Editorial Review

Best Life Insurance Canada 2020

In a hurry? Take a look at our top policy recommendations.

CompanyThe Bottom LineGet Prices
Manulife FinancialGreat prices on 20-year policies & express underwriting process under $1,000,000
BMOPretty competitive prices on their 10 year products, in-personal medical visit required to get approved
IAAverage rates & express underwriting process under $500,000
CPPBest option for non-medical insurance - competitive prices & simplified underwriting

What customers are saying about PolicyMe

Which life insurance company is right for me?

When you are shopping for life insurance, you may be spending a lot of time looking at the product choices – term, whole life, universal life – all that sound familiar? But comparing canadian companies adds another layer of choice to the decision. We’re here to help with that.

  • Pick a life insurance company which strong financial strength (here’s a hint, since this is a highly regulated industry, most of them are in good financial health!)
  • Look for companies that offer e-applications (paper applications can increase your life insurance processing time by 6-8 weeks!)
  • Term life insurance is better and more affordable than whole life for most shoppers so look for companies that have term life insurance products

Consider Financial Health

Although many canadian companies sell similar policies, some focus more on certain products, such as whole life insurance, or simplified insurance products. Knowing thetype of life insuranceyou want to buy will help you narrow the choices. Here is a hint: term life insurance is better and more affordable than whole life for most shoppers so look for companies that have term life insurance products

Evaluate their products

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much here. Life insurance companies are highly regulated and supervised by the government at all levels. As a result, they’re generally in excellent financial health. If you are interested in comparing their financial health, financial strength ratings are available through rating agencies such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poors.

Get prices

If you’ve ever looked at life insurance prices, you’ll know that price can vary widely among companies, even for the same coverage. This is usually because some companies have higher costs than others for a particular policy or age group. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a lower price means that you’re looking at an inferior product. But in most cases, a lower price means that for your product, one insurance company is pricing the policy more aggressively than another to “win the sale." This works for you!Just like you shop around for the best prices on flights and hotel accommodations, you should take advantage of competitive pricing for life insurance policies. You can use PolicyMe’s handy price comparison tool to get term life insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

Best life insurance companies for…

Life insurers complete medical reviews to approve you for a policy. They take into account any recent diagnoses and even your family history of health conditions. If something comes up during your health review, insurers may charge you a higher premium for your policy, so finding the right company is key. Use our quote comparisons above to see which companies offer the best policies for you.


If you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or even vape, you’ll probably pay more for life insurance. Why? As you already know, smoking puts you at higher risk for developing health issues later in life. And as a result, smoking puts you into a higher risk category in the eyes of your life insurer. Smoker/ tobacco rates can be up to 2x to 3x more than nonsmoker/non-tobacco rates.

If you are a smoker – make sure you compare life insurance quotes from different companies. Some companies do price more aggressively for smokers than others. Moreover, if you are an occasional smoker, you probably want to look for a life insurance company that offers ‘preferred smoking rates’ which means you may be able to qualify for cheaper prices than someone who smokes a pack a day, for example.

But we have good news. These rates aren't permanent. Once you’re a year smoke-free, you become a nonsmoker in the eyes of many insurance companies, and the further you get from your quit date, the lower your rates can be. So if you ever do quit, make sure to get in touch with your insurer to apply for non-smoking rates!

People with severe medical diagnoses

Shopping for a life insurance policy can be especially intimidating for anyone recently diagnosed with a severe health condition such as a heart attack, cancer or a stroke.

If you are currently undergoing treatment for these conditions, or if treatment occurred within the last 12-24 months, likely, you will not be able to purchase traditional term life insurance policies.

Simplified issue or guaranteed issue products are life insurance products that do not require medical exams (or sometimes even medical questions) to qualify. The tradeoff is that the policies are much more expensive than traditional term life insurance and usually cap you on the total amount of coverage you can buy. But if you’re unable to purchase regular term insurance, a simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance policy could be an excellent way to get some life insurance coverage and a small death benefit for your family. Canada Protection Plan is a leading provider of No Medical & Simplified Issue Life Insurance in Canada. That means that they do not require the extensive medical telephone exams needed with the other insurers in Canada. Compare Canada Protection Plan life insurance quotes today.

What types of life insurance are best for me?

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance pays out a tax-free benefit to your loved ones only if you die within a specified number of years, usually 10, 20, or 30 years.Term life is the best option if you want protection for the years that matter most (when you still have a mortgage & children in the house).

But you might be asking yourself.. what happens when it expires? After the term expires, you have a few options: The most likely scenario is that you won’t need life insurance anymore (you are near retirement, your mortgage is almost paid off & your kids are out of the house!) If this is you, you can let your policy expire and never look back.

If you still need insurance, you have two options. If you are still pretty healthy, you apply for a brand new policy (at higher insurance premiums). If you are diagnosed with a pretty severe illness, the good news is that you are still covered. That is because term insurance comes with a pretty standard feature called “guaranteed renewability." In other words, if you still need the coverage after the term expires (for example, 10 or 20 years down the road), you can renew the policy without having to show proof of new health conditions or go through additional medical underwriting. This feature provides some protection against getting sick because your renewal rates are guaranteed.

Permanent life insurance

Permanent life insurance pays out a benefit to your beneficiaries no matter when you die.​ Permanent insurance is much more expensive.Why?Because it guarantees that your beneficiaries will receive your death benefit. You can die young or die old, and your insurance company will still pay out your coverage. There are two main types of permanent life insurance: whole life insurance and universal life insurance.

Want to learn more about permanent insurance policies? Click here.

How much do I need?

Every life insurance policy should be as unique as the individual it insures. Finding the right policy for you involves an understanding of your financial situation, your family structure and your lifestyle. But even two families with the same characteristics might require very different recommendations.

Unfortunately, too often life insurance recommendations are based on a simple “income replacement" calculation, which multiplies your annual salary by an arbitrary number to determine your coverage need. That one-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t sit well with us.

At PolicyMe, we believe that recommendations should be as unique as the needs of you and your family, so they have access to the security they need at the best possible value.

Our easy-to-use life insurance checkup helps you in setting your objectives by looking at all the personalized factors unique to you and your family. Our proprietary algorithms do the rest, analyzing your partner’s income, family savings and family spending habits to calculate the amount of coverage that matches your objectives.

PolicyMe has reviewed the best term life insurance carriers in Canada. See the reviews here.

Canada Protection Plan Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 4 out of 5

BMO Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 4 out of 5

Industrial Alliance Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 4 out of 5

RBC Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 4 out of 5

Canada Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 3 out of 5

TD Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 1 out of 5

Manulife Life Insurance Review

Our Review: 4 out of 5

Life Insurance Pricing Comparisons

CompanyRankingAverage price relative to market
RBC16% lower
Canada Life25% lower
Desjardins32% lower
BMO Insurance42% lower
Industrial Alliance51% lower
Sun Life71% higher
Humania84% higher
Ivari96% higher
Assumption Life1014% higher
TD Insurance11 18% higher