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How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

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Deciding to take out a life insurance policy is an important decision in itself, so it can be challenging to then be faced with the question of how much coverage you need. After all, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve secured enough coverage to fulfill all your financial obligations, and perhaps pay for your funeral costs or leave a gift for your family. On the other hand, you don’t want to overcompensate and end up paying more than you need to month by month.  

To help you strike a balance between meeting your needs and sticking to your budget, here’s a handy guide to working out how much coverage might be right for you.

How much coverage can I get? 

With Zesty Insurance, you can secure between $3,000-$25,000 of coverage. The amount you take out will depend on how much you can afford to pay each month, as well as what it is that you need your life insurance to cover after you’ve passed away.  

Consider your needs 

The first step in deciding on the right coverage amount is to ask yourself what you need out of your life insurance. You might find that minimal insurance will be enough to cover your final expenses, or you might need to secure a higher benefit amount if you have larger expenses to provide for – it varies from person to person. When you pass away, your benefit amount will be paid out to a person of your choosing, known as the legal beneficiary, who could then be responsible for tying up your finances. The kind of expenses you might want to consider include: 

  • Funeral costs 
  • Mortgage repayments 
  • Outstanding loans 
  • Credit card debt 
  • Medical expenses 
  • Legal fees 
  • Taxes 
  • Unpaid bills, such as home utilities 

If you have financial dependents such as a spouse or partner, children, or grandchildren, it could also be a good idea to think about how you currently support them and how much money you would need to leave behind to cover these expenses. For example: 

  • General living costs 
  • Rent or mortgage payments 
  • Education or childcare 
  • Recreational costs, such as vacations 

Even if the above costs don’t apply to your family, you might still decide that you’d like to leave a little nest egg or gift behind for the people you love. 

Think about your estate as a whole

While it’s very important to think about debts and liabilities, don’t forget to account for your assets too. An asset could be anything with monetary value, for example, property that you own or savings accounts in your name. These are things that could help fulfill any financial obligations after your passing, especially if you have more than one life insurance policy. So, when you’re considering how much money you might need to leave behind, make sure you keep track of what you already have. 

Your monthly premiums

One of the most important things to consider when buying your coverage is thinking about what you can afford to pay each month. As this is a whole of life policy, you’ll pay premiums for the rest of your life, or until the policy anniversary following your 95th birthday – after which your coverage will be free!

Prices start from $13.95 per month1, but your premiums will be calculated based on your age, gender, smoker status, benefit amount, and whether you’ve chosen a single or joint policy. While there isn’t a lot you can do about most of these factors, there are two ways you can try to secure lower premiums; take out life insurance sooner, and if you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible. The younger you are when you take out your policy, the better the rate we could offer you, so it’s best to apply as soon as you’re ready.  

Premiums for smokers are usually priced higher as they are generally in poorer health than non-smokers. If you quit smoking, this could help you get lower premiums, but it’s important to note that you won’t be considered a non-smoker until you’ve gone at least a year without using tobacco products or e-cigarettes. 

If you’ve opted for the increasing benefit option, your premiums will increase each year on the policy anniversary. For a better insight into the premium rate you could expect, contact us for a free quote, or see our guide How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

Calculating your coverage

Now that you have a better idea of the potential expenses that could inform your ideal coverage, you can use our online life insurance calculator to get a quote for the coverage that suits you. If you still need some guidance, our customer service agents can talk you through your needs and help you decide on a premium and benefit amount that will work for you and your lifestyle. 

Getting started with Zesty Insurance 

When you’re ready to move forward, getting covered with Zesty Insurance is quick and easy! If you’re a Canadian resident aged 40-80, you’re already guaranteed to be accepted2, so we can get you covered over the phone in minutes. And for even more peace of mind, you’ll be covered for accidental death from day one3, so once you’re covered with Zesty Insurance, you can relax knowing that we’ll be here when the time comes. 

Call us today about Life Insurance


Based on a 50-year-old-female non-smoker with $3,000 of coverage. 


Not yet available in Quebec.


Full coverage is after just 12 months for any death, except suicide, which is not covered for the first 24 months.