Optional Life Insurance

Optional Life Insurance

Optional Life Insurance – effective April 1, 2019

Employees under age 65 may apply for optional life insurance coverage in units of $10,000, subject to a maximum of $300,000.

You can get up to $100,000 in coverage for yourself and up to $100,000 for your spouse and up to $50,000 for each child. There is no need to give medical details when you apply.  Keep in mind, these limits include any amount of Optional Life Insurance you currently have, as well as any new amounts you want to add.  A 24-month pre-existing condition clause applies to any new coverage for you, your spouse or child (ren).

You may purchase additional amounts of optional life insurance up to a maximum of $300,00 for employee and/or spouse with medical evidence.  You must obtain the appropriate forms from HR to apply for this coverage.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a health problem that began or existed during the 24 months before your Optional Life coverage starts. If you have a pre-existing health problem and die from that health problem in the first 24 months of coverage, the insurance will not pay a death benefit.

For example, suppose you’ve had diabetes for 10 years. If you death is diabetes-related, and it happens in the first 24 months of coverage, the death benefit will not be paid.

If your death is caused by a car accident, or by diabetes-related condition four years after coverage starts, the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary.

This coverage is available in addition to, not in lieu of, basic life.

If you already have Optional Life coverage through your plan that you had to provide medical details for, the pre-existing condition clause won’t apply to that amount. For example:

Original Coverage ($40,000 *medical details needed *no pre-existing condition clause)

Added Coverage (+$60,000 *no medical details needed *24-month pre-existing condition clause in effect)


  1. Decide how much insurance you want to buy
  2. Check the cost and any coverage maximums set for your plan
  3. Fill out and return the application to Human Resources

Choosing a beneficiary.

It’s important to name a beneficiary. All or part of any payment from your life insurance goes to them if you die.

If you already have coverage and want to change your beneficiary, contact Human Resources. 

When does coverage start?

For amounts up to $100,000 for you and your spouse and up to $50,000 for your children, coverage starts as soon as we have your completed application.

If the amount of coverage you apply for puts you over the limit, and medical details are needed, coverage starts once your application is approved.


Think about your income and all the things it pays for – mortgage / rent, loans, regular household expenses, education and other needs. Determine how long you may need replacement funds to last. Then, consider what coverage you have in place already – through your employer, individual insurance plans and creditors (e.g. your mortgage provider.

Optional Life Rates : Rate per $1,000 (effective April 1, 2019)

Age Renewal Smoker Renewal Non-Smoker
20-29 0.022 per thousand 0.013 per thousand
30-34 0.027 per thousand 0.016 per thousand
35-39 0.041 per thousand 0.020 per thousand
40-44 0.059 per thousand 0.033 per thousand
45-49 0.102 per thousand 0.051 per thousand
50-54 0.156 per thousand 0.088 per thousand
55-59 0.270 per thousand 0.149 per thousand
60-64 0.413 per thousand 0.233 per thousand

Child(ren) optional life insurance rate is $0.16/$1,000

i.e.,$50,000 and age 35 for a Non-Smoker

Cost per pay = 50,000 x 0.020/$1,000 = $1.00

In the event of an employee's death while insured, the amount of optional life insurance is payable to the designated beneficiary. No benefit will be paid for death resulting from self-destruction within two years of the insurance becoming effective.

The provisions of this coverage shall be the same as for basic life insurance.

Application for Optional Life Insurance

To apply for Optional Life Insurance, an employee must complete the necessaryFillable Form.

Please note – If optional life insurance is over $50,000 or if you are considered a late applicant, you must obtain appropriate forms from HR to apply for coverage.

Contact us

Human Resources
(902) 496-8116
Mailing address:
Saint Mary's University
McNally South 111
923 Robie Street
Halifax NS B3H 3C3