There's Lots of Changes in Store for Canada Life Assurance Company in 2020!
If you’ve been looking for reviews about London Life Insurance or Great-West Life Insurance you probably already know GreatWest Lifeco amalgamated them into the Canada Life Assurance Company!
Whooo wee. This rebranding will be interesting.
The truth is I don’t sell Great-West or London Life products because they only work with tied agents, but I love to see what’s going on with companies throughout the industry to and perhaps this amalgamation will mean more access to better services and products for both advisors and consumers.
In case you’re wondering, captive agents (ones that are tied to a specific company) literally have their hands tied because they are unable to shop around for their client’s needs.
So let’s take a peek at Canada Life to see how they stack up to the competition.
Not all life insurance companies are created equal so it always makes sense to kick some tires before you whip out your checkbook to sign on the dotted line.
My Name is James and I'm an Independent Life Insurance Agent
So what does this mean EXACTLY? Well, it means I have access to rates from the best life insurance companies in Canada.
When you come to my office I don’t have any idea which life insurance company you are going to apply to because I need to get more information from you BEFORE we make this choice.
Not all life insurance companies are created equal! They all have different products and niches. For example, if you have well-controlled type 2 diabetes you will go with a different carrier than a person who is a triathlete with no family history of cancer.
While most examples are not that extreme it gives you an idea of what sort of work I do.
But that's not all!
When you come to see me I am not motivated solely by a commission. Although I do love a good sale 😉
The goal is to find the most comprehensive coverage for you at rock bottom prices because you’re a client for life and I hope to work with you for years to come.
My independence allows me to scour the market for the lowest prices because I am not tied to a life insurance company for my livelihood. Nor does any life insurance carrier have any stake in my business.
Tied agents can only sell the products their life insurance company has. They absolutely will not tell you if your interests are better served by another company.
Because that means they lose a sale.
Aw come on buddy I have heard all these sales tactics. Most of these companies offer the same stuff right?
NOPE! They don't. The products all differ and some companies are more lenient than others when it comes to weight and medical conditions. It's important to know these nuances as this info may save you 10's of thousands of dollars over your term.
…and I am absolutely NOT exaggerating this claim.
Using the right independent agent can literally be one of the best things you’ll ever do.
Life insurance is a BIG time purchase. Those savings over decades really build up. That’s why you need to work with someone who knows all the ins and out so you don’t pay a dollar more than you should.
The Canada Life Assurance Company Story
So lets find out a little bit more about Canada Life Assurance Company!
Sounds GREAT! I heard they are a good insurer!
Canada Life Assurance Company was founded by Hugh Cossart Baker, Sr. in 1847 and was Canada’s first domestic life insurance company. This company took off from day one and in fact turned a substantial profit in the first year.
Canada Life branched out internationally opening its first office in the UK in 1903 after doing business with the UK and Ireland for years.
This historic company has grown exponentially through acquisitions:
- 1994 they acquire the individual insurance operations of New York Life & Manulife Financial in the UK
- 1997 they aquire MetLife in the UK
- 1998 they aquire Crown Life Insurance Company of Canada
- 2003 Canada Life becomes part of Great-West Lifeco
- 2019 Great-West Life Co consolidated their 3 brands in Canada merging Great West Life Assurance Company, London Life and Canada Life
Starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the three companies — Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company and the Canada Life Assurance Company — will operate as the Canada Life Assurance Company.
Canada Life made the announcement Monday after the amalgamation received final approval from the Department of Finance.
“One company means a simpler way of working together, allowing us to focus even more on growth and innovation,” Paul Mahon, president and CEO of Canada Life, said in a statement. “We believe this is the right move at the right time, and we know our customers and policyholders will benefit under one single company.”
Canada Life Financial Rating
Wow Canada Life...sounds like a really interesting company!
They are and it looks like 2020 is going to be a very exciting time for them with the rebranding of Great-West Lifeco
Financial ratings companies give life insurers scores so you can make an educated decision.
Canada Life Assurance Company has some seriously good ratings from all the top services.
Check ’em out!
If you decide to buy a policy through Canada Life Assurance Company you can rest easy knowing your investment is in very capable hands.
Canada Life Online Reviews
Well if you have been reading my reviews you know I that I think people should tread carefully when relying on online comments when buying life insurance.
Because online reviews for life insurance don’t necessarily represent the companies accurately. First of all, a number of these insurers carry very diverse products. You need to ascertain if the complaints are about the one you are looking to buy.
Also, people who are making claims are under a lot of stress. If something goes south in their process they are unlikely to have a lot of patience. It just makes sense.
Sadly people are far more likely to sit down and make a complaint than they are to write a glowing review of a life insurance company. Simply because they expect seamless service and more often than not get it.
Canada Life Assurance Company Reviews: Google
One of the first places most people go for reviews is Google.
This is why I always start with them. When I search for London Life Insurance nothing comes up in Google. My guess is this has to do with the rebranding to Canada Life.
Let’s check it out!
….and BINGO! Canada Life Assurance Company’s reviews are available.
Wow! Now they have some of the best Google reviews I have seen. Sure it’s only 3 stars out of 5 but unbelievably this is far better than most.
Hmm I read some of those reviews and it seems like people don't seem to have a designated agent to help them along the way.
Another reason to work for an independent life insurance agent like myself. We want clients for life which means keeping on top of what's going on throughout the life of your policy.
Canada Life Products
Ahhhh one of the best parts of any review. The products!
Keeping on top of everything that is happening in the industry is VERY important. This means familiarizing myself with the latest products and underwriting changes.
So let’s take a look at what Canada Life Assurance Company has to offer right now.
Term life insurance is my “go-to”! It’s flexible and VERY affordable. If you are like most people want income replacement just in case a sudden death occurs then term life insurance is for you.
Typically you select a face value (the amount of money you want, a term (the length of time you need coverage) and then take a medical exam. The life insurance company you select then assigns you a rating depending on the findings that determine how much you pay. Don’t worry, approximately 80% of life insurance applicants are approved at standard rates or highter.
Canada Life provides term coverage in 10 and 20 year term periods. Like most carriers, they provide an option for you to convert your term coverage to permanent life insurance (Universal or Whole Life) up to the age of 70. You can do this without any additional underwriting or providing any medical evidence. This is a must have feature of any term policy and can protect you and your family in the event that you become uninsurable. Primerica is the only life insurance company in Canada that doe NOT offer this feature.
Canada LIfe Assurance also provides consumers with a generous term exchange option. If you purchase a 10 Year Term policy, you have the option to exchange or convert this coverage to 20 year term. This must be done after the first policy anniversary and before the 7th policy anniversary. This is a great option if you want to lock low rates and still have flexibility to increase the period of coverage if necessary.
Universal Life insurance is a permanent product, which means you are covered until the day you die.
For obvious reasons, this protection costs more than term because there is a guaranteed payout for your beneficiary. That being said, Universal Life Insurance is more flexible and affordable than some of its permanent cousins like Whole Life.
Permanent life insurance works the same as term in that you select a face value and take a medical exam to determine how much you pay. The main difference is the cash value accumulation feature or investment component.
Universal Life allows you to adjust your payments over time, leave a nest egg for loved ones or use the proceeds while you are still alive.
Canada Life Insurance offers a number of investment accounts to grow your money. Some are riskier than others but with risk also comes the opportunity for more rapid growth.
The website offers information about past performance for customers to peruse.
Participating or Whole Life Coverage
This is another permanent policy. If you are looking for coverage for life and a cash value accumulation feature this is the policy for you.
You pay premiums along with other Canada Life Policyholders and a portion is invested in their managed account. Investment decisions are made by Canada Life and earnings may be distributed as dividends.
Dividendend may be used to buy more coverage, make payments or taken as cash (subject to tax).
They provide PDFs for their account investment reports.
Canada Life provides 2 options:
- Canada LIfe Estate Acheiver, Max 20 or Pay to 100.
- Canada Life Wealth Acheiver, Max 20 or Pay to 100
Both these options give you the choice of paying for life or paying your policy up in 20 years. The also each have an investment feature that allows you to grow your money inside the policy tax-deferred or tax-free depending on when the cash take out. The Wealth Achiever allows you to accumulate the most cash value in your plan. As such, it’s monthly premiums are higher.
Disability Insurance (DI) or Long Term Disability (LTD) is the cause of a lot of confusion amonst consumers. Most people have no idea what their existing plan covers and only only find out it’s limitations after they are disabled. Along with term life insurance, disability insurance is one of the best ways to protect your income and lifestyle. It’s complicated. So its imperative that you do your due diligence when selecting the right plan for your needs and occupation.
Canada Life Assurance offers the following plans:
- The Lifestyle Protection Plan is a non-cancellable, guaranteed renewable disability plan ideal for professsionals, business owners or employees that provides a monthly benefit.
- The Indepence Plan is a conditionally renewable disability plan that provides a monthly benefit for total disability and up to 9 months of benefit for partial disability.
- The Overhead Expense Plan is a non-cancellable, guaranteed renewable disability plan for business owners. It provides a monthy benefit to reimburse you for specific business expenses during a period of disablity.
- The Buy/Sell Plan is a business disablity plan which allows policyholders to fund a buy/sell agreement.
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness insurance is a complicated product and many people who purchase a policy, especially through a bank, think they’re covered when maybe they’re not. To make a successful claim on a critical illness plan, your condition must meet a very specific narrow definition, as determined by the insurance company.
It’s very important to read the fine print in these policies as there are many exclusions and definitions you need to meet before you’ll see a dime. Read more about the ins and outs of critical illness insurance in my blog post here.
Bottom line? It’s imperative to speak with an experienced independent agent who knows the Critical Illness Insurance market inside and out! It’s worth your time and energy to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Canada Life Assurance offers the following Critical Illness plans:
- 10-Year term, renewable to age 75, convertable to age 65
- Level Term to age 75, Paid up at age 65
- Level Term to age 75, Pay to age 75
- Level Term to age 100 (permanent), Pay to age 100
- Level Term to age 100 (permanent), Paid up in 15 Years
- Child LifeAdvance is a term critical illness plan for children covering 24 conditions. Convertable at age 25 into a standalone policy
*All plans cover 25 critical illnesses
Canada Life Insurance has a massive product offering. For the purposes of this review, I’m focusing soley on their basic life insurance products.
Canada Life Assurance also offers:
- Health and Dental Insurance
- Creditor insurance
- Segregated Funds
- Registered Income Funds (RIF)
Wow, this company is massive, they sure have a lot of products!
That's true, the NEW Canada Life Assurance Company is HUGE. Sometimes bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to specializing or doing one thing really well. I guess Only time will tell.
There’s not much to say here. There aren’t any super cool tools, not calculators or estimates. Simply a call to action.
Connect with an advisor.
You hit the button and are brought to a page where you have to give the following info:
- First & last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Postal code
- Which product your interested in
- Are you a current customer
Then you send your request and you recieve a message that an advisor will be in touch in the next 2 – 3 business days.
NOPE! I Don't Like This Process
First of all, I don’t like this process one little bit.
I have to hand over all my personal information to get a call in 2 – 3 business days. How do I even know if I want to buy their products? There’s not estimate of cost and very little information.
Sigh. Not a fan.
Yeah I don't like that. I wonder if I will get endless calls once I send my info. How do their rates compare anyway?
The thing is you don't know. My whole approach to life insurance is to be forearmed with lots of information. Sales people are good and you want to get a good understanding of what's on offer BEFORE you get on a call.
Canada Life Rates
So I am going to do some investigation – which you can do too! Just remember online quotes are just a guestimate and just the start of the process.
NOTE: NEVER rely on Online Rates solely!
Looking around the web I am able to find Canada Life Assurance Rates on Term4Sale!
Let’s see how they stand up to the competition.
For the purposes of this section I am using male and female, non-smokers with a standard rating throughout the decades:
|35 Year Old Male||$24.08||$38.25|
|35 Year Old Female||$18.68||$29.25|
|40 Year Old Male||$31.50||$54.45|
|40 Year Old Female||$24.30||$41.85|
|45 Year Old Male||$50.85||$87.30|
|45 Year Old Female||$36.45||$63.45|
|50 Year Old Male||$81.00||$145.80|
|50 Year Old Female||$57.15||$100.80|
|55 Year Old Male||$140.85||$265.05|
|55 Year Old Female||$94.73||$175.95|
|60 Year Old Male||$260.65||$478.80|
|60 Year Old Female||$167.40||$321.30|
|65 Year Old Male||$472.50||$939.15|
|65 Year Old Female||$326.25||$643.05|
*Quotes above are for Canada Life Assurance Company 20 Year Term Renewable, Covertible, monthly, Standard Health Class, non-smoker. Your rates may differ depending on your unique circumstances. February 2020.
So it looks like their rates are pretty competitive but they never come up as the cheapest company. In fact, if you’re a man or a senior citizen you can do better.
Check out this example to get a better idea:
35 Year Old Male Non Smoker - Standard Rating 20 Year Term
Canada Life Assurance Company $500K
35 Year Old Male Non Smoker - Standard Rating 20 Year Term
So as you can see Wawanesa is less expensive – but not by a whole lot more.
BUT if you look at it over 20 years it’s $540.00.
The thing is rates are always pretty close in your 30’s if you are standard or better. What happens as you age? Check out the rates for a man in his 50’s!
60 Year Old Male Non Smoker - Standard Rating 20 Year Term
Canada Life Assurance Company $250K
60 Year Old Male Non Smoker - Standard Rating 20 Year Term
So if you’re an older male the difference is pretty big if you select Wawanesa. To be exact he saves $8,500!
But this isn’t all. Different companies specialize in different niches. This all hinges on your getting a standard rating.
Remember some companies are more lenient than others for specific conditions so if he goes up a rating with another carrier the savings are even more significant.
Canada Life Pros
Solid Company With a Great Rating and Long History
This company has been in business since 1847 – which means it’s VERY solid. Hey if you can get around World Wars and Depressions – my hat is off to you.
Also the financial rating companies like them too!
AM Best gives them an A+, DBRS an AA (Superior), Fitch AA, Moody’s Aa3 (Superior), Standard & Poors AA! You can’t go wrong with this company when it comes to security.
Relatively Competitive Rates
Canada Life has pretty competitive rates. You can’t really complain when it comes to how much they charge for premiums.
…although they are not the lowest in the bunch.
Pretty Good Google Reviews
For online life insurance reviews, Canada Life Assurance Company has some pretty good results.
Hey, they aren’t 4 or 5 stars but if you compare them to other companies they are glowing 🙂
Generous Term Exchange Period
Canada Life allows you to exchange or convert your term 10 coverage to a term 20 policy without underwriting or providing any medical evidence. You can exercise this option after the first policy year and before the 7th policy anniversary. Most other carriers with this feature have a shorter eligiblity window.
Well Rounded Suite of Products
Canada Life Assurance offers a great range of products including term, whole life, universal life, disability, critical illness insurance and Group Benefits. With the 2020 amalgamation of Great West, London Life, Canada Life and their holding companies into one entity, it may take as long as 24 months for the Group Benefits roll out to be complete.
Canada Life Assurance Company Cons
Limited Term Length - ONLY 10 & 20 Year
Twenty or thirty years ago, the longest term coverage anyone really needed was a 20 year term. Nowadays, we live/ work longer and we have families later. This means many of us carry debt obligations into our 60’s and 70’s when our parents or grandparents never did.
At the very least, a life insurance carrier should have a 25 or 30-year term product. Canada Life does NOT offer anything beyond a 20-year term. I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the coming months!
Amalgamation Could Produce Growing Pains
Last summer, Great West LifeCo Inc. announced that it was amalgamating it’s three Canadian Insurance companies and their holding companies under one name, the Canada Life Assurance Company. This move was approved by policyholders and the federal goverment in late 2019. Recently, Great West Lifeco Inc. also announced some changes to it’s management team which will no doubt impact the amalgamation.
It’s true, the transition to one brand will allow Great West Life, London Life and Canada Life to combine strengths. However, with any big change, consumers and existing policyholders can expect to experience some adjustments.
Call Policy Architects Today!
Wow! I now know a lot more about Great-West Lifeco amalgamation of London Life, Canada Life and Great-West Life Assurance into the NEW Canada Life Assurance Company. It looks like an exciting time for this interesting company.
While Canada Life is a very stable company with some solid life insurance products, I suggest giving us a call before you sign on the dotted line.
If you’ve been reading our posts you know how important it is to contact an independent life insurance agent BEFORE you choose any company.
This decision will potentially save you THOUSANDS over the course of your term. Give us a call today to see how we can help or simply click the link below to get a free quote.