Life insurance might not have been top of mind for many Canadians before COVID-19 hit, but it seems to have become a more common consideration since.
Among Canadians who said they have recently started to ponder purchasing life insurance, 67 per cent said they were doing so because of COVID-19-related concerns, according to a new survey by online life insurance platform PolicyMe among members of the Angus Reid Forum.
Almost one quarter (24 per cent) of Canadian adults who didn’t have life insurance prior to the pandemic reported either purchasing or considering purchasing it since the onset of COVID-19.
Thirty-six per cent of people in this situation said they have become more aware of threats to life, while 29 per cent said the current economic climate has forced them re-evaluate their financial situation.
Twelve per cent said loss or fear of losing their job – and consequently losing employer-provided life insurance coverage – motivated them to consider life insurance, while eight per cent cited the risk of becoming ill with COVID-19 as a driving factor.
Four per cent said concern over not being eligible for life insurance if they were to get sick was the reason behind their thinking.
“We’re seeing a new dialogue emerge around mortality, illness, and job security like we’ve never seen before,” PolicyMe cofounder and CEO Andrew Ostro said in a statement. PolicyMe is a digital platform where people can compare quotes, get advice and apply for and buy life insurance
“COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the threats that we face and the need to safeguard against them,” Ostro said. “In the past few months, we’ve seen a doubling of the number of life insurance applications.”
The survey found that 41 per cent of Canadian adults do not have life insurance. Of those who don’t have it and aren’t considering it, 49 per cent said they don’t need it, while 35 per cent said they couldn’t afford it.
Not everyone needs life insurance. According to the release, PolicyMe advises approximately 26 percent of its users against purchasing coverage. People who have partners, children, or aging parents who depend on them for financial support are advised to have coverage.
This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight.