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Desjardins Life Insurance in Canada: A Comprehensive 2024 Review

Desjardins Life Insurance in Canada: A Comprehensive 2024 Review
Desjardins Life Insurance in Canada: A Comprehensive 2024 Review

Desjardins Group has been a pillar of the Canadian financial services industry for over 100 years. As the country’s largest credit union cooperative, they provide banking, investment, and insurance solutions to millions of customers across Canada.

In this extensive guide, we’ll explore Desjardins’ offerings in the Canadian life insurance space to help you determine if their policies are a good fit for your needs.

What is the History of Desjardins Insurance in Canada?

Founded in 1900 by Alphonse Desjardins in Lévis, Quebec, Desjardins Life Insurance began as a single credit union providing banking services to the Francophone community. It has since grown into the largest association of credit unions in North America.

Desjardins formally entered the life insurance market in 1944 with the creation of their life insurance subsidiary, Desjardins Financial Security. Today, they provide a diverse range of term, permanent, universal, and participating life insurance policies to Canadians from coast to coast.

How Does Desjardins Life Insurance Work?

Desjardins life insurance is sold through a network of over 6,000 financial advisors concentrated mainly in Quebec and Ontario, but they have a growing presence across the country.

Here are some key facts about Desjardins life insurance in Canada:

  • Headquarters: Lévis, QC
  • Years in Business: 79+
  • 2021 Canadian Premiums Written: $5.98 billion
  • Total Assets Under Management: $310 billion
  • Credit Rating: A (Excellent) from A.M. Best
  • Advisor Network: Over 6,000 across Canada

What Types of Life Insurance Does Desjardins Offer?

What Types of Life Insurance Does Desjardins Offer
What Types of Life Insurance Does Desjardins Offer

Desjardins Term Life Insurance for Canadians

Desjardins offers Canadian term life insurance with coverage lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years.

Term life insurance provides affordable protection for a specific timeframe in which your dependents need income replacement and financial support. For example, you may use a 20-year term plan to cover a mortgage or protect your family until your children finish school and start their careers.

Some key features of Desjardins’ Canadian term life insurance:

  • Coverage up to $20 million
  • Terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years
  • Individual and joint first-to-die policies
  • Renewable terms up to age 85
  • Convertible to permanent insurance until age 70

Unique conversion options include splitting a joint term policy into two separate permanent policies or converting to a joint last-to-die permanent policy.

Desjardins’ term rates are competitive but not the most affordable. Providers like PolicyMe and Dialogue offer lower premiums for healthy applicants.

Desjardins Term Life Sample Monthly Rates

AgeGenderCoverageTerm 10Term 15Term 20Term 25Term 30

Desjardins Permanent Life Insurance for Canadians

Desjardins’ permanent life insurance provides lifelong coverage as long as you pay your premiums. It never expires, unlike term insurance. Permanent policies also build tax-advantaged cash value that you can access while living.

They offer both basic no medical exam coverage and personalized permanent policies underwritten based on your health:

Basic Permanent Coverage

  • Available ages 50-75
  • Face amounts of $5,000 to $20,000
  • No medical exam required
  • 30-day free look period

Personalized Permanent Coverage

  • Available ages 0-85
  • Face amounts $25,000 to $10 million
  • Underwritten to assess your risks
  • Pay over 10, 15, 20 years or to age 100
  • Preferred rates when bundling policies

The main benefits of Desjardins’ permanent life insurance for Canadians include lifetime coverage, probate bypass, and tax-sheltered savings. However, the premiums are significantly higher than term insurance.

More : Permanent life insurance

Desjardins Permanent Life Sample Monthly Premiums


Desjardins Universal Life Insurance for Canadians

Desjardins also provides universal life insurance, which offers permanent protection coupled with an investment account.

A portion of your premiums covers the cost of insurance, while the remainder gets invested tax-free in your choice of over 30 investment options.

Key benefits of Desjardins’ universal life insurance include:

  • Tax-deferred growth on investments
  • Access available cash value through policy loans
  • Adjustable death benefit as your needs change
  • No surrender charges after five years of holding the policy

This universal life insurance policy type appeals to those wanting to maximize inheritance, access cash value through retirement, or grow tax-sheltered investments.

Desjardins Participating Life Insurance for Canadians

Also referred to as “par whole life”, this permanent policy provides lifetime coverage and potential annual dividends from the life insurance company.

Each year, Desjardins determines if they can pay dividends to eligible participating policyholders based on the company’s financial performance. These non-guaranteed dividends offer policyholders flexibility:

  • Pay for additional life insurance coverage
  • Shorten your premium payment term
  • Fund upcoming premium payments
  • Build up your policy’s cash surrender value

So, Participating whole life insurance policies give Canadians the potential to lower costs and increase protection through dividends. However, dividends are not guaranteed.

Additional Desjardins Life Insurance Benefits and Riders

To customize and enhance their base policies, Desjardins provides various supplementary riders and benefits, including:

Waiver of Premium

Waives your premiums if you become critically ill or disabled.

Accidental Death Benefit

Pays an additional amount if death is due to an accident.

Children’s Insurance Benefit

Adds term life insurance coverage for your children.

Payor Waiver Benefit

Waives premiums if the payor becomes critically ill or disabled.

Guaranteed Insurability Option

Lets you increase coverage in the future without medical underwriting.

Discuss your unique situation with an advisor to determine suitable riders.

What Factors Determine Desjardins Life Insurance Rates?

Factors Determine Desjardins Life Insurance Rates
Factors Determine Desjardins Life Insurance Rates

Desjardins life insurance rates for Canadians depend on the following:

  • Age – Rates increase as you age due to higher mortality risks.
  • Gender – Life expectancy differences lead to lower rates for women.
  • Health – Your medical history impacts your risk profile.
  • Lifestyle – Tobacco use, risky hobbies, and more affect pricing.
  • Family history – You may pay more if close relatives have major illnesses.
  • Coverage amount – Higher coverage means higher premiums.
  • Term length – Longer terms have pricier premiums.
  • Provincial differences – Rates vary slightly by province.

Here are sample monthly costs in Ontario for healthy non-smokers:

$500,000, 20-year term:

  • 25-year-old female: $21
  • 35-year-old male: $32
  • 45-year-old female: $52
  • 55-year-old male: $228

$1 million permanent life insurance:

  • 35-year-old female: $125/month
  • 45-year-old male: $255/month

Get a personalized Desjardins quote from an advisor for accurate rates.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Desjardins Life Insurance?

The Pros and Cons of Desjardins Life Insurance
The Pros and Cons of Desjardins Life Insurance

Desjardins life insurance offers several advantages but also some potential drawbacks to consider:


  • Trusted Company with over 75 Years in Canada – Desjardins has a long-standing reputation and financial strength from operating in Canada since the early 1900s. Their stability brings peace of mind.
  • Permanent Policies Offer Lifetime Coverage – Desjardins’ permanent life insurance never expires as long as you pay premiums. It provides lifelong protection.
  • Wide Range of Term Lengths and Types – Desjardins provides term lengths of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years and to age 65. You can also get individual or joint coverage.
  • Ability to Convert Term to Permanent Coverage – Desjardins allows converting shorter term policies to permanent insurance down the road for lifelong protection.
  • Competitive Rates, Affordable Options – Desjardins offers competitively priced life insurance, especially for older age groups. Bundling brings discounts.


  • Limited Term Length Choices – Desjardins only offers set term lengths. Some insurers allow customizable 1-30 year terms.
  • No Online Quotes or Applications – You cannot get Desjardins pricing or apply online. Competitors like PolicyMe and Dialogue offer digital insurance.
  • Must Speak with an Advisor to Get Pricing – To get a Desjardins quote, you must call, visit a branch or book an appointment. Other insurers provide instant online quotes.
  • Not as Budget-Friendly for Healthy Applicants – For young, healthy Canadians, Desjardins’ rates are not the most affordable. Direct insurers can offer lower pricing.

How To Choose Between Desjardins and Other Life Insurers?

Choosing the right life insurance company involves weighing several factors:

Coverage Needs

Consider which policy types suit your needs – do you need an affordable term policy to cover a mortgage? Or permanent life insurance for lifetime protection? Desjardins provides both.


Compare quotes from Desjardins and competitors like Sun Life and RBC Insurance. Get quotes for the same coverage amounts to compare apples-to-apples.

Digital Experience

Lifebuzz allows you to get quotes, apply, and manage your policy online 24/7. Desjardins requires contacting an advisor. Decide if you prefer digital convenience or personal guidance.

Financial Strength

Desjardins has over 75 years of experience in Canada and an A rating from A.M. Best. Research competitors’ ratings and history to assess financial stability.

Special Features

Review unique tools and perks offered. Desjardins provides a longevity calculator and membership benefits. Some insurers offer contests, giveaways, and health incentives.

By evaluating your specific needs, priorities, and Desjardins’ strengths vs. competitors’ offerings, you can determine the life insurance provider that’s best for you. Getting quotes from multiple companies is crucial for finding affordable coverage that fits your lifestyle.

How to Apply for Desjardins Life Insurance Coverage

Canadians have a few options to inquire about pricing and apply for Desjardins life insurance coverage:

1. Call 1-866-838-7553 to speak with an advisor who can provide quotes and guide you through the application process.

2. Visit a local Desjardins branch to meet face-to-face with an advisor.

3. Schedule an appointment on their website for an in-person or virtual meeting.

When applying, you’ll need to answer questions about your health history, lifestyle, family medical background, finances, and insurance needs.

Be prepared to complete medical exams and tests for permanent and universal life insurance policies. Desjardins also requires a telephone interview before approving no medical exam coverage.

Is Desjardins the Right Life Insurer for You?

For Canadians seeking peace of mind from a reputable life insurance company, Desjardins delivers stability and expert guidance. Their array of term, permanent, universal, and participating life insurance solutions can meet diverse needs.

Those who value personalized service may appreciate Desjardins’ in-person advisor network across the country. However, Canadians wanting a convenient digital insurance-buying experience may prefer to purchase term life insurance directly online.

To decide if Desjardins is the best fit for you, speak with an advisor and compare quotes from other top Canadian life insurers like Sun Life, Canada Life, RBC Insurance, and more. Evaluating your specific situation will lead you to the right life insurance provider.

Compare Quotes from Desjardins & More with Lifebuzz

Get free instant life insurance quotes from over 15 top Canadian insurers using Lifebuzz‘s online comparison tool. In just minutes, see customized rates side-by-side so you can find the most affordable life insurance for your needs and budget, whether with Desjardins or another provider.

To immediately compare personalized quotes from leading life insurance companies in Canada, simply click the button below and enter basic details about yourself and your coverage needs.

There’s no obligation to purchase, and no personal information is required. Finding the optimal life insurance for you and your family has never been easier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Desjardins Life Insurance

How long has Desjardins offered life insurance?

Desjardins first began offering life insurance policies in 1944 when they launched their life insurance subsidiary Desjardins Financial Security. They have over 75 years of experience providing coverage to Canadians.

What is the claims process like for Desjardins life insurance?

To make a Desjardins life insurance claim, contact their claims department at 1-877-828-7795. You'll need to provide documentation like a death certificate and complete any required claim forms. An advisor can explain the claims process when purchasing coverage.

Where can I make a payment for my Desjardins life insurance policy?

You can pay your Desjardins life insurance premiums online through their client portal, by calling their payment line at 1-877-838-8185, by mailing a cheque, or in-person at a Desjardins caisse branch location.

Why choose Desjardins life insurance over other providers?

Reasons to choose Desjardins include their longstanding history and financial strength, ability to bundle multiple policies for discounts, in-person advisor access, and unique benefits like the longevity calculator.

When should I consider converting my Desjardins term policy to permanent insurance?

Desjardins recommends considering converting your term life insurance to permanent coverage when you have lifelong protection needs, want to build cash value, or need more flexible coverage as you age. Converting while young and healthy can lock in lower rates.

Do Desjardins life insurance policies accumulate cash value?

Yes, Desjardins' permanent life insurance policies like whole life, universal life, and participating life insurance build up cash value that grows tax-deferred. Their term life insurance policies do not have cash value accumulation.

Can I get a Desjardins life insurance quote online without speaking to an agent?

Unfortunately, Desjardins does not yet provide online quotes. To get pricing, you need to call their contact center, visit a branch, or book a virtual or in-person meeting with an advisor.

Is Desjardins term life insurance renewable?

Yes, Desjardins term life insurance is renewable until age 85 for the 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year policies. Their Term-to-65 policy cannot be renewed. Renewability allows you to extend your coverage.

What is the difference between Desjardins term life and permanent life insurance?

Term life insurance from Desjardins provides affordable protection for a set timeframe of 10 to 30 years. Permanent life insurance provides lifelong protection as long as you pay premiums on time and never expires.

How do I determine how much Desjardins life insurance I need?

Discuss your financial obligations, income to be replaced, and goals with a Desjardins advisor. They can then assess your needs and help you determine sufficient life insurance amounts for your situation.

Can I receive dividends from my Desjardins life insurance policy?

Yes, if you purchase Desjardins' participating life insurance policy, you have the potential to earn annual dividends based on the company's financial performance. However, dividends are not guaranteed.

What optional riders can I add to my Desjardins life insurance policy?

Available riders include waiver of premium, accidental death benefit, children's insurance benefit, payor benefit, and guaranteed insurability. These provide added protections and benefits for additional fees.

Is Desjardins life insurance portable if I change jobs?

Desjardins individual life insurance policies are fully portable. If you have Desjardins group coverage through an employer, you can convert to an individual policy if you leave your job.

Can I access the cash value of my Desjardins permanent life insurance?

Yes, once your permanent life insurance policy has accumulated cash value, you can take out policy loans or withdrawals to access those funds while keeping your coverage intact.

Does Desjardins offer return of premium life insurance?

Most Desjardins policies do not have a return of premium feature. However, some of their non-participating whole life policies may return a portion of premiums if you surrender the policy.

How do I change the beneficiary on my Desjardins life insurance?

To change your Desjardins life insurance beneficiary, contact their client service department at 1-877-838-8185. They will provide you with the appropriate form to designate new beneficiaries.

What is the deadline to pay my Desjardins life insurance premium?

The due date for paying your Desjardins life insurance premium is typically the policy anniversary date. However, they provide a 30-day grace period after the due date to make your payment without lapsing the policy.

Can I bundle my Desjardins life insurance with other policies?

Yes, you can receive multi-policy discounts from Desjardins by bundling your life insurance with other products like critical illness insurance, disability insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance.

Can I manage my Desjardins life insurance policy online?

Yes, through the Desjardins Insurance portal you can view your policy, payment history, update personal details, print documents, and more.

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Written by Ben Nguyen

Ben Nguyen is an award-winning insurance expert and industry veteran with over 20 years of experience. He is the chairman and director of IDC Insurance Direct Canada Inc., one of Canada's leading online insurance brokerages.

Ben is renowned for his extensive knowledge of life, health, disability, and travel insurance products. He is the prolific author of over 1,000 educational articles published on LifeBuzz, BestInsuranceOnline, and InsuranceDirectCanada. His articles provide Canadians with advice on making smart insurance decisions.

With a Bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) designation, Ben is frequently interviewed by media as an insurance industry spokesperson.

He has received numerous honors including the Insurance Council of Canada’s Pivotal Leadership Award, the Canadian Insurance Hall of Fame induction, and the President’s Medal from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Ben continues to shape the vision and strategy of IDC Insurance Direct as chairman. He is dedicated to advancing the insurance industry through his insightful leadership.

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