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Equitable Life Insurance of Canada: A Comprehensive Review for Canadians

Equitable Life Insurance of Canada- A Comprehensive Review for Canadians
Equitable Life Insurance of Canada- A Comprehensive Review for Canadians

Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada has been providing life insurance and financial products to Canadians for over 100 years. As one of the country’s largest mutual life insurance providers, Equitable Life offers a range of permanent, term, and universal life insurance plans.

In this extensive review, we’ll provide a deep dive into Equitable Life’s history, financial strength, products, features, pricing, pros and cons, and more. Read on to see if Equitable Life’s policies are a good fit to protect your family’s future.

What is Equitable Life of Canada?

Founded in 1920 in Waterloo, Ontario, Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada is one of the largest federally regulated mutual life insurance companies in Canada. Some key facts about the insurer:

  • Headquarters: Waterloo, ON
  • Company Type: Mutual life insurance company
  • Total Assets: $6.9 billion (as of December 31, 2021)
  • 2021 Net Premium Income: $1.03 billion
  • Insurance Products: Life, health, critical illness, disability
  • Financial Products: Retirement savings, investments
  • Policyholders: Over 750,000 Canadians

As a mutual company, Equitable Life of Canada is owned by its participating policyholders rather than shareholders. This structure allows Equitable Life to focus on the long-term interests of policyholders rather than quarterly profits and results.

Equitable Life engages in charitable community initiatives across Canada. The company is a member of Assuris, which protects Canadian policyholders in the event an insurer fails.

What is the History of Equitable Life Insurance?

Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada has a long history dating back to 1920. Here are some key events and milestones over the past 100+ years:

  • 1920 – Founded as the Ontario Equitable Life and Accident Insurance Company in Waterloo, Ontario, by Sydney Tweed.
  • 1936 – Changed name to The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada. Began selling participating life insurance plans.
  • 1957 – Started offering Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to Canadians.
  • 1962 – Introduced new insurance for medical care and expenses.
  • 1980s – Became the first insurer in Canada to provide reduced insurance rates for non-smokers.
  • 1990s to present – Introduction of universal life, critical illness, and group insurance products.
  • 2007 – Surpassed $100 billion in life insurance coverage for Canadians.
  • 2020 – Celebrated 100th anniversary as a leading Canadian life insurer.

Throughout its history, Equitable Life Insurance has been an innovator serving the insurance needs of individuals, families and businesses across Canada.

What Products Does Equitable Life Insurance Offer?

What Products Does Equitable Life Insurance Offer
What Products Does Equitable Life Insurance Offer

Equitable Life provides a suite of both risk life insurance and financial products for Canadians:

Risk Life Insurance Offerings

  • Term Life Insurance
  • Permanent & Participating Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance

Financial Offerings

  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Group Life & Health Benefits
  • Retirement Savings (RRSPs, RIFFs, Annuities)
  • Investment Products

Next, let’s take a deeper look at Equitable Life’s life insurance and financial product offerings for individuals and families.

Term Life Insurance from Equitable Life of Canada

Equitable Life offers three main term life insurance policies to choose from:

  • 10-Year Renewable Term – Offers guaranteed premiums for ten years. It can be renewed until age 85. Maximum $10 million coverage.
  • 20-Year Renewable Term – Guaranteed premiums for a 20-year term. Renewable until age 85. Up to $10 million coverage.
  • Term 30/65 – Fixed premiums for 30 years or until age 65. Up to $10 million coverage. Not renewable.

Term life insurance provides temporary coverage at affordable rates. It can cover needs like mortgages, income replacement, debts, and final expenses.

Equitable Life’s term policies offer guaranteed premiums that don’t increase during the term. They can also be converted to a permanent life insurance policy from Equitable Life without medical underwriting.

Joint term policies covering two lives are available. Term life plans can also be combined with critical illness insurance riders from Equitable Life.

Permanent Life Insurance from Equitable Life

For lifelong protection, Equitable Life offers primarily permanent participating whole life insurance:

  • Equimax Whole Life – Offers dividends, guaranteed premiums, death benefits, and cash values. Two plans are available – Estate Builder and Wealth Accumulator.
  • Equation Universal Life – Self-directed investment options and potential account growth. Two versions are offered – With Bonus and Low Fees.

Permanent life insurance provides lifelong coverage as long as you pay your premiums. It also builds cash value that you can borrow or withdraw. Equitable Life’s permanent life plans are flexible, and participating policies allow policyholders to share in the company’s profits via dividend payments.

Many helpful riders are available to customize coverage. For example, you can add critical illness insurance or accidental death benefits.

Equitable Life Critical Illness Insurance

Equitable Life offers critical illness insurance under the name EquiLiving Critical Illness Insurance. This coverage provides a tax-free lump sum cash payment if you are diagnosed with one of 25 covered serious illnesses like cancer, stroke, heart attack, multiple sclerosis, ALS and more.

Payout amounts up to $2 million are available. It can be purchased as standalone coverage or added to a life insurance policy as a rider. Offered for 10-year terms up to age 75 or 100.

Coverage for dependent children under age 25 is also included. Having critical illness insurance can provide funds to cover medical costs or replace lost income during recovery.

Disability Insurance from Equitable Life

Equitable Life’s disability insurance provides partial income replacement benefits if injury or illness prevents you from working. Various plan options are available with monthly payout percentages from 50% to 75% of gross income.

Benefits can continue for two years, five years, or to age 65, depending on the plan chosen. Coverage up to $15,000 monthly benefit available. You must be under the age of 60 to apply.

Group Benefits Solutions

Equitable Life provides group lifehealth and dental benefits plans for businesses to offer employee coverage. Services include:

  • Group life insurance for employees and dependents
  • Extended health & dental insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Business travel medical insurance

Plans are customizable based on the company’s needs and budget. Equitable Life handles administration and claims processing for group plans.

Retirement Savings and Income Products

To help Canadians save for retirement, Equitable Life offers registered products like RRSPs and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs).

Their retirement savings plans provide tax-deferral benefits to accumulate funds. Income annuity products can provide guaranteed retirement income from your savings.

Segregated fund policies are also available for estate planning and leaving an inheritance to beneficiaries.

Investment Products

Equitable Life has a suite of investment solutions to build savings:

  • Guaranteed Investment Accounts – Offer guaranteed interest rates and stable returns. Includes Daily Interest Accounts, Guaranteed Deposit Accounts, and Term Deposit Accounts.
  • Segregated Funds – Professionally managed investment funds with maturity and death benefit guarantees.

By offering both insurance and investment products, Equitable Life can develop comprehensive financial plans tailored to Canadians’ needs.

What are the Features of Equitable Life Insurance Policy?

What are the Features of Equitable Life Insurance Policy
What are the Features of Equitable Life Insurance Policy

Equitable Life insurance policies come with many useful features and advantages:

Critical Illness Insurance Bundling

Many life insurance plans allow bundling critical illness insurance from Equitable Life as an additional benefit. This provides comprehensive protection in one policy.

Joint/Multi-Life Premium Discounts

Insuring two lives under one policy saves on premiums through joint policy discounts. Multi-life coverage is also available.

Preferred Underwriting Discounts

For healthy individuals, applying for preferred no medical underwriting rates on coverage over $500,000 can lead to discounted premiums.

Policy Conversion Options

Equitable Life offers flexibility to convert term policies to permanent coverage down the road. This allows you to get longer protection as needed.

Laddering Multiple Term Policies

Ability to combine different term policy lengths together in a strategy known as laddering. Useful for gradually reducing coverage as needs decline.

Participating Policy Dividends

Eligible policyholders can share in the company’s profits through dividend payments on participating policies to enhance their benefits.

Useful Optional Riders

Riders for accelerated death benefits, accidental death, children’s term insurance, disability waiver, and more allow benefits customization.

Online Account Management

Handy online portal provides 24/7 access to your policy information and account details through a client website.

Digital Policy Docs & eDelivery

Paperless delivery and access to digital policy documents are available for convenience.

How Much Does Equitable Life Insurance Cost?

Equitable Life Insurance aims to provide competitive pricing across its range of term, permanent and critical illness coverages. Here are some sample monthly premiums to give an idea of costs for healthy, non-smoking applicants:

$500,000 Term Life Insurance Rates:

Age20 Year Term Male20 Year Term Female
30$33.70$23.80
40$52.03$37.35
50$136.15$93.55
60$437.35$315.40

$250,000 Critical Illness Insurance Rates:

AgeMaleFemale
30$27.32$18.20
40$46.65$29.75
50$96.50$59.10
60$288.25$173.60

Permanent Life Insurance premiums will depend on factors like age, coverage amount, and riders selected. Overall, Equitable Life’s pricing is quite competitive, especially for longer-duration term policies, permanent coverage, and when bundling critical illness benefits.

For smokers and individuals with health conditions, other insurers may offer lower rates. But for healthy applicants seeking permanent, whole life or bundled policies, Equitable Life’s prices are attractive. Comparing quotes across insurers is the best way to find top value tailored to your situation.

How Financially Strong is Equitable Life Insurance?

As a mutual company, Equitable Life of Canada does not have an AM Best financial strength rating. However, the company maintains excellent financial health:

  • 2021 Net Income: $192 million
  • Participating Policyholders’ Equity: $1.34 billion (as of December 31, 2021)
  • Solvency Ratio: 150% (Q4 2021), among the highest in Canada

In September 2020, DBRS Morningstar affirmed an “A” rating for Equitable Life’s financial strength. This indicates great stability even amid economic uncertainty.

Equitable Life of Canada has paid out dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since 1936. With over 100 years of history, the company has a strong track record of fulfilling obligations to policyholders.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Equitable Life Insurance
What Are the Pros and Cons of Equitable Life Insurance

What Are the Pros of Equitable Life Insurance?

Choosing Equitable Life Insurance of Canada for your coverage provides many great benefits:

Strong Reputation as a Leading Mutual Company

With over 100 years in business, Equitable Life has a strong reputation as one of Canada’s top mutual life insurance providers. Its mutual structure also adds stability.

Competitively Priced Permanent Life Insurance

Equitable Life’s whole life participating policies offer attractive pricing, making them a cost-effective option for permanent protection.

Ability to Bundle Critical Illness Insurance

Bundling critical illness and life insurance into one policy provides comprehensive coverage at a discount compared to buying separately.

Flexible Laddering Term Life Insurance

The ability to combine different term lengths allows policy customization to meet needs as they evolve over your lifetime.

Joint Life Policy Discounts

Insuring two lives together nets savings compared to two separate individual policies. Discounts for multi-life coverage too.

**Strong Participating Whole Life Dividends **

Eligible policyholders can share in financial upside through annual dividend payments from Equitable Life.

Excellent Customer Service

Knowledgeable advisors and customer support teams help guide you in choosing the right insurance solutions.

Riders to Customize Benefits

Useful riders for accelerated death benefits, disability waiver, children’s insurance and more allow benefit enhancements.

For permanent protection, critical illness coverage, and participating whole life insurance, Equitable Life offers many advantages to Canadians seeking security.

What Are the Cons of Equitable Life Insurance?

However, there are some downsides with Equitable Life Insurance to note:

Limited Term Life Insurance Options

Equitable Life only offers three term life insurance plans – 10, 20, and 30 years. Other insurers have more flexibility in term lengths.

No Option to Purchase Policies Online

Buying Equitable Life insurance requires working with an advisor. No option to get DIY quotes and purchase policies online.

Permanent Insurance Costs More Than Term

Permanent protection costs significantly more than temporary term insurance in monthly premiums.

Mid-Range Pricing on Term Life Plans

While permanent policy rates are competitive, Equitable Life’s term life pricing is relatively average – not the cheapest, but not the most expensive.

Critical Illness Insurance Only Added By Rider

Standalone critical illness coverage is not available. Must be added to a life insurance policy as a rider.

If you desire a wide range of term lengths, lowest term pricing, standalone critical illness insurance, or online policy purchase, Equitable Life may not be the best fit for you.

Is Equitable Life Insurance a Good Choice for You?

Equitable Life Insurance is a great choice for many reasons:

Seeking Permanent Life Insurance – For lifelong protection, Equitable Life’s participating whole life insurance products offer value. Dividend potential also makes their permanent policies attractive.

Combining Critical Illness Coverage – If you want critical illness insurance, bundling it with your life policy with Equitable Life can save you money compared to buying it separately.

Insuring Multiple Lives – Joint coverage on a couple or family? Equitable Life’s multi-life discounts can provide savings versus individual policies.

Longer-Duration Term Insurance – Need a 20 or 30-year term policy? Equitable Life’s competitive longer-term rates make them an appealing option.

Looking for Dividend Potential – If participating in profits via dividends from a mutual company sounds appealing, Equitable Life permanent policies allow this.

Expert Guidance Desired – Advisor support in understanding options and choosing coverage is provided by Equitable Life’s knowledgeable professionals.

However, if you want extensive term length choices, pure DIY online quoting, or the lowest premiums regardless of health, then other insurers may suit you better.

The best way to decide if Equitable Life fits your needs is to compare personalized quotes from them and other top Canadian insurers. Get a side-by-side comparison of rates tailored specifically to you.

How Can I Get Quotes for Equitable Life Insurance?

To find the most affordable life insurance for your situation, we recommend getting quotes from over 15 top Canadian life insurance companies example :

This allows you to see all your options in one place and select the policy with the perfect blend of pricing, features and benefits for your family.

To get started with customized quotes in just minutes, visit our Life Insurance Quote Comparison Tool. It’s fast and obligation-free.

The Bottom Line – Is Equitable Life Insurance Worth It?

In summary, Equitable Life of Canada is great if you:

  • Want permanent life insurance or participating whole life policies
  • Seek to bundle critical illness insurance with life coverage
  • Are insuring multiple lives like couples or families
  • Desire dividends and upside from a mutual company
  • Need longer-duration term insurance of 20 or 30 years
  • Prefer working with an advisor to DIY online quotes

Thanks to competitive pricing on many of its offerings, Equitable Life can provide tremendous value for the right individuals and situations.

However, if you want short-term life insurance, pure online policy purchase, or have health issues, you may find better value with other insurers.

We recommend comparing personalized rates across Canada’s top life insurance companies to pinpoint the perfect policy for you. Visit our quote comparison tool to get started and protect your loved ones.

FAQs about Equitable Life Insurance in Canada

How old is Equitable Life Insurance?

Equitable Life Insurance was founded in 1920 in Waterloo, Ontario and has over 100 years of history providing insurance to Canadians.

When did Equitable Life Insurance start?

Equitable Life Insurance was started in 1920 originally under the name Ontario Equitable Life and Accident Insurance Company.

Who owns Equitable Life Insurance?

As a mutual company, Equitable Life Insurance is owned by its participating policyholders rather than shareholders.

Is Equitable Life Insurance just in Ontario?

No, Equitable Life Insurance provides coverage across Canada, not just in Ontario.

What types of life insurance are offered by Equitable Life?

Equitable Life offers permanent, term, and universal life insurance policies as well as critical illness and disability insurance.

Does Equitable Life have term life insurance?

Yes, Equitable Life offers 10, 20, and 30-year term life insurance policies.

What is the max coverage on Equitable Life term insurance?

Equitable Life's term life insurance policies allow maximum coverage amounts up to $10 million.

Is Equitable Life term insurance renewable?

The 10 and 20-year term life plans from Equitable Life are renewable until age 85. The 30-year term can't be renewed.

Can I convert Equitable Life term insurance?

Yes, Equitable Life's term policies can be converted to permanent insurance up to certain ages without new medical underwriting.

Does Equitable Life have whole life insurance?

Yes, Equitable Life offers participating whole life insurance under the Equimax plan name. Two options are available.

What are the two types of Equimax whole life insurance?

The two Equimax whole life options are Equimax Estate Builder and Equimax Wealth Accumulator. Both offer dividends.

Does Equitable Life have universal life insurance?

Yes, Equitable Life offers two versions of universal life insurance called Equation Generation IV - With Bonus and Low Fees.

Can I get critical illness insurance from Equitable Life?

Yes, Equitable Life provides critical illness coverage under the EquiLiving plan name which can be bundled with life insurance.

How do I contact Equitable Life Insurance?

Equitable Life can be contacted by phone at 1-800-722-6615 or by email at [email protected].

Where are Equitable Life Insurance headquarters?

Equitable Life Insurance is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario at One Westmount Road North.

How do I apply for Equitable Life Insurance?

To apply for coverage with Equitable Life, you can get a quote online or by speaking with an advisor and complete an application form.

What is Equitable Life's AM Best rating?

Equitable Life does not have an AM Best rating since it is a mutual company. But it maintains excellent financial strength.

Is Equitable Life Insurance a public company?

No, as a mutual company Equitable Life Insurance is not publicly traded. It is owned by its policyholders.

How do I pay Equitable Life Insurance premiums?

Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually by pre-authorized bank withdrawals or credit card.

Article Sources:

To understand how we uphold our commitment to precision, openness, and impartiality, we invite you to review the Editorial Policy at Lifebuzz.ca. Our reputation as the most reliable source for life insurance news in Canada is a testament to our integrity.

  1. Who We Are – https://www.equitable.ca/
  2. Equitable Life of Canada Life Insurance Review 2024 – https://www.dundaslife.com/
  3. Equitable Life Insurance Review – Updated 2024 – https://www.policyadvisor.com/
  4. Is Equitable Life Insurance Good? Review (2024) – https://hellosafe.ca/
  5. The Equitable Life Assurance Society – wikipedia
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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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