Unlike traditional life insurance policies that require a medical exam, Specialty Life Insurance specializes (haha, get it?) in no-medical life insurance.
If you have a needle phobia or a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to qualify for standard policies, you should consider no medical life insurance. But SLI's insurance products don't come cheap.
Is Specialty Life Insurance the right choice for you? Continue reading our Specialty Life Insurance review to find out.
Who is Specialty Life Insurance?
Specialty Life Insurance (SLI) was founded in 2015 and offers several no-medical life insurance plans. You can apply for a policy online and receive coverage quickly. In many cases, your coverage starts the same day you apply. Specialty Insurance is owned by the same people who own the Insurance Supermarket Inc.
Specialty Life Insurance Facts & Information
Founded in 2015
Headquartered at Concord, ON
$370 billion in Financial Assets
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: N/A
Specialty Life Insurance Review
While we always consider an insurer’s online reviews, we recommend that they are taken with a grain of salt.
On the surface everything looks great. Specialty Insurance has a review score of 4.2 stars out 5 on Google. That is the best score we have seen among Canadian life insurers, even compared to large insurers like RBC Insurance, Manulife, Canada Protection Plan, and CIBC. However, when looking deeper, you'll find numerous detailed 1 star reviews. Yet, many of the 5 star reviews have no description and no profile pictures. So always take online reviews with a grain of salt.
Is Specialty Life Insurance Legit?
Despite only being around since 2015, Specialty Life insurance has established itself as a trustworthy and reputable life insurance company. You can get quality life insurance coverage from SLI, but you will likely end up paying more compared to other life insurance companies in Canada.
Products and Features
Specialty Life specializes in no-medical life insurance products. Traditional life insurance policies usually involve a medical exam and health questionnaire. However, a no-medical life product lets you forgo the medical test, though you may still have to answer a few health questions.
These policies could make sense for someone with an underlying medical condition. They are also a good choice for those who have neither the time nor inclination to undergo the physical exam.
Specialty’s original website — specialtylifeinsurance.ca — mentions only the following three products:
- Critical Illness Plan
- Final Expense Plan
- Accidental Death Plan
However, there are two other newer sites — specialtylife.ca and slinsurance.ca — which list additional life insurance products.
In addition to the three products mentioned above, you can find these products on these two websites:
- Evolution Tern 10, 20, and 30
- Evolution Term 100 (Permanent)
- Guaranteed Issue Plan
- No Medical Insurance Plan
- Seniors Life Insurance Plan
- Over 50 Life Insurance
- Life Insurance for Funeral Expenses
All of this could be confusing. A consumer visiting the original site might not be aware of other life products listed on the two newer websites.
Specialty does not underwrite its life insurance policies. Some of their products are underwritten by Chubb Insurance of Canada and some by Ivari.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is the purest form of life insurance. It serves only one purpose: to pay the death benefit amount to your family. The coverage lasts for a set number of years, and if you pass away during the policy term, your loved ones receive the payout.
If you need life insurance coverage for a specific number of years — until you retire, your kids become independent, or your mortgage gets paid off — term life insurance is right for you.
Specialty offers no-medical term life insurance under its evolution series. It offers three term plans: T10, T20, and T30. However, not all plans may be available to everybody. Your age determines the options available to you.
- Term life insurance available for 10, 20, and 30 years
- Available for all Canadian permanent residents between the ages of 18-70
- Maximum coverage is $1 million. However, the maximum coverage available to you depends on your age
- Some of Specialty’s products are deferred term life insurance policies. The full coverage amount is paid only if you die after your policy has been active for two years. Should you pass away during the first two policy years because of a natural cause, Specialty will refund the premiums plus interest
- Simple online application process and quick approval
Permanent Life Insurance
Term life insurance is the most popular life insurance product due to its simplicity and affordability. However, certain situations may require permanent coverage. These policies do not come with an end date, and as such are suitable for someone who wants to leave a legacy or has lifelong dependents, like a child with special needs.
Specialty offers one permanent life insurance plan — T100.
- No medical underwriting
- Available for Canadian permanent residents between the ages of 18-70
- Maximum coverage available is $1 million. However, how much protection you can get depends on your age
- Some are deferred plans. The full insurance amount is payable only if death occurs after two years. If you die of a natural cause within the first two years, Specialty will return the premiums plus interest
- Simple online application process and quick approval
Critical Illness Insurance
If you must take time off work due to a critical illness, how will you take care of yourself financially?
Thanks to medical advancements, many people will fully recover from a critical illness, such as stroke. However, the same might not be true for their finances. Contrary to what you may think, a standard health plan might not fully cover the cost of a life-altering illness.
This is where critical illness coverage can prove immensely useful. This insurance provides you with a tax-free, lump-sum payment. You can use this money to pay for expenses not covered in your health plan or for any other purpose.
Specialty’s critical illness plan is a good choice for all Canadians who would not be able to maintain their financial obligations if they are unable to work due to a serious illness.
- No medical exam or health questions
- Instant approval for $25,000 in coverage
- Guaranteed acceptance for Canadian permanent residents between the ages of 18 to 69
- Covers 24 critical illnesses
- Provides coverage until the age of 75
- Easy, simple online application process
- Second event benefit. Your claim would not end with your first claim. Even after you file a claim, the policy will continue to protect you against other health conditions
- 30-day look-in period. If you change your mind within the first 30 days, the insurer will issue a full refund
No Medical Exam Life Insurance
If you have been previously denied coverage due to a health condition, Specialty’s no medical exam life insurance might be perfect for you. It neither requires a medical test nor health questions to qualify and is available for a specific term or a lifetime.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
With this plan, you can rest easy knowing you will not be denied coverage, regardless of your situation. You need to neither take a medical exam nor answer health questions.
- No medical test or health questions
- Guaranteed level premiums
- Lifelong coverage with guaranteed death benefit (The insurer cannot change the coverage amount)
- A waiting period of 2 years on some policies. You will receive the full benefit amount only if you die after the policy has been active for two years, unless the death is due to an accident
- Some plans offer additional guarantees like premium-free protection after a certain age
Life Insurance for Funeral Expenses
As the name suggests, this plan is for those who want a life insurance policy to cover their end-of-life expenses.
- No medical exam or health questions
- Coverage up to $25,000 is guaranteed for most applicants between the ages of 40-80
- Instant issue
Over 50 Life Insurance
If you are worried that your age may prevent you from getting the best coverage, Specialty’s over 50 life insurance may be right for you. This is a no medical plan and can cover both short-term and long-term needs.
Seniors Life Insurance
With eligibility up to age 79, Seniors life insurance helps applicants’ budget for end-of-life expenses. You do not have to take a medical exam or answer health questions for approval.
Specialty Life Insurance Rates
Life insurance rates depend on many factors, including your choice of life insurance company. Every provider has its own strategy for calculating premium rates, so the insurance cost may vary from one company to the next. To find out how affordable Specialty life insurance products are, we got quotes from them.
Here are the monthly premium rates for healthy men and women of different ages. These quotes are for 20-year term life insurance with a death benefit amount of $25,000.
Why We Like Specialty Life Insurance
- Specializes in no medical life insurance
Specialty Insurance specializes in no medical life insurance, with all their plans available without medical underwriting.
- Simple, quick application process
You can apply for a policy online and get coverage quickly. In many cases, you get coverage the same day you apply.
- Offers lowest minimum coverage amounts
With Specialty, you can get buy final expense coverage with a benefit amount as low as $1,000.
- Competitive premium rates (especially for healthy individuals)
Specialty’s life products are competitively priced compared to other insurers in the no-medical niche, especially for healthy applicants.
- You can pay monthly premiums by credit card
Most providers do not accept premium payments by credit card. Those who do, accept only if you pay annually. Specialty is a unicorn among Canadian life insurers, letting you pay monthly with your credit card.
What We Did Not Like about Specialty Life Insurance
- Short history
Specialty Insurance is a small company and has been operating in the Canadian insurance market for a short period. For this reason, the insurer has little history or record to judge its claim handling. In short, they have not been in business long enough to turn down claims.
- Graded premiums
When a life policy has a graded premium, the monthly insurance cost increases in step over a period of time. For instance, at least two Specialty life insurance products — Final Expense and Guaranteed Protection plans — have graded premiums that increase after every 5 years.
- Eight percent discount missing when you pay annually
Most Canadian life insurers offer an 8% discount if you pay your premiums annually — but not Specialty insurance.
- Three different websites
Specialty’s online presence is confusing, to say the least. It has three websites — specialtylifeinsurance.ca, specialtylife.ca, and slinsurance.ca. Each lists a different set of life insurance products. While the first two caters to consumers, the third seems to be a dedicated platform for advisors. Nevertheless, all three appear in Google searches, which can be confounding for potential customers.
Conclusion — Is Specialty Life Insurance Right for You?
Specialty Insurance specializes in no medical life insurance. If you have an underlying health condition or are afraid of needles, Specialty Insurance could be a good choice.