Canada Purple Shield AKA Assurant Life of Canada
The Right Funeral Insurance For You?
Disclaimer: Policy Architects is not affiliated with Assurant Life of Canada. We quote final expense plans from traditional life insurance companies who are competitors. This short, detailed and fact-filled article is intended to provide you with information to help guide your purchasing decision. You’ll see us use Canada Purple Shield and Assurant interchangeably as they are the same entity.
Checking out Assurant Life of Canada reviews online? Well then we have some great info for you…
…and if you didn’t already know Assurant is directly connected to Canada Purple Shield. So hopefully this will clear up any confusion that may ensue.
If you’re a senior who’s made plans for a pre-paid funeral through a Canadian funeral home, there’s a good chance the payment contract you signed has “Assurant Life of Canada” written in the top right-hand corner. This means that Assurant is administering the funds on behalf of the funeral home, as funeral homes are prohibited by law from doing that themselves.
As the largest funeral insurance provider in the country, Assurant Life of Canada is also one of the top 15 life insurance companies in terms of their volume of policy sales.
If that’s the case, why have so many consumers never heard of them…
…and are they the RIGHT funeral insurance company for you?
Who Am I & Why Do I Care?
Before we discuss Assurant Life Insurance of Canada further, I want to let you know that I’m an independent life insurance agent serving the family market. I started PolicyArchitects.com as a way to provide Canadians with the most comprehensive information on life insurance companies and their products.
For most Canadians, life insurance is not a matter of great urgency. But it is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make to secure your family’s future. Which means you can’t afford to get it wrong.
I invite you to use my site as a resource to assist you in making the most informed buying decision for you and your loved ones. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m always here to answer any questions you may have.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that every life insurance company in Canada is unique. Assurant Life of Canada is no different. They may be right for you, then again they may not. This review will provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision.
Funeral Insurance Canada = Big Business
End-of-life or funeral pre-planning is a hot topic. As seniors in Canada become a larger segment of our population, the demand for services geared towards them continues to increase dramatically. Statistically, every single day, one thousand Canadians reach the age of 65. Wow, now that’s a lot of birthday cake!
“In 2016, the number of seniors… in the total population surpassed the number of children…for the first time in Canada’s history. According to all scenarios, this situation would continue” Stats Canada, Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068)
You can see how final expense planning is becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors in the insurance industry today. This means increased competition between carriers to get a bigger piece of this ever-increasing pie.
Assurant Life of Canada has held a place at this table for a long time. In fact, one could argue that they in fact built that very table. They’ve been entrenched in the funeral funding business for decades and with increased competition, it will be interesting to see if they can hold on to their market share.
If you want to know more about final expenses or funeral insurance? Check out my post here.
A Few Words About Canada Purple Shield - Assurant Life Of Canada
So lets find out more about Assurant Insurance - which is also linked to Purple Shield Canada.
GREAT! I didn't realize they were one in the same thing
Assurant Life of Canada is the single largest provider of preneed life insurance plans in Canada that fund final expense or funeral costs.
This long-standing insurer began as the Pierce Brothers Family Mortuaries in 1902. As a family-owned business, they pioneered funeral pre-planning in Canada as we know it. They saw firsthand the grief and financial strain their clients experienced, so they innovated a better and more affordable way for people to plan burials.
Their new approach involved purchasing a life insurance company and offering consumers portable funeral insurance policies that paid out tax-free benefits in cash.
Over many decades this company evolved into Assurant Life of Canada and now has assets of almost $2 billion. Assurant Canada’s parent company, Assurant Inc., offers similar pre-need services in the US through American Memorial Life Insurance. They also have substantial holdings internationally in other risk management market sectors. Assurant distributes it’s final expense plans through 3,000 funeral homes in Canada and the U.S.
In Canada, Assurant Insurance operates through two brand names, Canada Purple Shield and Assurant Preneed. Canada Purple Shield is associated with Assurant’s final expense business and primarily in Atlantic Canada and Western Canada. Nobody uses the name Purple Shield in Ontario or Quebec to market these plans. Both brands’ funeral plans are underwritten by Assurant. For example, if you go to the domain, purpleshield.ca, it takes you to Assurant’s home page, Assurantlife.ca.
Assurant Life of Canada Financial Ratings
With assets approaching $2 billion and $1.9 million final expense plans sold to date, Assurant Life of Canada has very solid financials. They are rated A- (Excellent) by AM Best and their parent company Assurant inc., rated ‘A’, has assets in excess of $30 billion.
Assurant’s US burial insurance marketer, American Memorial Life, has also received a financial strength rating (FSR) of A form AM Best. It’s safe to say that if you purchase a funeral insurance plan through Assurant or Purple Shield Canada, your loved ones will safely receive their payout.
Assurant/ Canada Purple Shield - What Do Customers Think?
Having scoured the web, it appears Assurant solutions or Canada Purple Shield have no google reviews to speak of. In fact, it’s hard to find any positive or negative reviews anywhere. But of course, if you look hard enough, you can always find some negative complaints.
Did you know, only 15 out 1000 people will leave an online review of a product or service they have used? Is it a good idea to base your entire buying decision on what 1.5% of people think? Not to mention, how do you know they even used the product or service?
For example a son who thought his mother had paid more for a plan than her estate received said: “Don’t get ripped off by Canada Purple Shield (Assurant Life of Canada).” This is not necessarily the fault of Assurant as they have a distribution system with thousands of advisors and licenced funeral pre-planners across Canada. Is it fair to paint Assurant in a negative light because one of their distributors used questionable marketing tactics?
…and frankly we don’t even know all the details of the plan and monies received.
My honest is opinion is that you should take some time to read reviews but balance them with the other information you find out when doing your homework.
What Is The Elephas Group?
Some of these independent vendors selling final expense plans underwritten by Assurant, include My Final Wishes, Funeral Protection Plus, and the Elephas Group. In particular, there are quite a few negative reviews directed towards one Ontario vendor, in particular, the Elephas Group. Some consumers have voiced concerns regarding their marketing tactics which appear to include brown, craft envelope mailouts that imitate government documents.
“Their unaddressed envelopes are designed to fool you into thinking you are receiving official correspondence from the government – seniors beware! “ Google Review
Other complaints directed towards the Elephas group allege writing policies that are insufficient to cover the actual cost of a funeral. According to sources, Assurant Life of Canada has received several complaints through the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regarding these practices but I don’t know if the situation has been resolved.
It’s the advisor or agent’s responsibility to make sure their clients understand the product they’ve purchased. Sadly, many consumers appear to have plans they don’t understand, can’t afford or that have substandard guarantees.
Hmm... I read some of those Elephas Group reviews and it seems like people feel they've been scammed!
With a distribution network of over 3000 advisors and funeral firms, should Assurant be held accountable for every agent or vendor who uses misleading methods ? Not in my opinion.
Assurant Life of Canada (Purple Shield Canada) Products
What is Final Expense Insurance?
Assurant Life of Canada’s entire product range is focused solely on funeral pre-planning solutions.
There is a lot of confusion among seniors when it comes to these types of products. Advisors and funeral providers alike use all kinds of different language when marketing these plans: funeral insurance, burial insurance, cremation insurance, final expense insurance, end-of-life insurance, etc.
I don’t know if it’s intentional but it sure creates a lot of confusion in the minds of consumers. So, let’s set the record straight. What is the difference between these terms?
There is NO difference, these products are all the same!
Final Expense Insurance = Burial Insurance = Cremation Insurance = Preneed Life Insurance = Funeral Insurance
All these terms are interchangeable. All funeral insurance – regardless of the name used – is life insurance. Specifically, it’s permanent life insurance used to cover funeral costs. The majority of the time, it’s a small whole life policy for $5000 – $25,000.
Ideally, all final expense plans should have the following guarantees:
- Monthly cost or premium NEVER increases over the life of policy
- Death benefit NEVER decreases
- Death benefit paid out 100% tax-free to your family or loved ones. They use proceeds to pay funeral provider. Any money leftover stays with them.
- No physical or medical exams required as part of the application
- The policy cannot expire at any age. As long as you’re paying your premiums, the policy can never cancel due to any change in your age or health
NOTE – There are carriers like Specialty Life who sell final expense insurance with graded premiums. This means the monthly cost or premium increases over the life of the policy. These plans are to be avoided at all cost.
They may seem inexpensive to consumers at first but once the rates start increasing, they become unaffordable. There is no reason to purchase a graded plan when there are affordable alternatives with rates guaranteed to NEVER increase. Call PolicyArchitects today to find out.
Assurant Pre-need Funeral Insurance
An Assurant funeral insurance policy is designed for consumers who want to have everything planned and pre-paid for in advance. Whether it’s a burial or cremation, type of casket or urn, you decide on the specific products and services you want. Every last detail is planned out so your loved ones aren’t burdened with the cost or worry of having to make any last-minute decisions.
Their burial insurance plan involves signing a detailed Funeral Goods & Services contract with your funeral provider. The Assurant preneed life insurance policy is then used to fund the contract and will lock in the cost of the services you’ve purchased, protecting you from inflation.
If you go to the Funeral Home and do a prearrangement for say, $8,467.99, that will be the amount of the burial policy. There are potential riders over and above that (Executor Protection, Final Document Service, etc) but the original policy is matched up to the Funeral Goods & Services contract you sign.
In most Provinces, funeral homes are required by law to guarantee the price of those Goods & Services when a prearrangement is made and funded through insurance or trust. That means your licenced funeral provider will provide those same services for $8,467.99 whether you pass away today or 20 years from now.
This is the primary reason for doing an Assurant Preneed life insurance policy: peace of mind and having funeral service arrangements made and funded.
NOTE* It’s a good idea to confirm the exact services that are included in the package. Sometimes, Funeral homes cannot guarantee all the costs, especially those arranged with third-party vendors.
With an Assurant pre-need funeral insurance plan, you’ll have the option of paying the entire amount upfront or over a period of 3,5,10 or 20 years. Like most seniors who decide to go with a payment plan, you have to sign a funeral goods & services contract with a funeral home. This document designates the funeral home providing the services, the owner of the policy (likely you) and Assurant Life of Canada policy that will be used to fund the contract.
In funeral insurance lingo this is called a Fixed Premium Insurance Accumulation (FPIA). If you’re healthy, the Assurant funeral insurance policy will cover you from day one for the entire cost of the funeral.
For example, a 70-year-old paying for an $8000 burial plan over 15 years, pays approximately $96 per month. If this senior passes away after making payments for only 3 years, Assurant pays out the full $8000 death benefit.
And yes, you did your math correctly…that’s $17,280 paid over 15 years for $8000 of funeral services. More about the cost later.
Preferred Or Guaranteed Issue
If you have any health issues, your life insurance burial policy may come with a 2-year waiting period. This means it is a Guaranteed Issue plan. A Preferred plan has no waiting period.
How does a guaranteed issue waiting period work? If you die within the first 2 years of starting the plan, Assurant will NOT pay out the death benefit. Your family or loved ones will be responsible for any balance owing on your funeral plan. When death occurs after 2 years, you’re covered for the full amount of all the funeral services you purchased.
In case you were wondering, this is standard practice for most funeral insurance carriers. It’s their way of providing insurance to someone with moderate to serious health issues while mitigating risk. That means you qualify for one of these plans even if you are terminally ill.
Compared to other traditional life insurance companies, Assurant’s risk assessments are more conservative. Click here to find out more information about guaranteed and simplified issue life insurance.
Assurant Final Expense Insurance
Assurant final expense insurance policies are for consumers who want to communicate their final wishes but leave the specific details up to their loved ones. These plans are more flexible as they pay out a tax-free benefit directly to your beneficiaries who then use the funds to pay the funeral provider.
An Assurant Life of Canada Final Expense plan does NOT require you sign a Funeral Goods & Services contract with a funeral home when you purchase the policy. Based on the end-of-life plan you create with your advisor, the policy is issued prior to any contract. It’s important to know that when the final expense policy is written through an Assurant Distribution Partner, it is more easily “assigned” to a funeral home to cover the goods and services in accordance with your family’s wishes.
As such, Assurant final expense insurance does not lock in the cost or services of any cremation or burial. That’s why it’s important to anticipate what the costs will be 10 or 20 years from now so you have the right amount of coverage.
For example, an $8000 burial today will cost $11,887 20 years from now, based on an annual inflation rate of 2%.
Similar to Assurant preneed funeral insurance, you can pay the entire amount upfront or over a period of 3,5,10 or 20 years. Likewise, depending on your health, the policy is issued Preferred or Guaranteed.
Funeral Home Partners vs Final Expense Agents
Rumour has it, many Assurant Funeral Home Partners strongly dislike Assurant Final Expense Agents because they feel these insurance agents mislead Seniors and misrepresent themselves as representatives of the funeral home. These agents will often carry price lists of various funeral homes in the areas where they are working.
The issue really comes to a head when the insured passes away. The family believes they have a prearranged funeral, only to discover that they actually have a final expense policy that does NOT cover the funeral arrangements. Since funeral directors hate giving bad news, they blame the insurance agent/company and the family is left holding the bag.
That’s why it’s really important to “kick the tires” on any purchase of a final expense or preneed plan. You have to make absolutely sure that you understand the goods and services you are buying. If your funeral home partner or insurance agent appears to be evasive when it comes to the details of your plan, go to someone else.
Assurant Executor Protection
Assurant Life of Canada Executor Protection Plans are designed to help the family member or close friend you’ve designated as your executor.
It’s no secret that being the executor of an estate comes with emotional, financial and administrative burdens. The assurant executor protection plan helps to alleviate these issues by providing timely financial support to help your executor administer your estate with minimal stress.
Assurant Travel Protection
Assurant life of Canada travel protection pays for the prompt return of your remains if you pass away more than 100km away from home.
This is an ideal plan for seniors who travel extensively or snowbirds who spend half the year living in another country.
Assurant travel protection includes:
- All paperwork including consular documents if death is outside of country
- Preparation and transportation of your remains at a funeral provider near the place of death before final transportation home
- Transportation home of one travelling companion
- Transportation of one family member to place of death to accompany deceased home
NOTE* This is a standalone product. You don't have to purchase an Assurant preneed funeral plan to be eligible for their travel protection. At a cost of $595.00, I think this is a bargain!
Assurant Final Documents Service and Identity Theft Restoration
Final Documents Service
Assurant Life of Canada prepares all necessary documents:
- Assessment of Government applications, pensions, memberships, etc. to determine what paperwork is required
- All paperwork, including consular documentation if the insured dies outside of Country
- A customized guide to help your family member or executor through the entire process
- Ongoing assistance for your family or executor for 365 days following your death
Identity Theft Restoration
Protects you and your estate from the theft of personal documents such as passport, drivers licence or other government issued identification after death. Assurant life of Canada takes the following steps to make sure your credit is not compromised:
- Investigate any suspicious or fraudulent accounts on your credit profile and communicate with law enforcement and government agencies as required
- Issue fraud alerts and restore credit accuracy with national credit bureaus
- Notify the Passport Office, any financial institutions, utilities, revenue Canada and Provincial health plans as needed
- Provide ongoing support to family or executor until the situation is resolved
Canada Purple Shield - Assurant Life of Canada Application Process
Purple Shield and Assurant products are distributed in Canada through a network of approximately 3000 advisors. The majority of agents who sell these funeral insurance plans to consumers are exclusive brokers. This means Assurant/ Canada Purple Shield is the ONLY program they sell.
This is good news if you’re planning on buying a plan through your local funeral home. However, if you want to do some comparison shopping, this may make it difficult. Also, partners who sell Assurant preneed life insurance are required by law to be licenced funeral pre planners and/or licenced funeral directors.
If you want to apply, visit their website, assurantlife.ca and go to the Contact Us page. There’s an online form you can fill out to get in touch with a representative in your area.
You don’t have to undergo a medical exam but the application process does involve answering some basic health questions.
Health Questions on The Application
If you answer “yes” to any of the following 5 questions, you are considered higher risk and your policy will be guaranteed issue with a 2-year waiting period. But take note, answering “no” to all of the questions qualifies you for preferred issue and your coverage goes into force immediately:
- Are you currently confined to a hospital or nursing home, or have you ever been diagnosed as having a terminal illness, Alzheimer’s or HIV?
- During the past 5 years, have you ever been treated for, or been diagnosed as having:
- Disease of disorder of the heart, circulatory or vascular systems, stroke or any cancer?
- Disease or disorder of the lungs, liver or kidney; alcoholism or drug abuse?
- Brain disorder or tumour, seizure, paralysis, psychosis, lupus or MS?
- Blood disease or disorder, or both high blood pressure and diabetes together?
NOTE: there are no questions regarding gender or smoking status.
Whether you choose to go with Assurant preneed life insurance, final expense insurance or executor protection, payment options are similar:
- Depending on your age at the time of issue, you can pay over a 3,5,10,15 or 20 year period. You can also pay the whole amount up front if that works for you.
- There are no blood tests required to apply
- Full benefit is paid out regardless of how many payments you’ve made at the time of your death.
- Depending on your health, the policy may be issued preferred or Guaranteed (2-year waiting period).
Canada Purple Shield (Assurant Life of Canada) Rates
Generally speaking, Assurant Life of Canada’s rates are higher than other final expense companies in Canada. Their competitors include Canada Protection Plan (CPP), BMO, Specialty Life Insurance (SLi), Industrial Alliance (iA), Wawanesa Life, American Income Life, Knights of Columbus, Orange Benefit Fund, etc.
First off, it’s impossible to find Canada Purple Shield or Assurant rates online. Does that mean they’re trying to hide something? Not really…it’s hard to find accurate rates online with any carrier. One of the reasons is that every consumer is unique in terms of their age, gender and health.
At some point though, to get an accurate idea of the cost, you’re going to need to speak with a human being. In my first attempt to get an accurate quote, the 3rd party agent I spoke with told me he would only provide me with this information in person, not over the phone. He also told me that final expense insurance was not life insurance….”life insurance is for the living”, he said, “funeral insurance is for the dead”.
If that’s the case, it’s no wonder consumers are confused and suspicious – there’s a lot of misinformation out there they have to sort through.
When I called Assurant directly, the gentleman I spoke with was professional and was very happy to provide me with the detailed information I was looking for.
To compare apples to apples, we’re going to look at the difference between an Assurant Final Expense Policy and a no-medical whole life insurance policy from one of their competitors, Canada Protection Plan.
Both insurance plans are designed to pay out a tax-free benefit to your loved ones directly.
For the purposes of this illustration, we’re going to look at rates for a 65-year-old, male, non-smoker in average health. Let’s call him David.
Keep in mind, average means someone who is more or less healthy but may still have mild health issues. Things like well-managed diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are good examples.
We’re also comparing plans paid up in 20 years (20 Pay) vs plans you pay for life (100 Pay).
Assurant Life of Canada vs Canada Protection Plan - 20 Pay
65 Year Old Male, Non Smoker, Standard Rating, Final Expense (Whole Life)
Assurant Life Of Canada, $10,000
$83.48 per month/
$20,035 Total Cost
Canada Protection Plan, $10,000
$57.90 per month
$13,896 Total Cost
So as you can see, Canada Protection Plan is much less expensive - approximately 30%LESS!
Over 20 Years, the Canada Protection Plan insurance will save David a whopping $6,139!
How much coverage could I get from Canada Protection Plan for the same amount of money?
Now that's a great question!
Canada Protection Plan, $14,875
Or 50% More Protection for the same dough!
$83.48 per month
$20,035 Total Cost
Assurant Life of Canada vs Canada Protection Plan - 100 Pay
65 Year Old Male, Non Smoker, Standard Rating, Final Expense (Whole Life)
For the purposes of the next example, we’re also going to compare the cost of finale expense policies. These are typically called 100-pay plans. You pay premiums until you pass away or reach the age of 100. At age 100, the insurance is paid up. I know it sounds strange but that’s the way they are designed.
Let’s assume David lives a long, healthy life and dies, surrounded by his family, at the age of 90.
Assurant Life Of Canada, $10,000
$63.00 per month for first 20 years + $45.00 per month for remaining 5 years (age 90)
$17,820 Total Cost
(If he lives to 90 years of age)
Canada Protection Plan, $10,000
$46.67 per month for 25 years (age 90)
$14,001 Total Cost
(If he lives to 90 years of age)
For David, Canada Protection Plan is approximately 25% LESS ($16.33 per month) for the first 20 Years. After which the rates are almost the same with CPP costing 4% more monthly.
Note: if David dies at age 90, CPP insurance will save his family, $3,919.00!
It’s clear either way, he will save between 25% to 30% by choosing CPP over Purple Shield Canada. Alternatively, for the same amount of money, he will get 30-50% more insurance with CPP, depending on whether he chooses a 20-pay or 100-pay plan.
Remember, final expense plans are NOT savings plans. These are permanent life insurance policies. You’re covered for the entire $10,000 benefit from day one, no matter how many payments you’ve made at the time of your death.
Both of the plans have similar guarantees behind them:
- Death benefit is guaranteed to NEVER decrease
- Benefit is paid out 100% tax-free to your loved ones
- No physical or medical exams required to apply.
- Policy cannot expire at any age. As long as your making the payments, coverage can never be cancelled due to any change in age or health
NOTE* These 2 products are not identical. Assurant preneed life insurance and Assurant final expense accumulate interest growth from day one. How much? My understanding is that each plan is different. Some plans pay 1.25%, others 1.5%. It will differ from funeral home to funeral home.
Canada Purple Shield - Assurant Life Of Canada PROS
Assurant Life of Canada: A One-Stop Solution
Assurant has a deep history with majority of funeral firms across North America. As such, they underwrite almost all of the preneed funeral insurance plans sold through funeral homes in Canada.
This relationship makes it possible for you to plan and pre-fund every specific detail of your funeral. Afterall, shouldn’t a burial be a reflection of the life that is being celebrated? What type of casket or urn would you like? Will there be flowers? Are you going to have a visitation, service or both? Maybe you just want a basic cremation with no fuss.
Either way, it’s entirely up to you. Once you’ve decided exactly what you want, sign the contract and arrange payment, the entire burden of planning and paying for your funeral is removed from your loved ones.
When that day comes – and it comes for all of us – the funeral provider takes care of everything knowing that payment from Assurant is guaranteed.
Planning a funeral is challenging at the best of times but made even more difficult when complicated emotions are involved. Assurant Life of Canada’s one-stop solution takes the pressure off your family so they can put 100% of their focus on grieving.
Assurant Life of Canada Has a Long History and is Financially Solid
Assurant (Purple Shield) is Canada’s largest provider of insurance-funded end-of-life planning solutions.
Their history goes back to 1925 – which means it’s VERY solid. How many companies can say that?
Assurant Life of Canada is also A-rated by AM best and has assets of approximately $2 billion.
This should make any consumer feel that their investment is secure.
Claims Paid Out Fast!
Once all the required documents are received, Assurant Life of Canada usually pays out your family’s funeral insurance claim within 24 hours.
In my eyes this is a huge advantage. Instead of your beneficiary waiting by the mailbox for a few weeks, for the cheque to come in, Assurant forwards the money directly to the funeral home on the same day.
Knowing the funeral home will be paid quickly, brings enormous peace of mind. Your loved ones will not be burdened with having to cover any funeral costs immediately following your death.
Other life insurance burial policies often take several weeks to pay out. This is a big reason consumers choose Canada Purple Shield (Assurant). They like the idea of the funeral home getting paid immediately, instead of waiting for the claim to be processed, like a traditional insurance company.
Offers Low Coverage Amounts
Assurant Life of Canada (Purple Shield Canada) will issue funeral insurance policies with a face amounts as low as $400. With most other carriers, the minimum face amount is between $5,000 and $10,000.
Assurant Insurance is a Niche Provider
Assurant Life of Canada specializes in one thing – preneed funeral insurance – and they do it really well!
They are connected to literally hundreds of funeral homes across Canada and offer this product to consumers directly, through their in-house pre-need counsellors.
Canada Purple Shield - Assurant Life Of Canada CONS
Assurant's Funeral Insurance is Expensive
Anyway you slice it, compared to traditional life insurance companies, Assurant’s funeral insurance is expensive.
If money is no issue and you want the certainty and peace of mind of a one-stop solution, Assurant’s preneed funeral insurance planning is the way to go. There’s no question, Assurant Life of Canada is an excellent carrier providing top notch service.
Also it’s fair to say, contrasting this type of plan with a typical whole life policy from another carrier, is kind of like comparing apples to oranges.
Having said that, if you are looking at a final expense coverage which pays out directly to your family, not the funeral home, it’s worthwhile to compare quotes from different carriers (See my cost comparison in the “rates” section above).
For the same cost of an Assurant plan, you may be able to leave your loved ones up to 40% more money if you go with a traditional life insurance company like Canada Protection Plan.
Assurant Penalizes Women, Non-Smokers and Healthy Seniors
This is what it’s so important to do you homework. The following are potential pitfalls for Assurant (Canada Purple Shield) clients:
- Women pay as much as men
- If you’re a non-smoker, you pay the same rate as a smoker
- If you have NO health issues, Assurant charges you the same premium as someone who had a triple bypass surgery 6 months ago
There are advantages to being a woman in life. One of them is cheaper insurance rates compared to men. Statistically, women live longer than men and as such, they should expect to pay 30% less for their life insurance than men do.
Likewise, non-smokers typically expect to pay 40% less than smokers do and healthy seniors expect to pay less for their final expense insurance than someone who has a serious health issue.
To their credit, Assurant Life of Canada does not discriminate against any of these groups, they treat them all equally.
Why do they do this?
My guess is Assurant/ Purple Shield Canada wants to keep their business model simple. They want to make sure that every consumer who walks into a funeral home qualifies for one of their plans. It’s smart, and good for consumers too. If you’re someone with a serious health issue thinking about your end-of-life plans, it’s good to know you qualify for a final expense program.
How does Assurant achieve this?
They throw all their insurance applicants into the same high-risk pool. The only thing that determines your rate is your age when you start a policy. If you’re a 70 year old female, non-smoker with no serious health issues, your monthly premium will be the same as a 70 year old, male, who’s been recently diagnosed with Alzheimers’. The only difference is, his plan will come with a 2-year waiting period. Otherwise, the cost and guarantees are the same.
Lack of Flexibilty
There’s not a lot of flexibility with Assurant Life of Canada pre-need plans.
If your needs change over time, being locked into a funeral home contract makes it difficult to change your plan. And because the insurance payout goes directly to the funeral provider, your family won’t have the option of using the money for other bills.
The vast majority of funeral providers across Canada are legitimate, hard-working business people who are committed to providing their clients with the highest level of service. That being said, it’s not unheard of for funeral homes to go out of business, use misleading sales tactics or misappropriate consumers’ cash.
“funeral home was defrauded of approximately $120,000 after pre-paid funeral contracts with customers were not deposited into a trust account” Greg Davis, Global News
Assurant Uses Mostly Exclusive Agents
Chances are, if you’re speaking with an agent selling Assurant insurance, it’s the ONLY product they offer. Does that mean they’re not providing excellent service to you or other clients? Absolutely not, it just means they can’t quote or talk about any other solutions. This is something as a consumer you should be aware of. It’s a good to ask any agent you’re working with whether they sell other companies’ products.
Hey, there are valid reasons for having tied agents. For example, in order to sell any pre-need funeral product involving a contract with a funeral provider, you must to be a licenced funeral director or pre planner. With Assurant’s final expense insurance, requiring no contract, this is not the case.
Assurant Life of Canada - The Best Company For You?
Assurant Life of Canada (Canada Purple Shield) is an excellent carrier with a long history of providing Canadians with preneed funeral planning solutions. In fact, they’re the largest provider of funeral insurance in the country and do a great job of helping consumers navigate this space.
Rest assured, If you have a funeral insurance plan or final expense policy with Assurant, it will pay out to your funeral home or family guaranteed.
But the question is, are they best solution for you?
If money is no issue and you’re looking for a terrific “set it and forget it” funeral solution, Assurant is your best bet, hands down.
They’re also ideal for seniors in their late 70’s with serious health issues who won’t qualify for an affordable plan with traditional life insurance companies. These seniors are already in the higher-risk pool and it is often the better option for them to go directly to a funeral provider and start a Purple Shield plan underwritten by Assurant.
But Money is an Issue For Most of Us
If, however, you’re a healthy senior, on a fixed income, looking for the best bang for you buck, Assurant may not be your top option. It’s always a good idea to visit a funeral home to get your detailed wishes on file. But you don’t have to sign a contract and start a pre need insurance plan.
Shopping other final expense companies may save you up to 30% on your premiums. Not to mention, these plans are more flexible by nature:
- When you die, the death benefit is paid out to your loved ones (beneficiaries) 100% tax-free. They use the proceeds to pay the funeral provider. Any money left over stays with your family or loved ones.
- It’s not unheard of, over a few decades, for funeral providers to change ownership or go out of business. Not to mention, what happens if you move somewhere else to be closer to your children? Because your loved ones are in control of the money, they have the flexibility to pivot to a different funeral home if need be.
This is why doing your homework is SO important. If you are looking for a more traditional life insurance option for your final expenses give a call. We can help you find the most affordable coverage with an amazing company.