Laura McKay is the co-founder and COO of PolicyMe, Canada's fastest-growing digital life insurance company. In 2021, she was named one of the Women of the Year by Bay Street Bull. Laura has a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. Her degree focused on Actuarial Science, which included learning about mortality risk, the basis of life insurance pricing and valuation. After her degree, she was employed by Manulife and Munich Re in Actuarial Science. Laura then worked at famed management consulting company Oliver Wyman in New York from 2013-2018. In this position, she worked with many Fortune 500 life insurance companies and helped them develop growth strategies and solve operational problems and regulatory issues.
August 31, 2023
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Emma is an online insurance company geared towards young families in Canada.
They offer yearly renewable term policies as well as 10 to 20-year terms with fixed premiums (i.e. your monthly payments don't change).
Emma's yearly renewable term life insurance start out really cheap, but premiums go up every year.
You don't need to do a medical exam to get their term life insurance.
It's only available in Quebec and Ontario.
Our Emma life insurance review
To help you determine whether Emma life insurance is right for you, we reviewed their different products, prices, features and customer feedback.
Our Emma rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)
Who is Emma Life Insurance?
Emma Insurance is a Canadian insurtech start-up that was founded in 2017 by current CEO Félix Deschatelets as well as CMO Jacomo Deschatelets and CTO Guillaume Plante.
In early 2022, Emma announced they had raised $6M in funding from investors. In late 2022, they said they'd raised an additional $2M in loans from Silicon Valley Bank.
Emma is backed by Humania Assurance Inc., a reputable Quebec-based insurer that was founded in 1874.
Emma quick facts for 2023
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: n/a
Better Business Bureau Rating: A+ (for Humania)
Backed by Humania Assurance Inc.
Emma life insurance rates for 2023
Let's take a look at how much it would cost for a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman in average health to get $500,000 in term coverage for 20 years with Emma:
Term life insurance: $66.60 per month
+ $16.32 per month for $10,000 in whole life insurance*
+ $11.25 per month for $25,000 in child coverage, per child.
= $94.17 per month
*Your term life insurance coverage reduces to $490,000.
Emma life insurance: pros and cons
Pros of Emma life insurance
The quote and application process is completely online, meaning there's no in-person meetings or paperwork.
The prices for yearly renewable life insurance start at $6 per month. But this price depends on factors such as age, coverage amount and any health issues.
Those in their 20s and early 30s will benefit from the lower prices.
You don't need to do a medical exam to get Emma's life insurance.
Pregnant women won't be denied coverage just because of their pregnancy.
Email, chat and phone support are available from Emma's advisors.
Cons of Emma life insurance
To get a quote, you have to apply online first, which can be a long process.
Though you don't need to do a medical exam to get Emma's life insurance, the application includes many questions about your lifestyle and health.
Only available up to age 55, which is lower than average.
Not doing a medical exam can make it more difficult to get a lower rate because Emma has less detailed information about your health, which can result in higher premiums or limited coverage options.
Child coverage is not free. You have to pay to add it to your policy.
For 10 to 20 year fixed-rate term life insurance policies, the monthly premiums can be higher than average.
Yearly renewable life insurance prices go up every year.
Emma life insurance is only available in Ontario and Quebec.
The maximum coverage amount for term life insurance is $1M, while most other providers let you go up to $5M.
No critical illness insurance or other rider options.
Emma life insurance products
Term life insurance: fixed premiums
Coverage: $100,000 to $1M
Term lengths available: 1, 10, 20
There are three levels of premiums: an Elite rate that can get you up to $1M in coverage, a Superior rate that gets you up to $500,000 in coverage and the standard rate which gets you $300,000 in coverage.
Riders: Child life insurance rider
You can only buy the policy until age 55, which is pretty low.
Renewable after the term ends until age 65.
Convertible to a permanent policy until age 55.
Must be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen to qualify.
Term life insurance: yearly renewable premiums
Premiums stay the same for the first five years after the policy starts.
After that, Humania can increase premiums maximum once a year.
The premium renewal schedule is included in your policy contract and is not available online anymore. It is not included in the sample policy.
This means it's hard to know how much you'll pay in future until you go through the application process.
Otherwise, Emma's yearly renewable product has the same features as their level term product that we just talked about above.
Whole life insurance
T100 product, meaning it's good until age 100, after which you stop paying premiums and the policy remains in force.
When you apply online, Emma shows you a price for getting both term life and whole life insurance. You'll see a larger death benefit for term life to cover your current financial obligations, and a smaller death benefit, such as $10,000, for whole life to cover funeral expenses. It's up to you whether you want both, but you'll pay less if you only get term life.
$11 per month (per child) estimate for $25,000 in coverage.
Choose from $15,000 or $25,000 in coverage per child.
This type of policy pays out upon the death of a child, which Emma defines as under 21 years old or under 25 years old if they are a student.
Can be converted to five times the initial amount of coverage, so up to a max of $125,000 in coverage.
Bottom line: Emma is best for young parents or homeowners
Canadians in their 20s or early 30s who are parents and/or homeowners are the best fit for Emma's life insurance as they can take advantage of the low term life insurance prices. If you're older than that, you can probably find more competitive pricing elsewhere. Anyone with health issues or a family history of disease should also look elsewhere, such as with Canada Protection Plan.
Another note: you can get free Child Coverage with PolicyMe, so why spend the extra money on a child rider with Emma?
FAQ: Emma life insurance review
Who owns Emma insurance?
Emma Insurance is a Canadian-based company, established in Quebec City in 2017. The company was founded by Félix and Jacomo Deschatelets and the currrent Chief Technology Officer Guillaume Plante. Félix Deschatelets currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and Jacomo Deschatelets is the Chief Marketing Officer.
Who underwrites Emma insurance?
Emma Insurance is the primary interface for customers, but its insurance products are underwritten by Humania Assurance. Humania Assurance is a reputable life and health insurance company also based in Quebec. This strategic partnership ensures Emma Insurance can provide seamless and reliable service.
Want to learn more about other life insurance options? Here are more reviews of Canadian life insurance companies: