effect for the entire life of the ensured party, as long as premiums are paid.  Whole life insurance policies, also designated as permanent life insurance policies, offer secured guaranty: once you are insured, it’s for life, regardless of your health condition.  Rates are guaranteed and will never change throughout the duration of the contract.  Many people will revert to whole life insurance later on in life, when children are grown, mortgages are paid and retirement is within reach.
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