Life insurance: How much do I really need?

When speaking with Doctors of BC members about life insurance, I am often asked, “How much do I really need?” The answer depends on a few key areas of consideration, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. An experienced advisor can help you walk through your specific situation and will generally look at the following areas:

Primary capital needs: These are outstanding debts such as a mortgage and/or line of credit. Many members are the primary income earners for their families. If they pass away, they want all debts paid in full to ensure their surviving family can remain in the family home and not be forced to sell or deplete retirement savings to maintain mortgage payments.

Secondary capital needs: These include money to cover the cost of dependents’ postsecondary education, charitable bequests, and final expenses, including burial, final tax filings, and legal fees to settle your estate. 

Income replacement: This discussion is highly individualized, based on one’s situation and one’s comfort level with risk. If your spouse works outside the family home, is their income enough to cover living needs for the surviving family after all debts are paid off? The amount needed will vary based on the lifestyle and age of the children (if any). If there are no dependents, then the income replacement need may be minimal. 

Once the appropriate coverage has been determined, Doctors of BC offers our physician members up to $5 million of group term-life insurance at highly competitive rates. We are also able to offer individual policies through several major Canadian insurers. 

How often should you review your life insurance? 
If it has been several years since you last reviewed or made changes to your insurance, please review your beneficiary details to ensure they accurately reflect your intentions. It’s an unhappy surprise for your heirs to find out after your death that your beneficiaries are out of date.

If you have questions and want to discuss your personal life insurance requirements, please speak with a noncommissioned, licensed Doctors of BC insurance advisor to get a proper assessment. Email for a complimentary appointment.
—Hali Stus
Insurance Advisor, Members’ Products and Services


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Hali Stus. Life insurance: How much do I really need?. BCMJ, Vol. 66, No. 3, April, 2024, Page(s) - News.

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