Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company Review: Credible or Not? [2022]

In This Article
Disclaimer: PolicyMe is a third-party administrator of Canadian Premier’s life insurance policies. The PolicyMe editorial team has made every effort to ensure the accuracy, transparency and integrity of our review.

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company has been in business for over 60 years, insuring over two million Canadians and their families.

The good news: it’s a financially stable and strong company with significant assets that was rated ‘A’ (Excellent) by credit rating agency AM Best

You should know: Canadian Premier doesn’t sell life insurance policies directly to consumers; their policies are sold via administrators like PolicyMe (hi, that's us).

Read on for a review of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company.

Who is Canadian Premier Life Insurance company?

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company is a well-established Canadian company with decades of experience selling life insurance policies.

Canadian Premier provides a variety of insurance products to Canadians, including accident and sickness, credit and creditor and life insurance solutions. 

It currently insures over two million Canadians, with $330 million in total assets.* In 2020, Canadian Premier paid over $43 million in life insurance benefits.**

Canadian Premier logo for review of the life insurance company

Canadian Premier doesn’t sell insurance directly to consumers like Sun Life, TD Life Insurance or other top life insurance companies in Canada.

Instead, it sells life insurance through retailers, financial institutions like credit unions and other businesses like Hudson’s Bay Financial Services and PolicyMe

This means that you can take advantage of Canadian Premier’s strong financial backing and the perks of independent administrators.

For example, PolicyMe has streamlined the application process with technology. Meaning: you get a same-quality policy that’s simple to apply for online and more affordable, too.


* As of December 31, 2020 for Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and Canadian Premier General Insurance Company.
** As of December 31, 2020 for Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company.

Canadian Premier facts

  • Founded: 1955
  • Headquarters: 1400-25 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Satellite Offices: Burnaby, Edmonton and Winnipeg
  • CEO: Suzette Huovinen
  • Parent Company: Securian Financial Group Inc.
  • Total Assets: $330M*
  • Payout Rate: Since 2019, Canadian Premier has paid 99% of Term Life claims.**
  • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)***
  • Website: canadianpremier.ca

A note that AM Best’s current rating of Canadian Premier is gated, you need to create a free account to access their latest ratings. 

This publicly available press release from December 2020 rates Securian as A+ and Canadian Premier as A.

* For Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and Canadian Premier General Insurance Company. As of December 31, 2020.
** Based on Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company’s group creditor protection line of business. As of September 13, 2021.
*** As of November 19, 2021. For the latest AMBest rating, visit ambest.com.

Pros and cons of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Since Canadian Premier doesn’t sell life insurance directly to consumers, individual policies prices and features will depend on the administrator.

Still, we can still look at the advantages and disadvantages of getting a life insurance policy backed by Canadian Premier. 

Pros of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

1. The company is well-established with a long history in Canada

In operation for over 60 years, Canadian Premier insures over two million people and their families across Canada. 

It also has a very healthy $330M in total assets. Government regulators require a 100% capital ratio, meaning they have sufficient capital reserves to cover potential claims from policyholders. 

Meaning: the life insurance industry in Canada is stable and strong.

According to industry body CLHIA, 90% of insurer’s assets in Canada are held in long-term investments which support the Canadian economy and governments, including $55B in infrastructure investments.

One final point: Canadian Premier is a federally-regulated and wholly-owned subsidiary of Securian Financial, one of North America's most reputable insurance companies with $1.4 trillion of life insurance in force (as of December 31, 2020).

2. AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)***

AM Best’s Financial Strength rating for Canadian Premier is an A.

A strong “A” financial rating is given to insurance companies that have “an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations.” Meaning: you won’t have to worry about your life insurance claim not paying out.

AM Best is the largest credit rating agency in the world and it specializes in the insurance industry.

3. Canadian Premier has paid 99% of term life insurance claims since 2019*

It’s true, Canadian Premier has paid out 99% of all claims by beneficiaries for term life insurance as of September 13, 2021 (based on its group creditor protection line of business).

Unfortunately, there is no publicly available data on the national average of life insurance payout rates as life insurance companies typically do not share this information.

4. Canadian Premier is a member of Assuris 

All life insurance companies authorized to sell insurance in Canada (such as Canadian Premier) are required, by federal, provincial and territorial regulators, to be a member of Assuris.

If any Assuris member fails, the policyholder gets 100% of their death benefit retained up to $200,000 in coverage and 85% over $200,000 in coverage. It’s the ultimate safety net.

5. Canadian Premier paid over $43 million in insurance benefits in 2020* 

This is a huge chunk of the overall $8.4B paid out as life insurance death benefits in Canada in 2020, according to industry body CLHIA.

*As of December 31, 2020 for Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company.

Cons of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

1. You can’t buy a policy directly from Canadian Premier 

Canadian Premier isn’t like consuming-facing insurance companies like BMO or TD Bank. That’s not its business model. Canadian Premier supplies its policy through financial institutions, retailers and other businesses like PolicyMe. 

PolicyMe is essentially the administrator of Canadian Premier’s policies, meaning we supply the quote, application, approval and claims processes. 

We sell their policies while ensuring customers have the best experience possible in terms of ease of use, customer service and affordability.

2. Limited online presence 

As a business to business company that isn’t consumer facing, Canadian Premier doesn’t have a big online presence. It can be tough to do your research on them online (which is why we did it for you!).

That said, there’s definitely information available online about Canadian Premier. You can take a look at canadianpremier.ca and industry publications such as Insurance Portal.

3. You can’t get a quote from Canadian Premier 

You can’t get a quote directly from Canadian Premier because the businesses that sell Canadian Premier’s insurance products each price their policies differently. 

This is because each individual insurance provider operates differently. Typically, about 40% of a life insurance policy’s price is taken up by unnecessary underwriting steps and underwriting costs. 

You can get a quote through third-party administrators of Canadian Premier's policies.

PolicyMe is one of these administrators. We've used technology to streamline the application process, giving you a same-quality policy for a more affordable price.

You can find your price using our quote calculator. It takes seconds and it's 100% online. 

Canadian Premier company history and financial health

Canadian Premier was founded in 1955. In 2017, it was acquired by Securian Financial Group, Inc., a Fortune 500 company based in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Canadian Premier remains based in Canada as an independently operated affiliate of Securian and is jointly regulated by the federal and provincial governments, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

Image of the outside of the Securian Financial building for review of Canadian Premier life insurance company

Securian Financial has over US$1 trillion of life insurance in force and almost US$100 billion in assets under management.

Canadian Premier acquired Gerber Life Insurance Company’s Canadian insurance business in 2020, according to Insurance Portal.

Assuris backs and protects Canadian Premier policyholders

Canadian Premier is a member of Assuris, as is every life insurance company authorized to sell life insurance in Canada.

Assuris is an independent, not for profit, industry-funded compensation organization. Assuris says themselves that their “mission is to protect policyholders if their life insurance company fails.”

Here’s how Assuris works: if your life insurance company goes under, Assuris makes sure that your term life policy’s coverage will continue by seeking to transfer your policy to a financially stable company.

Who is Assuris? Assuris is funded by the life insurance industry and endorsed by the Government of Canada.

It carries out independent financial analysis of Assuris member companies like Canadian Premier, and regularly meets with OSFI to review this analysis.

How Canadian Premier is regulated in Canada

Assuris members such as the Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company are regulated in Canada by federal and provincial regulators for both financial soundness and market conduct. 

The provinces are each responsible for regulating the licensing of insurers that operate in their jurisdictions, plus the marketing of insurance products to their residents.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) sets the regulatory requirements at the federal level to make sure life insurance policyholders are protected. 

It also carries out reviews of insurers like Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company, to evaluate their financial strength.

OFSI puts it best in their Life Insurance Regulatory Framework:

"OSFI’s role is not only to protect policyholders and creditors in an insolvency scenario, but also to promote a regulatory framework that encourages companies to be able to withstand severe, but plausible, stress conditions."

OSFI’s regulatory framework is “recognized as being strong, both domestically and internationally. It has proven its resiliency over time and through many economic cycles.”

In their Framework, OFSI also comments on the health of the life insurance industry in general:

“Canada and Canadians have benefited from a strong life insurance industry and a flexible and effective regulatory framework; our initiatives to enhance the regulatory framework aim to ensure this continues.”

The main takeaway? Canada’s life insurance industry, including Canadian Premier, is well-regulated and policyholders can rest assured that their policies are protected.

What type of life insurance does Canadian Premier offer?

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company sells a limited range of life insurance products through administrators such as PolicyMe. Here we’ll take a look at their four main life insurance offerings.

Term life insurance through PolicyMe

  • Coverage: $100,000 to $5M
  • Period of Time: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years 
  • Application Process: 100% online, most people complete their applications in 20 minutes or less.
  • Ideal For: The average Canadian with people who depend on them financially, such as children or ageing parents. Most Canadian families need term life insurance over other insurance products.
  • Eligibility: You must be between the ages of 18 and 75.
  • Good to Know: PolicyMe has streamlined the traditional life insurance process with technology, offering families some of the lowest rates for term policies in Canada.

PolicyMe is a third-party administrator of Canadian Premier’s term life insurance policies. 

It's available in all provinces and territories including Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. It's not available yet in Quebec or Newfoundland.

What’s the price? It depends on your age, lived gender, smoking status, coverage and term length options.

On average, premiums are about $16.49/month for a 35-year old non-smoking woman and $21.74 for a 35-year-old non-smoking man (10 year term, $500,000 in coverage). 

Now, a bit more about how PolicyMe and Canadian Premier work together. PolicyMe sells Canadian Premier life insurance products.

Once you’ve signed a policy with us, we’re your point of contact. We’re also who your beneficiaries contact if they need to make a claim.

Another important thing to know: PolicyMe isn’t owned or operated by Canadian Premier. We were established in 2018 by three Canadian life insurance and engineering executives who set out to make the process of buying life insurance in Canada easier, more honest and transparent and more affordable. 

We believe in empowering parents with straightforward life insurance information and recommendations that prioritize your family’s best interest, so that you can feel equipped and confident that you’re making the right financial decisions for your family.

Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance

  • Coverage: Up to $100,000
  • Period of Time: No publicly available information
  • Application Process: Answer three health questions, that’s it.
  • Ideal For: People with an underlying condition or who don’t want to undergo a medical exam. It’s essentially a last resort if you can’t get traditional life insurance. Or Canadians who travel often or don’t live in Canada full-time.
  • Eligibility: You must be between the ages of 18 and 59. 
  • Good to Know: For the first five years of coverage, your premiums will not go up with this product. Canadian Premier also gives you the first sixty days of coverage for free.

PolicyMe’s advice: You should apply for an underwritten product first with a medical exam. 

Why’s that? if you’re approved, then your premiums could be significantly lower than they would be with a simplified issue term life insurance policy. 

Simplified term life insurance products tend to be expensive because they don’t involve underwriting i.e. full analysis of how much of a risk you are to the life insurance company. Read our full post on how no-medical life insurance works for more details.

Many Canadians tell our licensed advisors that they don’t want to go through with a medical exam because they believe they will be denied coverage anyway. The reality? Many eligible applicants are pleasantly surprised that they are indeed approved.

That said, if you’re denied traditional life insurance coverage, then a product like Canadian Premier’s Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance may be for you.

Life 50 Plus (permanent life insurance)

  • Coverage: Up to $20,000
  • Period of Time: Policies last until you pass away
  • Application Process: No medical exam needed. All qualified applicants are approved.
  • Ideal for: High net worth individuals who want help with estate planning. People who want worldwide coverage. 
  • Eligibility: 50-75 years old. There is no medical exam. 

If your death qualifies as accidental, your beneficiaries will receive five times your life coverage. If you pass away due to a terminal illness while insured under this policy, your beneficiaries will receive an accelerated death benefit.

Permanent life insurance has a cash savings component, but this money comes from the higher premiums you pay.

Graded Benefit Life Insurance

  • Coverage: $5,000 for juvenile and student insurance.
  • Period of Time: No publicly available information
  • Application Process: No medical exam needed. All qualified applicants are approved.
  • Ideal For: People with an underlying condition or who don’t want to undergo a medical exam. It’s essentially a last resort if you can’t get traditional life insurance. Or Canadians who travel often or don’t live in Canada full-time.
  • Eligibility: Depends on the product.
  • Good to Know: Premiums never increase. Worldwide coverage. 

Graded benefit life insurance includes three different products:

  1.  Life insurance for Canadians between the ages of 50 and 75.
  2. Juvenile term life insurance for children between the ages of 3 months and 21 years. If you have more than one child, they will all be covered under the one premium. Coverage is $5,000. 
  3. Student insurance, which includes life insurance, psychological assistance and hospital coverage. Students must be between the ages of 4 and 22 to be eligible. Coverage is $5,000.

Canadian Premier term life insurance rates

Canadian families juggle a lot of expenses, like childcare, kids’ activities and grocery bills. It may be hard to imagine adding life insurance to your budget.

But life insurance doesn’t need to break the bank. Your individual cost will depend on your age, lived gender, smoking status, health and family history. But the average PolicyMe premium is just $22 per month.

Here’s a look at some sample PolicyMe term life insurance rates, which is a Canadian Premier product.

Age PolicyMe Term Life Insurance*
20 years old $29.30
25 years old $29.50
30 years old $30.39
35 years old $34.07
40 years old $49.76
45 years old $79.55
50 years old $135.97
55 years old $231.15
*$500,000 in coverage, 20 year policy for a non-smoking man

PolicyMe isn’t just about affordable rates, though. We empower you with genuine advice that’s specific to your real-life financial and family needs. 

With our streamlined, online process, you can select your own coverage amount and term length without the hassle of upselling or pressure. Our recommendation tool will help you feel confident in your choice of term length and coverage amount.

Or you can chat via phone, email, or live chat with a non-commissioned advisor who’ll tell you how much life insurance you need—or even if you don’t need it at all. All backed by the security of industry giant Canadian Premier.

In summary: Canadian Premier offers long-standing financial strength and stability

Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company definitely passes the test when it comes to financial stability and security with its 60+ year history, A rating from AM Best, its backing from Assuris, its connection to Fortune 500 company Securian Financial, and its significant assets. 

With its 99% payout rate, you can also be assured that your beneficiaries will be taken care of should they need to make a claim.

Most Canadian families need term life insurance and Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company is a safe bet when it comes to getting reliable coverage from a trusted provider. 

FAQ: Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Is Gerber Life insurance available in Canada?

Gerber life insurance policies are available in Canada, but they are owned by Canadian Premier. Canadian Premier made a deal with U.S.-based Western & Southern Financial Group in February 2020 to buy the Gerber Life brand, a block of their Canadian life insurance business. The acquisition was finalized on November 2, 2020.

Gerber Life insurance policies, such as those sold under the Grow-Up plan, are whole life policies and are for children 12 years old and younger.

How do I contact Canadian Premier? 

The best way to contact Canadian Premier is by phone. For general inquiries, contact: 1-844-894-0378. To start a claim for a Canadian Premier whole or term life insurance policy you can call them at 1-800-518-8884 from Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 5 p.m. EST. 

That said, if you bought a Canadian Premier life insurance policy through a third party administrator, you should contact that company to initiate a claim or inquire about an existing claim. 

For example, to start a claim for policies sold by PolicyMe you can email servicing@policyme.com, fill out a form on our Make a Claim page or call us seven days a week at +1 (866) 999-7457 (9 AM to 6 p.m. EST).

How do I purchase Canadian Premier life insurance? 

You can purchase Canadian Premier life insurance through financial institutions, retailers and other businesses such as PolicyMe and Hudson’s Bay Financial.

Bronwyn Kienapple

Director of Content Marketing

About the Author

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