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Talking About Life Insurance Remains Taboo for Some Couples

  • Published: 2011-06-13 : Author: Paradigm Public Relations
  • Synopsis: 31% of Canadians have never discussed life insurance with their partner.

Main Document

Discussing life insurance remains a relationship taboo - TD Insurance poll finds 31% of Canadians have never discussed life insurance with their partner.

Women may be known as good communicators but a new survey reveals that men aren't lacking in conversation skills either, at least when it comes to talking about the future with their other halves.

According to the TD Insurance Look Who's Talking Poll, men are better at driving the conversation about life insurance (57% versus 43% of women) in their relationships.

But talking about life insurance still remains taboo for a number of couples; 31% of Canadians have never discussed life insurance with their partner.

Surprisingly, the survey found that one third of Canadians who have been in a relationship for five to nine years admit they've never broached the issue, along with almost one-in-five (17%) of Canadians with children. Canadians under 35 were most likely to have never discussed it (41%).

"It doesn't matter who's driving the conversation, the important thing is to talk about it," says Dave Minor, Vice President, TD Insurance. "Considering how integral finances are to a family's well-being, it was surprising and concerning to find that some couples aren't talking about life insurance at all."

When asked why, the majority of tight-lipped couples say the topic hasn't been raised, because they never thought about it (59%) or didn't think their relationship was serious enough (35%).

"Thinking about what you would do if something were to happen to you or your partner is hard, so it's no surprise that many couples find it difficult to raise the subject of life insurance. But if you're serious about your partner and starting to build a life together, it's time to get some of the tougher issues, like money, out in the open," says Minor.

Life events trigger life insurance

The survey found life events, like getting married or starting a family, change Canadians' appetite towards risk. One-in-five Canadians who have life insurance say they purchased it because they had a baby (19%), got married (19%) or bought a house (19%).

"Not surprisingly, younger Canadians are least likely to have talked about life insurance since there's a common misconception that it's something you should start thinking about when you have a family," says Minor. "In reality, life insurance should be an integral part of everyone's overall financial health. One of the advantages of thinking about it sooner is that it can be more affordable since premiums are based on life expectancy which naturally decreases over time. At the same time, life insurance is something you should especially consider and revisit whenever you hit one of life's milestones like being in a serious relationship, buying a home or starting a family."

Insurance is a hot topic for some couples

Thirty-two percent of Canadians who have discussed life insurance with their partner have argued about it - the hottest points of contention being whether it was necessary (19%) and the cost (15%). When it comes to making the big decisions, the survey found that Canadians feel women are more likely to be emotional (92%) and overly-cautious (80%), and men are more likely to act self-centered (77%) and rash (71%).

"Talking about life insurance isn't always an easy conversation, but it's an important one that's easier to have if you're armed with the right information," says Minor. "Doing some research or using an online calculator to estimate how much coverage you may need is a great first step towards understanding your insurance. The cost of things like your mortgage, children's education and living expenses, among other things, all come into play."

"It's also very important to speak to your insurer so that they understand your needs and can recommend a policy that works for you and your family," adds Minor. "Everyone's situation is different so it's important to have a discussion with your family and your insurer so that you can feel confident that you have the right coverage in place," adds Minor.

About the TD Insurance Look Who's Talking Poll -TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom online survey of 1,000 Canadian adults. Results were collected between March 5 - 13th, 2011.

About TD Insurance -TD Bank Group's insurance companies and operations carry on business under the TD Insurance brand. TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect clients from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, life, health, travel, home and auto insurance. With more than three million clients, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,000 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. The TD Insurance brands include TD Insurance Credit Protection and TD Insurance Life and Health, which are the number one provider of critical illness insurance and direct life and health premium origination in Canada. And through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto brands, TD Insurance is the largest direct-response insurance group in the country. For more information, visit

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