BMO Life Insurance Review 2021

With 200+ years in business as Canada's oldest bank, BMO Insurance is a reliable life insurance company in Canada with many unique products.

April 1, 2021

Did you know that there are more than 150 life and health insurance companies in Canada?

150+ companies are a lot to choose from, so it’s important you read life insurance reviews before you choose one. In doing so, you can understand the insurer as a whole, and its pros and cons.

We have created this comprehensive BMO Life Insurance review to help you make an informed decision. Continue reading to find what’s great (and what’s not) about this carrier, and more importantly, if it is the right choice for you.

History of BMO

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is Canada’s oldest bank and was set up in 1817. Although a part of the BMO Financial Group, BMO Insurance is a separate business unit. Its portfolio was strengthened with the acquisition of AIG’s life insurance business in 2009. Today, BMO is the second-largest bank-owned insurance provider in Canada

BMO Insurance: Facts & Financial Information

  • Founded: 1817
  • Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
  • Assets: $11.2 billion
  • Annual Premiums: $2.0 billion
  • Better Business Bureau Accreditation and Rating: N/A
  • AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)

Before you sign the dotted line, check whether the insurer’s financial health is robust. Does it carry enough cash reserves to pay out death benefits? What about its long-term financial outlook — is that satisfactory?

BMO Insurance is doing just fine in this regard, according to credit rating firm A.M. Best. It awarded “A” rating (Excellent) to the carrier. In simple English, this means you can count on BMO Insurance to keep its end of the bargain.

BMO Life Insurance Reviews

To get a fair idea of how good BMO Life Insurance’s customer service is, we decided to check out its online reviews. And we were pleasantly surprised.

bmo life insurance review by Google reviews and insureye

BMO Insurance notched up an impressive score of 3.8 out of 5 on Google Reviews. Its record on Insureye is just about par, with a score of 2.7 out of 5. Much better than what its competitors Canada Life (1.4) and RBC Insurance (1.7) could manage.

Overall BMO Insurance Review:

Customer Complaints: 3.0 / 5 based on Insureye Reviews and Google Reviews ★★★

Dundaslife.com Rating: 4.0 / 5 stars ★★★★

Well done BMO Insurance!

BMO Life Insurance Products and Features

Whether you need coverage for a set period or your entire life, BMO Insurance has got your back. It offers a full suite of personal insurance solutions, such as the following:

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire lifespan. Typically, these policies include a savings component, called cash value. Part of your premium gets put into your policy’s cash value, which may grow at a fixed or varied interest rate. You can use the cash value to pay premiums, take out a loan against it, or withdraw it in case of a financial emergency.

BMO Life Insurance offers the following five types of permanent life insurance, making it easier for you to get the coverage you need.

1.Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is significantly more expensive than term life insurance. All the same, it can be a better choice in certain situations, such as:

  • When you are the sole breadwinner of the family
  • When you may have a health condition that can make getting a new term life insurance policy in the future expensive or impossible
  • When you have insufficient assets to provide for your family in the event of your death

BMO Insurance Whole Life is non-participating permanent life insurance and comes with the following bells and whistles:

  • Guaranteed premiums for 10 years, 20 years, or to age 100
  • Guaranteed cash value
  • A performance bonus that increases your policy’s cash value and death benefit
  • Unique features that offer you greater flexibility. These include premium offset, premium switching, policy loans, and additional payments

BMO Insurance offers two types of whole life insurance policies: Estate Achiever and Wealth Achiever.

While Estate Achiever aims to maximize the insured’s estate, Wealth Achiever works to build cash value. Since the latter generates more cash value, its premiums are higher.

2. Universal Life Insurance

A Universal life insurance policy offers lifetime coverage and builds cash value much like its whole life cousin. However, this is where the similarities between the two end.

Unlike whole life insurance, universal life offers the flexibility to adjust your premiums and the coverage amount. Also, the cash value growth in a universal life policy is not guaranteed.

BMO Insurance Universal Life Insurance plan offers you the following perks:

  • Flexible payments
  • A wide range of investment options
  • Tax-deferred growth
  • A wide range of riders to choose from. These include accidental death rider, term life insurance rider, critical illness rider, waiver of premium, and children’s term insurance rider.
  • Free access to BMO Insurance Health Advocate Plan

BMO Insurance offers three types of universal life insurance — Life Dimensions, Life Dimensions  (Low Fees), and Wealth Dimensions.

3. EasyOne Life

You need to take a medical exam to get permanent life insurance, right? Wrong. EasyOne Life plan lets you purchase permanent life insurance without a medical review as long as:

  • You are between the ages of 50 and 80
  • You sign a declaration stating you don’t have any serious illness
  • Your coverage amount is anywhere between $5,000 to $50,000

Your coverage starts from the day BMO Insurance receives your application and comes with a 30-day free look period. If you cancel your policy within 30 days, you will not have to pay a penalty. You also get free access to Helping Hands health and wellness program. It gives you access to referral services and helps you take care of your family and yourself.

4. Guaranteed Life Plus

This is another no-medical-required permanent insurance plan from BMO Insurance. It is designed for Canadians ages 40 to 75 and promises guaranteed acceptance. You get up to $50,000 of life insurance coverage and $250K accidental death benefit (expires at age 85).

The coverage starts immediately once BMO Insurance receives your application, and the premium ranges from $20 to $120 a month. You can cancel the policy without penalty within 30 days of the issuance date.

5. Term 100

Don’t let the word “term” confuse you. Term 100 is a permanent life insurance policy, meaning the coverage lasts a lifetime. It comes with guaranteed level premiums payable until age 100.

Designed for Canadians ages 18 to 80, BMO Term 100 offers coverage up to $5 million. You may need to take a medical exam for it.

Term Life Insurance

A term life insurance plan is more affordable than a whole life insurance plan because it offers protection for a predetermined time.

The amount of coverage stays the same throughout the term, and so does your premiums. Your family receives the death benefit if you die within the policy term. If you outlive the term, you get no money.

Term life insurance is an affordable way to secure your family financially. It is a good option for young families since it can shoulder the costs of:

  • A mortgage
  • Caring for young children
  • Saving for college education
  • Saving for retirement

BMO Insurance provides term coverage in 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years term periods. It lets you convert your term life insurance policy into a permanent one without submitting proof of insurability. You can exercise this option up to the age of 70.

You can exchange your 10-year term policy to a 15-year, 20-year, 25-year, or 30-year policy within the first 5 policy years. You don’t have to take a medical exam or go through underwriting.

BMO Insurance offers the following term life insurance policies.

Term 10

A 10-year term life insurance policy allows you to lock in a level premium and a guaranteed death benefit for 120 months. You may be a good candidate for a 10-year term policy if:

  • Your kids are in middle school
  • You have fewer than 10 years to go on your mortgage
  • You are retiring within 5 or 10 years
  • You plan to be self-insured within 10 years

The main features of BMO Insurance 10-year term life insurance are as follows:

  • Your premium rates don’t change throughout the term
  • You can renew your policy without submitting proof of insurability
  • You can convert your 10-year term life insurance to permanent life insurance without medical questions before the age of 70
  • You can exchange your 10-year term policy to a 15-year, 20-year, 25-year, or 30-year policy within the first 5 policy years

All BMO Term policies also include the following features: 

  • The maximum issue age is 75
  • The coverage expires at age 85
  • Coverage amount varies from $100,000 to $500,000

Term 15

A 15-year term policy has a level death benefit guarantee where your premium rates remain the same throughout. The 15-year term may be your sweet spot if:

  • Your kids are in elementary school
  • You have fewer than 15 years left on your mortgage
  • You will need 15 years to pay off any other debt you owe
  • You plan to retire within 15 years
  • You will become financially independent in 15 years

Do you meet one or more of the above criteria? If so, here are some key features to keep in mind:

  • Your premiums remain level for the length of the term
  • You can renew your policy without submitting proof of insurability before the age of 70

Term 20

This type of policy covers you for 20 years. The premiums that you pay and the death benefit don’t change during the term. If one or more of the following statements describe you, the 20-year term length may be a good choice:

  • Your children are still young
  • You have fewer than 20 years to go on your mortgage
  • You have 20 years of other debts
  • Expected to retire within 15-20 years
  • You expect to be self-insured within 20 years

The key features of BMO Insurance 20-year term policy are as follows:

  • You pay the same premiums throughout the policy term
  • You can renew your policy without submitting proof of insurability before the age of 70
  • The maximum issue age is 75
  • Coverage expires at 85
  • Coverage amount varies from $100,000 to $500,000

Term 25 and 30

The 25-year term life insurance covers you for 25 years. With a 30-year term policy, you get protection for 30 years. In the case of both, the premium and death benefit doesn’t change as long as the term lasts. Also, both are suitable for people who don’t want protection for life but need it longer than usual.

You may be a good candidate for a 30-year term policy if one or more of the following statements describe you:

  • You have recently married
  • The recent purchase purchase of  a home
  • You are the sole or primary breadwinner of your family
  • You children are young or have special needs

Apart from the difference in term life insurance length, BMO Insurance 25-year term life policy and 30-year term life policy have the same features. These are:

  • Your premiums don’t change as long as the policy lasts
  • Your coverage automatically expires after the initial term. In other words, you cannot renew your policy
  • You can convert your 25-year term policy or 30-year term policy into a permanent life insurance policy with no medical exam before the age of 70
Life and house and health insurance

Optional Riders and Benefits

A rider is essentially an added benefit you can add to your insurance policy, typically by paying a little extra. In this way, you can personalize your life insurance policy to suit your specific needs.

BMO Insurance offers the following riders to its policyholders.

  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Accidental Death
  • Waiver of Premium
  • Children’s Life Insurance

What Other Insurance Coverage does BMO Offer?

In addition to whole life, universal, and term life insurance, BMO Life Insurance has a range of insurance products for you. This includes:

Critical Illness Insurance

A severe illness, like cancer, stroke, or heart attack, can drain your savings, especially if you can no longer work. That’s why there’s critical illness insurance. It pays you a tax-free, lump-sum payment if you get diagnosed with a covered condition.

BMO Life Insurance has two critical illness insurance plans in place.

  1. Life Recovery Plus
  • 👉  Canadians residents ages 18 to 60 can apply
  • 👉  Guaranteed acceptance for critical illness insurance as long as you provide a declaration of health
  • 👉  Cash benefits are a mix of daily, monthly, and one-time benefits
  • 👉  Basic plan has a cash benefit of up to $25K and Enhanced plan up to $50K
  • 👉  The survival period is 30 days
  • 👉  Coverage until the age of 70

  1. Living Benefit
  • 👉 Covers 25 life-threatening health conditions with critical illness insurance
  • 👉 Available in 10-year and 20-year terms or coverage up to 75 or 100 years of age
  • 👉 You can convert a 10-year or 20-year term policy to a permanent Living Benefit 75 or 100 policy without a medical exam
  • 👉 Maximum coverage is $2 million
  • 👉 The survival period is 30 days

Mortgage Life Insurance & Travel Insurance

Mortgage life insurance pays off the amount due on your mortgage after your death. However, it doesn’t protect you — but rather the mortgage lender. That’s because the proceeds of the policy go to the lender, not your family.

For this reason, a term life insurance policy is a much better option in most cases. However, if you have a health condition that prevents you from getting life insurance coverage, mortgage insurance may be your only option to protect your home financially.

BMO Mortgage Life Insurance has level premiums, and the maximum payout amount is $600,000.

On the travel side, BMO Insurance provides travel insurance on both per-trip and annual basis. You can choose from a slew of plans, which cover medical emergencies, lost baggage, trip cancellation, flight delays, and more.

Term Life Insurance Rates Example

Term Life Insurance is easier to understand and cheaper than whole life insurance. But the real question is — Does BMO Life Insurance offer a good deal?

We grabbed quotes to find out the truth. Check out the average annual life insurance rates for non-smoking, healthy men and women at different ages. All these quotes are for $400,000 in coverage over a 20-year term length.

Age Male Female
25 $28.26 $19.62
30 $29.34 24.84
35 $33.30 28.44
40 $44.46 36.00
45 $72.90 54.36
50 $117.90 87.84
55 $213.66 150.12
60 $378.54 267.12
65 $604.26 475.20
70 Contact Us for Options Contact Us for Options

Life Insurance Application Process

BMO Life Insurance offers online quotes. So that’s good news.

Getting an online quote is simple. Just enter basic information about yourself, and their insurance calculator will give you an accurate quote.

But that is where the good news ends.

BMO Life Insurance doesn’t let you purchase life insurance online. You need to submit a request to have one of their agents call you — which is hardly the smartest way to buy insurance. They also have a "paper-heavy process". ie. it's hard to file an online application with them and most applications are paper applications.

Why?

You see, these agents, even those with the best of intentions, have their hands tied. They can sell only BMO Insurance products. They are going to recommend a BMO Insurance solution, whether it works well for your situation or not.

For this reason, we recommend you get a quote from a third party such as Dundas Life. They have your best interests in mind and their hands are not tied. You get a personalized quote so that you can see who’s offering you the best bang for your buck.

Term Life Insurance Review - Prices Based on Customer Characteristics

Think people of the same age pay the same premium rate when they buy life insurance from the same insurer?

Think again!

While age is the biggest factor that goes into determining premium rates, it’s not the only thing that matters. Your premium rates also depend on your medical history, smoking status, and current health to a large degree.

So it’s not uncommon to find people of the same age paying wildly different rates for the same policy from the same insurer. Also, different insurers calculate risk differently. Some carriers are more lenient than others for certain medical conditions, like diabetes. As such, they are more likely to offer a better bargain to such people.

So how does BMO Insurance stack up? Let’s find out.

Policy Holder Characteristics Price Comparison
Low coverage amount (<$400,000) Average
Higher coverage amount (>$400,000) Great
Short Term (10 years) Great
Mid Term (20 years) Average
Long Term (30 years) Average
Whole Life Average
Male Great
Female Average
Under 40 years old Average
Over 40 years old Great
Good Health Great
Regular Smoker Great

Term Life Insurance Review - Price Comparison vs. Competitor Products

Many Canadian Insurers pour thousands on advertising to convince you they offer the lowest life insurance rates. But no single carrier is the low-price leader for everyone. The insurer that’s cheapest for your best friend may be overly expensive for you. The only way to ensure you are getting the best value for your money is to compare life insurance company rates.

We compared BMO Life Insurance rates for two risk classes with that of Manulife. BMO came in slightly cheaper for a younger 40 year old male. Manulife was slightly cheaper for a 60 year old female.

➢  Example 1: 40 Year Old Male, Non Smoker, Regular Health, 20 Year Term:

BMO Insurance $400K - $44.46/month

Manulife $400K - $45.05/month

Cost Savings over 20 years: $142
bmo insurance logo

➢  Example 2: 60 Year Old Female, Non Smoker, Regular Health, 20 Year Term:

BMO Insurance $250K - $163.12/month

Manulife $250K - $160.53/month

Cost Savings over 20 years: $622
manulife insurance logo

BMO Life Insurance Pros ✅

  • Solid Company, Impressive History

BMO is Canada’s oldest bank, and that’s saying something. It has weathered two world wars, a depression, and recessions.

Of course, their insurance company branch is relatively new, but it’s clear the group is investing resources into it. And with the acquisition of AIG, BMO has become the second-largest bank offering life insurance products in Canada.

  • Five term life insurance lengths available

BMO Insurance offers more term lengths than many Canadian insurers, making it easier for you to find the coverage that addresses your specific needs or concerns.

  • Option to convert into multiple types of permanent life insurance products

BMO Insurance lets your convert your term life insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy without a medical test. What’s more, it gives you plenty of permanent products to choose from, which can be a huge advantage for some people.

Term life insurance is simpler and cheaper than permanent insurance. But it comes with a deadline. If your health takes a turn for the worse, you may have to pay astronomical rates to get a new policy when the present term is over. But if you convert, your health will not affect the premium on a whole life policy.

  • Affordable Term Life Insurance Rates

BMO Insurance rates are consistently among the lowest in Canada. This makes it a great choice for frugal customers.

coworkers reading phone at office
  • Compassionate Benefit Program

The Compassionate Benefit Program is a unique feature offered by BMO Insurance. Under this program, clients may apply for an advance of their policy’s death benefit.

This program helps term life insurance policyholders diagnosed with a terminal illness and having a life expectancy of 12 months or less manage their unexpected financial costs. This is different from critical illness insurance. Policyholders can draw up to 50% of the base coverage or up to $250,000, whichever is less.

  • Online quotes available

Life insurance is complicated — but finding out how much you will have to pay for coverage should not be. With BMO Life Insurance, you can learn your premium rates with just a click online.

BMO Life Insurance Cons ❌

  • Longer-term products are not renewable

You can’t renew BMO Life Insurance's longer-term products, Term 25 and Term 30. But you can convert these term products into permanent policies, we’ll give it that.

  • Must apply through agents

BMO Insurance offers online quotes, but it doesn’t let you buy life insurance online. Instead, you will have to submit a request to have an agent call you or call customer service who will direct you to a local agent. Either way, you will be using the phone.

  • Paper Heavy Process

BMO Insurance has a "paper-heavy process", it's hard to file an online application with them and most applications are paper applications, which isn't very convenient in this day and age.

Conclusion – Is BMO Life Insurance right for you?

Competitive pricing, a lot of term life insurance options, online quotes, and unique features such as Compassion Benefit Program make BMO Insurance a good choice for Canadians looking for a straightforward insurance policy.

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