Wawanesa Life Insurance Review [2021]

With 124 years in business and an A A.M. financial score, Wawanesa is a reliable life insurance company in Canada offering many policies.

April 1, 2021

Are you looking to buy life insurance coverage?

That’s great news. Because the earlier you buy coverage, the lower your premium rates will be.

As for life insurance coverage options, one name you should consider is Wawanesa Insurance. While not the biggest name in the life insurance niche, it’s one name that many Canadians trust because of its very good pricing that's cheaper than most competitors.

Of course, the big question is, what exactly Wawanesa Life Insurance offers, and how much you can expect to pay for coverage?

This Wawanesa Life Insurance review will answer all these questions and more. So continue reading.

History of Wawanesa Insurance

Wawanesa Mutual, the parent company of Wawanesa Insurance, was set up in 1896. Wawanesa Insurance distributes life insurance solutions not only in Canada but also in the US. Besides life insurance products, the insurer also sells home insurance, auto insurance, farm insurance, and commercial business insurance.

Its parent company, Wawanesa Mutual, is a mutual insurance company, meaning it’s owned by its policyholders.

Although Wawanesa Mutual ranks among the largest property and casualty providers in Canada, its life insurance business is relatively small. Wawanesa Insurance started offering life insurance products only from 1960 onward.

The company acquired Desjardin Financial’s Western Canadian business in 2017 and merged it with Wawanesa Life.

Wawanesa Insurance: Facts & Financial Information

  • Founded:1896
  • Headquarters:Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Assets: $1.5-billion
  • Annual Premiums: $280-million
  • Better Business Bureau Accreditation and Rating: No / A+
  • AM Best Rating: A

The importance of checking an insurance company’s financial health cannot be stated enough. If you pick an insurer on a weak financial footing, you may lose your investment down the line.

An easy way to check on a company’s financial strength is to find out its AM Best rating. AM Best is an independent rating agency that assesses the creditworthiness from over 16,000 insurance companies internationally. Its rating scale ranges from A++ to D. The higher the rating, the better the company’s financial health.

Wawanesa Life Insurance got an A (Strong) rating from AM Best. This means you can rely on it to make good on its promise when your family files a claim.

Wawanesa Insurance Reviews

You may not want to rely too heavily on online reviews for a true assessment of an insurer.


Online reviews don’t necessarily represent an insurance company accurately. There are several reasons for this:

  • People are under a lot of stress when they file a claim. Even a small hold up may make appear a big thing in such situations.
  • Most life insurance companies in Canada sell multiple products. As a result, many of the negative reviews may well be not connected to the product you want to buy.
  • Sometimes insurance agents may push customers to buy the wrong products. This, in turn, can put the insurer in a bad light for no fault of theirs.

Having said that, let’s find out how online Wawanesa Life Insurance reviews are looking like.

wawanesa life insurance reviews

Wawanesa has a poor rating on Google — 1.5 stars. That’s exactly the kind of situation we were talking about.

On the plus side, Wawanesa Life Insurance replies to most reviews within 48 hours. That is more than we can say for many other insurers. In fact, some insurance companies in Canada, such as Assumption Life, have disabled Google Reviews altogether.

Surprisingly, Wawanesa Insurance does exceedingly well on Insureye, notching up a score of 3.3 out of 5. Its Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranking is impressive as well. BBB gave Wawanesa Insurance the highest-possible rating of A+. However, its customer reviews on the BBB website are less than flattering, with an average score of 2 out of 5.

Overall Wawanesa Insurance Review:

Google Reviews: 1.5 / 5 ★★

Insureye Rating: 3.3 / 5 stars ★★★

Wawanesa Life Insurance Products and Features

Life and health insurance

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides coverage for your entire life and as such is more expensive than term life insurance. It is a good option for financial goals without a known end, such as these:

  • Need lifelong protection because someone is financially dependent on you
  • Want to leave a financial legacy to heirs
  • Want to fund a trust for heirs

Wawanesa Life Insurance three permanent insurance policies — Pay to Age 100, 20 Pay Whole Life, and Instant Issue Life Insurance.

Pay to Age 100

  • Your premiums remain level
  • You pay premiums until age 100
  • The insurance protection continues after age 100 (even though premium payments stop)
  • Available for Canadians aged 15 days to 80 years
  • Eligible to receive annual dividends based on the performance of the participating account
  • You can use dividends to buy additional coverage

20 Pay Whole Life

This permanent life insurance product is similar to pay to age 100, except that you make premium payments over a specific period.

  • You pay premiums over 20 years
  • Your premium payments remain level
  • Guaranteed death benefit
  • Available for Canadians aged 15 days to 80 years
  • Eligible to receive annual dividends based on how well the participating account performs
  • You can use dividends to buy additional coverage
  • Paid-up additions don’t expire or require additional premiums

Instant Issue Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is not like buying a smartphone. It is a unique purchase that requires a medical exam and can take a few weeks to receive approval. However, many people can’t wait that long. They need coverage quickly for personal reasons or business requirements.

Instant Issue Life Insurance from Wawanesa Life Insurance can be ideal for such people. It requires no medical review, and the protection starts as soon as you complete the application and pay the first premium.

Key features of Wawanesa Instant Issue Life are:

  • Answer 5 questions to qualify for coverage, issue age is 45 to 75
  • Premiums stay level and are payable for 20 years
  • Doesn’t include the pay to age 100 option
  • Includes a two year waiting period. Pass away within the waiting period? Your family will receive premiums paid into the policy plus 10% interest of the face value.
  • If you die from an accident before age 75, the death benefit will be two times the policy’s face value. Should you die from an accident after age 75, the death benefit will be the same as the policy’s face value.
  • You will receive the full death benefit if living after 20 years or till age 85

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance can be more affordable than a cup of coffee a day. It allows you to secure your family’s financial future but comes with an expiry date. If you outlive the policy term, you won’t get anything.

Wawanesa Insurance offers term life insurance policies in increments of 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. In addition to these, it also offers Term to Age 80. You can renew your coverage or convert it into a permanent life insurance product without a medical test up to certain limits.

With Wawanesa Insurance offering term life insurance policies in different term lengths, how do you decide which one is right for you?

When selecting the term length, you should consider factors such as the time left on your mortgage, the age of your children, and the time left to your retirement.

Here are general guidelines to help you pick a term length right for you.

A 10-year or 15-year term life insurance policy may be a sweet spot for Canadians who:

  • have middle-school-aged kids
  • have only a few years left on the mortgage
  • plan to retire within the next 10-15 years
  • expect to become self-insured within a decade or so
A father with his kid, walking on the beach.

A 20-year term life insurance policy may be a good choice for Canadians who:

  • young kids
  • less than 20 years left on the mortgage
  • plan to pay out any other debts that they may have in 20 years
  • expect to become self-insured in 20 years
  • plan to retire in 20 years
  • are on a strict budget

A longer term length (such as 25 or 30 years) may be more suitable for:

  • Newlyweds
  • New homeowners
  • Someone who is the sole breadwinner for his or her family
  • Someone with a special needs child

Now let’s check out the key features of term life insurance policies offered by Wawanesa Life Insurance:

  • Level premiums
  • You can renew term life insurance plans up to the age of 100
  • The coverage continues after the age of 100 at no premium cost
  • Premium payments of Wawanesa Term to Age 80 remain the same till the age of 80. You can renew the policy up to the age of 100. The coverage continues after the age of 100 at no premium cost
  • You can layer Lifetime Term plans by purchasing a base plan and adding up to four Term Riders of various initial term lengths

Wawanesa Insurance Lifetime Term – Preferred Underwriting

This is a special type of life insurance product plan based on the insured’s lifestyle. Wawanesa Life Insurance rewards healthier lifestyles with lower premiums. There are three life insurance plans for non-smokers and two for smokers.

Wawanesa Insurance Preferred Plus Non-Smoker Life Insurance Policy

This policy is for non-smokers looking for coverage of $500,000 or more.

To qualify for the coverage, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 5+ years of no tobacco use
  • No history of high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Weight should not be more than the maximum weight defined in the weight table
  • No history of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or other specified medical conditions
  • No treatment received for drug or alcohol addiction in the past ten years
  • Cannot have any serious driving violations in the past ten years
  • Zero Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in the past ten years
  • No moving violation in the last ten years
  • No family history of diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease before the age of 65
  • Restricted foreign travel to certain destinations
  • No involvement in hazardous activities or sports

Wawanesa Insurance Preferred Non-Smoker Life Insurance Policy

For the most part, this policy has the same conditions as the Preferred Plus. Minor changes include:

  • No tobacco use in the past two years
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure can be a bit higher
  • No more than three moving violations in the last three years
  • No driving convictions in the past five years

Wawanesa Insurance Standard Non-Smoker Life Insurance Policy

  • No tobacco use in the last 12 months
  • Zero of nicotine in the urine sample
  • No more than smoking 12 cigars a year
  • Marijuana users can qualify for standard non-smoker rates

Wawanesa Insurance Preferred Smoker Life Insurance Policy

This life insurance product is for smokers looking for coverage of $500,000 or more.

To qualify for the coverage, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 5+ years of no tobacco use
  • No history of high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Weight should not be more than the maximum weight defined in the weight table
  • No history of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or other specified medical conditions
  • No treatment received for drug or alcohol addiction in the past ten years
  • Cannot have any serious driving violations in the past ten years
  • Zero Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in the past ten years
  • No moving violation in the last ten years
  • No family history of diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease before the age of 65
  • Restricted foreign travel to certain destinations
  • No involvement in hazardous activities or sports

Wawanesa Insurance Standard Smoker Life Insurance Policy

To qualify, you must meet the standard requirements set by Wawanesa Life Insurance.

Quick Issue Critical Illness

If you get diagnosed with a critical illness, the last thing you want is to worry about financial obligations. That said, a serious illness can drain your savings, especially if you can no longer work.

That’s where a critical illness insurance policy can come in handy. It can help ease the financial burden, allowing you to focus only on your treatment and recovery.

Wawanesa Insurance offers a quick issue critical illness insurance policy that helps you financially care for your family after surviving a critical illness. The plan provides a lump-sum benefit (tax-free) if you develop a defined disease.

You receive the living benefit if you survive the waiting period following the diagnosis of a critical illness. The waiting period is 30 days, except for Paralysis (90 days) and Loss of Speech (6 months).

In the case of a cancer diagnosis, you will get the living benefit only if cancer is diagnosed 90 days after the date of issue. If you get diagnosed within 90 days of issue, Wawanesa Insurance will refund the premium(s) paid into the policy so far.

Wawanesa Life Insurance offers three types of quick issue critical illness insurance plans:

  • Level Term to Age 75: The premiums remain level till your 75th birthday
  • 10 Year Term Renewable to Age 75: The premiums remain level throughout the policy term (10 years). You can renew your policy up to age 75. However, expect to pay higher premium rates at every renewal. That’s because the cost of life insurance goes up as you age.
  • Level Term to Age 75 with Flexible ROP: Your premium payments remain the same till your 75th If the insurance policy is active when you turn 65, Wawanesa Insurance will refund you 50% of the annual premiums.
Elderly Couple Holding Hands

Life Insurance Application Process

Wawanesa Insurance application process is stuck in a time warp. Its website neither features an online insurance calculator nor a form. So a quick quote is out of the question. You must email or call them — which is hardly the best approach.

You see, its agents can only recommend Wawanesa Insurance’s products. Even though Wawanesa is a top-ranking insurer with a wide variety of insurance solutions, it may not have a product tailored to your needs. The wise thing to do here is approach a third-party like Dundas Life. Since they are not tied to Wawanesa, they can check several different life insurance companies' rates all at once and help you get the best deal.

Wawanesa Insurance Term Life Insurance Rates

Term life insurance is considerably more affordable than permanent insurance. However, the exact amount you’ll pay depends on several factors such as:

  • Age – Your date of birth is the top factor impacting your term life insurance rates. The older you are the costlier life insurance becomes. That’s because as you age, the likelihood a carrier will have to pay out on your policy increases. For this reason, it’s wise to purchase a life insurance policy as early as possible.
  • Health history – A history of health conditions, especially severe illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, can push your premiums up.
  • Weight – If your weight is on the higher side, be prepared to pay more for coverage. Insurance companies use weight as an overall indicator of health. A higher body mass index (BMI) puts you at higher risk for many serious health conditions.
  • Smoking – The health risks associated with tobacco use translates to higher premiums. Expect to pay up to two or even three times more than standard rates if you are a smoker.
  • Hobbies & Occupation – High-risk hobbies or occupations could lead to higher premiums.

Life Insurance Rates by Age and Gender

To find out its premium rates, we grabbed quotes from Wawanesa Insurance for non-smoking, healthy men and women of different ages. All these quotes are for $40,000 coverage over a 20-year term length.

Age Male Female
25 $27.72 $22.32
30 $29.16 $23.76
35 $33.48 $26.64
40 $45.36 $34.56
45 $72.00 $51.12
50 $115.20 $82.08
55 $226.08 $150.84
60 $360.36 $241.20
65 $602.35 $412.42
70 Contact Us for Options Contact Us for Options

Wawanesa Insurance Insurance Price Based on Customer Characteristics

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 Great
Male Average
Female Great
Under 40 years old Great
Over 40 years old Average
Good Health Great
Regular Smoker Great

Two individuals of the same age may have to pay different premium rates for the same insurance policy. Besides age and sex, insurers take into account a person’s current health, medical history, and lifestyle while calculating premiums. Some insurance companies are more lenient than others about specific conditions. Consequently, they better pricing for people with these characteristics.

Here’s a breakdown of how Wawanesa Insurance rates stack up against its competitors for various customer characteristics.

Term Life Insurance Review - Price Comparison vs. Competitor Products

Looking for the best rates?

Compare the premium rates of different providers when you shop for life insurance. This is the only way to ensure you are paying the lowest-possible premium. We twice stacked up Wawanesa against Sun Life and found it a cheaper option on both occasions.

Example 1: 35 Year Old Male, Non-Smoker, Regular Health, 20 Year Term:

Wawanesa Insurance $300K - $34.02

Sun Life $300K - $35.06

Cost Savings over 20 years: $250
wawanesa life insurance logo

Example 2: 55 Year Old Female, Non-Smoker, Regular Health, 20 Year Term:

Wawanesa Insurance $200K - $75.96

Sun Life $200K - $80.02

Additional Cost over 20 years: $975
sun life insurance logo

Wawanesa Insurance Pros ✅

Solid Ratings, Long History

The company has been in business for over 120 years. It got around World Wars and Depression — so there’s every reason to believe it will still be in business when it’s time for your family to claim the death benefit.

Also the financial rating companies, like AM Best, like it too!

AM Best gave Wawanesa Life Insurance an A (Strong) rating. This confirms your investment will be safe with it.

Five Term Lengths Available

Wawanesa Insurance offers more term lengths than many insurance companies in Canada. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to find the coverage that meets your specific needs.

Attractive Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Plan

If you’re a smoker and need a small final expense plan, look no further. This product is also a great fit for people with underlying medical conditions. To qualify, you only have to answer five questions, and the rates are extremely competitive.

Being a guaranteed issue life insurance product, it comes with a waiting period (two years). But the good part is it has a double accidental benefit till age 75.

Wawanesa Insurance is a mutual insurance company, meaning the ownership is shared among policyholders. If the insurer does well, the benefit is passed on to its policyholders like you, in the form of lowered premiums and higher dividends.

Highest Guaranteed Cash Values for Whole Life Insurance

Wawanesa Insurance offers better guaranteed cash values for whole life insurance than any other insurance company in Canada. What’s more, its whole life insurance coverage is significantly cheaper — up to 40% — compared to most insurers.

Competitively Pricing

Wawanesa Insurance has pretty competitive premium rates, making it a solid option for all price-conscious buyers.

Wawanesa Insurance Cons ❌

No Online Application

Wawanesa Insurance doesn’t let you apply for insurance online. You must fill out the insurance form manually and then email it. Such a long-drawn application process may not go well with someone who is hard-pressed for time.

Limited Product Line

Universal Life insurance is missing from Wawanesa’s product shelf. Also, its critical illness comes only in simplified issue variety.

Archaic Process

Wawanesa’s processes are a bit archaic (not very tech-savvy). They lack an e-application. This can cause potential issues with getting a policy during COVID times.

Is Not Typically Offered

Wawanesa isn’t typically offered by many insurance brokers (if you are interested, Dundas Life offers it. Contact us to learn if it’s a good option for you).

Life buoy in swimming pool

No Disability Insurance

They don’t offer an individual disability insurance product

Only Offer Instant Approval

They only offer instant approval (quick issue) critical illness policies. If you are in good health, these can be more expensive than getting a regular critical illness policy with another insurance carrier.

Conclusion - Is Wawanesa Insurance right for you?

Wawanesa Insurance boasts a long-standing history and is on solid financial footing. It promises the best-guaranteed cash values for whole life insurance and offers competitive rates. Plus, its guaranteed issue life insurance plan is second to none. If your priority is affordable coverage, keeping Wawanesa Insurance on your radar is a no brainer.

👉  Check out our other reviews here

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