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Equitable Life Insurance Reviews! Is Equitable Life of Canada the Best Company for YOU?

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Equitable Life Insurance

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews

Are you checking out Equitable Life Insurance Reviews? They’re an awesome company, so we did some serious digging to save you the time and hassle. You don’t need to look any further because we’ve got the most comprehensive Equitable Life of Canada review on the internet! 

Please remember, all life insurance companies are NOT created equal! So the real question is…are they the right insurer for your particular situation? 

Some companies are more lenient for specific medical conditions than others….and some should be avoided altogether.

Pssst. Equitable Life is one of my go to insurers (we gave them 5 stars) 

Equitable Life Insurance Company: Do They Have a Strong Foundation?

“Breaking News! Equitable Life is celebrating 100 Years Strong (1920-2020). Happy Birthday Equitable!”

Equitable Life of Canada has been around since 1920 which means they have weathered some serious storms. 

Depressions and World Wars be damned, they’re still ticking.

It means they know how to run a business through thick and thin. So, in my humble opinion, this bodes well for how Equitable Life treats your business.

Did You Know Equitable Life Insurance Canada is a Mutual Life Insurance Company?

Equitable Life Insurance Canada is the largest federally regulated mutual life insurance company in Canada.

Which means policyholders share in the success of the company. They’re eligible to participate in the profits from all lines of business including insurance, wealth management and Group Benefits.

This structure enables Equitable to focus on the long-term interests of its policyholders and the sustainable growth of the company.

Their dividends are also higher. In 2017 Equitable Life of Canada had record earnings of $106 million resulting in a return on policyholders’ equity of 16.8%. In 2018, the return on policyholders’ equity was 11.9% and it grew to 13.2% in 2019.

“This [2019] was another very strong year for us, and we are in an extremely good financial position as we enter our 100th year in business,” Ron Beettam, President & CEO

Equitable Life Is a Success Story

Between 2012 and 2019, Equitable Life’s earnings increased by 144%, from $44.7 million to $109 million. Currently, they have in excess of $5 billion of assets under management. Now that looks pretty good to me! 

When it’s all said and done, Equitable Life of Canada has a long and successful history!

That's awesome! I like that policyholders own the company!   

Me too, but let's take a quick peek to just to make sure their financial ratings are sound... 

Equitable Life Financial Rating 


Financial ratings are really important!

This is because you need to know how the life insurance company you invest in handles their own finances. At the end of the day, you want them to be there to honour a payout should the time come.

So this is where a little homework can really help you with your final decision. 

Luckily you don’t have to start from scratch because financial rating agencies that do the leg work for you. Always remember, you should be aware of this information BEFORE  you sign the dotted line.

Equitable Life of Canada has an excellent financial rating. As of 2020 DBRS Morningstar upgraded their Financial Strength Rating and Issuer Rating to an A. 

Equitable Life Of Canada Reviews Online

Speaking of Equitable Life Insurance Reviews, what’s the word on the street? Before I get started on this part of the review, I’ve got to warn you. Since I have been doing this series I came across more negative comments than I did positive.

There are two ways you can look at this.

  1. All life insurance companies are doing a poor job with a couple of rare exceptions, OR
  2. People who are making claims are stressed out and have less patience
Equitable Life of Canada google Reviews

Complaints Online Are Common!

For me, it’s somewhere in the middle. Let’s face it, people love to complain, it’s human nature.

You’re far more likely to gripe than to write a glowing review. Did you know only about 1.5% of people actually leave online reviews?

That being said, Equitable Life of Canada’s google reviews are pretty good: 3.8 stars out of 5 (34 reviews).

One thing you should be aware of when you look at this number. Most of the negative feedback seems to be about Equitable group benefits. 

Insureye Independent Life Insurance Reviews for Equitable Life  

Ouch! 1.6 stars out of 5. 

The complaints run the gamut from Health Insurance to Life Insurance.

There also seems to be an emphasis on poor customer service. However, at the end of the day, this I wouldn’t rely too heavily on reviews online.

Equitable Life Insureye Review

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews - What Do Employees Think?  

Equitable Life was named top employer of the year for 2019 by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

They received this honour in the Kitchener-Waterloo area 12 years in a row. Impressive, if that doesn’t tell you something about this company, I don’t know what else will!

Some of the employee perks that make Equitable Life Insurance Canada a great place to work are as follows:

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews Employee
  • They encourage healthy lifestyle that include onsite fitness classes and massage therapy.
  • Exceptional employee performance is rewarded in a variety of ways including trips to the Stratford Festival and generous gift cards.
  • Equitable Life Insurance’s health benefits plan includes a health spending account (HSA.) This lets employees to top-up coverage, ranging from $850 for single coverage to $1,500 for families.

Equitable Life is rated by employees 3.3 stars out of 5 on Glassdoor.ca and 4.3 out of 5 on Indeed.ca. Frankly, these are among the higher scoring reviews I’ve seen since I’ve been doing life insurance company reviews.

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”

Mary Kay

So what do I care if the employees at Equitable are happy? Insurance is insurance...the only thing that really matters is whether they pay out at claim. 

Remember there's a direct relationship between how workers are treated and how a company performs. It's well documented. Happy employees = happy customers = better service, experience, products, etc. 

Equitable Life Of Canada Reviews: Products 

When it comes to Equitable Life Insurance Reviews or ANY reviews it’s important to check out what they offer when it comes to products. 

To be honest, I really enjoy checking out all the products. As an insurance agent, it’s VERY important to keep abreast of the different offerings because every insurance company has a different spin.

Equitable Life of Canada has a nice range of products to meet all your needs. They offer Term life, Participating Whole Life, Universal Life and Critical Illness insurance.

Unlike some of the other companies I’ve reviewed, Equitable Life has a smaller range of products but I think that can be a good thing.

There’s something to be said for having a strong niche. It leaves less room for casting your energy in too many directions.

At the end of the day though, this preference is personal and you may not feel the same. So let’s dip into their offering now! 

Pssst…If you want a quick refresher, check out my Life Insurance 101 post here

Equitable Life Term Insurance  

Equitable Life Term Insurance

Term life insurance provides temporary coverage for a set period of time.

It’s the most affordable type of life insurance and the most appropriate for 90% of people. Premiums are guaranteed for a given period of time, usually, 10, 20 or 30 years, depending on the plan selected.

At the end of that period, most consumers terminate the policy. Canadian insurance companies do not design term insurance to renew. If you select that option, the renewal rates are astronomically high!

Most term plans can be switched to permanent protection to cover your long term needs or if you become uninsurable.

Term life insurance is the best solution hands down for replacing income if something happens to you.

Equitable Life Insurance Canada has the following Offerings:

  1. 10 Year Term: Renews every 10 years until age 85
  2. 20 Year Term: Renews every 20 years until age 85
  3. Term 30/65: Premiums are payable to the later of 30 years or age 65. For example, If you’re 40 years old and you get an Equitable life term 30/65, you pay level premiums to age 70 (30 years).

Equitable’s term coverage comes with the standard riders: Disability waiver of premium, Additional accidental death and child protection rider.

You can also bundle this policy with EquiLiving Critical Illness insurance rider to provide more comprehensive protection.

**** Equitable Permanent Participating Whole Life Insurance ****

Whole life is probably the best-known type of permanent life insurance.

It is also known as cash value life insurance because in addition to the insurance component, it has an investment feature.

This feature allows you to build up a cash in your policy that can be used for extra retirement income, estate tax protection or wealth accumulation. 

Equitable Life’s participating whole life insurance offers:

  • guaranteed monthly costs
  • cash value
  • death benefits.

Policyholders also participate in company profits which are annually credited to their policy as a dividend payment.

It should be noted that Equitable Life of Canada has the best participating whole life policy on the market today! 

Equitable Life Equimax Estate Builder

Equimax Estate Builder

This policy may earn annual dividends, which can be:

  • paid to you
  • used to purchase additional life insurance coverage including Enhanced Protection
  • used to pay policy premiums 

Equimax Wealth Accumulator

Equitable Life’s Equimax Wealth Accumulator has all the same features of Equimax Estate Builder.

How is it different then?

It is designed for individuals looking to grow their money in the shorter term (ie. 20 years) through cash value and the accumulation of annual policy dividends. As such, monthly premiums for this product are higher.

Looking For An Equitable Whole Life Insurance Quote?

Equitable Universal Life Insurance  

Similar to whole life, universal life is a cash value product with both an insurance and investment component.

The thing is – this policy is more flexible. You get to choose how the money in the policy dividend account is invested.

When you buy a whole life policy, the insurance company decides where the money is invested and as such, they offer basic cash value and death benefit guarantees.

Universal life allows you to choose how the money is invested, which means you shoulder the risk. The carrier doesn’t offer the same guarantees.

However, the potential for significant cash accumulation and growth is higher, especially if you make savvy investment choices.

For a more in-depth look at Universal vs whole Life Insurance, read my post here.

Equitable life of Canada universal life

Equation Generation IV

Based on your investment choices, Equitable Life’s Equation Generation IV policy may earn dividends, which may be:

  • re-invested and allowed to compound and grow tax-deferred
  • used to pay policy premiums 
  • borrowed against within prescribed limits
  • used tax and surrender charge-free, in the event of a disability, critical illness or long-term care requirement

Equitable Life Critical Illness Insurance

Critical Illness insurance or “CI” is increasingly popular these days.

With longer life expectancies and technological advances, the odds of surviving a serious illness are significant.

The only question is whether your bank account or lifestyle will survive. CI coverage is designed to pay a one-time, tax-free, lump-sum payment when you develop a critical illness as laid out by the definitions in your policy.

Critical Illness insurance was invented in the 1980s by Marius “Barnard, a South African surgeon who did the world’s first heart transplantation. He wanted to create something that helped alieve the financial stress his patients experienced when they were forced to stop working and focus on fighting their illnesses.”


“He noticed a correlation between lower stress levels and more positive outcomes.”

Critical illness is best suited and most affordable for someone who’s already healthy and wants to safeguard their family’s finances against the threat of a life-threatening condition.

Equitable Life Critical Illness Insurance

EquiLiving Critical Illness Insurance

Equitable Life’s EquiLiving Critical Illness protection is a renewable product.

Coverage lengths include Term 10 and Term to age 75.

This policy covers 26 conditions including Heart attack, Stroke, Cancer & Coronary Artery Bypass. Five additional childhood illnesses are also covered to age 25.

It can be added onto Term, Whole Life or Universal Life plans as a policy rider. 

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews - Savings & Retirement 

No Equitable Life of Canada Review would be complete without exploring their range of investment and retirement products.

If you’re looking for something designed to meet your savings and wealth management needs, look no further. 

From RRSPs, TSFAs, Seg Funds to payout annuities, Equitable Life has something to offer.

equitable life insurance savings and retirement

Equitable Life Investment Products

Equitable Life Segregated Funds

Segregated Funds

What is a segregated fund? 

A segregated fund is an investment and insurance product combined. Similar to a mutual fund, investors pool their money together and a fund manager makes strategic buy-sell decisions in accordance with the financial objectives of the fund.

Equitable Life’s Pivotal Select seg funds may be a good choice if you’re concerned about growing and protecting your investments. Features include:

  • 75% – 100% of your premiums are guaranteed when your contract matures or on your death
  • Bypass probate by naming a beneficiary
  • No deferred sales charges at death
  • Quick settlement to loved ones after you pass away
  • Private and confidential beneficiary designations
  • Creditor protection in the event of bankruptcy or lawsuit
  • Choice of 34 different Pivotal Select segregated funds
  • Can be used with a variety of Equitable life plans including RRSP’s, TSFAs and RIFs.

This type of product is also known as a Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit (GMWB).

equitable life guaranteed interest account

Guaranteed Interest Account

Equitable Life’s Guaranteed Interest Account is ideal for those looking for capital security.

It pays a fixed interest rate on the entire value of your original lump sum investment for a defined period of time. As this type of investment risk is conservative, interest rates tend to be on the low side.

Features include:

  • Flexible access to your money anytime
  • Creditor protection
  • No policy fees
  • Guaranteed rates
Equitable Life Payout Annuities

Payout Annuities

Equitable Life’s payout annuity offer you a guaranteed income for life or for a defined term of your choosing.

An annuity is when you make a one-time, lump-sum deposit and then receive guaranteed monthly income payments.

The amount of cash you receive depends on the amount of your initial deposit, interest rates, your age and the type of annuity you choose.

Features include:

  • Choice of life or term payout
  • Guaranteed income for you and your beneficiaries
  • Guaranteed income for a specific term
  • Flexibility for tax purposes
Equitable Life of Canada RRSP

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

Contributing to an RRSP is a great way to sock away cash for retirement.

Remember, you can reduce your taxable income dollar for dollar by optimizing your contribution to your RRSP annually.

Money invested in an Equitable Life RRSP can grow and compound tax-deferred. The best part?

Your RRSP is like a wrapper, you decide what goes inside. Will it be mutual funds, ETF’s, Seg funds, GICs, Stocks, and Bonds?

The choices are really endless.

Equitable Life Insurance TSFA

Tax Free Savings Account (TSFA)

A TFSA is a tax-advantaged savings account.

How does it work? You deposit after-tax dollars into your TSFA account and all growth & interest earned on the cash inside the account is never subject to tax. Sounds pretty sweet doesn’t it?

Equitable Life of Canada offers Guaranteed interest accounts and Pivotal Select Seg Funds as an eligible TSFA option.

“The maximum someone can contribute is cumulative. As long as you were a Canadian resident and over the age of 18 in 2009, if you’ve never opened a TFSA, you can contribute the full amount, which today totals…$63,500.”

Matt Smith, Good Times

Equitable Life RRIF

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF/ LIF)

A registered retirement income fund (RRIF) is a registered account that is designed to provide you with income from your RRSP.

In Canada, you must convert your RRSP to an RRIF, a payout annuity or cash by age 71. Funds you withdraw from your RRIF are taxable but the growth inside of it is not.

Equitable Life’s Segregated funds and guaranteed income account are eligible to be used inside your RRIF.

Equitable Life of Canada Review - Group Benefits 

One of the advantages of employment is group life benefits and if you’re an employer that provides them, you sure stand out from the crowd!

Equitable Life of Canada offers a wide range of flexible Group Benefit solutions to meet the needs of different businesses.

They pride themselves on their personal touch and ability to customize a solution for each unique situation.

Equitable Life Group Benefits

MyFlex Benefits

Equitable Life’s myFlex Benefits offers “big benefits for small businesses”!

Employers of 3 to 35 people can take advantage of their competitive, customizable benefits plans.

Once business owners pick the basic options for the plan, employees may personalize their own benefits within agreed limits.

Equitable Life Group Benefits life insurance

Life, Accident & Critical Illness Insurance

Equitable Life’s group benefit plans offer employer-sponsored life insurance, including options for employees to buy additional life protection.

This is a standard feature of most group insurance plans, providing workers with some basic coverage for their loved ones.

Plan members can also benefit from Equitable Life’s group accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage.

This protects employees and their families from the financial devastation of an unforeseen fatal accident. AD&D benefits can also provide bereavement, child and funeral expense support.

Equitable Life of Canada provides group critical illness coverage through ACE INA Life Insurance. This protection allows plan member employees to focus on recovery from a life-threatening illness.

It provides a one-time, tax-free, lump-sum benefit that can help members and their families survive the financial stress of dealing with a critical illness.

Not to mention, a quicker return to work is in the best interest of the employer as well.

Equitable Life Health and Dental

Health & Dental Benefits

If you’re a small to mid-size business, health and dental benefits are an essential way to incentivize future employees.

Equitable Life’s flexible claim systems allow for custom-tailored health benefits coverage to meet the specific needs of your employees.

Plans can provide full protection or include deductibles or co-payments.

Similarly, Equitable Life dental benefits are designed to custom fit your business. Using any combination of deductibles and reimbursement levels, plan members select the right level of dental benefits at the right cost.

Equitable Life Group Benefits Disability

Disability Management Solutions

“Statistically, “one in six Canadians will be disabled for three months or more before age 50. “When I ask clients what their largest asset is, they often say it’s their house,” says Tim Landry, a living benefits consultant in Montreal. “But for many people, their largest asset is their future income-producing ability. If you have 30 years left to retirement and you’re making $100,000 a year—that’s $3 million. Ensuring that is crucial for peace of mind.”

Julie Cazzin, MoneySense

Disability and absences can have devastating effects for both employees and employers.

Employers that offer this type of coverage take serious stress off an employee and may even help them return to the workplace in better health.

Equitable Life of Canada’s disability and absence management team offer service and contract provisions to support members in returning to work through long and short term disabilities.


Equitable Life of Canada Online Services

Health, Wellness & Online Services

Equitable life provides health and wellness solutions to keep business owners and employees happy and productive.

HealthConnector services provide employers with flexible options and resources to help employees manage serious illnesses or mental health issues.

If you’re an employer, that means decreasing absenteeism and increasing productivity. For employees, HealthConnector gives them the assistance they need to deal with work-related and personal issues.

Equitable Life Insurance Savings and Retirement

Personal Health & Dental Coverage

If you’ve recently lost your health and dental protection through a group benefits plan, Equitable Life of Canada’s Coverage2go can help.

It allows you to purchase health and dental that is affordable and works like the group benefits plan you recently had.

Apply before or within 60 days of losing coverage under your current group benefit plan and no medical evidence is required.

Coverage2go allows you to choose the level of protection that suits your specific needs.

Equitable Life Health Care Spending Account

Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)

What is a health care spending account?

A Health Spending Account is a group benefit that reimburses you for a range of health-related expenses, over and above traditional benefit plans.

It may also offer greater tax credits than personal health and dental plans.

An Equitable Life HCSA provides plan members more flexibility in how they choose to spend their health dollars.

For employers, it offers certainty by providing a maximum cost per benefit period per plan member and addresses the following marketplace trends:

  • Ever changing job market and the need for plan flexibility
  • Rising costs
  • Employee retention and recruitment challenges
Equitable Life Taxable Spending Account

Taxable Spending Account (TSA)

An Equitable Life taxable spending account (TSA) is an excellent way to motivate employees.

It also promotes healthy living and increases productivity at the same time.  A TSA is considered a business expense and therefore can be written off. Cash bonuses cannot.

How does it work?

Employees get reimbursed under an employer member plan for various health-related expenses including childcare, smoking cessation programs, professional development, nutrition programs, etc.

Equitable Life offers employers a plethora of eligible services to choose from so they can customize a plan for their unique situation. 

Taxable spending accounts are easy to implement and are a win-win for employee and employer.

Equitable Life Insurance Application Process

Electronic applications or “E-apps”, have become ubiquitous in the Canadian insurance marketplace. They not only speed up the process, but they keep wait times to a minimum. 

It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks for the life insurance company to process your application so who wouldn’t want to speed things up?

Equitable Life’s EZcomplete is one of the better electronic apps out there. You can easily complete it with your advisor over the phone and execute an electronic signature via email. 

Part of the application process involves figuring out how much coverage you’re going need. The reality is, most folks low-ball this amount and end up underinsured.

How much life insurance do I need?

It sure ain’t rocket science but it’s something you want to get right the first time around.

What’s your age? Are you married? Do you have kids a mortgage or debt? etc.

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself. Basically, if you’re not here tomorrow, how much money do your loved ones need month to month to carry on so they don’t face financial devastation?

The question “how much life insurance do I need?” really means how much of my income do I need to replace for my family and for how long?.

If you have a family depending on you, a good rule of thumb is 10 to 15 times your gross salary.

So, if you earn $75 thousand a year, $750,000 of life insurance protection puts you in the ballpark. If your salary’s $100k, your family needs $1 million of coverage.

Just remember, if you’re 40 making a $60,000 salary, you’re earning potential, assuming you retire at 65, is 25 years. That’s 25 years X $60,000 per year = $1.5 million.

If something happens to you this year, that’s money that your family will never see.

Wow, I never thought about it that way...Now I want to make sure I get the right coverage so if God forbid, something happens to me, my family doesn't slip through the cracks!

Yeah, I know! $250,000 may seem like a lot of money but when you think about how far that will take a family of four, it's sobering. Obviously, some insurance is better than none but for most people, term is very affordable so there's really no excuse!  Let's check out some rates now...

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews: The Pros

Excellent Claims & Policy Service Experience

What Equitable Life lacks for in size, they make up for in service! The fantastic support they provide their network of independent advisors trickles down to clients and input personnel who deal with claims and service.

Not to mention, they treat employees well and in turn, advisors and policyholders.

Digital Leader, Smooth Electronic Application!

It's hard to believe that Equitable Life's entire application and claims process was almost entirely paper based up until 2014.

Since that time Equitable has come a long way AND fast!  They've launched and are constantly improving upon a series of online applications to make it easier for clients and advisors/

These include EZcomplete, InsuranceAssist and their EZClaim mobile app. EZcomplete has recently been implemented for Equitable's Segregated Fund products as well.

Equitable Life continues to focus on making an already good customer portal even more user friendly. This focus and commitment to improving their online experience makes Equitable Life a Digital Leader in the Canadian insurance space.

Mutual Life Insurance Company Status

Did I mention Equitable Life of Canada is a mutual life insurance company? They're owned by participating policyholders, not shareholders, allowing them to focus on long term growth and providing clients with personalized service.

I don't know about you but I like the idea of a company that's accountable to it's policyholders!

Best Performing Whole Life Insurance Product in Canada!

Equitable Life has hands down one of the best participating whole life policies in the Canadian market today.

Equitable Life Of Canada Reviews aren't complete without talking about this!

In 2019, record revenues of $109 million resulted in a 13.2% return on policyholders’ equity, despite an economic downturn. As a result, Equitable has the highest paying dividends in the market and their return on policyholders' equity has averaged 13.6% over the last 5 years.

Not to mention, Equitable Life of Canada recently announced that it's maintaining its dividend scale for 2020/2021. The interest rate will remain unchanged at 6.2%.

Financial Stability

Rated 'A' by Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS), Equitable Life of Canada is on solid footing.

Aggressive Underwriting

Equitable Life has very robust underwriting department that's willing to engage reinsurance partners for more challenging cases.

They also attained some key personnel from Manulife in recent years to add to their experience base.


Equitable Life of Canada offers very competitive pricing on their term and permanent insurance products.

Strong, Community Based Culture

Equitable Life is an intimate, hometown shop that likes to be involved in the local community.

They sponsor the Waterloo-Wellington Autism Speaks Canada Walk and support many other initiatives including a local organic food share program. 

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews: The Cons

Too Eastern Centric

With the exception of a group benefits office in Calgary, Equitable life of Canada's critical mass is located in Kitchener - Waterloo, Ontario. Like other carriers, this makes it more challenging for them to support advisors in the West due to the time difference.

Limited Product Shelf

This is a partial con as Equitable Life does have a decent range of products and there is something to be said for narrowing your focus. However, it would be nice if they had a larger offering.

Whew now you know why I said this is the best of the Equitable Life Of Canada Reviews!  We covered it all 😉 

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews: Are They the Best Company For YOU!?

So if you are looking at Equitable Life Insurance Reviews I bet you like what you see…

…because I do too!

As one of the largest mutual life insurance companies, Equitable Life Insurance Canada produces huge results for policyholders with finite resources.

They offer a nice range of products including one of the best whole life insurance in the Canadian market today!

The lightning speed at which Equitable Life has adapted to the online marketplace is impressive and they show no signs of slowing down! 

That being said, they may not be for everyone. Call us today and we can help you find out if they are the insurer for you.

Equitable Life Insurance Reviews

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