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Empire Life Reviews

Empire Life Reviews! We’ve Got the Goods! Find Out if The Rumours Are True...

James Heidebrecht Ivari Reviews 2020

We give Empire Life 4 stars. As one of Canada's 6 largest insurers, Empire Life has a long history and a full range of products. This excellent carrier also has very affordable term insurance coverage. They've also made our 2020 list of top life insurance companies in Canada!

James Heidebrecht - Founder of Policy Architects

Are you scouring the internet for Empire Life Reviews to figure out if they’re the right life insurance company for YOU? 

If so, you need to read this article right now!

Sure, Empire Life is known as one of the best life insurance companies in Canada at affordable rates. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right choice for your personal circumstances.

One thing I want to make clear to all of our readers. All life insurance companies are NOT created equal. Each one approaches underwriting differently.

This means the information you get on the web is great in theory, but not necessarily in practice.

So let’s check out Empire Life right now to see if they MAY be the right choice to protect your loved ones. 

The key to making sure you find the sweet spot between being underinsured and overinsured is working with an expert who knows about your niche industry. An independent agent—one who represents multiple insurance agencies—is typically a good resource for a business owner to identify the best policy at a good rate.


How to Know if a Business Insurance Agent Is Actually Good, Nav.com

Empire Life Insurance Company 
So What's the Deal?

So let’s get back to business.

Empire Life is a name many Canadians are very familiar with.

This insurer has been in business for almost a century and has nearly 900 employees across the country. They currently manage assets of more than $17 billion.

Recently, the Insurance Canada Business Awards recognized Empire Life as 2019’s Life and Health Insurer of the year! This is the second year, straight and the third time in four years Empire has received this honour.

This honour acknowledges the work Empire Life has done to further their vision of becoming Canada’s most convenient insurance and investment company.

…AND this isn’t the first time Empire Life has received accolades. In 2013 & 2014, World Finance Magazine named Empire the Best Canadian Life Insurance Company.

With press like this, it’s hard not to get excited!

Established in 1923, the Empire Life Insurance Company, located in Kingston, Ontario, is one of the 10 biggest insurers in Canada with approximately: 

  • 450,000 individual customers
  • 7300+ group employer customers, and
  • over 160,000 group life and health plan members

WOW! Now That's Impressive

Sheesh! Empire Life is a force to be reckoned with! 

Their history includes a series of mergers and acquisitions that led up to the establishment of E-L Financial Corporation in 1969.

With additional acquisitions in 1987, the company adopted the name Empire Financial Group.

Rebranded as Empire Life in 2006, the corporation continues to grow.

Empire’s Head Office is located in Kingston, Ontario since 1936. As a privately owned corporation, Empire is controlled by three generations of the Jackman family since the mid-’50s and has a very small amount of publicly traded stock. 

Not beholden to shareholders, Empire Life takes a more long-term perspective concentrating on the business at hand and sustainable growth.

So far so good!

Where can I sign on?   

Hold on buster not so fast! Just because they've won some awards doesn't mean they're the company for you. It's always important to do ALL your research before you sign on the dotted line. 

Empire Life Financial Rating 

Ok, guys, it’s really important to scope out the financial rating of any company you’re considering signing on with. 


Because this is a very big part of your due diligence process.

The financial stability of the institution you select is important because at some point you want them to be able to make good if your family needs a payout.

This is a long-term investment which means you should pick an insurer with a very solid foundation.

….and these ratings are certainly sweet! A.M. Best gives them an A rating and DBRS echoes that sentiment with another A rating.  

The good news is if you sign on with Empire Life, rest assured your premiums are safe with them.

Empire Life Insurance Financial Rating

Note: I have some good news for you. While you never want to deal with an insurance company that goes belly up, there are safeguards in place to make sure your family isn’t out of luck. 

Alrighty then, there you have it! Empire Life is the company for me...

Nope! We're not done. There's a lot more to consider my friend. We aren't even half way through this Empire Life Review. 


Empire Life Insurance Reviews Online

Ok! Before I get started on this section, I want you to know one thing. People LOVE to complain when things go wrong AND when things go smoothly they rarely talk about it. 

It’s just part of human nature. This has become more apparent to me as I work my way through this series of reviews. Most of the large companies have a bunch of complaints. 

So what’s my advice when it comes to using them as a barometer for choosing life insurance?

Keep it in perspective. Remember people who are contacting life insurance companies are doing so during stressful circumstances. Don’t forget that little detail. 

Also, companies life Empire Life carry different kinds of insurance. Make sure the review is in keeping with the product you’re interested in. If there are red flags take note of them. 

…but for me, it’s all about balance. 

Insureye Independent Life Insurance Reviews 

Empire Life Reviews

Ruh, roh! Looks like the reviews aren’t good,1.5 stars out of 5 ain’t great. 

…but sadly this is common when it comes to life insurance reviews. Let’s take a closer look at the Insureye comments to see what’s happening here.

The comments are pretty diverse.

Some Empire Life customers are upset about their long-term disability coverage, others are unhappy about their benefits, while still others are dissatisfied with customer service. 

The common thread here is there isn’t one particular issue. Also, you may want to note, the complaints aren’t about life insurance. 

The Google Reviews: A Different Story Altogether!

So this is why you have to investigate things a little further.

Empire Life Insurance has some very nice Google reviews. In fact, their score is 4.2 out of 5. 

Let’s find out what customers are saying about them in this venue.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of information.

Stars were given but no one really talks about specifics so I have no way of ascertaining what products people are reviewing. Also, there are only 5 Google reviews, this doesn’t give us much data to scrutinize.

I think it’s safe to assume they have some satisfied customers, but we will never know why! 

Empire Life Insurance Google Reviews

Empire Life Reviews: What Do Their Employees Think?

Empire Insurance has a lot of mid to long term employees which makes me think their turnover may be at the lower end of the scale.

Others say this is more a result of their head office being located in a smaller city (Kingston) where the competition for good jobs is higher.

Recently, Empire Life Insurance Company was named as one of Canada’s top employers by Forbes.

Along with being rated 3.4 stars out of 5 on Glassdoor.ca and 3.7 stars on Indeed.ca, it’s safe to say employees like working at Empire Life!

Oh my, you're right! Reviews switch gears fast. I see what you mean about customer opinions. 

All of this and we haven't even gotten into their products!

Empire Life Insurance Products 

If you are perusing Empire Life Reviews their products will be of great interest.

Empire Insurance is a large company with an extensive offering. 

There are a lot of products to go through so fasten your seatbelt!

I’m of two minds when it comes to this. Part of me is impressed by their extensive offering but the other part of me worries when carriers don’t specialize.

That being said, in Empire Life’s case, their expertise (and revenue) is evenly diversified across their three product lines: investments, employee benefits, and life insurance.

Let’s take a peek under the hood!

Empire Permanent Life Insurance  

Permanent life insurance provides coverage until the day you die.

This is one of the biggest selling points of this type of life insurance along with the cash value component.

I won’t give you all my thoughts about permanent coverage right now, but I’ll say that it’s not always right for most people. 

Don’t get me wrong, small final expense policies are not what I’m talking about.

There are very specific circumstances where it works like a charm. Clients who consider permanent insurance typically use it to as coverage for large estates, business and trusts. 

Let’s check out Empire Life’s offering right now:

Empire Permanent Non-Participating Whole Life Insurance  

Empire Life Insurance Company

Solution 100 

Empire Life’s Solution 100 is a permanent non-participating whole life insurance policy that covers you for life (payable to 100 years of age).

Features include: 

  • Fully guaranteed rates and coverage 
  • Guaranteed cash surrender values available after 4 years
  • You are free to add CI Protect (critical illness) or other Solution plans as a rider to save fees

Empire Permanent Participating Whole Life Insurance  

Empire Whole Life insurance is designed for estate protection and wealth accumulation.

With the potential for dividends, policyholders have the opportunity to share in Empire Life’s participating profits.

There are two types of Empire whole life policies; Estatemax and Optimax Wealth. Both of these coverages are known as cash value life insurance and may earn annual dividends which can be:

  • paid to you
  • used to purchase additional life insurance coverage
  • placed in savings
  • used to pay policy premiums 

Both plans have 4 guaranteed payment options: 8- Pay, 10-Pay, 20- Pay and Pay- 100 (life pay).

Empire Estatemax

  • Fully guaranteed rates and coverage 
  • Guaranteed cash surrender values available after 4 years
  • You are free to add CI Protect (critical illness) or other Solution plans as a rider to save fees

Empire Optimax Wealth

  • Fully guaranteed rates and coverage 
  • Guaranteed cash surrender values available after 4 years
  • You are free to add CI Protect (critical illness) or other Solution plans as a rider to save fees

Combines the benefits of life insurance coverage with the opportunity for savings. This policy is designed for individuals looking to grow their money in the short term through guaranteed cash value and the accumulation of annual policy dividends.

As such the monthly costs are higher than Empire Life’s Estatemax.

Empire Life Term Insurance  

Please take note if you are looking through Empire Life Reviews.

Term life insurance is the product that I recommend most. It’s pure insurance which means it covers you for a period of time when you’re most vulnerable.

You pay premiums for a designated period of time: 10, 20, 30 years, etc. If you die during that term the insurance company pays out cash, tax-free, to your family. Also, your monthly costs are guaranteed to stay the same for the duration of the term no matter what.

Unlike permanent insurance, Term has no investment component.

It’s used primarily to replace the loss of income from a breadwinner’s untimely death. For 90% of people, this is the most important issue: making sure their family continues to get an income should they die prematurely.

All Empire Life term insurance offers:

  1.  Level & guaranteed premiums for the length of term
  2. Renewable premiums beyond the original term, guaranteed for life
Empire Life Insurance 10 year term

Solution 10 

Empire Life’s Solution 10 offers guaranteed monthly costs for 10 years after which the premium increases for another ten years and so on. The final premium increase occurs after age 75. 

Features include: 

  • Shorter-term coverage to protect you from mortgages, debts & final expenses 
  • You can add Solution 10 to one of their other Solution Series products or CI Products to create a comprehensive insurance package and save on fees 
  • Convert your Solution 10 to Solution 20 or Solution 30 coverage within the first 5 years of your policy under Empire Life’s Term Exchange Program
Empire Life Insurance 20 year term

Solution 20 

With Empire Life’s Solution 20 your rates increase every 20 years and the last premium increase occurs after age 65.

Features include: 

  • Longer-term protection from loss of income or debt 
  • This product can be converted to a permanent product if you still need coverage
  • Add to another Solution Series product or CI products to create a comprehensive insurance package and save on fees 
Empire Life Insurance Term Insurance

Solution 30

Empire’s Solution 30 offers guaranteed level premiums for 30 years.

You’re eligible to apply up to age 55. You can renew the coverage for life after 30 years with premium increases yearly until age 85, after that, the premiums remain the same to age 100

Features include: 

  • Conversion to a permanent policy if you still need coverage 
  • Ideal for people who need temporary insurance 
  • Add another Solution Series product or an Empire Life critical illness rider to create a comprehensive insurance package and save on fees


Empire Life Insurance Solution Art

Solution ART

Empire Life’s Solution ART offers guaranteed premium rates with no increases for the first three years.

Your premiums increase every year thereafter, with the last premium increase occurring on the premium renewal at age 85.

Features include:

  • Conversion to a permanent policy if you still need coverage 
  • Ideal for people who need temporary insurance to cover a loan, etc.
  • Add another Solution Series product or an Empire Life critical illness rider to create a comprehensive insurance package and save on fees
  • Convert your Solution ART to Solution 20 or Solution 30 coverage within the first 5 years of your policy under Empire Life’s Term Exchange Program


Empire Guaranteed Life Product (No Medical Life Insurance)

Guaranteed Issue Permanent Life Insurance Protection

Empire Life recently entered the Simplified-Issue market by introducing their Guaranteed Life Product in November of 2018.

What is no medical life insurance? This is protection for people with insurability issues, who don’t want to answer health questions and may be looking to cover debts and final expenses.

Similar to other products on the market like Canada Protection Plan’s Guaranteed Acceptance Life, Empire’s guaranteed life product comes with a 2-year waiting period.

How does it work? if you die within the first 2 years of the policy, Empire will NOT pay out the death benefit. They will, however, pay back all the premiums you paid to date – minus interest.

If you make it past the 2-year mark, you’re good to go.

They also pay the death benefit out within 2 years if you die as the result of an accident. 

The best part? Most other Guaranteed life insurance products in the Canadian market cap out at $25,000. Empire Life’s Guaranteed Life Product provides coverage up to $50,000 if you’re between the age of 40 and 50.

Other Features Include: 

  • Premiums paid to age 95 (many other carriers have premiums paid to 100)
  • Guaranteed cash surrender values starting in the 5th policy year
  • Rates never increase no matter what
  • Reduced paid-up values available beginning in the 8th policy year
  • Minimum application age requirement is 40 years
  • Check out my post about No Medical Life Insurance here.

    Empire Life Critical Illness Insurance

    Empire Life Critical Illness insurance is designed to pay you a tax-free, one-time, lump sum when you develop a critical illness as defined by your policy.

    It was invented by a South African doctor who noticed his patients’ outcomes were affected by financial stress when they had to stop working to focus on fighting their illnesses.

    Statistics tell us that the majority of people survive a serious illness, but their finances often don’t.

    Critical illness coverage is ideal and most affordable for someone who’s healthy and wants to safeguard their family’s lifestyle against the threat of a serious illness.

    Empire Life Insurance OptiMax

    Empire Life CI Protect 

    Empire Life CI Protect Critical Illness Insurance is a renewable product that covers 4 conditions:

    • life-threatening Cancer
    • Coronary artery bypass surgery
    • Heart Attack
    • Stroke

    This type of protection is designed with level monthly costs in 10-year increments. At the end of each 10-year term, the coverage renews automatically and the monthly cost increases. 

    For example, a healthy, 37-year-old female non-smoker pays $29 per month for $75,000 of Empire Life CI Protect.

    In ten years when she’s 47 and the policy renews, the monthly premium is $49.39 and so on up to age 75.

    Between ages 67 and 75, the monthly is $193.57.

    This is ideal for someone looking at affordable critical illness coverage in the short term and guaranteed insurability long term. The maximum coverage amount is limited to $75,000.

    Empire Insurance Critical Illness

    Empire Life CI Protect Plus

    Empire Life CI Protect Plus Critical Illness Insurance is more comprehensive coverage. It protects you for 25 insured conditions and is available in 10 year term, 20 year term and term to age 75.

    Opting for Term 75 means your monthly costs are guaranteed to remain the same up to age 75 after which, the policy terminates.

    What if you don’t develop a critical illness? Is there a way to get your money back?

    Yes, you can elect to pay a slightly higher monthly cost and if no claim is made, you get a portion of your premiums back within prescribed limits. This is known as a Return Of Premium (ROP) option. 

    Empire Life CI Protect Plus Non-Life Threatening Illness Feature is a lump sum benefit of 15% of your coverage amount paid to you if you develop one of 6 non-life threatening conditions as defined in your contract.

    The best part? This benefit does NOT reduce your base coverage amount. 

    Empire Life Investments

    So you think we’re done? Think again! Empire Insurance Reviews aren’t complete without the investment section.

    Empire Insurance is a big company with an extensive offering. 

    If you’re looking for a life insurance company that also specializes in wealth management, Empire Life is an insurer to keep an eye on.

    They offer investment options through their subsidiary, Empire Life Investments Inc.

    When it comes to investment products, many insurance companies dabble.

    Not Empire, they have been in this space for a long time. In fact, Empire Life has been managing some Segregated Funds for 50 years. The strength of their investment management team is directly related to this legacy of expertise.

    Let’s check out their full offering…

    Empire Life Investment Products

    The Empire Life Insurance Company Retirement

    Class Plus 3.0

    Are you looking for guaranteed retirement income for life? 

    Empire Life’s Class Plus 3.0 may be for you. It’s a flexible segregated fund product that helps you grow and protect your money in preparation for retirement. Some people refer to this type of product as a Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB).

    Features include:

    • Receiving income as early as age 55
    • 4% annual income base bonus
    • Automatic annual income resets
    • Insurance benefit guarantees with 75% death benefit and maturity benefit guarantees
    • Death benefit guarantee and income base are automatically reset every 3 years to lock-in any market gains
    • Flexibility to discontinue and then resume income payments
    • Available in non-registered, RRSP, TFSA and RRIF contracts
    Empire Insurance Guarantee

    Guaranteed Investment Funds

    Empire’s Guaranteed investment funds allow you to participate in the growth of the market with the security of insurance guarantees.

    Features include:

    • Death and maturity benefit guarantees ranging from 75% to 100%
    • Automatic annual death benefit guarantee resets (lock in market gains)
    • Insurance benefits and tax advantages of guaranteed investment funds
    • A wide range of investment options from fixed income to equity funds
    Empire Life GIF

    Emblem GIF Portfolios

    Empire’s Emblem GIF portfolios are one of the investment options associated with their GIF segregated fund product.

    Invested primarily in a strategic mix of equity and fixed income securities, each Empire Life Emblem GIF Portfolio is designed to increase returns and lower volatility.

    Choose the one that is right for you based on your risk tolerance and financial goals.

    These are ideal for consumers who want to participate in the markets but want some downside protection.

    GIFs also provide maturity and death benefit guarantees as well as potential creditor protection. This can be helpful if you’re a small business owner or doing estate planning.

    Empire Life GIC

    Guaranteed Interest Contract (GIC)

    For the conservative part of your investment mix, Empire’s GIC’s offer security and predictable guaranteed interest growth.

    Features include:

    • Fully guaranteed principal
    • Compound, simple and daily interest options
    • Variety of term options – 30, 90, 180 days, 1 to 10-year terms or 3 and 5-year laddered terms
    • Enhanced interest rates based on your total policy value
    • Valuable estate planning benefits and tax advantages
    • Potential creditor protection
    Empire Life Insurance Canada


    An annuity is when you make a one-time deposit with a lump sum and then receive guaranteed, set income payments for life or a defined term.

    The amount of income you receive depends on a number of factors including the amount you cash you deposit, interest rates, age and the type of annuity you choose.

    Empire Life’s annuities include these features:

    • Choice of an immediate annuity for life or for a specific term
    • Guaranteed income for you, your spouse and your loved ones
    • Guaranteed income for a specific term
    • Accessibility and flexibility
    Empire Life Financial

    RRSPs, RRSP Loans, RRIFs & TSFAs

    Contributing to an RRSP or TSFA is a great way to save for retirement and build wealth. Empire’s suite of registered investment products will help you do this.

    Remember, your taxable income is reduced by every dollar you add to your RRSP.

    This money can be invested and the growth is tax-sheltered.

    On the other hand, cash you put in your TSFA is allowed to grow tax-free but doesn’t reduce your taxable income. 

    Which one to choose? Talk to a financial advisor.

    The Empire Life Insurance Company Funds

    Mutual Funds

    Empire Life Investments Inc. offers mutual funds. 

    They are managed conservatively with an emphasis on downside protection. Empire Life Investments Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Empire Life Insurance Company. 

    Empire Insurance Company

    Option Plus Group RSP

    Empire Life Option Plus Group RSP provides flexible retirement savings plans for the employees of small businesses.

    If you have at least 2 employees with total annual plan contributions of at least $10,000.00.

    Key features of this plan are:

    • No set-up or annual administration fees
    • Contributions are optional by both employers and plan members, but must be at least $30 per contributor for regular monthly deposits and $500 for lump-sum deposits
    • Total annual plan contributions must be at least $10,000 
    • A simple choice of no-load segregated funds 
    • Empire Life’s interest investments include a Treasury Interest Option (TIO) with daily interest rates and Guaranteed Interest Options (GIOs) with terms from one to 10 years and flexible half-year terms 
    • All Empire Life individual policies are protected through maturity and death benefit guarantees 

    The Option Plus Segregated Fund benefit guarantees are as follows:

    • Upon death: 100% of net deposits made up to the plan anniversary nearest age 65 and 75% of net deposits made after the plan anniversary nearest age 65
    • Upon maturity: 75% of net deposits

    Bonus features of Option Plus Group RSP: 

    • Enhanced GIO rates: Automatic interest rate enhancement of 0.125% or 0.250% above regular GIO rates
    • En­hanced Empire Life Annuity rates: Any Option Plus Group RSP deposits that have been in the plan for at least two full years, qualify for en­hanced Empire Life Annuity rates

    Empire Life Benefits 

    I am sure there are plenty of Empire Life Reviews online. But do they tell you about their Group Benefits?

    One of the perks of employment is group benefits – that is if you can find an employer that offers them. 

    Once upon a time, it was commonplace to spend your entire career with one company and enjoy the “gold standard” –  a comprehensive Employee Benefits Plan.

    Perks included everything from life insurance, health insurance to dental and vision insurance.

    Those days are mostly gone. The new reality is an ever-changing job market where we have to adapt or risk becoming redundant.

    Workers entering the labour market today can expect to work for many different employers over the span of their career and/or join the growing ranks of the self-employed.

    Either way you slice it, a comprehensive group benefits package is worth its weight in gold. Even if you already have insurance, your group benefits may fill in any holes.

    1. Portability is an Issue When It Come to Group Benefits 

    There is one issue of note, however, your employer owns the insurance contracts. So if you bid them adieu you are no longer covered.

    Portability is always an issue with Group Benefits. On the other hand, if you are an employer, offering group benefits make you stand out from the crowd. Hey, it’s simply one of the best recruitment tools out there.

    Empire Life has done an excellent job of filling this space, offering small companies and employers flexible, customizable group benefits packages that fit their unique circumstances.

    Let’s see what they have to offer!

    2. Best Doctors

    When you or a loved one gets sick – you want the best doctor you can find.

    Empire Life offers access to world-leading experts for a second opinion.

    You can pick from a network of over 50,000 physicians from over 450 specialties and subspecialties in the Best Doctors global database. Now that’s service. 

    3. BeneFit

    Have your cake and eat it too! If you’re an employer you know that offering terrific benefits can be a great recruitment tool.

    Empire Life serves small to mid-sized businesses through this program.  If you’re an employer with:

    • 2 – 19 employees 
    • Looking for a flexible and affordable option 

    Then this may be just what you’re looking for! Custom create an Empire Life Benefits plan that fits your business model and budget.

    Key features include:

    • Good selection of affordable benefit products
    • Simple, hassle-free application process 
    • Fast set up 
    • Uncomplicated renewal process 
    • Dental ASO (can save employers money & time through a self-insuring dental plan) 
    • Customer support 

    4. 20Plus

    Empire Life knows that companies vary in size.  If you have 20 or more employees, 20Plus may be the solution for you! This is another customizable group solution that is flexible and budget-friendly.

    Key features include:

    • Customizable options 
    • Affordable products to choose from 
    • Easy application process 
    • Quick set up 
    • Customer service 
    • Cost Plus Benefit is automatically included 
    • You can have an Administrative Services Plan Only (ASO) to self insurance portions of health and dental benefits 

    5. Administrative Services Only (ASO)

    If you’re an employer with 20 or more employees you have the option to select Administrative Services Only (ASO). 

    Empire Life gives you as an employer the opportunity to spend less on employee benefits by assuming some of the risks through self insuring benefits. You may also use stop-loss protection to limit your exposure to the risk you take on. 

    You can choose the benefits that you would like this option to be paired with: 

    • Extended health & dental benefits except for emergency travel assistance 
    • Drugs only 
    • Incidental health expense claims 


    6. Cost Plus

    Unforeseen medical costs are a real problem when there is an emergency situation. If you have savings all is well and good – if not it can throw you for a loop. This program is for just that sort of situation.

    The Empire Life Benefits cost-plus plan is for small to mid-size businesses that want to cover unforeseen medical costs for their employees.

    7. Critical Illness Insurance

    Critical Illness is something we should all prepare for. With technology, the chances of you surviving a serious medical issue are very good…

    …but what if your life is impacted for a period of time?

    The Empire Life Group CI portfolio of products provides flexibility, so you can customize the type and level of protection you want.

    Features include:

    • 31 health conditions with Empire Life’s Traditional and Enhanced CI
    • 4 conditions covered by Vital Assist CI offers solid protection against the conditions that result in 90% of CI claims
    • Coverage for groups with as few as three people
    • Maximum face amounts up to $250,000 (and as much as $500,000 when combined with employee paid Optional CI)
    • Partial, multiple, and cancer recurrence benefits, available with Enhanced CI provide extra protection for all employees or selected classes

    8. Dental Benefits

    Dental benefits are a wonderful thing to offer as an incentive for future employees. If you’re a small to mid-size business you decide how much money to put into the following options:

    • basic dental care
    • periodontic/endodontic
    • major restorative and orthodontic services, etc.

    Empire life offers flexible coverage options so you can design a cost-effective plan for your business. There is also a dental flex option, allows recipients to choose how they spend their dental benefit. 

    9. Disability Benefits

    Disability benefits should be part and parcel of your insurance planning. 

    If you’re unable to work due to an injury or illness paying your bills can become an issue. Empire Life has long and short term disability insurance to cover those unforeseen circumstances.

    Employers that offer this type of protection can take serious stress off an employee during challenging times. It may even help them return to work in a better state.

    10. Drug Benefit

    Empire life offers comprehensive drug benefits. They refer to it as 5 + 5. Here are the 10 features they mention: 

    1. An expert pharmacy benefits manager 
    2. Specialty drug program 
    3. Well balanced prior authorization 
    4. Managed ingredient costs and dispensing fees 
    5. Foundational features 
    6. Mandatory generic substitution 
    7. Maintenance drug program 
    8. Coinsurance, copay, deductibles & maximums 
    9. Drug only pooling  
    10. Additional managed options 

    11. eClaims

    Empire Life is moving with the times. Their e-filing system allows employees to make claims online from any place.

    Not only is this system convenient but it’s speedy. Typically claims are resolved within 24 hours.

    Employees can also make informed choices about procedures by checking to see how much they will be reimbursed for a procedure before they schedule it.

    The system is fast, easy and secure and will be a great addition to your group benefits experience. 

    12. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

    Empire life’s AssistNow Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides assistance to employees and company leaders alike.

    This service provides the following key benefits:

    • 24-hour response centre 
    • Choice of in-person or telephone counselling
    • Single point of contact for services and information 
    • Work-life and wellness web portal providing reliable health information 
    • Management consultation to help resolve challenging employer-employee issues
    • Crisis/trauma/critical incident service providing expert emergency response in case of a workplace traumatic event

    13. Expatriate Benefits

    Empire Life provides expat benefits for businesses with employees on assignment outside of Canada.

    The plan is called International Business Travel Medical (IBTM). This insurance provides the following coverage for the employee and their dependents:

    • Complete coverage for employees on assignment for more than 6 months including life, disability, medical and dental
    • Emergency medical care
    • Urgent care
    • Coverage in every country 
    • Emergency Evacuation 
    • Emergency legal assistance to help with lost or stolen documents or luggage 
    • Assistance 24/7 

    This plan is administered by MetLife.

    14. Extended Health Benefits

    This coverage is designed to fill in the gaps left by provincial healthcare plans.  If you’re a small to medium-size employer this may be the option for you. It’s flexible in nature and can be created to be budget-friendly.

    15. Health Care Essentials

    Often benefits packages cover acupuncture, therapeutic massage, dental work or vision needs. If you aren’t sure how much you can cover this may be the solution for you.

    Empire Life offers Health Care Essentials which allows you to provide essential coverage such as:

    • Drugs
    • Private duty nursing
    • Emergency travel assistance
    • Survivor benefits 

    You can also choose whether or not to provide major medical benefits such as:

    • Semi-private hospital coverage
    • Paramedical services
    • Vision care
    • Medical supplies

    The goal is to make sure that your employees’ essential healthcare needs are covered.

    16. Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)

    Creating a benefits plan that suits all of your employees can be difficult. Empire Life recognizes this and created the HCSA to address this issue.

    If you own a business you allocate a spending cap to employees and they can decide how to use the credits issued. This self-insured benefit is tax-deductible, which means it’s more cost-effective. 

    As a business owner this plan is appealing for the following reasons:

    • You know what your maximum costs are
    • The benefits are flexible and can be structured to fit your circumstances 

    If you work for a company that offers these benefits the key features are:

    • You can choose how to spend your credit 
    • Coverage is easy to understand 
    • Non-taxable for employees (except in Quebec)

    17. Incidental Health Expense

    As we all know, stuff happens! T

    here are no guarantees in life and each and every one of us has a different experience. Empire Life created the Incidental Health Expense option to cover expenses that fall outside the core plan. 

    Key features include:

    • Employees can cost-share this benefit with Employers
    • Flexibility: the freedom to choose the services valued by the Employee 
    • Allows Employers to manage overall costs 
    • The benefit can be insured 
    • Premiums are tax deductible as a business expense

    18. Life/ AD&D

    Empire life provides a plan called Group Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) which provides coverage for unforeseen accidents that result in the loss of a limb/s or death. 

    The good news is if you have Benefit, BeneFitPlus or 20Plus this is included in your core benefits. It’s also offered as an option and available in units of $25,000

    Key features of this plan include:

    • Flexible cost-effective plans 
    • Competitive coverage levels 
    • For groups with 4 or more, coverage is guaranteed up to predetermined limits with no medical evidence required 
    • Dependent life coverage can be added with no medical evidence
    • Excellent customer service to handle claims 

    19. Travel Emergency Assistance Program

    If you like to travel then you know how important travel insurance is.

    We go to the states twice per year and you never know. I was very lucky to have coverage this year when I got a sinus infection, otherwise, we would have had to pay through the nose to see a doctor and get medicine. T

    his was a simple matter – but not everything is! 

    Empire life’s plan is delivered by Allianz Global Assistance and covers your employees for up to 120 continuous days.

    Key features include:

    • Medical assistance, to help locate an appropriate provider or facility
    • Medical transportation, to arrange transport to the nearest appropriate facility or to Canada for treatment 
    • Family benefits, to arrange for the safe return home of unattended dependants in the event an employee is hospitalized. Family benefits also pay for a family member to visit an employee who is hospitalized while away from home
    • Financial benefits to cover unexpected costs (hospital fees, and the return of a vehicle to point of departure or to the rental agency) 

    Wow! Now that's a serious offering. Empire life Benefits have a lot of very comprehensive offerings. I have to say I am quite impressed by this.

    I told you this was the most detailed of the Empire Life Insurance Review available on the internet.  

    Who needs to read the rest of this review? What more could I want? Solid financials...lots of choice and a great rating... 


    Oh no, we are still not done. I told you this is the king of Empire Life Reviews. Remember what I said - not all life insurance companies are created equally.

    Let's check out their application process. 

    Empire Life Application Process

    One of the areas that really interests me is how an insurance company handles its application process. Transparency is really important.

    Which means I want to find out as much information as possible from a company without having to contact them before I want to.

    So far, Empire Life offers a lot of information about their products online. There are clear descriptions and their website is sleek and easy to navigate. 

    When you get to the point where you’ve done some research and you want to find out more information including the cost, etc. this is what you encounter:

    Provide Your Contact Information

    Search For and Find an advisor 

    Meet with advisor in person or on phone 

    Fill out an application 

    Don't get me wrong it's a sophisticated and easy to use system...BUT 

    What if you’d like to be able to dig up more information without handing out your personal details. 

    Why does it work this way?

    Empire Life doesn’t have captive brokers, which is good. They distribute their products through a nationwide network of more than 29,000 independent agents, brokers, and advisors.

    In order to get hooked up with one of these brokers, they have to ask you for information beforehand including a form that requires your first, last name, phone number, email, postal code and signed consent.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a general idea of rates before you have to give away your personal deets?

    To be frank, this is why it’s preferable to contact Policy Architects directly because you can call us to chat.

    We don’t require you to send us any personal data to give you pertinent information. In fact, you can run your own free quotes using our life insurance quoter here.

    So how do I find out more information about the cost of Empire Life Insurance because this is a big issue for me... 

    That's an awesome question and one of the reasons we like to investigate the insurance rates of all the carriers we review! 

    Empire Life Insurance Rates

    This table above illustrates why it's a good idea to get long term life insurance in place when you're younger. You can see how expensive it can get if you wait to get coverage!

    Policy Architects
    35 Year Old Male$35.55$63.00
    35 Year Old Female$26.55$46.80
    40 Year Old Male$52.65$99.00
    40 Year Old Female$37.80$68.40
    45 Year Old Male$83.70$160.20
    45 Year Old Female$57.60$108.90
    50 Year Old Male$142.20$277.20
    50 Year Old Female$93.60$178.20
    55 Year Old Male$259.20$511.20
    55 Year Old Female$173.70$336.60
    60 Year Old Male$469.80$932.40
    60 Year Old Female$320.85$619.20
    65 Year Old Male$732.15$1,458.00
    65 Year Old Female$498.60$990.90

    *Quotes above are for Empire Life’s Solution 20, monthly, Standard Health Class, non-smoker. Your rates may differ depending on your unique circumstances, June 2020.

    Empire Life 20 Year Term Insurance $500K: Male Smoker Age 56

    Let’s use a client who is looking for $500,000 in coverage.

    This 56-year-old male is in pretty good shape, although he is a smoker. He recently got remarried and purchased a home with a hefty mortgage so he needs to protect his wife in case she loses his income.

    Empire Life offers good rates at $650.25 per month. Yeah sure it’s steep BUT to be fair, his chances of dying early rise dramatically because he’s a smoker.

    RBC 20 Year YourTerm  $500K: Male Smoker Age 56  

    Ok so now let’s look at another life insurance company. RBC offers that same gentleman the same coverage and term for $773.73

    Wow! Now that’s a lot more money.

    Over the course of his term, he spends a staggering $29,628 more! This is a VERY good example of just how much you can save by selecting the right life insurance company for you.

    The thing is all of this depends on the rate you receive. 


    RBC 20 Year YourTerm $500K: Male Non-Smoker Age 56  

    We all know smoking is bad for you!

    The underwriters know this better than anyone and they penalize you for it. Rates go up exponentially for smokers.

    So if this same client came to my office as a non-smoker the rates would be MUCH lower. And Empire is still in the driver’s seat with cheaper premiums. 

    Empire Life rates: $262.80 per month VS

    RBC rates: $267.35 per month 


    There are two lessons here.

    1. RBC is not the company to go to if you happen to be a smoker, and

    2. Don’t smoke! It costs you a lot of cash 

    If our client purchases an Empire Life Policy as a smoker vs a non-smoker, this is how much more he will spend over his 20 year term: 


    If that's not incentive to quit smoking, I'm not sure what is.

    Remember, underwriters base their figures on risk. So from their perspective you're a very big one at the age of 56 if you're a smoker. 

    Typically life insurance is MUCH more affordable - especially term. Here's a rate chart that will give you some insight into just how incredibly affordable coverage really is. 

    The quotes below are for Empire Life's Solution 20, monthly rate, standard health class & non-smoker:

    Empire Life Insurance Pros

    Easy To Do Business With 

    According to their web site, Empire's vision is to be Canada's most convenient insurance and investment company.

    Well, it looks like they're making some good progress in that direction. As 2019's Life and Health Insurer of the Year (The Insurance Business Canada Awards), word on the street is that Empire Life is an easy company to do business with for both advisors and customers.

    Why should you care if it's easier for your advisor to work with Empire Life Insurance? A smooth agent/ company process means a quicker more effective transaction for you.

    Anecdotally, I've heard other advisors say it's easy to get a hold of someone over the phone at Empire Life when you have an issue - Calls do get returned!

    Excellent E-Application & User Experience

    Empire Insurance's Fast and Full Life Application Process is one of the best in the Canadian marketplace.

    There's a provision that makes it simple for you to share your agent's computer screen when you're doing a non-face-to-face application. The best part? It doesn't require you to download any software, you just have to open a link in your internet browser and you're good to go.

    As increasing numbers of us become comfortable with digitalization and using online tools to perform transactions, Empire Life shows up as a digital leader in the Canadian life insurance space.

    Why should you care? Depending on the circumstances, a life insurance application can take a long time to vet. Do you really want to wait 6 to 8 weeks to find out if your insurance has been approved?

    Empire Life's Fast and Full, like the name suggests, helps speed up the process. Now and then, wait times are unavoidable, especially when you have health conditions but all things considered equal, I'll take the fast route!

    Speaking of health conditions...check out my post on life insurance for high risk people here.

    Wide Selection of Products Including Group Benefits 

    Empire Insurance's offerings include life insurance, critical illness coverage, investment options and employee benefits plans.

     Sometimes too many products on the shelf can indicate a company is spread too thin. Not in this case.

    Empire Life is equally diversified across its three main product categories: Individual Insurance, Employee Benefits and Wealth Management.

    Each one of these lines makes up approximately 33% of Empire's revenue and premium income making the company strong and balanced.

    One of The Best Performing Whole Life Products in Canada

    Along with Equitable Life, Empire whole life insurance has performed well for policy holders long term. Empire Life's participating account has an average rate of return of 7.44% over the past 30 years and 5.99% over the last 10 years. Not bad! Also, Empire  is one of only carriers with the option to pay up the policy in 8 years, giving consumers an opportunity to optimize growth. 

    Solid Financials

    Speaking of strength, Empire Life Insurance is Rated 'A' by Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) and A.M. Best Company. This carrier is going to be around for a long time. 

    It feels good to know your investment in your family's future is safe!

    Higher Term Coverage Age (85)

    For term insurance, Empire Life covers you up to age 85. That means you're still eligible to apply for a term 30 policy with Empire when you're 55 years old.  

    Why is this important? More of us are living longer and starting families later in life (Heck, I became a father for the first time at age 47).  This means we may be carrying longer mortgages than our parent's generation.

    It's nice to know that you can get term coverage that will take you to age 85! With some carriers, when you're over 50, getting long term protection can be a challenge.

    Check out my article on term life insurance for senior citizens.


    When comparing cost with other carriers for term, whole life or critical illness, Empire life consistently comes out in the top 5 for affordability.

    Remember, price isn't the only metric by which to measure an insurer. However,  if you can save $10 per month on your life insurance,  that can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of your policy. 

    Empire Life Insurance Cons

    A Huge Selection of Products

    This is only a partial Con because there's no question - Empire Life has a very impressive range of products and they're well diversified. The question is, is it possible to do a good job servicing them all? 

    No Universal Life Product

    This is a partial Con too as Empire Life does have very solid Permanent products, including Estatemax & Optimax Wealth participating whole life.

    However, if you're looking for the flexibility of a Universal Life product, you'll have to look elsewhere. They phased out their Universal Life insurance a few years ago. 

    Poor Customer Online Access To Accounts

    I know, I'm splitting hairs on this one but Empire has so many "Pros", I had to come up with something else. 

    ...for a company that is truly a digital leader in the Canadian life insurance market, they've got to improve their customers' online access.

    Is Empire Life The Right Company For YOU!?

    We have the most comprehesive review out of the Empire Life Reviews because we take time to go through all the factors that make companies good. 

    …and to be completely honest here….Empire Life Insurance is one of my favorite companies at the moment. They truly are a terrific option for people who are looking to provide protection for their families. And Empire’s term insurance is always among the most affordable in the country. 

    First and foremost they are an insurer built on a solid financial foundation…

    ….and they have a terrific selection of products delivered with a competitive pricetag. 

    Empire Life is a forward thinking company that will expand into the future and I feel confident when I recommend them to my clients. 

    That being said, they are not for everyone. For example, if you have well-managed diabetes, I can think of other carriers that may view you more leniently.

    James Heidebrecht Empire Life Reviews

    All Life Insurance Companies Are NOT the Same! 

    As I’ve repeated ad nauseam, every life insurance carrier is unique and Empire is no different. 

    The challenge is to find the company that will view you in the most favourable light. 

    If you have no health issues whatsoever, then I recommend shopping mostly on price and when it comes to Empire Insurance, they have that in spades. 

    The thing is a $10.00 savings on your premiums may not seem like a lot of money but if you are looking for coverage for 30 years it builds up. 

    In the end, you are looking at $3600.00. I bet you can think of better ways to spend that hard-earned cash. So you can see why I stress the importance of finding the right insurance carrier for YOU.

    We work with the best life insurance companies in Canada. If you’re looking for an Empire Life Insurance quote, click the button below or schedule a no-obligation call here.

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