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Ivari Insurance

Are you considering Ivari Insurance and wondering if it’s the right fit for you? This powerful insurer was recently acquired by Bermudan insurance giant Sagicor, which has operated for over 180 years. Before the acquisition, they were associated with one of North America’s most well-known insurance companies, Transamerica.

They were previously known as Transamerica Life Canada before being rebranded in 2015. Before the recent acquisition, the company was owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CCPIB), one of the largest pension funds globally.

Ivari is headquartered in Toronto and is among Canada’s top 15 life insurance companies.

Transamerica Life Canada Origins

Transamerica Life Canada has been in operation since 1927. Later, it became Ivari Life Insurance after being purchased by Wilton Re, a large reinsurance company. The story doesn’t end there, though.

In 2014, Wilton Re was acquired by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Please note that this is not the same as Canada Protection Plan. The CPPIB is a well-respected pension fund with assets under management exceeding $370 billion. This insurance company has always had a solid financial foundation, which is good news for consumers.

Financial Rating: Is Ivari a Reliable Company?

Ivari is a privately owned corporation based in Toronto. 

In operation for over 80 years, they manage assets worth $13.9 billion and provide life insurance and critical illness policies to 700,000 Canadians through a workforce of about 250 employees.

Not too shabby!

The good news doesn’t end there:

  • In 2023, Fitch Ratings issued them an  ‘A-‘ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating
  • A.M. Best confirmed the 2023 Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of ‘A-‘ (Excellent) 

As you can see, this company has solid financials and isn’t going anywhere!

What Do Customers Think?

It’s important to be cautious when relying on online reviews. People tend to complain more than they share positive experiences. This is especially true regarding consumer reviews for life insurance companies.

When reading reviews for any major life insurance company, you’ll likely encounter many dissatisfied customers. Ivari Insurance, for instance, received a 2.6 out of 5 stars rating based on 130 Google reviews. However, knowing how much weight to give to these reviews isn’t easy. A few negative comments can quickly bring down a company’s overall rating, even if they also have positive reviews.

“Very few people write reviews. It’s about 1.5 percent, or 15 people out of 1,000,…Should we be relying on these people if we’re part of the other 985?”

Caroline Beaton, Why You Can’t Really Trust Negative Online Reviews

It’s important to remember that every life insurance company may have some negative feedback from consumers.

People tend to share their negative experiences more often than positive ones.

Ivari Insurance Products

This is my favorite part of every review.

Ivari Canada has a range of life insurance products, including Term, Universal Life, and Critical Illness insurance. They are also used to partner with Specialty Life Insurance (SLi), which has simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance products!

This company specializes in niche insurance rather than offering everything under the sun as some insurers do.

Can you be a jack of all trades and do them all VERY well?

You don’t need to worry about that with this insurer because they don’t go too far afield with their offerings. They do some things really well: Life Insurance & Critical Illness Insurance.

So, let’s start with their life insurance offering right now!

1. Ivari Universal Life Insurance

Universal Life (UL) is a form of permanent life insurance that covers you until the day you die. Because it has both an insurance and an investment component, It is known as cash-value life insurance.

This is Ivari’s only permanent product, and due to its focus and specialization, it has one of the best reputations in the Canadian marketplace.

Universal Life Insurance is flexible and can be customized for many situations, including an Insured Retirement Plan (IRP). An IRP is a vehicle that can be used to transfer family & corporate wealth.

One such corporate life insurance strategy is known as an Immediate Financing Arrangement (IFA).

This approach can get very complicated, so it’s vital to seek the advice of an independent insurance agent to make sure that Ivari UL is the right product for you. 

Coverage Options: 

  • Single Life
  • First to die: joint life insurance – premiums to first death
  • Last to die: joint life insurance –  premiums to last death

Minimum Coverage:

  • Single Life – $25,000
  • Joint (two lives) – $100,000

Maximum Coverage: 

  • $10 Million

2. Ivari Select Term Life Insurance

…and of course, we’ve got Term Insurance. After all, it’s the best-known and most affordable type of life insurance.

It provides coverage for a specific period, hence the word “term.”

I often recommend Term to clients because it protects families from losing a breadwinner. Ivari offers term life insurance for 10, 20, or 30-year periods. All their term insurance has the following features:

  • Level & guaranteed premiums for the length of the Term
  • Guaranteed renewable premiums beyond the original Term
  • Term 10 & 20 renewable to age 80
  • Term Select 30 is renewable at policy year 30 with level premiums for life
  • Convertible to Permanent insurance up to age 71 at the same underwriting class

Coverage Options: 

  • Single Life
  • Joint First to Die
  • Joint Last to Die

Maximum Coverage:

  • $10 Million

TERM 30 with SelectOptions

This product is a carryover from Transamerica Life Canada and has some attractive built-in insurance options available between years 15 and 20 of the policy:

  • Select30 provides you with a reduced paid-up amount of term insurance for the remainder of your 30-year Term 
  • SelectLIFE provides you with a reduced paid-up amount of permanent insurance for the rest of your life 
  • SelectValue gives you access to some cash value attributed to your policy upon written request 

Did I mention Ivari’s TERMselect30 is one of the more expensive Term 30 products? This is why you should always speak to an independent agent.  

What is covered in ivari?3. Critical Illness

Critical Illness Insurance, or “CI,” is a popular product these days, but you have to make sure you understand what you’re getting into when you sign on the dotted line. Some critics think the definitions in the policy’s fine print are so limited that it’s difficult for consumers to make a claim. Read my post about Critical Illness here.

Invented by a South African heart surgeon, CI was created as a means to alleviate the financial stress that goes along with fighting a serious illness.

It’s designed to provide you with a one-time lump sum payment should this happen to you. The benefit is paid out tax-free, and there are no restrictions on how you can spend the money. 

Coverage Details:

  • Traditional medical underwriting
  • Covers 4 or 25 conditions (including five childhood illnesses)
  • Term 10 & 20 renewable to age 75

Ivari Critical Illness Early Detection Benefit

Many carriers have this feature – it pays out a one-time lump sum if you’re diagnosed with one of the Early Detection Covered Conditions and make it past the survival period.

This feature is only included with the 25-condition critical illness plans and covers the following:

  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Early prostate cancer
  • Ductal breast cancer
  • Superficial malignant melanoma

It pays out 15% of your CI benefit or $50,000, whichever is less. The early detection benefit can only be paid once and does not reduce the critical illness benefit.

Ivari Insurance Review: Underwriting

Most of their insurance products require traditional underwriting, including health questions and a paramedical exam.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

For the majority of us, life insurance is about replacing income for dependents when we’re not there.

If you’ve got kids and a mortgage, substantial coverage may be required to ensure enough money to continue Life as you know it.

In a hurry? One rule of thumb for replacing income is 10-15 times your gross annual income.

Ivari has an interesting needs analysis tool called My Insurance View, which lets you enter all your personal and financial data, including: 

  • Your children and how old they are
  • Mortgage & amortization
  • Other debt
  • Assets
  • Percentage of gross income you want to leave for your family (and for how long) 

You input all your deets, and Ivari My Insurance View spits out a prescription for coverage, which you can adjust. It has some limitations but is a great place to begin the process.

Is Ivari Insurance a good fit for you? Let’s check out the pros & cons…

Ivari Insurance Pros

1. Excellent Claims Experience

I put this at the top of the list because, ultimately, getting a claim paid out is the most important thing. This insurer has an outstanding track record when paying out benefits to policyholders. In 2022, they paid out 99.4% of the Ivari insurance claims received.

They also process claims quickly, within five days of receiving the last required documents. This is truly remarkable! Additionally, if your policy is over ten years old and the face amount is less than $50,000, they pay out in as little as two days. I have heard of cases where other insurance providers have taken 6-18 months to pay a claim, so they deserve some bonus points for efficiency. 

2. Financially Solid

A lot of people are asking who owns Ivari Insurance. It was originally Transamerica Life Canada, and now it’s Sagicor. But no matter how you slice it, they have been insurance Canadians for more than 80 years. 

They have an A-rating with Fitch and A.M. Best.

3. Most Lenient Underwriting for Heavy People

Their build chart is one of the most forgiving in Canada. So, if you’re heavier, they view you more favorably than other carriers. This could mean thousands of dollars in savings over a 20 or 30-year policy.

4. Unique TERMselect30 Product with Paid-Up Options

Ivari’s flexible TERMselect30 is a term 30 policy with built-in options in years 15 – 20, which allows you to stop paying premiums and opt for a paid-up term, permanent, or some cash value. 

This may be very useful.

5. Strong, Community-Based Culture

This insurance company has always had strong roots in the community, and that didn’t change when they were rebranded. They are also involved in several charitable efforts, including their “Healthy Steps” program for children. Also, employees’ charitable contributions are matched, and they provide paid time off for volunteer work.

Ivari Insurance Cons

1. Pricier Term Insurance

Their term products used to be more competitive, but now they’re at the higher end of the market. However, if you bundle term coverage with a small amount of Universal Life (permanent insurance) for final expenses, the cost is very fair.

2. No Participating Whole Life Product

Whole life insurance is useful, especially for estate preservation and final expense. If you’re looking for a cash-value life insurance product that you can “set and forget,” Ivari comes up short. Any major carrier should have a participating final expense plan in their offering.

3. Ownership Changes

Ivari has always been financially stable, but changes due to a rebrand in 2016 and new ownership in 2023 under Sagicor have implications for policyholders.

Is Ivari Canada the Right Insurance Company for YOU?

First, let me begin by saying I have a soft spot for Ivari. I put them in my top 10 list of best life insurance companies in Canada – they’re a quality carrier with quality people.

Their specialized range of products includes Term, universal life, and critical illness coverage.

Built on the shoulders of Transamerica Life Canada and now owned by Sagicor, Ivari Insurance is a financially stable company with deep roots in Canada. You know your investment in your family’s future is safe. 

As a final reminder, not all life insurance companies are created equally. Ensure you work with an independent insurance agent like James Heidebrecht to get the best possible product for your needs.


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