Canada Life Insurance Review 2021

With 175 years in business, $220 billion in assets and an A+ A.M. financial score, Canada Life is a reliable life insurance company in Canada.

January 7, 2021

Canada Life is one of Canada’s largest life insurers and has millions of customers. But the real question is — Is Canada Life insurance right for you?

We decided to do the homework for you.

Canada Life provides very diverse coverage along with rates, strong financial strength, a wide product mix, and a generous term exchange option. In this post about Canada Life, you'll find the industry's most comprehensive analysis of this partner company of ours.

This comprehensive review will include:

Who Is Canada Life?

Canada Life first opened its doors back in 1847, Canada became a confederated entity in 1867.  Within a short period of time, Canada Life ranked among the most preeminent insurance companies in Canada. Today, it boasts $219 million in assets and is a provider of choice to tens of thousands of people. Let’s see how it got here.

History of Canada Life Acquisitions

  • 1994: Acquires New York Life & Manulife Financial in the UK
  • 1997: Acquires MetLife in the UK
  • 1998: Acquires Crown Life Insurance Company of the UK
  • 2003: Canada Life becomes a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc.
  • 2020: Canada Life, London Life Insurance Company, and Great-West Life Assurance Company amalgamate into one company — The Canada Life Assurance Company

Canada Life Insurance: Facts & Financial Information

  • Founded: 1846
  • Headquarters: Toronto
  • Assets: $219.7 billion
  • Annual Premiums: $36.4 billion
  • Better Business Bureau Accreditation and Rating: N/A – A+
  • AM Best Rating: A+

Before you buy insurance, check how the carrier performs on different criteria such as financial stability. After all, the last thing you would want is to pick an insurance company that doesn’t have the financial strength to honour its long-term insurance contracts.

You can gain insight into an insurer’s financial standing by checking its AM Best rating. AM Best specializes in assessing the financial stability of insurance companies. It takes into account both current indicators and long-term outlook, and its scoring ranges from A++ downward.

Canada Life notched up an impressive score of A+ from AM Best. So, you can rest easy knowing it will make good on its promise when the time comes, 20, 30, or even 50 years from now.

Canada Life Reviews

Many third-party services provide reviews for different insurance companies. You should take these reviews with a grain of salt.

canada life insurance Google review of 4.2 stars

Why?

Online reviews for insurance companies rarely (if ever) provide a complete picture. Generally, people storm online review platforms, like Google and BBB, when they don’t get the level of service they expect.

Statistically speaking, customers are more likely to take the time to share a negative experience online.

Most life insurers have a diverse product mix. So, before you take a review at face value, make sure it is about the life insurance product you want to buy.

Canada Life reviews average 2.5 (out of 5) on Google. Its performance on Insureye is less than flattering, though. The insurer could only manage a score of 1.4 out of 5. With that said, such a score is not typical for a business of its size. For example, Manulife and SunLife, two of its most important competitors, came up with similar scores — 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

We also analyzed how Canada Life reviews rank with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB, a non-profit corporation, promotes marketplace trust by grading companies on several parameters. While the provider has mostly negative customer reviews on BBB (1.0 out of 5 stars), it notched up the best-possible rating of A+ BBB Rating, which all things considered, is pretty good.

Overall Canada Life Insurance Review:

Customer Complaints: 2.0 / 5 (based on Insureye Reviews and Google Reviews) ★★

Dundaslife.com Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars ★★★

Canada Life Insurance Products and Features

Family life insurance

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance covers you for your entire life and includes a savings component to fall back on if things go wrong. However, these perks don’t come cheap. Whole life insurance is generally more expensive than other types of life insurance.

Canada Life offers both participating and non-participating whole life policies. Unlike the latter, participating whole life policies pay a dividend based on the profits of the company

Canada Life has two participating whole life insurance in place: Estate Achiever and Wealth Achiever.

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

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. Like whole insurance, it offers lifetime coverage and has an investment savings element. But its cash value growth is not guaranteed, premiums are flexible and more affordable.

Canada Life offers many investment options to grow your money. Some are riskier than others, but with greater risk comes the opportunity to accumulate more cash value.

Term Life Insurance

Term insurance can cost less than a cup of coffee a day and lasts for a set period. It’s a smart option for covering expenses that come with an expiry date, such as a mortgage.

Canada Life Insurance offers term coverage in 10, 20, and 30-year term periods. You can change your term life coverage into a whole life or universal life coverage without a medical test up to the age of 70. This feature is a must-have for any term insurance and can come in handy if you become uninsurable in the future.

Canada Life also offers a generous term exchange option on its 10-year term policies. You can convert your 10-year term policy to a 20-year term anytime between the second and sixth policy year.

Now let’s look at different term life insurance products Canada Life offers in detail.

Term 10

A 10-year term policy offers a level premium and a guaranteed death benefit for ten years. Your age is the primary factor influencing your life insurance premium rate. So, the younger you are when you apply for coverage, the lower your premium will be.

Some of the important features of Canada Life’s 10-year term life insurance are as follows:

  • Your insurance premium remains unchanged for the duration of the term
  • Canada Life automatically renews your coverage for the same period unless specified otherwise
  • The maximum issue age is 75
  • You can convert your 10-year term life insurance to permanent insurance without medical questions before the age of 70
  • Joint first-to-die coverage is available
  • The policy expires when you reach the age of 85. If you have joint life insurance, the policy expires when the oldest insured person reaches the age of 85 years

Term 20

A 20-year term life insurance policy locks in your premium rates for twenty years, regardless of your health. Your death benefit also remains the same throughout the term. This type of term life insurance offers protection while you’re most vulnerable. That is when you have children at home, a hefty mortgage, and few financial assets.

Some of the important features of Canada Life’s 20-year term life insurance are as follows:

  • Your insurance premium remains unchanged for the duration of the term
  • Canada Life automatically renews your coverage for the same period unless specified otherwise
  • The maximum issue age is 65
  • You can convert your 20-year term life insurance to permanent insurance without medical questions before the age of 70
  • Joint first-to-die coverage is available
  • The policy expires when you reach the age of 85. If you have joint life insurance, the policy expires when the oldest insured person reaches the age of 85 years

Term 30

Term 30 life insurance provides coverage for thirty years from the date of purchase. The insurance premium remains the same throughout the policy term, as does the death benefit. It is a suitable option for Canadians who want term life insurance for a longer period than usual. 30-year term life insurance offers a high amount of coverage at an affordable rate.

Some of the important features of Canada Life’s 30-year term life insurance are as follows:

  • Your insurance premium remains unchanged for the duration of the term
  • Canada Life automatically renews your coverage for the same period unless specified otherwise. The maximum issue age is 65
  • You can convert your 30-year term life insurance to permanent insurance without medical questions before the age of 70
  • Joint first-to-die coverage is available
  • The policy expires when you reach the age of 85. If you have joint life insurance, the policy expires when the oldest insured person reaches the age of 85 years

Term to Age 65

Term-to-age 65 policy covers you till you reach 65 years of age. The premium and death benefit stays level throughout the term. It is a good option for mortgage borrowers and people interested in replacing their income in the event of death.

Some of the important features of Canada Life’s term-to-age 65 life insurance are as follows:

  • Your insurance premium remains unchanged for the duration of the term
  • You can convert your term-to-age 65 policy to permanent insurance without medical questions before the age of 60
  • You cannot renew the policy
old Couple waving to a laptop.

Optional Riders and Benefits

A rider is supplemental coverage that adds benefits to or amends the terms of a basic insurance policy. If the coverage is inadequate, you can beef it up by adding the appropriate insurance rider(s).

Canada Life offers all the standard insurance riders that you expect from a top-ranking carrier.

Riders Available on Single-Life Policies

👉  Accidental Death Benefit

Your beneficiary revives an additional death benefit if you die as a result of an accident.

👉  Waiver of Premium Benefit

It helps you keep your coverage without paying premiums if you are laid up due to an illness or injury.

👉  Guaranteed Insurability Rider

You can buy additional coverage in the future with no underwriting.

👉  Child’s Term Life Insurance Rider

It pays out a death benefit if your child passes away to cover funeral expenses, hospital bills, and more.

👉  Business Growth Protection Rider

You can increase the death benefit amount as your business grows in value. No new medical evidence is needed.

Riders Available on Joint First-To-Die Policies

  • Child’s Term Life Insurance Rider
  • Business Growth Protection Rider

Other Insurance Coverage Offered

In addition to whole life, universal, and term insurance, Canada Life provides a range of personal insurance products.

Disability Insurance

Disability life insurance provides you with a tax-free monthly income if you can’t work due to an illness or accident.

Canada Life offers the following three disability plans:

➢ The Independence Plan

Consider this plan if your occupation makes it harder for you to qualify for disability insurance. It pays a benefit for up to 24 months in case of permanent total disability and up to 9 months in case of partial disability.

➢ The Lifestyle Protection Plan

You get a monthly benefit if you become totally disabled. It has level premiums and cannot be modified or canceled once issued.

➢ The Overhead Expense Plan

It covers the cost of running your business should you — the owner — can’t work. You cannot cancel the plan once issued.

Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance guarantees the policyholder a lump sum payment if he or she develops a severe illness. It can help you whether a crisis without exhausting your savings.

Health and Dental Insurance

It pays for medical expenses that provincial health care plans don’t pay for. These include dental care, prescription drugs, vision care, and paramedical services, among others.

Canada Life offers the following two health and dental insurance plans:

  • PlanDirect: It is suitable for people who don’t qualify for group benefits or who are self-employed. You can choose from three plans depending on your needs: Core, Core Plus, and Elite.
  • PlanDirect: It is ideal for those who are losing coverage or are retiring. You can choose from three plans depending on your needs: Basic, Comprehensive, and Premier.
Besides these, you can also buy creditor insurance and group insurance from this insurer.

Canada Life Term Life Insurance Rates

Term insurance is the simplest form of life insurance and usually the cheapest. We grabbed online quotes from Canada Life to find out its rates.

Here’s a look at average monthly life insurance rates for non-smoking, healthy men and women at different ages. These quotes are $40,000 coverage over a 20-year term length.

Age Male Female
25 30.24 24.12
30 31.68 24.84
35 36.00 28.44
40 48.96 36.00
45 78.48 54.36
50 125.28 87.84
55 223.20 150.12
60 399.60 267.12
65 720.00 475.20
70 Contact Us for Options Contact Us for Options

Canada Life Insurance Price Based on Customer Characteristics

You and your best friend may have to pay different premium rates for the same life insurance. That’s because various factors affect the calculation of premium rates. These include age, medical history, existing health conditions, and smoking status, among others. Some insurers take a slightly more lenient view of certain customer characteristics. As such, they may offer people with those characteristics a better deal.

So how does Canada Life stack up against its competitors when it comes to customer characteristics?

Let’s find out.

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

Canada Life Term Life Insurance Price vs. Competitor Products

Looking for the cheapest term life insurance?

The best way to save money on insurance is to compare all your options. We twice stacked up Canada Life against Wawanesa and found it the better option both times.

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

Canada Life $400K - $48.96

Wawanesa $400K - $51.48

Cost Savings over 20 years: $605

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

Canada Life $250K - $166.95

Wawanesa $250K - $170.32

Cost Savings over 20 years: $810

Canada Life Insurance Pros ✅

  • Long History, Strong Financial Standing

Canada Life has been paying claims for 150 years! So you can rest easy knowing they are going to be there for your family when they need them.

Its financial strength rating also enthuses confidence.

AM Best awarded Canada Life the second-highest possible rating of A+. You can’t go wrong with it when it comes to financial stability and security.

  • 4 different term lengths available

Canada Life offers more options so that you can pick the exact coverage term you want — not more or less. Whether you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, you can count on Canada Life to offer you a term policy that perfectly matches your needs.

  • Competitive Rates

When it comes to buying life insurance, the critical question is — how to get the best value?

Canada Life is among the more pocket-friendly insurers. Its rates are competitive across all niches. You can count on Canada Life to makes it easier for you to secure your family’s financial future.

  • Multiple Rider Options

Canada Life aims to provide coverage tailor-made to your needs. And a host of rider options make that possible. You can tweak your policy — single or joint — as per your needs. With Canada Life, you won’t ever have to worry about having less coverage than you need.

  • Generous Term Exchange Option

Canada Life allows you to convert your 10-year term policy to a 20-year term without underwriting or a medical review.  This feature is available after the first policy anniversary and before the 7th policy year. Most Canadian insurers have a shorter eligibility window than Canada Life.

  • Wide Range of Insurance Products

Canada Life offers a gigantic range of insurance solutions, including whole life, term life, universal, critical illness, and more.

Canada Life Cons ❌

  • You Can’t Pick Your Own Term

Canada Life offers four types of level term policies, so there are plenty of options for you. However, some insurers have taken this to a whole new level. They let customers pick their own terms. Unfortunately, Canada Life is not of them — at least not yet.

  • You can’t get an online quote

Picking an insurance provider is a big decision. You would want to compare rates to ensure you make the right decision. Online life insurance quotes make it easier to compare rates. Sadly, Canada Life still does things the old way. You need to contact an agent to apply.

Young couple making food in the kitchen.

Conclusion – Is Canada Life Right for You?

Canada Life has a long-standing history and excellent financial strength. They offer good pricing and a wide range of insurance products. They also have many policy riders in place to allow you to customize your policy according to your needs. All in all, Canada Life stands out as the right choice for people who want affordable life insurance.

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