Canada Life Insurance Review – Updated 2023
Canada Life offers a large suite of life insurance products from term life insurance to permanent with a comprehensive list of options and coverages to suit your needs but at a cost. Terms include 5-50 years with the option to convert to permanent products up to age 70. Coverage includes minimum $500,000 and maximum $20,000,000.
Best for Financial Strength
Canada Life, one of the country’s largest life insurers, is a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies. With $396 billion in assets and a financial strength rating of A+ from A.M. Best, Canada Life is one of the most stable life insurers in the country.
Founded in 1847, Canada Life was the first domestic life insurance company in Canada. The company’s strong capitalization and diverse insurance offerings make it a provider of choice to millions of Canadian life insurance consumers and businesses alike.
The company’s product suite includes a variety of term life policies that are customizable to individuals’ unique needs and financial situations. Canada Life offers term life insurance with several options including level premium convertible term policies, fixed-term non-renewable policy, and optional additional policy riders. Policy terms are available from 5 years to 50 years, or to age 85. The policies are convertible to a whole life insurance policy. The company offers several policy riders available to add coverage for disability waiver of premium, accidental death, guaranteed insurability, children’s term insurance, living benefits and more.
Canada Life Insurance pros and cons
- Choose a custom term length from 5 to 50 years
- Multiple rider options for single and joint policies
- Can convert into Canada Life suite of permanent products
- Digital e-policy
- Minimum $100,000 coverage or $500 annual premium required
- Limited access to online account features
Who is Canada Life Insurance?
The Canada Life Assurance Company – founded in 1847 in Hamilton, Ontario – is Canada’s oldest domestic life insurance company as well as one of the largest life insurers today. The company was acquired by Great West Life-Assurance Company in 2003 following a bidding war with Manulife. After years operating under different affiliates such as Great West Life, London Life Insurance Company, and its namesake, the three brands came under the Canada Life insurance brand umbrella as of January 2020.
Today, Canada Life is one of the largest global life insurance companies providing insurance and wealth management products and services in Canada, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, and Germany, and in Ireland through Irish Life. In Canada, the company has more than 13 million client relationships and also provides 30,000 employers with benefit plans.
The company commits at least 1% of its pre-tax profit to their communities and charities through Imagine Canada’s Caring Company initiative and sets the standard for corporate philanthropy in Canada.
Canada Life Insurance: Quick Facts
- Founded: 1846
- Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
- AM Best Rating: A+
- Better Business Bureau Accreditation and Rating: N/A – A+
- Assets: $396 billion
- Annual Premiums: $42 billion
How much does life insurance from Canada Life cost?
Representative values, based on non-smokers in good health. $500,000 coverage, 20-year term.
Types of term life insurance policies sold by Canada Life
Canada Life Insurance has a brand new, refreshed term life insurance policy called My Term. The policy lets you choose any term length from 5 to 50 years based on your insurance needs.
- Level premiums for length of term
- Policy renews automatically without proof of insurability
- Policy renews annual unless cancelled
- Available for issue until age 80
- Coverage available until age 85. Term length is dependent on years left to turn 85 (i.e, a 60-year old is eligible for a 25 year term, a 77-year old can only get an 8-year term, etc)
- Convertible before the age of 70 into Canada Life’s permanent products
- Joint-first-to-die coverage available
- Coverage ends at the policy anniversary nearest the insured’s age of 85, or in the case of joint coverage when the oldest insured person’s policy anniversary nearest age 85
Optional Riders and Benefits
Available on single-life policies
- Waiver of premium benefit
- Accidental death benefit
- Guaranteed insurability rider
- Business growth protection rider
- Child’s term life insurance rider
Available on joint first-to-die policies
- Business growth protection rider
- Child’s term life insurance rider
The Business Growth Protection Rider is a unique rider which gives business owners the option to purchase additional life insurance coverage, on the insured, when their share of the business grows in value, without providing additional evidence of good health and insurability.
Coverage and policy details
- Available Term Lengths: 5 to 50 years and all lengths in between.
- Available Term Types: Level coverage. Single and joint coverage available.
- Maximum Amount of Coverage: $20,000,000
- Renewability: Yes, without any proof of insurability. Automaically renewed unless cancelled.
- Convertibility: Convertible to permanent life insurance without medical evidence of insurability, up to age 70.
What other insurance policies does Canada Life offer?
Canada Life offers a wide range of types of life insurance products and other living benefits.
Permanent Life Insurance
Whole Life Insurance
Canada Life’s offers 2 different participating whole life insurance policies.
- Wealth Achiever Plus – These policies are focused on early cash values, and thus have a higher minimum coverage amount of $100,000.
- Estate Achiever Plus – These policies are focused on long-term policy value growth, and minimum coverage starts at $25,000.
Both policy options allow limited payment periods of 10 or 20 years, or until age 100.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is like whole life insurance, except there is a self-directed long-term investment component: your insurer gives you options for investing the cash value of your policy.
Canada Life provides 3 universal life options:
- Annually Increasing Pay to 85 cost of insurance (COI) – Lifelong coverage, where you pay premiums until age 85, no guaranteed cash value, and the cost of insurance premiums increases every year.
- Level COI – Lifelong coverage, where you pay premiums until age 100, no guaranteed cash value, and the cost of insurance premiums stays level.
- Limited Pay COI – Lifelong coverage, where you pay premiums for a set amount of time (10, 15, or 20 years), and there is guaranteed cash value (after year 5 of the policy).
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness insurance is a living benefit insurance policy that pays out a tax-free lump sum if you develop a specified illness, health event, or undergo treatment while under its coverage, after a minimum of 30 days from when you are first diagnosed (90 days for cancer). This coverage is available for a period of time also known as term length, and you determine it when purchasing the policy.
Canada Life’s LifeAdvance critical illness product offers coverage for loss of independent existence as an optional rider. The product also offers partial payouts for 8 different conditions. The payout is typically 15% of the policy coverage up to a maximum of $50,000.
Canada Life’s maximum coverage for critical illness insurance is $2.5 million. It covers 24 critical illnesses, plus the option to add one more.
The survival period (how long you must survive with the illness before you can collect your benefit) is 0 days for most conditions.
Canada Life offers critical illness insurance for 10- and 20-year terms or coverage up to 75 or 100 years of age.
They also offer limited pay options for the Living Advance suite of critical illness products, including pay in 10, 15, or 20 years.
For more information and an in-depth look at their critical illness coverage, read our Canada Life Critical Illness Insurance Review.
Disability insurance (or income protection insurance) is a policy that offers you protection against loss of income. It replaces a substantial portion of your paycheque if you become disabled until you return to good health and resume work (or the end of your coverage period).
Canada Life Assurance offers several options for those seeking disability coverage.
- Lifestyle Protection Plan – available for Canadians aged 18-60 to apply, it offers income replacement from $3,000-$25,000 depending on one’s age and occupation. Benefit periods can be 2, 5 or, 10 years, or until age 65.
- Independence Plan – available for Canadians aged 18-60 to apply, it offers a maximum income replacement of $3,000, and benefit periods of 1, 2, or 5 years, or until age 65.
Canada Life Creditor Insurance
Creditor Insurance is a unique coverage product from the Canada Life Assurance Company. It provides a benefit amount that matches large debts like a mortgage, loans, lines of credit, or credit card balances, and pays out in the event of a critical illness, job loss, disability, or death.
However, these products cannot be purchased directly from Canada Life for your existing credit. Instead, they offer it in conjunction with major financial institutions (like Scotiabank, CIBC, and Walmart) when you take out a loan, credit card, or line of credit.
Investment Products and Other Financial Products from Canada Life
Besides insurance, Canada Life offers many investment solutions and financial products. These include:
- Segregated Funds
- Mutual Funds
- Goals-based investing with their Constellations program
- Retirement income solutions through their investment products
Canada Life also offers competitive mortgage loans:
- Variable-rate mortgages (5-year terms)
- Fixed-rate mortgages (Flexible terms up to 5 years)
- Lock and roll mortgages (where interest rates and payments change every 6 months within a 5-year term)
- Adjustable-rate mortgages (where interest rates and payments change monthly within a 5-year term)
How do I get Canada Life insurance quotes?
Canada Life offers unique life insurance coverage products that are a great fit for many Canadians consumers that value the convenience offered by non-medical products. As insurance advisors for Canada Life’s insurance products, we can help you decide if Canada Life products are the best fit for you.
As Canada’s best online life insurance advisor, we will assist you in comparing and choosing products across all our partner companies. Speak to our licensed advisors and we can help you find the best coverage for your needs.
The information above is intended for informational purposes only and is based on PolicyAdvisor’s own views, which are subject to change without notice. This content is not intended and should not be construed to constitute financial or legal advice. PolicyAdvisor accepts no responsibility for the outcome of people choosing to act on the information contained on this website. PolicyAdvisor makes every effort to include updated, accurate information. The above content may not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, termination, and other provisions of the policies described, some of which may be material to the policy selection. Please refer to the actual policy documents for complete details. In case of any discrepancy, the language in the actual policy documents will prevail. A.M. Best financial strength ratings displayed above are not a warranty of a company’s financial strength and ability to meet its obligations to policyholders. All rights reserved.
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