Permanent Life Insurance

A financial tool for life. And after.

Turn your permanent life insurance into a powerful tool to grow your capital.

Your accountant has probably already warned you: growing wealth means higher tax rates and excess capital. Business owners are usually looking for solutions to manage the assets they have accumulated there. The wealthier people are, the more they become accustomed to a higher standard of living and the more they have to lose. Life insurance is a guarantee that serves to protect the investor’s lifestyle, no matter what the future holds.

By professionals for professionals

Without a financial security advisor to talk about insurance on your financial planning team, you are missing out on proven investment and tax strategies! At Sogemec Assurances, take advantage of the services of professionals with all the essential expertise to help affluent investors protect their assets, as well as preserve and maximize the value of their heritage. That way, you will be able to make your own informed decisions.

 A tool to grow your capital

Term life insurance is a recognized tool for covering your short-term needs such as a mortgage, but what about your very long-term life insurance needs (known as estate)?

The amount of insurance you need to protect your wealth may be more than you think. That’s why it’s important to include a financial security advisor on your financial planning team, at the risk of missing out on highly profitable investment and tax strategies. It is just as essential to carry out an analysis of your needs and objectives to put in place the appropriate insurance solutions.

You wish to find out more? Ask us for advice.

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Q&A: Life insurance and taxation

How to protect my financial capital from erosion?

Did you know that the Canada Revenue Agency allows you to invest and keep funds in permanent life insurance policies only? This is an essential financial and tax planning tool, whether as an investment or to protect your family.

Permanent life insurance, in the form of whole life or universal life insurance for example, often plays a key role in the retirement and estate planning of investors with significant wealth. This type of investment strategy is a tool that you should not neglect! Its uses are many.

What are the tax obligations following my death?

When you die, your beneficiary receives the death benefit tax-free. With good estate planning and clear instructions to your beneficiaries, you can use the policy proceeds to fund tax liabilities upon your death. You can preserve the full value of your estate.

How can I optimize the transfer of my assets from a tax perspective?

With proper planning, it is possible to transfer business assets in a tax-efficient manner. Life insurance proceeds can sometimes be used to pay tax-free capital dividends to shareholders. To do this, it is essential to be surrounded by a team of professionals who will be able to guide you in establishing this strategy.  

Q&A: Types of life insurance

What is the difference between term and permanent life insurance?

In Canada, several term and permanent life insurance options are available. As the name suggests, term life insurance gives you coverage only for a predetermined period, usually 10 to 45 years. Your beneficiaries will receive the amount provided if the death occurs during the coverage period provided for in the contract, no more.

Permanent life insurance does not expire and is more of an estate-planning tool. Beyond the value of the policy itself, it can include a surrender value that accumulates tax-free over the life of the contract, which allows you to build up capital. As an investment product, this type of insurance allows you to capitalize on the absence or near absence of debt typical of retirement. You or your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum that is more than enough to pay the inheritance tax and the remaining taxes on capital gains, related to your property or your investments for example.

When to contribute to permanent life insurance?

Since its cash value grows tax-free, permanent life insurance can be a strategic vehicle if:

  1. You have contributed as much as allowed to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and your Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA); and
  2. You are looking for other ways to keep your money growing tax-free.

What types of permanent life insurance should you choose?

Three permanent life insurance options are available to you:

  1. Whole life insurance
  2. Universal life insurance and
  3. Term to 100 insurance

What is whole life insurance?

Since whole life insurance is designed to meet your long-term goals, it is important to keep it in force for your lifetime. With this type of product, the insured does not need to choose his investment options, it is the insurance company that takes care of it and manages the surrender value. This is the perfect option for the investor who knows nothing about the stock market.

There are two types of whole life insurance:

  1. The first allows you to receive annual dividends or credits that will help grow cash value and increase your coverage.
  2. The second only gives you the cash value, without the possibility of obtaining dividends or an annual credit to increase your coverage.

With this type of life insurance, your beneficiaries will only receive the insurance amount as a death benefit. Although its cash value can be a very useful tool during your lifetime, it is not paid to your beneficiaries.

What is universal life insurance?

Unlike whole life insurance, your beneficiaries will receive both the insurance amount AND the built-in cash value over the life of the policy, so a larger sum in the end. You can also put additional money in the contract and choose how you invest the cash value.

This type of insurance is a more flexible and convenient option than whole life insurance, which generally allows you to choose:

  • The premium payment schedule
  • The amount of cash surrender value you wish to pay (subject to certain limits)
  • The allocation of investments corresponding to the degree of risk you are prepared to assume

What is term to 100 insurance?

The third type of permanent life insurance offered in Canada is term to 100 insurance. It’s halfway between term life insurance and permanent life insurance, providing coverage for as long as you live, but no cash value.

How can I use my permanent life insurance?

Beyond protecting your loved ones or providing you with cash value, this type of life insurance can be used:

  • As loan security and to obtain cash advances
  • As cash by simply withdrawing the cash surrender value from the policy (which terminates the policy itself)

If you choose to cash in the cash value, certain applicable fees will be removed, and the policy will terminate. Unless you wait until retirement to withdraw the cash surrender value, and depending on your financial picture at the time, the cash surrender value may be taxable.

Q&A: Life insurance as an asset class

Can life insurance be an investment?

Yes, absolutely. It is an alternative asset class offering low risk and good return. Permanent life insurance often generates higher rates of return or after-tax returns than more traditional investments such as GICs and government bonds.

Is life insurance a safe form of saving?

Life insurance is a very different product from home, car or liability insurance, which can give rise to litigation. The risk associated with bankruptcies is very low: there are only four bankruptcies in the life insurance industry in Canada. In all of these cases, the Canadian policies had been transferred to solvent life insurance companies and the vast majority of policy owners were protected. Note that the insurance industry is regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of the Canadian government. Canadian insurers are also highly rated by credit rating agencies, which rate the creditworthiness and financial strength of insurance companies. Finally, all life insurance companies in Canada are members of Assuris, a non-profit organization that protects consumers in the event of the bankruptcy of an insurance company.

How can life insurance protect my wealth?

Permanent life insurance is an essential tool to evaluate in establishing good estate planning. It helps to significantly increase the value of the assets of business owners and wealthy people. Among other things, it protects the erosion of assets and optimizes the transfer of assets to heirs for tax purposes. To do this, a personalized analysis of your needs is necessary, and it is important to be well supported by a team of seasoned professionals in the field. Sogemec Assurance and its partners have this expertise. Speak to one of our advisors for more information.

Did you know that...

Permanent life insurance is the ideal way to protect yourself with consistent premiums throughout your life. It can provide you with an income during your lifetime and ensures that, after your death, your loved ones will have access to the (tax-free!) cash they need to manage your estate.


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Did you know that your Service Corporation is a shareholder of Sogemec Assurances?

"Dear colleagues, our alliance with Sogemec ensures that you have access to an honest, reliable and committed team that will offer you the right insurance solutions for the right reasons."

— Michel Gaudreau, notary
President — Corporation de service des notaires du Québec