life insurance companies - life insurers in canada

Canada’s life insurance landscape is dominated by a select group of large, well-established insurers that have been serving the needs of Canadians for many decades. These life insurance companies offer various products and services, from term and permanent life insurance to living benefits like disability and critical illness coverage. Understanding the unique strengths and offerings of Canada’s biggest life insurers is vital to finding the right coverage for your needs.

With over 150 providers offering various policy types, riders, and features, it’s essential to understand the landscape and key players.

This article will discuss Canada’s largest life insurance companies and what makes them stand out in terms of their product offerings, financial strength, and unique value propositions.

Evaluation Criteria for the Best Life Insurance Companies

Life insurance company evaluation criteria are selected and classified by Life Buzz according to the following criteria:

Size alone doesn’t necessarily make an insurer the best fit for every individual’s needs. When comparing providers, it’s essential to look at critical characteristics like:

  • Types of policies offered (term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, etc.)
  • Flexibility in coverage amounts and term lengths
  • Availability of riders and additional features
  • Underwriting process and turnaround times
  • Cost competitiveness and value for money
  • Digital capabilities for online applications and account management

Find the best life insurers in Canada

find the best life insurance company in canada
find the best life insurance company in canada

To help you narrow down your options, here are some of the best life insurance companies for specific needs and preferences:

Best for Term Life Insurance Companies: Manulife, Sun Life, and Canada Life

Best for Permanent Life Insurance Companies : Canada Life, Sun Life, and Manulife

Best for No Medical Exam Life Insurance Companies: Canada Protection Plan, Humania Assurance, and Assumption Life

Best for Simplified Issue: Assumption Life, for their flexible no-medical policy options

Best for Competitive Pricing: BMO Insurance, Wawanesa Life, and RBC Insurance

Best for Product Range: Manulife, Canada Life, and Sun Life

Best for Customer Service: Manulife, Canada Life, and Empire Life

Best for Online Tools and Resources: Sun Life, Manulife, and Canada Life

Best for Families life insurance Companies: Equitable Life, allowing multi-life policies that cover the whole family

20 Biggest life insurers in Canada

Here are Canada’s 20 largest life insurance companies in Canada based on market share for individual policies in 2024, the latest data available, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

While the top 20 life insurers remained consistent from the previous year, there were notable market share and position shifts.
Click on the links to learn more about each company and the unique life insurance solutions they offer to meet the diverse needs of Canadians.

MORE : Lifebuzz Life Insurance Knowledge

Canada Life

Canada life insurance
Canada life insurance

Overview

Canada Life is one of Canada’s largest and most established life insurance providers, with a history dating back to 1847. Focusing on participating life insurance policies, Canada Life Insurance allows policyholders to benefit from the company’s financial success through dividend payments.

Key Features:

  • Participating life insurance policies with dividend payments
  • A comprehensive range of rider options
  • Financial solid ratings and stability
  • Excellent customer service and claims handling
ProsCons
– Long-standing history and strong financial foundation
– Participating policies with potential for dividend growth
– Diverse range of individual and group insurance offerings
– Personalized retirement and investment planning services
– Some policies may require higher minimum coverage amounts
– The underwriting process can be more stringent for certain health conditions
– Limited online tools and resources compared to some competitors

Read the full review : Canada Life Assurance Company

Manulife

manulife life insurance
manulife life insurance

Overview

Manulife is a global financial services provider with a strong presence in the Canadian life insurance market. With a focus on innovation and customer-centric solutions, Manulife offers a diverse array of life insurance products designed to meet the unique needs of Canadians at various life stages.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive online platforms for seamless policy management
  • Extensive rider options for personalized coverage
  • Preferred pricing for individuals with healthy lifestyles
  • Comprehensive wealth management and investment solutions
ProsCons
– Robust financial stability and international reputation
– Advanced digital tools for easy policy access and management
– Attractive rates for health-conscious individuals
– Wide array of customizable policy riders
– Higher premiums for some demographics
– Complex underwriting process for specific policies
– Mixed customer service experiences reported

Read the full review : Manulife life insurance

Sun Life Financial

sun life insurance
sun life insurance

Overview

As a leading international financial services organization, Sun Life Financial has a robust presence in the Canadian life insurance landscape.

Sun Life insurance ‘s commitment to delivering high-quality products and exceptional customer service has made it a trusted choice for Canadians seeking financial protection.

Key Features:

  • Diverse life insurance options, including term, permanent, and participating policies
  • Flexible health insurance plans with extensive coverage
  • Strong philanthropic initiatives and community involvement
  • Expert financial advice and wealth management services
ProsCons
– Well-established reputation and financial stability
– Comprehensive life and health insurance product offerings
– Exceptional customer support and claims experience
– Extensive community outreach and charitable programs
– Higher premiums for some age groups
– Strict underwriting for specific health conditions
– Limited online account management features

Read the full review : Sun Life Financial

iA Financial Group

IA financial group life insurance
IA financial group life insurance

Overview

iA Financial Group is a Canadian financial services company that offers a range of life insurance products, including term, whole life, universal life policies, critical illness, and disability insurance. The company is known for its competitive pricing and strong presence in the Quebec market.

Key Features:

  • Competitive pricing for many demographics
  • Strong presence and reputation in Quebec
  • Comprehensive range of life and health insurance products
  • Flexible coverage options and policy riders
ProsCons
– Attractive pricing for various age groups and lifestyles
– Comprehensive critical illness and disability coverage options
– Cutting-edge digital tools and platforms for easy policy management
– Specialized financial planning and investment solutions
– Competitive rates across a wide range of demographics
– Unique critical illness and disability insurance offerings
– Strong focus on digital innovation and customer experience
– Expert financial planning and investment management services

Read the full review : iA Financial Group Life Insurance

Empire Life

empire life insurance
empire life insurance

Overview

Empire Life is a Canadian life insurance company that offers a range of products, including term, whole life, and universal life policies, as well as investment and group benefits solutions, known for its personalized customer service, strong advisor network, and comprehensive life insurance and investment solutions.

Key Features:

  • Tailored life insurance solutions with a focus on individual needs
  • Strong partnerships with independent advisors for personalized service
  • Comprehensive investment and wealth management options
  • Competitive rates for a range of customer profiles
ProsCons
– Personalized customer service and strong advisor relationships
– Competitive pricing for many demographics
– Flexible coverage options and policy riders
– Good claims handling and financial stability
– Some policies may have higher minimum coverage amounts
– Underwriting process can be more stringent for certain health conditions
– Limited online tools and resources compared to some competitors

Read the full review : Empire Life Insurance

BMO Insurance

BMO insurance in Canada
BMO insurance in Canada

Overview

BMO Insurance is the insurance arm of Bank of Montreal, one of Canada’s largest financial institutions.

As the insurance arm of BMO Financial Group, BMO Life Insurance provides a wide array of life insurance solutions, as well as competitive travel and accident insurance options.

Key Features:

  • Diverse term, whole life, and universal life insurance products
  • Competitive rates for a variety of customer segments
  • Comprehensive travel and accident insurance offerings
  • Seamless integration with BMO’s banking and investment services
ProsCons
– Strong financial backing from BMO Financial Group
– Wide range of life insurance solutions
– Attractive pricing for many customer profiles
– Comprehensive travel and accident insurance options
– Some policies may have higher minimum coverage requirements
– More extensive underwriting for certain pre-existing health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some competitors

Read the full review : BMO Insurance

RBC Insurance

review rbc insurance
review rbc insurance

Overview

RBC Insurance is the insurance division of Royal Bank of Canada, one of the country’s largest financial institutions. The company offers a comprehensive range of life insurance products, including term, whole life, universal life policies, critical illness, and disability insurance.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive term, permanent, and universal life insurance options
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of customer profiles
  • Seamless integration with RBC life insurance’s banking and investment services
  • Strong focus on customer service and claims support
ProsCons
– Solid financial backing from one of Canada’s largest banks
– Diverse range of life insurance products
– Competitive pricing for many customer segments
– Integrated banking and investment services for comprehensive financial planning
– Higher premiums for smokers and some health conditions
– More complex underwriting process for certain occupations
– Limited online tools and resources compared to some competitors

Read the full review : RBC Insurance

Desjardins Insurance

Desjardins life insurance
Desjardins life insurance

Overview

Desjardins Insurance is part of Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest cooperative financial group. The company offers a range of life insurance products, including term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal life policies, critical illness, and disability insurance.

Key Features:

  • Strong financial stability and reputation of Desjardins Group
  • Comprehensive range of life and health insurance products
  • Competitive pricing for many demographics
  • Excellent customer service and claims handling
ProsCons
– Solid financial backing from Canada’s largest cooperative financial group
– Wide variety of life and health insurance products
– Competitive pricing for many age groups and lifestyles
– Exceptional customer service and claims support
– Some policies have higher minimum coverage requirements
– More complex underwriting for certain occupations
– Fewer online account management features compared to some rivals

Read the full review : Desjardins Life Insurance

Canada Protection Plan

CPP insurance - Canada Protection Plan Life Insurance
CPP insurance – Canada Protection Plan Life Insurance

Overview

Canada Protection Plan specializes in no-medical and simplified issue life insurance, offering quick and easy access to coverage without the need for extensive medical exams.

Key Features:

  • Simplified underwriting process with no medical exams for most policies
  • Quick and easy application process with fast approvals
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of ages and health profiles
  • Guaranteed acceptance options for hard-to-insure individuals
ProsCons
– No medical exams required for most policies
– Fast and simple application process with quick approvals
– Competitive pricing for various age groups and health profiles
– Guaranteed acceptance options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
– Maximum coverage amounts may be lower than traditional life insurance policies
– Higher premiums compared to fully underwritten policies for healthy individuals
– Limited rider options and customization compared to some competitors

Read the full review : Canada Protection Plan Life Insurance

Equitable Life of Canada

equitable life insurance
equitable life insurance

Overview

Equitable Life of Canada, one of the country’s largest mutual life insurance companies, is committed to providing policyholders with financial protection and long-term value. As a mutual company, Equitable Life is owned by its participating policyholders, who can share in the company’s success through dividend payments.

Key Features:

  • Participating whole life insurance with potential for dividend growth
  • Comprehensive individual and group life insurance solutions
  • Strong commitment to customer service and policyholder satisfaction
  • Active involvement in local communities and charitable initiatives
ProsCons
– Mutual company structure prioritizes policyholder interests
– Potential for dividend growth with participating whole life policies
– Exceptional customer service and policyholder support
– Strong community involvement and charitable giving
– Some policies may have higher minimum coverage requirements
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some competitors

Read the full review : Equitable Life of Canada life insurance

Ivari Life Insurance

ivari life insurance
ivari life insurance

Overview

Ivari is a Canadian life insurance provider that offers a diverse range of products, including term, permanent, and critical illness insurance. Its focus is on flexible solutions and personalized service.

Key Features:

  • Wide range of term and permanent life insurance options
  • Comprehensive critical illness coverage with flexible benefit periods
  • Competitive rates for various age groups and health profiles
  • Personalized service through a network of experienced advisors
ProsCons
– Diverse product lineup with flexible coverage options
– Comprehensive critical illness insurance with multiple benefit periods
– Competitive pricing for a range of customer profiles
– Personalized service and support through experienced advisors
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less robust than some competitors

Read the full review : Ivari Life Insurance

Humania Assurance Inc.

Humania Assurance life insurance
Humania Assurance life insurance

Overview

Humania Assurance is a Quebec-based life insurance company specializing in simplified issue and guaranteed issue policies, providing accessible coverage options for a wide range of customers.

Key Features:

  • Simplified issue of life insurance with no medical exams required
  • Guaranteed issue policies for hard-to-insure individuals
  • Competitive rates for a variety of age groups and health profiles
  • Quick and easy application process with fast approvals
ProsCons
– No medical exams required for simplified issue policies
– Guaranteed issue options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
– Competitive pricing for various age groups and health profiles
– Fast and straightforward application process with quick approvals
– Maximum coverage amounts may be lower than traditional life insurance policies
– Limited rider options and customization compared to some competitors
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some larger insurers

Read the full review : Humania Assurance Life Insurance

SSQ Life Insurance

SSQ insurance Canada
SSQ insurance Canada

Overview

SSQ Insurance is a leading life insurance provider in Quebec. It offers a comprehensive range of life and health insurance products and focuses on customer service and innovative solutions.

Key Features:

  • Diverse term, whole life, and universal life insurance options
  • Comprehensive critical illness and disability insurance coverage
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of age groups and health profiles
  • Strong focus on technology and digital solutions for enhanced customer experience
ProsCons
– Wide variety of life and health insurance products
– Comprehensive critical illness and disability coverage options
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Advanced digital tools and platforms for policy management
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Brand recognition may be lower outside of Quebec

Read the full review : SSQ Life Insurance

Beneva Life Insurance

Beneva life insurance
Beneva life insurance

Overview

Formed through the merger of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance, Beneva is a leading Canadian insurance and financial services company with a strong presence in Quebec.

Key Features:

  • Extensive range of life, health, and disability insurance products
  • Competitive rates for various age groups and customer profiles
  • Strong focus on innovation and digital solutions for enhanced customer experience
  • Comprehensive financial planning and investment services
ProsCons
– Wide variety of life and health insurance offerings
– Competitive pricing for many customer segments
– Advanced digital tools and platforms for policy management
– Comprehensive financial planning and investment solutions
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Brand recognition may be lower outside of Quebec

Read the full review : Beneva Life Insurance

The Co-operators Life Insurance Company

The Co-operators life insurance
The Co-operators life insurance

Overview

As part of The Co-operators Group, a leading Canadian insurance and financial services cooperative, The Co-operators Life Insurance Company offers a range of life insurance solutions with a focus on sustainability and community well-being.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive term, whole life, and universal life insurance options
  • Strong commitment to sustainable investing and ethical business practices
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of customer profiles
  • Extensive community involvement and support for local initiatives
ProsCons
– Wide range of life insurance products
– Strong focus on sustainability and ethical investing
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Active involvement in local communities and charitable initiatives
– Some policies may have higher minimum coverage requirements
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some competitors

Read the full review : The Co-operators Life Insurance Company

Wawanesa Life Insurance Company

wawanesa life insurance
wawanesa life insurance

Overview

Wawanesa Life Insurance is a Canadian insurer that provides a variety of life insurance solutions, with a focus on affordable rates and strong customer service.

Key Features:

  • Competitive term and permanent life insurance options
  • Simplified application process for certain policies
  • Affordable rates for a wide range of age groups and health profiles
  • Strong commitment to customer service and policyholder satisfaction
ProsCons
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Simplified application process for some policy types
– Strong focus on customer service and policyholder support
– Solid financial stability and history
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less robust than some competitors

Read the full review : Wawanesa Life Insurance Company

Assumption Life

assumption life insurance
assumption life insurance

Overview

Assumption Life is a Canadian life insurance provider with a strong presence in Atlantic Canada, offering a range of life and health insurance solutions focusing on customization and affordability.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive term, whole life, and universal life insurance options
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of age groups and health profiles
  • Flexible policy customization with a variety of rider options
  • Strong commitment to customer service and community involvement
ProsCons
– Wide range of life insurance products with flexible customization options
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Strong focus on personalized service and customer support
– Active involvement in local communities and charitable initiatives
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some competitors

Read the full review : Assumption Life Insurance

UL Mutual Life Insurance

UL mutual life insurance
UL mutual life insurance

Overview

UL Mutual is a Quebec-based life insurance company that offers a range of life insurance solutions with a focus on personalized service and long-term policyholder relationships.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive term, whole life, and universal life insurance options
  • Personalized service through a network of experienced advisors
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of age groups and health profiles
  • Strong commitment to policyholder satisfaction and long-term relationships
ProsCons
– Wide range of life insurance products
– Personalized service and support through experienced advisors
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Strong focus on long-term policyholder relationships and satisfaction
– Some policies may have higher minimum coverage requirements
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less robust than some competitors

Read the full review : UL Mutual Life Insurance

Foresters Financial

Foresters life insurance review
Foresters life insurance review

Overview

Foresters Financial is an international financial services provider that offers life insurance, savings, and investment products. It focuses on member benefits and community involvement.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive term and permanent life insurance options
  • Unique member benefits, including scholarships and community grants
  • Competitive rates for a wide range of age groups and health profiles
  • Strong commitment to community involvement and charitable giving
ProsCons
– Wide range of life insurance products
– Unique member benefits and perks
– Competitive pricing for various customer segments
– Strong focus on community involvement and giving back
– Some policies may have lower maximum coverage limits compared to larger insurers
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain occupations and health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less advanced than some competitors

Read the full review : Foresters Financial Life Insurance

Primerica Life Insurance Company of Canada

Primerica Life Insurance
Primerica Life Insurance

Overview

Primerica Life Insurance Company of Canada is a subsidiary of Primerica, Inc., a leading provider of financial services to middle-income families. The company offers term life insurance and investment products focusing on education and empowerment.

Key Features:

  • Affordable term life insurance options for middle-income families
  • Educational approach to financial services and life insurance
  • Opportunity for individuals to build a business as a Primerica representative
  • Strong emphasis on client education and financial literacy
ProsCons
– Affordable term life insurance rates for middle-income families
– Strong focus on client education and financial empowerment
– Opportunity for individuals to build a business as a Primerica representative
– Simplified underwriting process for certain term life insurance policies
– Limited product offerings compared to some larger insurers
– Maximum coverage amounts may be lower than some competitors
– Underwriting process may be more extensive for certain health conditions
– Online policy management tools may be less robust than some competitors

Read the full review : Primerica Life Insurance Company of Canada

How to Choose a Right Life Insurance Company in Canada

Choosing the right life insurance company can be daunting, but following these steps can make an informed decision that meets your unique needs and provides the best value for your money.

Step 1: Assess Your Life Insurance Needs

Before comparing life insurance companies, it’s essential to determine your coverage requirements. Consider factors such as Income replacement for your family.

  • Mortgage and debt protection
  • Future expenses, such as children’s education or retirement savings
  • Final expenses and burial costs

Step 2: Decide on the Type of Life Insurance

There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance is generally more affordable and provides coverage for a specific period (e.g., 10, 20, or 30 years).

  • Permanent life insurance, such as whole or universal life, provides lifelong coverage and includes a cash value component that grows over time.

Consider your long-term financial goals and budget when deciding between term and permanent life insurance.

Step 3: Compare Life Insurance Companies

Once you understand your coverage needs and the type of life insurance you prefer, it’s time to compare providers. Consider the following factors: Financial stability: Look for companies with strong financial ratings from independent agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s, or Standard & Poor’s.

  • Product offerings: Ensure the company offers the type of life insurance you need and any desired riders or additional features.
  • Underwriting process: Consider the company’s underwriting requirements, such as medical exams or questionnaires, and how they align with your health status and preferences.
  • Customer service: Research the company’s reputation for customer service, including claims processing and policy administration.
  • Pricing: Obtain quotes from multiple providers to compare premiums and ensure you get a competitive rate for your desired coverage.

Step 4: Consult with a Licensed Insurance Advisor

  • Working with a licensed insurance advisor can provide valuable guidance and help you navigate the complex world of life insurance. An advisor can Assess your needs and recommend appropriate coverage options.
  • Compare quotes and policy features from multiple providers.
  • Answer your questions and provide ongoing support.
  • Assist with the application process and any future policy changes.

Step 5: Review and Update Your Coverage Regularly

Life insurance is not a one-time decision. Your coverage needs may evolve as your life circumstances change, such as getting married, having children, or buying a home.
Review your life insurance policy regularly (at least every few years) to ensure it still meets your needs and make adjustments as necessary. Following these steps and carefully considering your options, you can choose the best life insurance company and policy to protect your loved ones and achieve your financial goals.

FAQ of life insurance companies in Canada

What are the top life insurance companies in Canada?

Some of Canada's top life insurance companies include Manulife, Sun Life Financial, Canada Life, iA Financial Group, and RBC Insurance. These companies are known for their financial stability, wide range of products, and vital customer service.

How do I choose the best life insurance company in Canada?

To choose Canada's best life insurance company, consider financial stability, product offerings, customer service, pricing, and digital capabilities. Compare quotes from multiple providers and read reviews from current and past policyholders to make an informed decision.

What types of life insurance policies do Canadian companies offer?

Canadian life insurance companies offer various policy types, including term life insurance, whole life insurance, universal life insurance, and participating life insurance. Each has unique features, benefits, and pricing structure.

How do I compare life insurance quotes from different life insurance companies in Canada?

You can use online comparison tools or work with an independent insurance broker to compare life insurance quotes from different Canadian companies. To receive the most accurate quotes, provide accurate information about your age, health, lifestyle, and coverage needs.

What happens if my life insurance company goes out of business in Canada?

In Canada, life insurance companies are regulated by the federal and provincial governments to ensure financial stability and protect policyholders. Suppose your life insurance company goes out of business. In that case, your policy may be transferred to another insurer, or you may be eligible for compensation through Assuris, the organization that protects Canadian policyholders.

Article Sources

As Canada’s most trusted universal life insurance knowledge source, Lifebuzz.ca provides this article referenced from leading reputable sources on the topic of Life Insurance Companies in Canada, such as:

List of Canadian insurance companies – wikipedia

30 Best Life Insurance Companies in Canada – policyme.com

Top Life Insurance Companies in Canada – mychoice.ca