20 year term is the most popular life insurance type in Canada, and the prices reflect that popularity. It’s inexpensive and lends itself well to premium comparisons using life insurance quotes.
Definition: 20 year term life insurance is life insurance with a level death benefit and premiums that are level for 20 years. Canadian policies are generally guaranteed in that both the death benefit and the premiums are fully guaranteed for the life of the policy.
At the end of 20 years, the death benefit remains level but the premiums increase substantially. This is called a renewal This process of increasing premiums happens every 20 years until the policy expires (often around age 70-80).
That increase in premiums is so pronounced that while you can technically keep paying premiums, you should expect that you will want to cancel the policy. Effectively, 20 year term policies are suitable for 20 years – if you need coverage for a longer period of time you should purchase a 30 year term or term to age 65.
Term 20 in Canada is frequently used for family financial planning. People in their 30’s and 40’s with mortgages, kids, etc are often looking for life insurance coverage that lasts roughly until close to retirement and the kids are out of the house – and a 20 year term fits that timeframe relatively well.
You should comparison shop term 20 and focus on premiums/costs. Other attributes you should look at are conversion (at what age the conversion option expires) and whether the policy has an exchange option.