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What is life insurance?

In basic terms, a life insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and the owner of the policy.  In exchange for premium payments, the insurance company pays a lump-sum payment to the pre-determined beneficiary (or beneficiaries) upon death of the life insured. 

Coverage Options

  • Term Life Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
  • Mortgage Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Group Benefits
  • Health Spending Accounts

Common Questions You May Have

Q: What types of life insurance are out there?

Many life insurance companies offer a boatload of different and uniquely complicated products, but all life insurance policies are structured around two basic policy types:


Term Life Insurance

Is a temporary, low-cost insurance product where your payments stay the same for a set period of time. When that time is up, you can renew your coverage or convert it to a permanent life insurance policy without having to answer further health questions. Good for: insuring debt, saving money in the short-term.


Permanent Life Insurance

Also helps protect those you care about and provides you with more security because it lasts a lifetime. Initially, it costs more than term life insurance but includes features that can grow money inside your policy over time. You can access the money while you’re still alive or leave a larger legacy for those you care about. Good for: estate planning, saving money in the long-term, tax sheltering, there are many advanced life insurance, tax deferral strategies that involve permanent insurance.


There are also living benefit coverages, such as:


Disability Insurance

Is designed to replace a portion of your income if you become disabled and are unable to earn an income. A disability can result from a number of causes, including an injury, serious illness or a mental health issue. There are many different kinds of disability insurance with a lot of different bells and whistles, but this is the gist of it. Good for: the self-employed and anyone who is earning income that doesn’t already have coverage through their employer.


Critical Illness Insurance

Will pay you a lump-sum payment if you are diagnosed with a critical, life-threatening illness such as: heart-attack, cancer and stroke. Most policies will also include more comprehensive coverage for more illnesses. Good for: anyone that doesn’t have enough savings to pay their bills for 3 or more months. As medical science becomes more advanced there are less and less people dying from critical illnesses. This is obviously a good thing, but it leaves folks in the precarious position of having a lengthy recovery but no source of income.


I already have life insurance, but I want a second opinion.

Life changes, we get it. A sleep-deprived college student whose diet consists of cereal and pizza has different life insurance needs than a husband and father of four. A lot can happen in the ten years since you bought your policy. We are happy to take a look at what you already have and offer suggestions as to how to augment it or tailor fit a new life insurance policy for you.

Q: I have mortgage insurance through the bank, is this sufficient?

Simply put: NO. Here are the major differences between Mortgage Insurance and Term Life Insurance:


Mortgage Insurance - the amount of coverage decreases as you pay off your mortgage, but the cost of your insurance stays the same.

Term Life Insurance - your amount of coverage will not decrease; the amount of insurance stays level for the duration of your policy term.



Mortgage Insurance - the bank only offers one type of policy and the rates are not competitive. It is especially expensive for clients aged 40 and older.

Term Life Insurance – a broker (like Crossroads) has access to many markets and in most cases we are able to secure cheaper rates than your lender.


Can you take it with you?

Mortgage Insurance - you will have to re-apply for a policy (usually with higher rates) every time you change lenders.

Term Life Insurance - your policy is not tied to a mortgage, so you can change mortgages as often as you would like!



Mortgage Insurance - the medical underwriting happens in the event of a claim. This means that if you died directly or indirectly from an excluded illness they will deny your claim. This can be determined after the fact and will lengthen the claims process.

Term Life Insurance - all of the medical underwriting is completed before you receive a policy. This means that once an Insurance Company issues you a policy you cannot be denied coverage or a claim.


Renewable and Convertible

Mortgage Insurance - once your mortgage is paid up your policy will be discontinued and you will have nothing to convert it to.

Term Life Insurance - once you have it, it can’t be taken away. Even if the condition of your health changes, you will always be allowed to renew up to the age of 70 (sometimes as high as 80, depending on the company). You can also convert the policy into a Permanent Life Insurance policy without the need for additional medical underwriting.

Q: Why do I need it?

The grim reality is that all of us are eventually going to die. Many folks tend to feel that discussing death is morbid or inappropriate, but the certainty of death as well as the financial repercussions when someone dies are very important considerations that often go unchecked. A life insurance policy will give you the peace of mind to know that your family and your estate will be taken care of when you die.

The money making machine (a morbid analogy):

Let’s imagine that you have a magical machine that legally provided you with money. If such a thing existed, wouldn’t you want to have it insured?

Q: How much coverage do I need?

The best way to determine how much life insurance you need is to line up a meeting and go over a needs analysis. We will take a look at your assets, your liabilities and your long term goals and will make some  recommendations.  

At the end of the day, the amount of coverage you purchase is entirely up to you, but it's our job as insurance professionals to make sure you have the right information to protect yourself and your family.

Q: Do You Know What to Look For When Selecting a Term Life Insurance Plan?

The reason I’m asking you this is because the selection of the wrong type of Term Life insurance Winnipeg plan could cost you and your family dearly.Imagine you’ve just been told that you have cancer and that you’ve been told that you have 2 years left to live and then when you check out your Term Life Policy, they tell you that your 10 year term plan that you’ve paid on for 9 1⁄2 years ends in 6 months. When you ask how much it’ll cost to renew for the next 10 years they tell you that they won’t be able to write your ins urance anymore because you have cancer.

Then you call around and find that no one will sell you insurance at any price. I don’t know about you, but if I was just told all of this, I would be boiling mad. How could an Insurance Company be so heartless and throw my family and me out in the Financial Dumpster?
Now what? I have 2 kids, a Wife, a mortgage and all the bills that go along with raising a family and I’ve just been told by a billion dollar Insurance Company that I can’t provide for my family. Just when I need it the most. 

Q: I no longer require my policy. How do I cancel it, and do I get any money back?

If you no longer require your policy, we can cancel it by written request only. All individuals named on the policy must sign for cancellation. If your policy is up for renewal, sign the back of the policy for cancellation and return it to us. On renewal only the policy is returned for flat cancellation, meaning no cancellation charge or refund applies. If you wish to cancel your policy midterm, a cancellation fee proportionate to the number of days remaining on the policy will be applied against any refund.