Prompted by the challenges of the past year, Canadians are now having more frequent conversations about difficult topics. According to a recent survey from RBC Insurance, Canadians are talking to their partner or family more often about topics not everyone is comfortable discussing, including their children’s future (56 per cent), concerns about their finances/financial goals/debt (38 per cent) and the family’s ability to manage financially without them (28 per cent).
“Having these conversations can be stressful, but it’s important to be as open as possible with the people close to you about all aspects of your lives together. This is an important first step to finding solutions or mitigating potential financial issues in the future,” says Maria Winslow, Senior Director, Life & Living Benefits, RBC Insurance. “If we’ve learned anything throughout this past year, it’s that life can bring unexpected events and risks, so it’s important that Canadians also take action to protect themselves and their families.”
Canadians leaving themselves financially vulnerable
While a majority of Canadians express confidence in their family’s ability to manage financially if they were to pass away without life insurance coverage, there remains a significant portion of Canadians who are not confident that their family could manage. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of Canadians are not confident that their family would be able to pay for mortgage/rent/housing costs if they were to pass away. Among all Canadians, respondents between ages 35-54 are the least confident that their family could manage to pay for things such as housing costs (32 per cent), food, clothing and other necessities (22 per cent) or child care expenses (33 per cent).
The survey also found that a majority of Canadians (63 per cent) believe insurance coverage is a way to take control over an unpredictable situation. Moreover, two-thirds of Canadians surveyed have life insurance, leaving only one-third (35 per cent) without life insurance coverage.
Wide range of insurance options not well understood
The survey also found that over one quarter (28 per cent) of Canadians have been evaluating their insurance coverage over the past year, but many still don’t understand the different types of life insurance policies available to support them through various circumstances. Survey responses show that Canadians have a limited knowledge about key life insurance options – some types of coverage are better known than others – pointing to the importance of speaking with an insurance advisor to get the right information in order to determine if, and what, insurance coverage might work best.
“While Canadians are showing themselves to be more open to having difficult conversations with those close to them, we hope they will also now have similar dialogues with an insurance advisor,” adds Winslow. “By learning about all their options, they can be confident the decisions they’re making will help ensure the financial security of their loved ones.”
The global pandemic has underscored life’s unpredictability and the need to be financially prepared for the future. Canadians can also take the following steps to help safeguard themselves and their loved ones financially:
- Continue the conversation with a qualified insurance advisor. Finding an insurance professional who is the right fit for your family, situation and goals is important. As with any other trusted advisor, look for someone who communicates well and provides detailed answers about your finances. They should take the time to get to know you and help you understand the different kinds of policies and coverage options to help you decide what best fits your needs, showing that they have your best interests at heart.
- Review your financial goals. When it comes to reviewing your financial plans, sooner is better than later. Take a look at the current state of your finances and explore what you and your family may need as you approach different life stages, whether it’s purchasing a house or saving for your child’s education.
- Create an emergency fund. While this isn’t possible for everyone, especially now, when you’re building your emergency fund, try to set aside 3-6 months of expenses. This will give you easy access to funds for unexpected emergencies and help cover costs for you and your loved ones, at least in the short term.
To learn more, visit rbcinsurance.com/life-insurance.
SOURCE RBC Insurance