RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Life Insurance Review

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In This Article

Key takeaways:

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the largest bank in Canada by measure of revenue.
  • RBC Insurance offers two main term life insurance options and a term 100 option, all of which are renewable and convertible.
  • Their life insurance rates are generally competitive with industry standards. But RBC Insurance is quite poorly reviewed among customers online.

Our RBC life insurance review

To help you determine whether RBC Insurance is right for you, we reviewed their different products, prices, features and customer feedback.

Our rating for RBC life insurance: ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

RBC has some decently priced coverage options, with premiums just slightly lower than many other Canadian insurance companies.

  • Their term life insurance policies have guaranteed renewability.
  • You can convert your policy to a permanent life insurance policy. 
  • RBC life insurance tends to be more expensive for non-smokers and people with long-term health conditions compared to others in the insurance industry.
  • Customer reviews suggest they have poor customer service, among other issues.

Who is RBC Insurance?

RBC Insurance is owned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which is the largest bank in Canada in terms of revenue. 

They have a range of products for term life insurance (two options) and permanent life insurance (four options). They also offer other insurance types: critical illness insurance, disability insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance (also known as personal accident insurance), home insurance, auto insurance and travel insurance.

RBC Insurance quick facts:

  • RBC was founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Term life insurance policies can be any length between 10 to 40 years
  • Maximum coverage is $25M
  • You can get a quote online

Who is eligible for RBC life insurance?

There are a few eligibility requirements for RBC life insurance:

Age:

  • RBC YourTerm: Must be age 18 to 70 for for terms of 10 or 15 years you must be. For terms 16 to 40 years you must be 85 minus the term length. i.e. You pick a 25 year term, 85-26=60 (you must be maximum 60 years old).
  • RBC Guaranteed Acceptance: Must be age 40 to 75.

Residency:

  • RBC Simplified® Term Life Insurance: To apply online, you have to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or a landed immigrant who's been in Canada for over 12 months.
  • RBC Guaranteed Acceptance: Must be a citizen, permanent resident or landed immigrant.

RBC life insurance: pros and cons

Read up on some of the pros and cons of RBC life insurance, based on their different products.

Pros of RBC life insurance
  • Level premiums (so they won’t increase for the length of your term).
  • Policy renewal is guaranteed.
  • Convert your term life insurance policy to permanent insurance without another medical exam.
  • You can convert your policy until age 71.
  • Offers term life insurance and permanent insurance.
  • Term policy has a flexible, wide range. Choose any length between 10 to 40 years.
  • Term life coverage options range from $50,000 to $25M, which is comparatively high for the industry.
  • They offer a range of riders for you and your family members. But these optional riders will increase your premiums, so consider them carefully.
Cons of RBC life insurance
  • Client complaints on InsurEye mention negative experiences with customer service, especially with the waiting period to talk to agents or make changes, cancelling a policy and processing a claim.
  • Smokers tend to get higher rates compared to other insurance companies.
  • Premiums are more expensive for people with long-term health conditions. Even having had a heart attack can make your rates higher.
  • Only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • You can't apply online.
  • CTV News reported that a widow who received only $1,385 from an expected $10,000 death benefit from her husband's life insurance because of a clause in his contract (always read the fine print!).

RBC life insurance rates for 2023

RBC life insurance premiums can start at $22.95 for a woman and $31.32 for a man purchasing a 20-year term with $500,000 in coverage.

There are several factors that influence the cost of premiums, including:

  • Age
  • Coverage amount
  • Policy duration
  • Type of policy
  • Smoking status
  • Current health status

RBC term life insurance prices

RBC's YourTerm™ Life Insurance was consistently the cheapest option for ages 35 to 50 when we checked out of all Canadian term plans, except for PolicyMe term life insurance for some applicants.*

Here's a sample of prices for $500,000 in coverage for a 20-year term (non-smoker).

Woman Man
20-Year Term 20-Year Term
Age 30 $22.50 $30.87
Age 35 $22.95 $31.32
Age 40 $33.52 $45.22
Age 45 $51.61 $71.86
Age 50 $82.93 $123.93

*For prices available on Winquote for $500,000 in coverage for a 20 year term, non-smoker, on July 4, 2023.

But RBC isn't your only option; PolicyMe offers:

  • 5-10 per cent cheaper term life insurance than comparable policies
  • 10 per cent couples discount in the first year
  • $10,000 in free Child Coverage, per child
  • Non-commissioned advisors give honest advice via phone or email
  • Secure backing of Securian Canada, a leading insurance provider

RBC permanent life insurance prices

For RBC Growth Life Insurance, $500,000 in coverage, non-smoker.*

Woman Man
Whole Life Whole Life
Age 30 $497.43 $549.86
Age 35 $579.06 $644.45
Age 40 $680.36 $760.10

*For prices available on Winquote on July 4, 2023.

RBC guaranteed life insurance prices

For RBC Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance, $10,000 in coverage, non-smoker, Ontario.*

Woman Man
Guaranteed Guaranteed
Age 50 $25.41 $30.93
Age 55 $32.51 $39.16
Age 60 $43.54 $53.39
Age 65 $60.87 $74.66

*For prices available on Winquote on July 4, 2023.

RBC life insurance prices based on customer characteristics

Below is a breakdown of how RBC’s life insurance prices compare to prices offered by other companies for various customer characteristics.

Customer Characteristics Pricing
Male Average
Female Average
Under age 40 Average
Over age 40 Below Average
Exceptional Health Average
Smokers Average

In most instances, RBC offers average monthly rates compared to other life insurance companies or just slightly cheaper, making it a decent option for those on a budget.

RBC life insurance customer reviews

RBC life insurance reviews from real customers will give you a better idea of what kind of service to expect. These excerpts are from review sites like InsurEye, where they have a score of 1.6/5, and Better Business Bureau, where they have a rating of D.

Positive RBC life insurance reviews:

  • “This is a basic policy; small coverage that is inexpensive.”
  • “Best presentation of different life insurance plans.”

Negative RBC life insurance reviews:

  • “I wanna cancel my policy, they said they already received my request, in processing, however, it has been almost three weeks, nothing was done.”
  • “[...] it takes months to ever hear back from your own case employee, it took 4 months to set up my life insurance and I am still waiting to actually receive anything in the mail to confirm my insurance [...]”
  • “Bottom line, their prices are cheaper, however, you deal with aggressive sales personnel who want their commission, disorganized medicals and any complaints you make with customer service are ignored.”

Has there been any major complaints or problems with RBC life insurance in the past?

Better Business Bureau gives RBC Insurance a C- rating because RBC has not responded to two complaints filed against the company and has not resolved five complaints.

The company is not BBB accredited. There have been 64 complaints in the last three years and five complaints closed in the past year. None of these complaints appear to be about life insurance.

RBC is a member of the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance, so there is a process for complaints, if need be.

RBC life insurance products

RBC Insurance offers different life insurance products for term and permanent life insurance. You can get a similar coverage amount with their term insurance policies as you see with their permanent coverage at lower monthly premium costs.

Read more on RBC’s types of life insurance below.

YourTerm™ Life Insurance

  • Coverage options: $500,000 to $25M
  • Period of time: Anywhere between 10 and 40 years
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 18–70
  • Joint coverage is available with joint-first-to-die life insurance option which gives your loved ones a death benefit after the first death

RBC Simplified® Term Life Insurance

  • Coverage options: $50K to $1M
  • Period of time: Anywhere between 10 and 40 years
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 18–70
  • No medical exam if you’re eligible
  • 30-day review period where you can get a full refund if you cancel within the timeframe

RBC term life insurance compared to competitors

See how RBC’s term life insurance prices stack up against the prices of products offered by other term life insurance providers in Canada.

Scores are based on PolicyMe’s Term Insurance Price Index, an in-depth analysis of prices for 108 combinations of gender, age, term length, coverage amount, health status, and smoking status.

Company Ranking Average price relative to market
PolicyMe 1 10% Lower
RBC Insurance 2 6% Lower
Canada Life 3 5% Lower
Desjardins 4 2% Lower
BMO Insurance 5 2% Lower
Manulife 6 Average
Sun Life 7 1% Higher

RBC Term 100 Life Insurance

  • Coverage options: $50,000 to $25M
  • Period of time: For life
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 18–85
  • No cash value

RBC Universal Life Insurance

  • Coverage options: $25,000 to $25M
  • Period of time: For life
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 0–85
  • Their universal life insurance product includes investments

RBC Growth Insurance™

  • Coverage options: $25,000 to $25M
  • Period of time: For life
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 0–80
  • With cash value

RBC Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance 

  • Coverage options: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Period of time: Up to age 95
  • Eligibility rules: Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged 40 to 75
  • No medical exam
  • No cash value
  • 30-day review period where you can get a full refund if you cancel within the timeframe

Best for: Those who want to cover final expenses, nothing more, and/or can't qualify for other policies due to a pre-existing health condition.

RBC life insurance riders

  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage: This option adds extra payment for your beneficiaries if you pass away from an accident, or if you lose certain body parts (such as a limb) due to an accident.
  • Children’s term rider: a small policy taken out on your child that lasts for a specific term.
  • Disability waiver of premium: This option continues to pay for your life insurance policy if you become totally disabled and unable to work. You won't have to pay premiums during this time.
  • Guaranteed insurability: This option allows you to purchase additional life insurance coverage without having to go through medical procedures. You can buy more coverage at certain times, like after a major life event, without needing to prove that you're in good health.
  • YourTerm™ rider: Increase coverage for the person covered under the base policy, or apply it to another person like your spouse.

Other RBC insurance products

RBC has a whole suite of other insurance products, including:

  • Auto insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Hospital insurance
  • Leisure and lifestyle insurance: to cover boats, cottages etc.
  • Credit and loan protection
  • Retirement investment protection

You can get a discount if you buy both home and auto insurance through RBC.

How do you get RBC life insurance quotes?

To get RBC life insurance quotes, you can talk to a licensed advisor or get online quotes on their website. 

Insurance advisors are trained to help you decide which type of life insurance, if any, is right for you. But sometimes they work for a commission which can incentivize them to try and upsell you.

RBC life insurance calculator

The RBC life insurance calculator will ask you for personal details to tell you how much life insurance you need. The calculator will ask for your birthdate, whether you’re single, if you have kids, your annual income, and about your debt.

Bottom line: RBC’s policies are standard, but poorly reviewed

RBC term life insurance has standard rates, with customization options with their various flexible term lengths. But reviews from industry publications and customer review sites alike would indicate that their customers aren't happy with their service.

Looking for affordable life insurance that's highly reviewed? PolicyMe offers some of the lowest rates in Canada and has an average Google Reviews rating of 4.9/5. So you know you're in trusted hands. Plus, our non-commissioned advisors are available seven days a week to answer your questions.

FAQ: RBC life insurance reviews

Is RBC life insurance good?

RBC may be a good life insurance choice if you want term life insurance with lots of options. These bells and whistles include term options for renewing terms and converting to permanent coverage. They also have longer-than-average 40-year term lengths to choose from.

That said, RBC life insurance has been poorly reviewed by customers and brokers alike. So be sure to read ample company reviews before making your choice.

What insurance company does RBC use?

RBC Insurance is underwritten by Aviva General Insurance Company.

How do I cancel my RBC Life insurance?

You can cancel your RBC life insurance by calling them during the cancellation period for your policy. Depending on the policy, you may have to pay taxes and surrender charges for cancelling.

RBC Simplified® Term Life Insurance and RBC® Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance have a 30-day cancellation period. The other RBC life insurance types all have a 10-day cancellation period.

How do I make an insurance claim with RBC?

To make an insurance claim with RBC, you can call their claims services. 

Toll-free phone for life insurance: 1-877-519-9501 

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm ET

Is RBC Insurance owned by RBC?

No, RBC Insurance isn’t owned by RBC anymore. It was acquired in 2016 by Aviva, a British insurance company. Post-acquisition, insurance products continued to be sold under the RBC Insurance brand.

RBC Insurance offers different kinds of insurance, including life insurance, auto insurance, critical illness coverage (also called hospital insurance), disability coverage, home protector insurance, dismemberment insurance (also known as personal accident insurance), and leisure and lifestyle insurance.

Is Aviva owned by RBC?

No, Aviva is not owned by RBC. Aviva is a British insurance company that acquired RBC Insurance in 2016.

Who bought RBC Insurance?

Aviva, a British insurance company, acquired RBC Insurance in 2016.

Want to learn more about other life insurance options? Here are more reviews of Canadian life insurance companies:

Sources:

1: https://www.rbcinsurance.com/life-insurance/guaranteed-acceptance-life-insurance-quote

Laura McKay

COO & Co-Founder
About the Author

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