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best life insurance companies

What are the best life insurance companies in Canada? There are a variety of factors that you will want to consider in order to determine which life insurance company is best for you – and those factors may not be what you think!

Stuff that doesn’t actually matter!

Company Age

It’s our opinion that using company age should not be a primary concern in choosing your life insurance company. First because many of us would be viewing not age – but instead we’d be considering companies with more money spent on brand recognition. In other words, you’re familiar with them because they make a branding effort. Some of the oldest and largest companies in Canada have very little brand recognition. 
For example, many Canadians have never heard of Foresters Financial. But Foresters is a Canadian life insurance with origins going back 100’s of years. In their original incarnation duelling by clubs was required to become a member. Unfortunately they’ve long since stopped that practice – but there’s no other Canadian life insurance company that’s been around as long as them, and most people haven’t heard of them. Nevertheless they are headquartered in Toronto, and have offices internationally. 

Further, almost all the life insurance companies in Canada have been around for 100 years or longer. Back in the 1990’s there were some companies that had been formed in the last 50 years or so, but they were all absorbed by other life insurance companies in a series of acquisitions that swept the industry in the 1990’s. I’d be hard pressed to come up with the name of a Canadian life insurance company that’s been around for less than 100 years.

So, age? I’d suggest not a factor. All the life insurance companies you’re likely to run into these days are in the range of a century old, or older.

Company Financials

Again, we should be sensitive to the difference between financial stability, and just ‘we have good marketing, so you’ve heard of our life insurance company’. 
In reality, all Canadian life insurance companies are solid long term. This is monitored and regulated by the government in a fashion similar to the banks. The government ensures that all the companies have strong financials.
And there are guarantees. All life insurance companies retailing life insurance belong to an association called Assuris. By being members of Assuris, all members collectively guarantee each other’s life insurance policies. So if one company should be unable to pay it’s life insurance claims, every other active life insurance company in Canada guarantees their claims. Even if you somehow managed to pick a losing company (and in my opinion, such a company doesn’t exist in Canada), and then died just as the company went bankrupt, you still have minimum guarantees on your death benefit from all the other life companies.
Summary of that? I don’t see company financials as a consideration in ‘best’ life insurance company in Canada – it’s again more of a marketing thing. 

Claims payments

Life insurance companies in our experience pay claims surprisingly promptly. And, they’re uniform in their claims payment practices. We have no experience that suggests one life insurance company pays it’s claims at a higher or lower percentage than other life insurance companies.

Stuff that does matter!

When it comes to term life insurance companies in Canada, a fair number of the life insurance companies are fairly uniform in their offerings. There are however a few companies that offer a few extras that may make them the ‘best life insurance company’ for you. Here’s a sample of some companies that have differences.

RBC Insurance – RBC term life insurance policies have some very interesting and useful options at the end of their term that allow you to move into a second, new term, very easily. Details are here: . No other company in Canada has this level of similar benefits.
In addition, RBC currently does not normally require a medical exam for people up to the age of 55, to a max. of $2MM of term coverage. So if you want to skip the blood and urine test, RBC is a great fit.

Foresters Financial – Foresters provides other family related life insurance benefits including benefits to orphans of policy owners, community service, and scholarships. More details here:

Wawanesa Life – A standard life insurance policy at often very inexpensive premiums. However in our opinion (and in the opinion of many of our customers), Wawanesa has the very best customer service of any life insurance company in Canada. Their front line support staff are knowledgeable and responsive. Yes, they have a customer service department, but it’s staffed with people that actually seem to know what their doing. So if customer service is what you want long term, Wawanesa life is the best life insurance company for you.