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There's no one-size-fits-all answer for what is the best life insurance in Canada. It really depends on what you're looking for and your personal situation. That said, here are our recommendations based on our research and analysis:
Life insurance advisors Stephanie and Erik walk you through the best life insurance in Canada in this video primer:
Parents and homeowners often need term life insurance to provide financial security for their families and protect their homes. For parents, this makes sure that if they were to unexpectedly die, their children's education and living expenses are covered. Homeowners benefit as the death benefit can help pay off mortgage debts, preventing the family from losing their home.
Company profile: PolicyMe is an online insurance solution based in Toronto, ON. Founded in 2018, PolicyMe secured $18M in Series A funding, with an additional $8.5M from Securian Canada. They added critical illness insurance in 2022 and now have $5B in coverage in force across Canada.
PolicyMe customer review: "Very easy way to shop and apply for life insurance. PolicyMe got me a way cheaper policy than I had before. [...] I was very impressed and highly recommend them." – Customer on Google
Company profile: Beneva is a newer insurer coming from the merger of SSQ and La Capitale in December 2022. It is the largest mutual insurance company in Canada with 3.5M clients and members.
» Read the full Beneva life insurance review
Company profile: The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the largest bank in Canada by revenue. They have an A.M. Best financial strength rating of A+.
» Read full RBC life insurance review
Company profile: Founded in 1896, Wawanesa is one of the oldest insurers in Canada. Headquartered in Manitoba, they are licensed in all provinces. Wawanesa has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best.
» Read the full Wawanesa life insurance review
Permanent life insurance (such as whole and universal) is ideal for estate planning because heirs receive a tax-free inheritance, which can be crucial for covering estate taxes and settling an individual's affairs, especially for high-net-worth individuals.
Company profile: BMO is a multinational investment bank founded in Montreal, Quebec, operating in Toronto. In 2022, BMO announced it was working to close a $16.3B USD deal to buy California's Bank of the West.
» Read the full BMO life insurance review
Company profile: Canada Life is Canada's second largest insurer with a financial strength rating of A+ and $220B in assets. Canada Life was founded in 1846 and is headquartered in Toronto. Great-West Life acquired Canada Life in 2003.
» Read the full Canada Life insurance review
Company profile: Founded in 1887, Manulife is one of the biggest life insurance companies in Canada, with $200B in assets. Manulife made $31.6 billion in customer payments between 2020 and 2021. The company has an A+ financial strength rating from S&P as of 2022.
» Read the full Manulife life insurance review
Company profile: Sun Life is a financial services company, founded 150 years ago. They are the third largest insurer in Canada and are known for its individual insurance products and group benefits. They have a financial strength rating of A+.
» Read the full Sun Life life insurance review
Company profile: UV Insurance has been in business for over 130 years. It's based out of Drummondville, Quebec. UV offers both individual and group life insurance. It is a mutual insurance company (like Foresters) which means that it is owned by its policyholders, kind of like a co-operative.
» Read the full UV life insurance review
Business owners should have life insurance to safeguard their businesses and provide financial protection for their families in case of unexpected events. Life insurance can cover key persons within the company whose expertise is vital for its operations, making sure the business can continue on if they were to pass away. The self-employed may especially need life insurance since they won't have access to group benefits.
Company profile: Blue Cross Canada is a leading provider of health and travel insurance services in Canada. They also provide group benefits and life insurance.
» Read the full Blue Cross life insurance review
Company profile: Ivari is a life insurance company headquartered in Toronto. It serves about 700,000 policyholders, according to Advisor’s Edge. It was acquired by Barbados-based Sagicor Financial Company in 2022, causing AM Best to downgrade its Financial Strength rating from A+ (Superior) to A (Excellent).
Seniors may need life insurance to help cover funeral expenses, medical bills and outstanding debts, ensuring that these financial burdens don't fall on their loved ones. It can also serve as a way to leave a legacy or provide an inheritance for their children and grandchildren. Additionally, some seniors may use life insurance to offset estate taxes or to supplement retirement income, especially if they have a policy with cash value that can be accessed during their lifetime.
Company profile: Canada Protection Plan (CPP) is a leading provider of no medical and simplified issue life insurance. In 2020, CPP merged with Foresters. CPP is an accredited Better Business Bureau member with an A+ rating. CPP says their claims paid rate is 98%.
» Read full Canada Protection Plan life insurance review
Those with health issues often find it challenging to get life insurance due to the increased risk they pose to insurance companies. As a result, insurance companies may either deny coverage or offer policies at significantly higher premiums to compensate.
Company profile: Assumption Life is a Canadian insurance and asset management company. In 2021, credit rating agency A.M. Best gave Assumption Life an A- (excellent) rating for the 22nd consecutive year.
» Read the full Assumption Life life insurance review
Company profile: The Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada (CIBC) is a bank founded in the 1960s in Toronto. CIBC has a strong business profile according to the rating agency Fitch Ratings. CIBC is the fifth largest bank in Canada by loans, deposits and market capitalization.
Company profile: Humania is a mutual insurance company based in Sainte-Hyacinthe, Quebec. They're one of the oldest Canadian life insurance companies. They seek to make insurance accessible through their web-based offerings.
» Read the full Humania life insurance review
Insurance companies often categorize smokers as higher-risk individuals, leading to higher premiums. Some insurers might even decline coverage for heavy smokers or offer limited coverage options. Quitting smoking can lead to improved chances of securing more affordable life insurance rates over time.
Company profile: Empire Life is a Canadian life insurance company that was founded in the 1920s. They offer a range of financial products, including life, critical illness insurance and investment options.
Empire Life customer review: "The service was fast and courteous; zero problems on my claims." – Customer on Google Reviews
» Read the full Empire Life life insurance review
Company profile: Founded in 1892, iA Financial Group is one of Canada's largest insurance and wealth management groups, with operations in the United States. It's based in Quebec City.
» Read the full iA Financial life insurance review
We don't recommend buying life insurance for kids; read our post on life insurance for children for more information. That said, Desjardins, Empire and Wawanesa are the most affordable options in Canada.
Company profile: Founded in Quebec in 1900, Desjardins is the largest federation of credit unions in North America. Desjardins is often listed as one of the world’s top 50 safest banks and financiers.
» Read the full Desjardins life insurance review
Company profile: Founded in 1920, Equitable Life is one of Canada's largest mutual life insurance companies. A mutual company is owned by participating policyholders—meaning you become a shareholder, have voting rights and are eligible for dividends.
» Read the full Equitable Life review
Company profile: Foresters Financial is a 150-year-old insurance company based in Toronto. They merged with CPP in 2020. Foresters is a fraternal benefit society, meaning you get benefits with your insurance policy. Their BBB rating is A+ (Excellent).
» Read the full Foresters life insurance review
If you're taking out a mortgage or a business loan that you expect to pay off in a few years, short-term life insurance can provide coverage during that loan period, ensuring that if something happens to you, the debt can be repaid. It can also be useful for covering specific life events like a child's education, a short-term business partnership, or to bridge the gap until a more comprehensive long-term life insurance policy is in place.
Company profile: Co-operators is a Canadian insurance and financial services cooperative that provide a wide range of insurance products, investment solutions and advisory services.
» Read the full Co-operators life insurance review
Company profile: Cover Direct is a newer insurance provider that specializes in quick-issue and no medical life insurance, headquartered in Alberta. Cover Direct is underwritten by Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company.
» Read the full Cover Direct life insurance review
Company profile: Founded in Quebec City, QC in 2017, Emma Insurance provides life insurance geared toward young families. They're underwritten by Humania Assurance. In April 2022, Emma announced that they had secured $6M in financing.
» Read the full Emma life insurance review
There are a lot of great insurers in Canada, but not all of them shine when it comes to life insurance. Sometimes they are not competitive on price, employ high-pressure sales tactics or are not available to most Canadians. Though these companies may have other excellent products, we can't recommend them for life insurance.
Company profile: American Income Life is an American company that most Canadians may not be aware of. They have an A+ A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating, which is the highest rating.