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Do I Need Life Insurance If I’m Single and Childless?

Nov 17, 2022 | Insurance, Life Insurance

So you don’t have a spouse and no children—is there any good reason to consider a life insurance policy? After all, you don’t have any dependents, so you don’t need to worry about providing in the event you pass away. 

Despite what you might think, there are reasons someone should consider life insurance for a single person. So today, our team at Alliance Income talks about life insurance for single people. We discuss the different kinds of life insurance policies and why single people should still consider taking out a policy. 

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Do Young, Single Person Need Life Insurance?

Generally speaking, no. Younger people usually do not need life insurance because they are healthy and do not have dependents. Many people forgo getting life insurance young so they can first focus on maximizing their retirement savings, then they decide to buy life insurance at an older age. 

So in most cases, young, single people do not need life insurance. It makes the most financial sense to save as much money as possible to meet other financial goals. 

Even a small life insurance policy for younger people typically doesn’t make sense. Life insurance policies can negatively affect your ability to save for retirement, and the trade-off is not worth it. 

Most insurance providers recommend that people wait until they have a spouse or children before buying a life insurance policy. There is little point in paying additional insurance premiums if you do not have dependents that rely on your income. 

What About Life Insurance to Pay for Debts?

Even if you have debt, getting a life insurance policy would not matter much. Debts do not pass on to siblings or parents if you die, so you won’t have to worry about protecting them from things like student debt or credit card debt. 

Spouses can inherit some kinds of debt, but if you are single, it doesn’t matter either way. So having debt is not in itself a good reason to get life insurance.

Should Single People Ever Buy Life Insurance?

In spite of the above reasons, you will encounter some circumstances in which a single person buying life insurance can make sense. These circumstances include when a single person takes on a joint financial venture with another and doesn’t want to burden the partner with expenses if they die. Below are some situations in which a single person might consider buying life insurance. 

Covering Final Expenses

If you are single, then loved ones might pay for your funeral. A life insurance policy can cover end-of-life expenses and funeral costs. You can specify in your will to use insurance funds to cover these expenses and remove the burden on loved ones. 

Having a History of Health Issues

If you expect to have dependents at some point and have a history of poor health in your family, you can buy life insurance when young to lock in a lower premium and accrue additional benefits.

A permanent life insurance policy is cheaper to buy when you are younger, so buying early can make the policy more affordable than buying one when you are older. You can also purchase a long-term-care (LTC) rider so you can use policy benefits to pay for long-term care while alive.  

Paying Off a Mortgage

If you currently have a mortgage, a life insurance plan can cover the remaining costs of the mortgage in the event you pass away. For example, if you leave your house to a sibling, they can use the death benefit to pay off the rest of the mortgage. You can also use life insurance to cover your mortgage costs if you co-signed with another person. 

Paying Student Loans

The government forgives federal student loans If you pass away, but private institutions may not. If you have private student loans, you can purchase a life insurance policy to pay them off upon your death.

If you cosigned for your loans with another person, they may assume financial responsibility for them if you die. You can purchase a term life insurance policy while paying off your loans to prevent debt from transferring to cosigners if you unexpectedly die.

Covering Non-Dependent Expenses

Some single people still assist family members and loved ones with living expenses. For example, if you help support your parents or grandparents, a life insurance policy can provide for them if you pass away. 

Paying Back a Business Loan

Life insurance can also help entrepreneurs pay off remaining business loans. If you have a business partner, they may inherit the remaining debt from any loans you may have signed together. A life insurance policy can protect business partners or employees in case the company has difficulties. 

Donating to Charity 

You can also use a life insurance policy to make a statement after you die. You can name a charitable organization as your insurance beneficiary and donate the benefit. Policies will allow you to name multiple recipients. 

When Should I Purchase Life Insurance?

You should consider buying a life insurance policy as soon as you have someone that is dependent on you for finances, such as a child or a spouse. Single people without children or parents do not need to provide income for anyone in case they die. 

Life insurance rates increase exponentially the older you get, so you should try to buy it as soon as you have dependents. Young people with dependents may feel healthy and think they don’t need insurance, but they could experience an accident or get sick. 

Finding life insurance for a single person early can help you lock in a favourable rate and save more money over the policy’s lifespan. 

Types of Life Insurance for Single Person

Single people, like everyone else, have two main choices for life insurance policies: term and whole life insurance. Both types of insurance have advantages and disadvantages. 

Term Life Insurance

With term life insurance, you make a monthly premium payment and have coverage for a specific time frame. The typical length of a term life insurance policy is anywhere between ten and 20 years, though you can find term options ranging from five to 30 years. If you die while you hold the policy, the provider pays the death benefit to your beneficiary. 

Term life insurance expires after the specified term, so if you die after the term ends, there is no death benefit. The benefit of term insurance is that you can pay for insurance only when you need it. You can also cancel a term policy whenever you want without incurring any penalties. Some policies allow term renewals.

Term life insurance policies have relatively low premiums that increase the older you get. Term life insurance is usually the best option for most Canadians, regardless of income and family status.


  • Relatively affordable and predictable premiums
  • Ability to cancel anytime without penalty
  • Flexible range of coverage limits
  • Convertability to permanent insurance for some carriers


  • No wealth-building or investment benefits
  • Expiration after the end of the term
  • Age limit for many term policies

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is a kind of life insurance that provides continual coverage as long as you are alive and making premium payments. Unlike term policies, permanent policies won’t expire, no matter how old you are.

Permanent policies also include a cash value portion of the policy that gains interest. You can take out tax-free loans against the cash value of the policy or directly access the policy by decreasing your death benefit. 

The cash value portion of a permanent life insurance policy offers wealth-building advantages. For example, you can use the cash value to pay estate taxes on your family’s inheritance or pay off outstanding debts if you pass away. 

Permanent policies have more expensive premiums that increase the older you get. They also have more complex conditions, and you cannot convert them into a term policy. 


  • Flexible premiums and death benefit
  • Coverage for as long as you pay the premiums
  • Cash value component that accrues value tax-free and allows tax-free dividends
  • Usable to settle debts and pay loans if you pass away unexpectedly


  • Expensive premiums
  • Use of cash value can decrease the death benefit
  • Inability to convert into a cheaper term policy

Tips for Buying an Insurance Policy

Some key things to consider when shopping for life insurance for a single person include: 

  • Financial situation. You first need to consider your financial situation. If you don’t have your retirement savings or an emergency fund, we would recommend focusing on those fundamentals before considering life insurance. You can work with a financial advisor to find a plan that works for you. 
  • Price. If you are single, you should go with a policy with the lowest price. There is not too much of a point in paying for a more expensive permanent policy to get financial benefits if you are saving and investing your income. 
  • Application process. Today, many websites allow you to apply for life insurance products entirely online, saving you time and money. You can go to a physical branch to buy a policy, but digital insurance applications are more convenient. 

Life Insurance for a Single Person FAQ

Below are some of the most common questions we receive about life insurance for single people.

Anyone under a certain age can purchase life insurance, but there may not be much of a reason for a single Canadian to buy a policy. The point of life insurance is to protect dependents who rely on you for income if you pass away. If you have no dependents, the best idea is to take that money and invest it for retirement instead. 

Technically, anyone can be the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, including relatives, friends, creditors, and organizations. For example, you could name a sibling as your beneficiary to help them pay for their mortgage or education. 

If you are young, single, and don’t have children, you should focus on saving and investing money rather than purchasing life insurance. However, life insurance for a single person can be a good idea if you have financial obligations and would like to meet them in the event you pass away.

Conclusion: Fill Out Our Quote Form Today!

At Alliance Income, we strive to make searching for insurance policies online simple and effective. With our checking tool, you can find and compare life insurance coverage from the best insurance providers in Canada. Finding quality insurance coverage doesn’t have to be frustrating when you work with us. If you want to explore options for life insurance for a single person, fill out our form to receive a quote!


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