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The Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada – Updated Feb. 2024

SUMMARY

We’ve rated the Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada based on different characteristics to help you figure out which provider you should choose. We looked at features like the best options for couples and parents, no-medical options, and more. Use this list as a guide to help you compare and shop for the best life insurance policy in Canada.

IN THIS ARTICLE

The best life insurance companies in Canada include Manulife, Canada Life, Desjardins, Empire Life, BMO, RBC, and more.

These companies each have different features that can benefit you best depending on what kind of protection you need.

That’s why we’ve rated the best providers in several different categories to bring you our list of the Top 30 Best Life Insurance Companies in this article.

Related: What are the biggest life insurance companies Canada?

List of Top 30 Best Life Insurance Companies In Canada – February 2024

After careful research, PolicyAdvisor.com has created a list of the 30 Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Our experts have years of experience profiling and analyzing the best of what the industry has to offer. This gives us the unique opportunity to give real insight on different life insurance providers and how they can meet your needs.

The following list of top providers will enable you to expertly compare and choose your best term life insurance options.

Which are the best life insurance companies in Canada?

The best life insurance company for you depends on your needs, but these are the companies we can recommend as the best.

List of best life insurance companies in Canada
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Our Top-Rated Canadian Life Insurance Companies

Discover the best Canadian life insurance companies with our ratings and reviews below.

Best Life Insurance for Simplified Issue: Assumption Life

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Simplified Issue

AM Best Rating A-

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Our Assumption Life rating:

We’ve given Assumption Life Insurance Company 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for Simplified Issue because of their wide variety of flexible options.

Read our full Assumption Life Insurance review

Assumption Life overview:

Assumption Life has 4 different types of non-medical life insurance policies that don’t require you to do a medical exam. This is a great option for people who may have health issues.

Their life policies also give you flexibility. You can get bigger amounts of life insurance if you want to get full underwriting that looks at factors like your medical history and your finances.

Assumption Life pros and cons

Pros Cons
Multiple term coverage options Wide range of options can be confusing
Simplified, non-medical issue options available High policy fees and rider fees on non-medical policies
Quick, easy electronic process
Decreasing option available for mortgage coverage
Online access to account
Digital e-policy
Exchange and conversion options to convert to longer term products or permanent coverage

Best Life Insurance for Combo Coverage: Beneva

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Combo Coverage

AM Best Rating A

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Our Beneva rating:

We’ve given Beneva 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for combo coverage because of their full suite of insurance products and life insurance riders.

Read our full Beneva Life Insurance reviewLearn more about what happened to SSQ Insurance CompanyLearn more about what happened to La Capitale General Insurance

Beneva overview:

Beneva Life Insurance is the powerhouse product of a merger between the Quebec-based life insurance companies SSQ Insurance and La Capitale.

If you want to get a lot of insurance from one place, you should consider Beneva. It has a Term Plus life insurance product that can be customized and has features like its Extreme Disability Benefit. This is a unique option in the Canadian insurance market.

Beneva also offers a variety of life insurance riders. These are like add-on plans you can get to give you more coverage. Their term life insurance can also be combined with other insurance products, like critical illness or disability insurance.

Beneva pros and cons

PROS CONS
Built-in Extreme Disability Benefit (rare in the market) Longer turnaround times for policy approval
Options to add critical illness and monthly disability indemnity for comprehensive financial protection
Several optional riders: accidental death and dismemberment and children’s term coverage
Preferred rates available starting at $250,000
Online access to account
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Affordability: BMO Insurance

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Affordability

AM Best Rating A

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Our BMO Insurance rating:

We’ve given BMO Insurance 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for affordability because most of their policies have good prices and can be used for multiple purposes.

Read our full BMO Life Insurance review

BMO Insurance overview:

BMO’s term life insurance is a great option for individuals, couples, or business owners. Their prices are affordable and policies can be used for a lot of different things.

Term policies from BMO can cover mortgage payments and other debts, final expenses like funeral cost, and more. They can help someone provide for their family. Or, for a business owner, a term life policy can help protect a business and/or key employees.

BMO Insurance pros and cons

PROS CONS
Great value for cost No online account
Multiple term coverage options Only issues paper policies, no digital option
Can exchange 10-year term into longer term products Longer-term life insurance policy (25 and 30-year) not renewable
Compassionate benefit program death benefit advance in event of terminal illness
Options to convert into permanent coverage
Electronic contract delivery
Multi-policy discount available
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Financial Strength: Canada Life

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Financial Strength

AM Best Rating A+

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Our Canada Life Insurance rating:

We’ve given Canada Life Assurance Company 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for financial strength because they’re the biggest insurer in Canada, with billions in annual premiums.

Read our full Canada Life Insurance review

Canada Life Insurance overview:

Canada Life is the country’s largest life insurance provider. It’s a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies, which also includes the Great-West Life Assurance Company.

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.

Canada Life offers term life insurance with a wide variety of options, including life insurance riders that let you add a different type of life insurance to your plan.

Canada Life Insurance pros and cons

PROS CONS
Multiple term coverage options (5-50 years) Minimum $100,000 coverage or $500 annual premium required
Multiple rider options for single and joint policies Limited access to online account features
Options to convert into permanent coverage
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Non-Medical Policies: Canada Protection Plan

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Non-Medical

AM Best Rating N/A

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Our Canada Protection Plan rating:

We’ve given Canada Protection Plan 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for No-Medical policies because of their range of high-quality insurance policies that do not ask you to do a medical exam.

Read our full Canada Protection Plan Life Insurance review

Canada Protection Plan overview:

Canada Protection Plan is the best provider for life insurance policies without a medical exam, also called non-medical life insurance. The most common types of no medical insurance are simplified and guaranteed.

Canada Protection Plan is one of your best options for a simplified issue life insurance if you:

  • Are having difficulty finding insurance
  • Have been rejected for life insurance in the past
  • Simply want to apply and get approved for life insurance quickly (such as if you want to quickly settle the terms of a divorce settlement)

Keep in mind: if you are in good health and you don’t mind taking a medical test or having a waiting period, you can probably get an insurance policy that costs less than no-medical.

Canada Protection Plan pros and cons

PROS CONS
Multiple products offering simplified, no-medical coverage Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Most products available through a easy online application without any medical tests Max. coverage of $1 million
Multiple term coverage options Coverage ends at age 80 (most other Canadian providers end at 85)
Affordable premiums, including no-medical policies
Available to temporary residents such as those on a student or work visa
Most plans offer life protection
Customers can pay annual premiums by credit card
Options to convert into permanent coverage
Decreasing term option available (ideal for covering mortgage debt)
Digital e-policy

Best Life Insurance for Stability: Desjardins Insurance

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Stability

AM Best Rating N/A

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Our Desjardins Insurance rating:

We’ve given Desjardins 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for stability because they’re a well-established company with a strong financial rating.

Read our full Desjardins Life Insurance review

Desjardins overview: 

Desjardins is one of Canada’s biggest financial groups and is often ranked among the world’s 50 safest banks and financiers.

They have a few term life insurance options that can cover needs like helping your family keep their standard of living, helping to pay for your mortgage, or providing money for your children to go to college. Their term product also give you the usual benefits and features that are expected in the Canadian market.

Desjardins pros and cons

PROS CONS
Several optional riders and benefits Limited term options
Robust suite of critical illness, disability, and permanent life insurance available Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Allows multiple applicants on the same policy; 1 policy can cover the needs of an entire family
Options to convert to permanent coverage
Multi-policy discount available
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Personalization: Empire Life

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Personalization

AM Best Rating A

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Our Empire Life rating:

We’ve given Empire Life 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for personalization because they let you choose from a wide range of options to create your perfect policy.

Read our full Empire Life Insurance review

Empire Life overview:

Empire Life Insurance has a wide choice of products and term options to choose from. You can customize their insurance policies to create a term life plan that meets your exact needs. It’s flexible and affordable.

Empire Life Insurance has something they call the Solution series of term life insurance products. They have 10-year, 20-year, or 30-year terms and plus permanent insurance that covers you up to age 100.

They also have a product called an  annual renewable term (ART), where your life insurance lasts one year and you can renew it every year.

Empire Life pros and cons

PROS CONS
Some of the most versatile coverage options in Canada Limited term options
Options to exchange into longer term coverage Max. annual renewable term coverage of $499,999
Instant approval possible
Highly competitive premiums
Comprehensive rider options
Solution 100 term policy has cash value (rare in the market)
Online access to account
Digital e-policy

Best Life Insurance for Families: Equitable Life

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Families

AM Best Rating N/A

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Our Equitable Life rating:

We’ve given Equitable Life 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for families because they make it easy for you to combine more than one policy on just one document.

Read our full Equitable Life Insurance review

Equitable Life Insurance overview:

Equitable Life of Canada is one of the country’s biggest mutual companies — some of its owners are also the people who have insurance with them. They have many affordable options for both term and permanent insurance.

Also, you can get both single and multi-life coverage in the same policy. This lets family members have their plans on the same contract so they don’t have to pay a lot of separate policy fees.

Having just one insurance contract with many plans on it lets you do something called laddering”, where you only pay for coverage that you truly need.

Equitable Life pros and cons

PROS CONS
Options to add critical illness insurance and other term life riders Limited term options
Options to convert into permanent coverage, regardless of health Moderate premium costs
Preferred clients automatically qualify for EquiLiving critical illness insurance Limited term offerings
Can create family plan by adding child term rider
Online access to account
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Giving Back: Foresters Financial

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Giving Back

AM Best Rating

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Our Foresters Financial rating:

We’ve given Foresters Financial 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for giving back. Their term plans are straightforward but also have options to give you better coverage if your needs change.

Read our full Foresters Life Insurance review

Foresters Life Insurance overview:

Foresters Financial offers is a simple and straightforward term insurance product.

Many of their products also come with a unique perk: a charitable benefit feature where Foresters will donate to a charity of your choice on your behalf.

This is an excellent product if your financial needs change and you need insurance to match. Foresters also has optional riders to give you extra coverage.

Foresters pros and cons

PROS CONS
Multiple term coverage options Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Simplified and quick fulfillment options available No online access to policy details
Options to convert to permanent coverage, including participating and non-participating
Unique community membership benefits
Digital e-policy

Best Life Insurance for Quick Issue Options: Humania

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Quick Issue

AM Best Rating N/A

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Our Humania Assurance rating:

We’ve given Humania Assurance 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for quick issue option because their plans are designed for you to be able to get a policy approved fast.

Read our full Humania Life Insurance review

Humania Assurance overview:

Humania’s main term life insurance product is designed to make it easy for you to get approved. They don’t have as many requirements, and the policy is web-based and paper-free.

Most policies are insured on the spot (more than 65%) and in less than 45 minutes, with many completed in 15 minutes or less. You can this coverage for multiple terms, up to a maximum of 30 years or up until age 80.

Humania pros and cons

PROS CONS
Competitively priced premiums No preferred pricing available clients in better health
Multiple term coverage options Conversion only available until age 65
Options to exchange into longer term products No online access to policy details
Simplified and quick fulfillment options available Term coverage only available until age 80
Digital e-policy
Non-medical coverage options available
Automatic approval for critical illness and debt disability coverage for those with standard health

Best Life Insurance for Flexibility: Industrial Alliance

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Flexibility

AM Best Rating A+

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Our iA Financial Group rating:

We’ve given iA Financial Group 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance company for flexibility because their plans have options to customize even your term length, which is rare in the Canadian insurance market.

Read our full Industrial Alliance Life Insurance review

Industrial Alliance overview:

Industrial Alliance (iA) life insurance offers many customizable options with their term life policies. Their product called Pick-A-Term is the most unique. Like the name says, it lets you decide how long you want your coverage to last — anywhere between 10-40 years.

With this plan, you can match your term life insurance coverage with the specific number of years you have left to pay off debt (like your mortgage) or the number of years your children may need financial support.

Industrial Alliance pros and cons

PROS CONS
Flexible plans allow personalized coverage Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Pick-a-term feature (rare in the market)
Both level and decreasing options
Optional disability rider — can be used with decreasing coverage for mortgage protection
Non medical coverage options: simplified and guaranteed
Online access to account
Digital e-policy
Underwriting can be more accommodating than competitors
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Layering: ivari

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Layering

AM Best Rating A+

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Our ivari rating:

We’ve given ivari 3 stars and rated them as the best life insurance for layering because their suite of products makes it easy to create unique coverage plans that overlap.

Read our full ivari Life Insurance review

Ivari Life Insurance overview:

ivari is an 80-year old insurance company that used to be a part of Transamerica Life. They offer a lot of different insurance products.

You can get term life policies from ivari on their own, or you can combine it with more terms or different types of insurance to create your own unique coverage plan. ivari’s term insurance is available in 10-, 20- or 30-year terms.

Ivari pros and cons

PROS CONS
Several optional riders, including children’s insurance Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Multiple term coverage options Limited flexibility for term length
30-year term has flexible options upon maturity
Online access to account
Digital e-policy

Best Life Insurance for Digital Innovation: Manulife

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Digital Innovation

AM Best Rating A+

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Our Manulife rating:

We’ve given Manulife 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance for digital innovation. They’re one of Canada’s biggest insurers and one of the first companies to take more of the process online.

Read our full Manulife Life Insurance review

Manufacturers Life Insurance Company (Manulife) overview:

Manulife is one of the biggest insurers not just in Canada but on the entire planet. Size doesn’t always mean good quality. But Manulife is a leader in digital innovation in life insurance and their product is one of the best.

They were one of the first Canadian companies to send clients their insurance policies electronically, although a lot more companies are doing it now.

Their underwriting process uses complex analyses to approve people for up to $2 million in insurance coverage without asking them to do a medical exam.

Manulife pros and cons

PROS CONS
Offers a fully electronic, digital fulfillment Limited term options
Digital e-policy Premiums can be more expensive than competition
Offers cash advance in event of terminal illness
Options to exchange into longer term products
Option to increase coverage up to 5th anniversary of certain term policies (rare in the market)
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Value For Money: RBC Insurance

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best Value for Money

AM Best Rating A

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Our RBC Insurance rating:

We’ve given RBC Insurance 5 stars and rated them as the best life insurance if you want value for money because they have some of the most competitive premiums in the Canadian life insurance market.

Read our full RBC Life Insurance review

RBC overview:

RBC Insurance offers a best-in-class term life insurance product. And their prices are usually so good that they beat competition on cost alone.

Their policies let you choose different term lengths and coverage amounts, so you can customize your plan to match your needs.

RBC pros and cons

PROS CONS
Affordable premiums among the most competitive in the industry Only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Max. coverage of $25 million
Flexible term lengths and coverage amounts
Pick-a-term feature (rare in the market)
Flexibility allows for insurance laddering
Multiple rider options
Renewable term life policies
Quick, easy application process: just 10 questions for coverage under $1 million
Online access to account
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for In-Person Purchase: Sun Life Financial

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for In-Person Purchase

AM Best Rating A+

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Our Sun Life Insurance review:

We’ve given Sun Life Insurance 3 stars and rated them as the best life insurance for buying in-person because they usually sell their products through financial advisors or firms.

Read our full Sun Life Insurance review

Sun Life Insurance overview:

Sun Life usually sells their insurance products in-person instead of online. You normally have to get it by meeting with a financial advisor or other insurance brokers who sell their plans.

Their term policies have standard features and optional benefits that can compete in the market. But their premiums may cost more than some other companies charge.

Sun Life pros and cons

PROS CONS
Multiple rider options Limited term options available (only 4)
Multiple options to convert to permanent coverage up to age 75 (most competitors stop at age 70 or 71) Limited flexibility for term length
Non-medical coverage options available Premiums can be significantly more expensive than competition
Max. coverage of $1 million for anyone legally living in Canada — not just citizens and permanent residents Stricter underwriting process for pre-existing health conditions
Online application process
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

Best Life Insurance for Price: Wawanesa

PolicyAdvisor Rating

Best for Price

AM Best Rating A

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Our Wawanesa rating:

We’ve given Wawanesa 4 stars and rated them as the best life insurance for price because their premiums are often among the lowest in the industry.

Read our full Wawanesa Life Insurance review

Wawanesa Life Insurance overview:

Wawanesa Life is part of Wawanesa Insurance, a large Canadian company that sells a lot of different insurance products. They offer term life policies with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, or a special term-to-age-80 option.

Also, if Wawanesa is right for your needs, you can potentially layer your coverage. You can get a base term plan then add up to 4 term life insurance riders with different term lengths. You can do this all in one policy.

Wawanesa Life pros and cons

PROS CONS
Multiple term coverage options Longer turnaround times for policy approval
Affordable premiums — among the most competitive in the industry Policies can only be converted into non-participating permanent products
Range of coverage options allows for insurance laddering
Renewable term life policies
No policy or rider fees
Coverage up to $500,000 approved without medical exam for those under age 45
Digital e-policy
Top 10 largest insurance company based on annual premiums

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Methodology: How did we rank life insurance companies?

Our life insurance company rankings were the result of in-depth research into key factors like:

  • Coverage amounts
  • Term lengths
  • Premium rates
  • Application process
  • Online access
  • Rider options
  • Key features
  • Financial strength rating
  • And more

Our team of licensed insurance advisors worked together to carefully assess the different policies available in Canada. Using this, we narrowed down a list of which life insurance company is best in which area.

Which insurance company should I choose?

The best provider for you is one that is able to meet your requirements and provide a solution that works just right for your family.

We can’t recommend a catch-all provider as the ultimate best life insurance company, because it depends on your unique needs. That’s why we researched and wrote these reviews of the best life insurance companies.

This will help you assess and decide for yourself which one you want to work with. But if you need help, give us a call! A licensed expert at PolicyAdvisor.com will be happy to help you sort it out.

What’s the best type of life insurance?

The best type of life insurance policy again depends on your own circumstances, needs, and goals. It will be different for everyone. For example:

  • Term life insurance Best for you if you’re fairly young and you have short-term needs. Many Canadians choose this option.
  • Whole life insurance — The best type of insurance for you if you want lifelong coverage, and you want to earn a little extra savings too. This type of policy comes with an investment component you can use during your life.
  • Universal life insurance — Might be best if you want lifetime coverage like a whole life policy, but you want to manage the investment component yourself.
  • No-medical life insurance — Best if you have health concerns or you don’t want to answer a lot of medical questions.

If you’re unsure, book some time with one of our licensed advisors to get expert advice on which type of policy would best fit your needs.

Compare types of life insurance
Learn more about the different types of life insurance in Canada

How to get the best term life insurance Canada?

You can find the best insurance policies for your needs on PolicyAdvisor.com. Check out our recommendations below then use our platform to compare the best life insurance quotes in under a minute.

Our platform lets you shop the best prices from more than 30 of the country’s best providers. Compare policies at a glance, so you can easily make the best choice for your family.

Or, if you prefer to speak to a professional, book a call with one of our licensed insurance agents. We’re happy to help and you have no obligation to buy!

Frequently asked questions

The top Canadian life insurance companies are Canada Life. Manulife, Sun Life, Industrial Alliance (iA), and Desjardins if you’re looking at size and financial strength alone.

In our ratings, we looked at more than just financial strength, though. Other policy details matter when you’re figuring out which is the best life insurance company for your family.

This chart shows the top five biggest life insurance companies in Canada based on annual premiums.

Term life insurance is the cheapest type of insurance policy in Canada. Premiums are lower because coverage is temporary and the policies don’t have extra options like a savings & investment component — the way whole life insurance does.

Life insurance premiums depend on your personal details as well as your policy details. In general, you’ll get the lowest life insurance rates if you are:

  • Young
  • Healthy
  • Non-smoker
  • Female
Learn more about how much life insurance costs

You should get enough life insurance to cover your family’s needs. The general rule of thumb is to get 10-12 times your annual income. But, you may need more.

The best way to find out how much life insurance you should buy is to use our life insurance calculator. It will ask you some questions then tell you the best amount for your needs.

Our life insurance calculator can help you figure out how much coverage to buy.

You can find the best quotes for term life insurance on PolicyAdvisor.com. Our online platform lets you easily customize your plan and compare quotes from leading providers in under a minute.

Save time and money when you shop and compare online. Click the button below to get started now.

Contact us

If you’re still not sure which Canadian insurer is best for you, reach out to our team of experts! We’re happy to talk one-on-one to find out what your unique needs are help you figure out your best life insurance options.

Need help?
Call us at 1-888-601-9980 or book time with our licensed experts.
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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The best life insurance depends on you and your family's needs
  • Your best bet to find the best life insurance in Canada by shopping and comparing quotes on PolicyAdvisor.com
  • Our experts looked at each company's strengths and weaknesses to create our Reviews of The Top 20 Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada

By Jiten Puri
CEO & Founder, Insurance Advisor, LLQP
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