Last updated: May 13, 2024

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is an affordable life insurance policy that gives you financial protection for a set period of time. You get to choose how long you want your term policy to last – it can be anywhere between 5 to 40 years. If you die while your policy is still active, then your beneficiaries receive a lump-sum, tax-free payment (called the death benefit). They can use this money for any purpose.

How you can benefit from a term life insurance plan

Your fees are fixed

Your premiums (monthly or annual fees) remain the same and won’t change during the length of your term.

Instant temporary coverage

Temporary coverage lasts up to 90 days  . You may get this after you submit your life insurance application and pay any required premiums.

Convert to permanent life insurance

You can convert your plan from term to permanent, which provides lifelong coverage that never expires. This option is available for select term plans.  

Guaranteed death benefit

Your beneficiaries will receive a guaranteed tax-free payment (death benefit) that stays the same.

What is term life insurance?

Simply put, all types of life insurance can help provide your loved ones with financial security when you die. One common type of life insurance is called term life insurance.

How does term life insurance work?

Term coverage provides protection for a fixed payment amount, for a given number of years. This could be 10, 15, or 20 or more years. You can choose the amount of time you need.

What happens if you die during this set time period? Then your beneficiaries – the people or person you want to leave money behind to – will get a tax-free death benefit.

The death benefit refers to the amount of money your beneficiary gets when you die. The exact amount they get depends on how much coverage you buy.

Your beneficiaries can then use the money from that benefit for any reason. For example, they can use it to pay:

  • Debts,
  • the mortgage or rent,
  • child-care costs,
  • tuition costs,
  • funeral costs,
  • living expenses,
  • and more.

Why choose term life insurance?

Because of its affordability and flexibility, term life insurance can be a good solution to help you manage risk, while providing for your dependents.

But its true value lies in the peace of mind it can offer. The assurance your loved ones can be financially supported at a time when they need it most.

For more tips and tools, visit sunlife.ca.

Our term life insurance products

We have 3 term life insurance products. Coverage varies depending on which one you choose.

Here are your coverage options:

Sun Life Go Simplified Term Life Insurance

$50,000, $75,000 or $100,000

  • Lasts 10 years.
  • No medical term life insurance. This means you won’t have to take a medical exam. You only answer 3 simple health questions.
  • Instant temporary coverage

Ideal for: Those who want life insurance they can quickly apply for online.

See product details

Sun Life Evolve Term Insurance

$50,000 and up to $25 million

  • Your choice of 5 to 40 years.
  • Get different term lengths for different needs.

Ideal for: Those who want more flexibility and the option of lifelong protection if their needs change.

See product details

Sun Life Go Term Life Insurance

$100,000 and up to $1 million

  • Your choice of 5 to 40 years.
  • Get different term lengths for different needs.

Coverage is also available for children under age 18.

Ideal for: Those who want to buy online.

See product details

Sun Life Term Insurance for Diabetes

Looking for peace of mind? We're introducing a first-of-its-kind life insurance product tailor-made for you.

  • Higher chance of approval
  • Affordable premiums
  • For Type 1, 2, gestational or pre-diabetes

To apply for any of these products, you must currently be a Canadian resident.

Depending on which term product you’re applying for, you may have to go through the underwriting  process. Underwriting looks at your risk when you apply for insurance. This helps us determine the coverage you’re eligible for and ensures your premiums (monthly or annual insurance fees) reflect your level of risk.

If you get term life insurance, you have the option to renew after your term ends. But keep in mind, your policy will expire when you reach age 85.

Get term life insurance

Not sure which product is right for you?

A Sun Life advisor can help you figure it out. They can also answer any questions you have.

Enter your postal code to find an advisor near you.

Online options

You can apply online for a term plan up to a $1 million of coverage.

You get instant temporary insurance up to 90 days while we review your application.   

Frequently Asked Questions

How does term life insurance work in Canada? 

In Canada, term coverage provides protection for a fixed payment amount, for a given number of years. This could be anywhere from 5 to 40 years depending on the product you choose.

How much is term life insurance in Canada?

The cost for term life insurance in Canada varies from person to person. Your premiums will depend on your age, sex assigned at birth, health, and lifestyle habits (e.g. smoker, non-smoker, etc.) when you purchase term life insurance or any other life insurance product.

For example, if you’re a healthy 30-year old, assigned female at birth, your premiums may be as little as $8.55/month for $100,000 of coverage – this applies for a 10-year term life insurance policy with a non-smoker rate.

What’s the age limit for term life insurance?

You’re able to apply for our term products until age 85. Keep in mind, if you get a term policy, you can only continue to renew it until you turn 85 since your policy will expire at that age.

What happens if I outlive my term life insurance?

When your term ends, your policy will automatically renew until age 85. Some plans allow you to convert to permanent life insurance.

However, if you live past 85, your term policy expires. When this happens, you’ll stop paying premiums. So, if you died after your policy ends, your beneficiaries won’t receive a death benefit. Remember, your beneficiaries are only eligible for the death benefit while your policy is active.

What’s not covered in a term life insurance plan?

Term life insurance plans don’t cover death due to suicide if the insured person commits suicide within the first two years since the policy took effect, in which case, Sun Life will return the premiums paid within those two years minus any administration fees.

If any information you provided is fraudulent, then Sun Life won’t pay the death benefit to your beneficiaries. Please note that Sun Life can contest your policy at any time due to fraud.

Additional exclusions may apply. For more detailed information, please connect with an advisor

Do you have to be Canadian to apply for term life insurance?

No, you don’t have to be a Canadian citizen to apply for life insurance in Canada. But you do need to be a Canadian resident to purchase any of our life insurance products.

I'm retiring or losing my insurance from my workplace. How can I replace it?

If you're leaving your job and losing your life insurance coverage, you may qualify to replace it – whether it was from Sun Life or another provider. My Life Choice lets you replace your employer's coverage with your own insurance. 

Learn more

A Sun Life advisor can address all your questions and help you figure out which insurance product best meets your financial needs.

Enter your postal code to find an advisor near you.

Additional resources

Term vs. Permanent Insurance: What’s the difference?

There are two common types of life insurance: term and permanent life insurance.

Is permanent life insurance right for you?

Looking for affordable, temporary financial protection for the people who depend on you? Term life insurance might be the answer.

What are the differences between term and whole life insurance?

Here are the differences between the two popular types of life insurance: term and whole life insurance.