The Value of Financial Literacy when Choosing Life Insurance

Mother and daughter reviewing insurance coverage

The Value of Financial Literacy when Choosing Life Insurance

By Paul Petrelli, President & CEO, Assuris

We live in uncertain times. Everyone knows this, but how do we take back control of our lives in such times? Where can we find peace of mind? A good place to start is by building our financial security, seeking the advice of a trusted financial advisor, and developing a better understanding of our financial wellbeing. November is Financial Literacy Month, so this is a great time to start! You can learn more here.

The theme of Financial Literacy Month this year is Make Change that Counts: Managing Your Money in a Changing World. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that Canadians have access to financial products and services that are tailored to their needs, vulnerabilities, and resource constraints. A trusted financial advisor can help you develop a good plan and select the financial products that will meet your needs.

Any good financial plan includes life and health insurance products, and these are particularly important because:

  • Life, critical illness, and disability insurance products help you be prepared for the unexpected by providing replacement income. This can help protect other savings and assets –  by covering mortgage payments on a home, for example.

  • Whole life insurance and segregated funds can also be a great way to invest savings for use later in life, or to efficiently transfer wealth to future generations.

  • Finally, annuities can help secure your retirement by converting part or all of your savings into a steady stream of income.

Well-advised Canadians should know two things that will help them make wise financial decisions about life and health insurance products. First, the protection and/or financial returns promised by most life and health insurance products are guaranteed by the life insurance company. This is unique to insurance products. Because insurers guarantee their products, they are required by law to maintain extensive reserves and capital to back those promises. They are a very safe place for Canadians to put their money and feel secure. Secondly, Canadian life insurance companies rarely fail, but in the unlikely event that a life insurer should fail, those benefits are automatically protected by Assuris.

At Assuris, our mission is to protect policyholders if their life insurance company fails. It is important that policyholders know about this protection. The more you know about Assuris, the more confident you will be investing in life insurance products. You can find lots of useful information and helpful resources by visiting our website ( and by following us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook).

Financial well-being in Canada: Survey Results,

It is in our collective best interest to ensure that all Canadians experience a high quality of service that meets the diverse needs in the delivery of financial products and services. The more you know, the more likely it is that you will be able to take control of your financial security and wellbeing.

Paul Petrelli is the President & CEO of Assuris, the not for profit, industry funded organization that protects Canadian policyholders if their life insurance company fails.

Paul is passionate about the value of sound financial planning and the critical role of life insurers in helping to protect the life, health and wealth of Canadians. He is proud to be part of a dedicated team ensuring the financial security of Canadians.

Paul joined Assuris in 2021, bringing extensive experience from over 20 years in the life insurance industry, having held various leadership positions at Sun Life.

Paul was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada as a member in 1997 and completed his Master of Law degree from the University of Toronto School of Law, specializing in Innovation, Technology and Law.

As President & CEO, Paul is a member of Assuris’ Board of Directors.